Here am I again, with my thoughts on the latest episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Let’s not discuss how late this post is. Oops! I had a super long weekend with the bank holiday and some annual leave at work, so time just seemed to pass without me realising, and it’s now the eve of episode four!
I think this might actually have been my favourite episode yet. Each week things just keep getting better and I just love these characters so much. But we’re already HALF WAY THROUGH. Honestly don’t even ask what I’m going to do when this is over and we have to wait until JUNE for Loki!
My thoughts of episode two of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
Again the episode opens with John Walker, as he searches for Karli Morgenthau and the Flag Smashers. Immediately we see how unlike Steve he is, and that he can wear the suit all he wants but he really is not Captain America, as he grabs hold of a cafe owner during his search demanding “do you know who I am?!” Sure, the cafe owner wasn’t very welcoming, but this sense of self-importance didn’t go down well with me.
We know that people are loyal to Karli for helping those who were displaced by the blip, providing food, shelter, medicine and more. It’s easy to see why they have gained such a following, especially if they are feeling rejected and disregarded by the government. John and Lemar know they can’t beat these guys alone, so they decide to “bet on someone who’s got a better hand.”
“It’s not like you two are known for frolicking in the sun together” – Sam
Zemo is detained in a maximum security location, with Sam and Bucky going to visit him for assistance because they believe HYDRA to be involved with the creation and distribution of the new serum. Bucky meets with him, during which Zemo attempts to mockingly use the code words to activate the Winter Solider which DON’T WORK because “those days are over”.
After their brief discussion, Bucky raises the “hypothetical” idea that he and Sam could break Zemo out of prison in order to assist them. Sam, understandably, is reluctant. Not only did he use Bucky as The Winter Soldier, but he also framed him when killing T’Challa’s father, King T’Chaka of Wakanda. His actions set up a lot of the fall out in the last films. Bucky reminds Sam that he broke the law once before to protect him from the Sokovia Accords, and wants him to do it again.
Zemo reveals he spent years hunting those with the serum in order to recreate it, as with it people can create an army “like The Avengers”, but of course we know he was unsuccessful. Turns out however, he is a Baron! He’s super rich and has access to a private jet that the trio use to start their search.
Just because they have decided to work together doesn’t mean that there is no tension or animosity. Zemo has taken Bucky’s notebook, mocking him for the fact that he’s taken notes on the people he wants to make amends with. After a swift throat grab on Bucky’s part (arggh, ahem) we realise that the notebook was STEVE’S. It was where he recorded all of the things he wanted to catch up on after coming out of the the ice. My heart 🥲
“The problem with American soldiers is that we put them on a pedestal” – Zemo
The bickering has not stopped, which I’m grateful for because these are some of my fave scenes. Sam mentions how he recommended that Steve listen to Marvin Gaye, and so the three have a discussion over who likes Marvin Gaye the most and how influential he was as an artist.
Zemo, Sam and Bucky adopt characters and aliases in order to step foot on the island Madripoor, where they can seek further information on the serums in a place where more or less “anything goes.” Zemo relaxes into his role as Baron, Sam becomes The Smiling Tiger, and Bucky has to revisit himself as The Winter Soldier.
The epsionage element is something I really enjoy, and when Zemo says “ready to comply, Winter Solider?” I screeeeamed. Bucky quickly adapts and we see a fight break out, in order to showcase their strength and ensure that The Power Broker, who they came to see, is aware of their presence.
This scene had me super worried about Bucky. He’s spent so long working on his mental health and trying to rid himself of his old life, and that night he was forced to revert back. We can see he’s so close to snapping, but what I really did appreciate was how Sam questions whether he’s doing ok. Despite them pissing one another off, there really is a true level of care between the two. After a meeting that ends in an assassination which puts a bounty on the trio, Sharon enters the scene and helps them all escape.
“I can’t run in these heels!” – Sam
Sharon is a character who I never really warmed up to in previous films. I feel like she never had much character development and was more just a plot device to show Steve ‘moving on’. However I was really happy with her involvement in this episode!
She provided a really interesting perspective that we don’t always get in superhero films. Sharon tells the three that she didn’t have The Avengers to help her out after the blip, so she’s still off the grid and can’t speak to family because technically she’s still a fugitive due to her assistance in Civil War and stealing the shield and Sam’s Falcon suit.
“They cleared the bionic staring machine and he killed almost everyone he’s ever met” – Sam
Sam tells Sharon if she helps them out he can get her name cleared, so she reluctantly agrees and they make their way to a club for some information. Three things: IS THIS BUCKY’S FIRST CLUB? THE WALK AS THEY ENTER! AND ZEMO’S DANCE???
Sharon’s intel gained from her contacts in the club leads them to a shipping container where the lab is hidden and the serum is being made. Sam, Bucky and Zemo enter to speak to the scientist involved, while Sharon keeps watch outside. She’s clearly been doing some serious training! Yesss we love to see it after her being reduced to a former love interest. She must have taken down like 15 men? Anyway I APPLAUD.
We find out from the scientist that Isaiah’s blood test results were used to to isolate the necessary compounds in order create more serum which was “subtle, optimised, perfect” with no jacked up bodies. After the scientist disappeareed during the blip, the project was abandoned, hence his stay in Madripoor where he made 20 vials which were stolen by Karli.
Zemo decides to shoot the scientist juuuust before the enter container is blown up by the mercenaries. I love the action sequences in this TV show, and this was no exception. I love that each person has their own strengths, and of course it leads to an argument between our favourite duo as Sam didn’t wait for Bucky’s “signal”,
“You’re not gonna move your seat up are you?” – Sam
“No” – Bucky
After having left the fighting (with his mask on!), Zemo returns with a car he found in one of the shipping containers, telling them all to hop in. I LOVED the nod to Civil War, in which Bucky was cramped in the back of the car and Sam wouldn’t move his seat, and now the roles were reversed. Aaaah this was the scene that started it all for Sam and Bucky! The trio part ways with Sharon, and I started thinking, is she the Power Broker that was alluded to all episode?
We also learn that Karli and her team now have the rest of the serum so they have all the power in that regard. Sam questions whether he should have destroyed the shield rather than donating it to a museum, because things with John clearly aren’t going as planned. So I’m really intrigued how all of this is going to come into play.
Ok and one last thing… THAT ENDING!!!! Ayo, a member of the Dora Milaje from Wakanda, has arrived for Zemo. After his killed their King, it’s fair to say that they’re pissed. Bucky followed a trail they had left of Vibranium beads so I cannot wait to see their involvement tomorrow.
“We need a new Cap and it ain’t gonna be Walker. So before you go and destroy it, I’m going to take it from him myself” – Bucky
Phew, another super long post, but there are my thoughts on the latest episode of The Falcon and the Winter Solider. And a very late one this time! As ever, if you wanted to chat about this or share your theories, I’m always up for an MCU conversation.