"The Falcon and The Winter Soldier (Disney+ Limited Series)" Talkback (Spoilers)

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Yojimbo

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"Who Will Wield The Shield?"

thefalconandthewintersoldier.jpg

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier
Marvel Studios' "The Falcon and The Winter Soldier" stars Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson aka The Falcon, and Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes aka The Winter Soldier. The pair, who came together in the final moments of "Avengers: Endgame," team up on a global adventure that tests their abilities—and their patience. Directed by Kari Skogland with Malcolm Spellman serving as head writer, the six-episode series also stars Daniel Brühl as Baron Zemo, Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter, and Wyatt Russell as John Walker.

Episode 1 "New World Order"
Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes realize that their futures are anything but normal.

Official Links
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier on Disney+
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier on Twitter
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier on Instagram
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier on Facebook

See Also
"Marvel on Disney+" Pre-Release News & Discussion, Part 1 (Spoilers)
"Marvel on Disney+" Pre-Release News & Discussion, Part 2 (Spoilers)
"Marvel on Disney+" Pre-Release News & Discussion, Part 3 (Spoilers)
"Marvel on Disney+" Pre-Release News & Discussion, Part 4 (Spoilers)
"Captain America: The First Avenger" Talkback (Spoilers)
"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" Talkback (Spoilers)
"Avengers: Age of Ultron" Talkback (Spoilers)
"Captain America: Civil War" Talkback (Spoilers)
"Avengers: Infinity War" Talkback (Spoilers)
"Avengers: Endgame" Talkback (Spoilers)
 
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Rick Jones

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That first action scene was something else. Definitely a different kind of dogfight. Switching from aerial combat to hand to hand combat brings to mind something like The Rocketeer for me.

I liked how balanced it was at showing both Sam and Bucky dealing with their civilian lives. I wasn't expecting Bucky would still have it this rough, but after everything HYDRA made him do, it made sense. It was nice to see Sam's family life. I didn't really think of him having one before this. Nobody has it easy after the Blip. It was great to see Rhodey and Batroc again.

They had a lot of nerve to tell Sam that he was doing the right thing by donating the shield, only for them to give to someone else behind his back.The flag smashers being people that enjoyed the new world that Thanos caused we was pretty interesting.

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Neo Ultra Mike

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"New World Order" - You know I was going to make a point on how the show likely came together because of one line from Civil War but we haven't really even hit that because yeah guess we're only going to get the two main characters like teaming up in the second episode. I admit I didn't think Falcon and The Winter Soldier would have it's first full episode not having the two together at all, which isn't a bad thing at all as it's clear it's setting up the two's character and journey really well and major kudos for that. Just that it is weird they aren't going with the big reason at least concept wise this became a show. They did start out however with that chase through the canyon which honestly is probably the reason why this was going to be the first Disney+ show; even if you're like me and didn't have much of an issue with WandaVison's finale having a big action climax and dynamic fights there is a scale and a powerful oomph to them I felt was severely missing that though not horrible did make the film feel lesser. This one though starts out on that dynamic action scene that really keeps you glued the entire time and makes it clear "the disney plus shows can do MCU movie level action" which yeah none of the other shows from the related Marvel TV have shown before but this had and it has a lot of cool bits in it. I really love how Batroc for instant popped up and knocked Sam around as the LAP team was jumping out of the plane, I liked how Red Wing cut a whole through the plane and then blew up one of the helicopters and Sam turning around to get their own missles to blow up another or grappling a person out of the copter to fling them to their death (again I hope this doesn't come off too blood thirsty as I don't think all the Marvel characters should kill even within their own movies but that lack of real impact was something I felt held back in Wandavision that I'm glad this show won't have a problem with) and how it was buiding to ensure LAP didn't get the buy past the boarder and Sam coming up with a solution by tackling the guy out of the copter to get him back as the last one was blown up. Like that was some real tense and cool stuff that really show how awesome Falcon can be in a fight which we did get a lot of examples in the other Russo Brother movies but those were also in service to another character as yeah again he was playing a supporting hero and this opening makes it clear he's going to be the main hero here and they do that really well.

