Marvel: The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode 5

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

Hi! It’s Annie!

Here we are, back with the second to last episode of this series. The big build up everyone was expecting to the finale of this show. So imagine my surprise when I went onto Twitter this morning and found that the show was not trending at all. Not even on the entertainment page. After watching the episode I can definitely see why. This episode had its uses, but was no finale episode and was probably needed towards the beginning of the series rather than now. This also destroyed all my hopes for liking this series as a whole. I think I’ve introduced this enough, so let’s just get into it. As always, SPOILERS AHEAD!!

The Super Soldier Serum:

I know I usually talk about characters and not things, but this needed an entire section for itself. I’ve had small problems with the usage of the super soldier serum throughout this show; mostly having to do with the fact that it’s a shot kind of like a vaccine. This was something I dismissed though, because it’s been over seventy years since Steve got the serum and that’s a lot of time for science and medicine to advance. But then we got the conversation with Sam and Carl Lumbly’s character in this episode. He states that he, and the other men who were experimented on with the super soldier serum not long after Steve got it, were told that they were getting a tetanus shot when they were injected with the serum. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I seem to recall Steve being put in this large machine where he was injected with several vials of the serum and then blasted with radiation until his transformation was complete. Yes, science and medicine would have been able to change drastically in seventy years, but definitely not in one or two. I understand what they were trying to do with this character, but this is just one of the many examples of how bad the consistency in this show is.

Sam:

We needed this episode to be the second or third episode in this series and that is specifically for the character of Sam Wilson. I feel like this episode finally gave Sam at least a little of what he deserves. We finally got back to the storyline with him and his family, he was finally able to fully explain his decision to give up the shield, and we actually got to see him come to terms with the situation and begin to train. All of these things that I just mentioned are things that we would have ideally gotten from Sam long ago. This is actually stuff I would have wanted more developed and maybe even gotten to see throughout the entire series. Sam was funny, kind, and incredibly important in this episode. This is the Sam I was looking forward to seeing when this series was announced. But with one episode left, I just wish we would have gotten more of it. And his relationship with his sister because his sister is one of my favorite characters on the show for the short time she has had.

Bucky:

Another successful episode for the character of Bucky. This episode involved a very adorable scene of Bucky waking up and seeing Sam’s nephews playing with the shield. The smile on his face while watching this happen was so precious! I still can’t get over that scene. Though this episode didn’t focus too much on Bucky, he was constantly there as support for Sam. And Sam was also there as support for him. This episode actually focused on creating a bond between them, which is another thing that should have happened in this series a long time ago. Watching them banter is by far my favorite part of this series and it has happened too little. Sam advised Bucky to help people for the sake of helping people and acknowledged that he shouldn’t have handed the shield to the government, Bucky apologized for not considering Sam’s feelings about the shield in the first place and assured Sam that this wasn’t entirely his fault, and they just had a nice deep discussion. Finally. Bucky also spent some of the episode flirting with Sam’s sister and forgetting that his metal arm existed. On the other hand, we also finally got to see Bucky beat the snot out of John Walker and hand Zemo over to the Dora Milaje. Both of which were also great character moments.

John Walker:

Why do I care about this character? We saw him get beaten up again, but by Sam and Bucky this time, which is always a cathartic experience. He tore Sam’s wings, but he’s really no match for Bucky who’s actually experienced with super soldier abilities. He then spent the rest of the episode dramatically screaming to anyone who would listen that he is Captain America even as he got the title stripped from him. I think most of us would argue that he never was. And then at the very end he made his own DIY Captain America shield that’s definitely not made out of vibranium so I’m not sure how much that’s supposed to help. I have no idea what they’re gearing him up to do, but I can’t figure out how I’m supposed to care about this character as a villain or otherwise. I’m just hoping that they don’t try to pull him into the MCU after this, but I have a feeling that I’m going to be disappointed.

Sharon Carter:

Why do I even bother anymore? She was in one short scene of this entire episode that seemingly confirmed that she was the Power Broker like we have all been suspecting. But, I hate to say it, this reveal doesn’t do anything to help her character. Giving her a new title does not change the fact that she’s been barely focused on and has gotten pretty much no character development. Sam’s sister Sarah is a much better female character and has even gotten more in the series at this point. And Sarah is also barely in this series, so that’s saying something. This show has almost no focused female characters. Why even use Sharon for marketing if you aren’t going to actually use her in the show?

The Flag Smashers:

Again, pretty much nothing. Almost hilariously nothing. I still have no idea what their goals are or even what they’re about. The main villain is female but all of her backstory has been told so far through short scenes of entirely unnaturally spoken exposition. She hasn’t really gotten character development either. And this episode she complained about how no one ever treats them like human beings, referring to the fact that John Walker killed her friend even though they have had no problems with civilian casualties before. She then (gasp, big reveal) brought in a an extremely small inconsequential villain that Steve Rogers beat up at the very beginning of a Captain America movie before and declared war. These are some of the most confusing and useless Marvel villains I have ever seen.

Zemo:

Bucky handed him over to the Dora Milaje and Zemo did the incredibly decent thing of helping Bucky atone for his past through him. That was just a really nice move. Surprisingly, I kind of hope we see more of him in the future.

And that’s it! This episode felt like a mix of filler and scenes that we should have gotten a long time ago of Sam as a character and Sam and Bucky bonding. All of this is weird considering there’s only one episode left. But, with one episode left, I can confidently say that this isn’t really a series worth watching. Maybe look up some Sam and Bucky scenes later, but if you’re on the fence my advice would be to not waste your time. I could have done without watching this entire series. But I guess we’ll see if the ending is good. I have a lot of doubts considering that it will focus on the villains, all of which have been my least favorite part of this series. This show wasn’t written well, guys. At all. I keep waiting for it to get better and it doesn’t. Sam and Bucky both deserve so much better.

See you across the pond!

Sincerely, Annie

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