Marvel: Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode 4

Screenshot of (left) Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson and (right) Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes from ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’. Copyright goes to Marvel Entertainment and Disney Studios.

Hi! It’s Annie!

I was going to continue my posts about ‘Boys Over Flowers’, but for some reason I completely forgot that there would be a new episode of this show! So, I will continue my ‘Boys Over Flowers’ rants in my next post and instead take a small break to actually discuss this episode. Because there were a lot of things in this episode that confirmed some things for me and other things that completely shocked me. But, as we are already more than half way through and there are only two episodes left, I think I actually have a pretty good idea of what I think of this show as a whole. If you’ve read my past posts you probably know what I’m going to say about the series, but let’s get into it anyways! As always, SPOILERS ahead!

Sam Wilson:

As always, Sam Wilson kind of received the short end of the stick. And that was with them actually giving him more to do this episode. If you want more proof that he was short changed, just look at how all the main characters were trending on Twitter after the latest episode except him. Sam barely seems to be part of the main plot until maybe this episode and even that feels up in the air. Sam had no connections to any of the villains whatsoever and that kind of included Zemo. The bad blood there is generally more between Zemo and Bucky. But in the most recent episode they decided to connect Sam with the head of the Flag Smashers by having him try to talk her down because of their similar experiences with the government and racism. It’s still too early to tell whether or not this connection will still even stand after the horrific events of this episode, but it was at least something for Sam. It’s really the only substantial thing we’ve gotten for him since the very beginning of the show.

Bucky Barnes:

Another episode that absolutely hit it out of the park for Bucky Barnes. I may think that this show is failing in most aspects, but one thing that they consistently get right is Bucky. We started this episode out with a flashback to Bucky being healed from his brain washing in Wakanda. This scene was insanely emotional. Ayo, the lead member of the Dora Milaje excepting Okoye, walked around Bucky saying the Russian words that would turn him into the Winter Solider after promising him that she wouldn’t let him hurt anyone while Bucky waited in obvious agony. After he didn’t turn, Ayo proclaimed him free and we saw Bucky’s sobs of anguish turn into sobs of happiness and relief. It was the most emotional scene we’ve ever gotten for Bucky. It was really nice to see Bucky’s relationship with the Dora Milaje and to hear him being called ‘White Wolf’ again. But my favorite Bucky moment from this episode was by far when the Dora Milaje were beating up John Walker and from the side lines he yelled “Looking strong John!”. I laughed my ass off.

Zemo:

Zemo really didn’t have too much to do in this episode, but I absolutely love how consistent he is as a character. There was a brief moment after he shot Karli where he looked at the super soldier serum and I was very afraid that the writers were going to do the dramatic thing and have him take it. I was so relieved and had so much more respect for the character when he stuck to his morals, however misguided they may be, and started crushing all the vials. Considering since the last time we saw him we received an hour long loop of him dancing (which was actually improvised), I really can’t wait to see what else we get from Zemo. For having such low expectations of this character because of how little he was needed in ‘Civil War’, I’m pleasantly surprised that he’s becoming one of the best characters on the show.

Sharon Carter:

Where? She was in one scene in this episode. And yes, I’m still mad. All of the merchandising for this show promised the audience a focused on female character. That is not what we are getting in the least. Yes, I am aware of the theory that Sharon is actually the Power Broker. Even if this theory is true and Sharon becomes one of the major villains, it still wouldn’t make her character much better. Because a sudden reveal won’t change the amount of screen time she’s been getting for the majority of this series and it also wouldn’t change the amount of character development she’s gotten so far. Which is close to none.

The Dora Milaje:

They were barely in this episode, but at least they kicked ass when they were here. I just wish Ayo would have been a main character throughout this entire series. She’s a badass and I absolutely love every minute that she’s on screen. Sadly, I have a feeling we aren’t going to get too much more of them.

Karli and the Flag Smashers:

What are they here for again? I know that they want refugees and the lower classes to have rights and acquire their homes back. But I don’t get what any of their goals are. I have no idea what they think blowing things up will help. I have no idea why they’re doing anything in this show. And they tried to make Karli sympathetic in this episode, but that completely went out the window the minute she threatened Sarah and her children. I don’t know what purpose they serve as villains, I have no idea why they do anything, and I’m not sure what their end goal is that makes them such a threat. Who are the villains in this show and why? Somebody tell me, because I certainly don’t know.

John Walker:

We have to talk about John Walker because he was pretty much the main focus of this episode. We all knew that John Walker is a character who is very much meant to be hated. This is something that’s pretty obvious to all of us now. In this episode he went completely insane. And part of it makes me wonder if we were supposed to sympathize with his character, because if that was their intention at any point it definitely didn’t work. We see John Walker get beaten up by the Dora Milaje and then say “they weren’t even super soldiers” in a scene that made me feel like we were supposed to sympathize with him but just kind of made me laugh instead. Really, I still hadn’t gotten over Bucky’s “Looking strong John!”. John picks up the only super soldier serum that hadn’t been crushed by Zemo and we know he’s going to use it. In a separate fight against Karli he injects himself with it (it’s absolutely insane how easy being injected with the super soldier serum has become for no reason at all) and then his friend dies. His friend that received so little character development I can’t remember his name. Seriously, can we take a moment to acknowledge that Marvel gave John Walker a token Black friend who they then killed off to further the white man’s plot line? Because I don’t think I’m getting over that any time soon. In a fury, John Walker corners the member of the Flag Smashers that said he was a Captain America fan and kills him in cold blood with Cap’s shield. He decapitates a guy with Cap’s shield. And then we see the shield covered in blood. That’s why everything special about Steve didn’t come out of a bottle, Tony. That’s why you don’t ever give the government Cap’s shield, Sam. Though this scene was powerful, with two episodes left I still have no idea where they’re going with this. Is he the main villain now? Are they going to be putting him in other things? Because personally, I’m not interested in seeing this character again.

It’s probably obvious, but I’m already calling it. This show is a bust. It’s one of my least favorite things I’ve seen come out of Marvel recently and I have no idea how it even fits in with the rest of the MCU. It feels like an idea they came up with last minute and just threw together. I wish I had more positive things to say, but even when the show seems to get better it’s still not all that good. For loving ‘WandaVision’ so much, this is a giant disappointment. At least they’re doing well with Bucky, but both Sam Wilson and female representation in Marvel deserve better.

See you across the pond!

Sincerely, Annie

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