I also likes how this also takes time to deal with the minuita and little character issue and relationships that a movie would never really have the time or focus to dwell on that you can do in this whole limited series. I'm not going to go into my own personal drama but Sam and Sarah's whole "we have to deal with whether or not to sell our family's fishing boat" and having very differing issues on whether or not to try and find a way to keep it or to sell it is something I can relate to very much. And I do appreciate how this deals with the idea that yeah The Avengers probably weren't paid that well (then again Falcon was only an official Avenger for like a couple of months before having to more more off the grid after Civil War anyway) and of course thanks to the blip there are an incredible amount of people who are desperate and need money and loans and obviously the banks not being able to compensate properly for that. Which yeah I now see how the writers realized how this can tie into Covid issues without it having to be Covid because yeah this is a major global issue the entire world economy hasn't recovered from and actually getting to delve into that so seriously and the repercussions from that are great. Probably would of been better if the first thing to deal with that wasn't a joke like Spider Man Far From Home but hey still really works here. I also like how you do get to spend time with the family as Sam's interactions with his sister with her talking about how he was gone even before you know the blip and leaving her to deal with everything and mentioning how his nephews and nieces grew up without him but still being close to them and coming back to his community talking with the folks just has a realness to it where you actually don't want a big dramatic aciton beat to happen there and want things to build more naturally. And though it's clear this show's arc is going to have to be Sam accepting the shield and responsbility that comes with it to be a more proper Captain America i very much get that it was his choice not to take it up when Steve handed it to him and wanting to preserve that legacy with Steve even if yeah people obviously want a symbol. I think I joked in Infinity War the sort of rivarly Sam and Rhodey have but I like the two's more serious conversation here and then the reveal of John Walker taking over as Cap and seeing him in the Captain America costume and how that just doesn't fit. It's not because he really said or did anything they just got someone where you see that instantly and it feels wrong which obviously is the intent so well done on that.

I also like how they focused a lot on what Bucky's going through. his annoyance with his therapist listing things or having to be given a date with this restaurant employee and failing at battle ship were amusing scenes (no great laughs yet but eh pretty sure that will come once we actually have the two main leads in the same room trading comments off one another) and liked that though they gave a bit of levity towards Bucky they still played his scenes more seriously because yeah he's a generally more serious character. And also appreciate they are doing different things with him not fitting in then they did with Steve; not only dealing with his guilt on the people he killed and him trying to get either forgiveness for it ( the reveal he killed that old man's son on one of his Winter Soldier missions and not being able to talk about it were well handled) but just how much he is shutting himself away even more then Steve did. Like yeah Steve wasn't really that social outside SHIELD and then later the Avengers in the films but he was still making an effort thus why his list were stuff he needed to see and catch up on not you know people he wronged and not really wanting to talk to anyone or reach out at all. I dig too him admitting that this is the first time in his life he's had without a war or battle to fight since yeah The First Avenger since yeah he's either been under Hydra or on the run or just frozen away in Wakanda or snapped and yeah only now had a time being pardoned to really deal with this as a free man and clear he isn't handling that well.

I admit the reveal of the Flag Smashers knocing out Sam's contact didn't build them up as much of a credible threat and though the motivation of "a group who wants to work without boarders like things were in the blip" is interesting (since yeah of course the countries after such a crisis tried going back to how things were before because that's what ALWAYS HAPPENS throughout history. That isn't annoying because you know the same would happen if we did exist in the MCU) I do feel we could of used more on that but yeah that's obviously going to be in the following episodes as this one is focused on building up the two leads of the show and their struggles and yeah did a very good job of that. Honestly though WandaVision did a good job handling of grief and had an interesting gimmick I had a feeling I'd like this show more due to having more grounded action and dynamics and being much more upfront about everything. And the fact this sets what the real tone is right away without having to be sitcom pastiches so yeah fully on board with this show. Guessing the other episodes will be like 40 something minutes as well for another 4 esque hour experience which I'm fine with if they're all of this quality so yeah can't wait to see more next week.
 

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So Sam has been doing missions for the Air Force, because what else is he going to do? That new Falcon suit and fight sequence was spectacular :D.

Lately I've become really self-aware of how much Superheroes in movies or live-action end up killing people somewhat casually or matter-of-factly. Yeah, I get it, they're soldiers and they're bad guys, but it's still kind of jarring to me :(.

Torres is supposed to be Joaquin Torres from the comics? The second Falcon? If so, it looks like they Bucky-fied him where they turned an actual teen hero into an adult soldier. Would you believe in the comics he was an illegal immigrant trying to help families cross the border? I mean, he was fun here and played off Sam well in a sidekick-esque way, but it still felt kind of weird seeing him like that :confused:.

It was nice to see Batroc again. To be honest, I'm only disappointed that he feels like such a generic thug here instead of the gentleman criminal he is in the comics. But he sure gave Sam a challenge here, and actually survived, so at least the MCU knows when to keep name villains alive even if their henchmen aren't afforded the same luxury :sweat:.

Definitely playing on the theme of legacy where Sam feels he isn't ready to inherit Steve's legacy while struggling with his family's legacy. It was also nice to see his family with his widowed sister and her kids and how he reacts to how much time has moved on there since he blipped or even before when he was a Superhero :knd1: .

So Sam's family were fisherman instead of religious? I guess we're saving that up for when Daredevil inevitably comes back ;).

A whole list of "The Vanished?" Did they get their permission to use that? I don't know if anyone would want their name there even if they were part of The Blip :eek:.

It was cool to see Rhodey again, and to see him be the counterpoint to Sam not taking up the shield. I was expecting Rhodey dealing with Tony's loss like Sam is Steve's to come up, but that's probably going to be saved for Armor Wars :cool:.

Bucky is still struggling with the weight of his sins as the Winter Soldier and adjusting to a modern world, but at least he has pardon-mandated therapy to go through and he's crossing off his regrets one-by-one, whether it be people who used him as Winter Soldier or people who he unknowingly killed. But it's got to be agonizing for him to bond with someone whose son he's killed :crying:.

It was nice to see that Sam is reaching out to Bucky. It's probably what Steve would've wanted, but you can also potentially see that Sam is trying to make sure Bucky isn't alone like Wanda was :ack:.

They really don't address how Superheroes make money that much anymore, probably because "being a Superhero" seems to be the main job of everyone these days. I mean, Tony's rich, Steve worked for the government, Peter Parker now has Stark money, but Sam left his real day job to play Superhero and apparently there wasn't much in the way of Stark benefits like you'd expect :oops:.

Flag-Smasher is trying to create a unified nation like they felt the world was closer to during the Blip? Huh. Guess it'll also be a bit before they figure out it was the girl running the operation and is the actual Flag-Smasher...

USAgent looks so much like a discount Cap that it's honestly kind of funny. The US government are jerks though for making Sam think he was giving the shield away for Cap's museum when they instead hand it off to their new Captain America knockoff. I don't think Walker knows any better, he probably thinks he's just doing his duty and serving his country, but we know Sam gets the shield back so I'm wondering how it's going to happen o_O.

It was so weird to see Sharon and Zemo in the credits when they're not even in the episode :p.
 

Yojimbo

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Very much enjoyed the chase to Libya, like Rick, I felt shades of Rocketeer which that fight sequence and aerials. So great to see a good feature on Red Wing in action. Have a feeling we'll see Batroc again. Made perfect sense Falcon became a contract agent for the USAF. But still the status of Avengers left vague. But the bank scene seemed to imply everything really was on Tony's dime when he was alive and now they're cut off. Torres is an interesting addition, a bit too gung ho, and looking forward to see how it unfolds. He's a name character from the comics but Marvel knows we know that and he could be a red herring and he might get killed off.

It was relief they didn't try to pull any punches with exploring racial tensions and the first episode gets right into it with both the 'family bank' not sticking up for the black family that's had an account with them for decades after the typical niceties (in this case, recognizing he's Falcon and asking for selfies) and the government taking advantage of Sam's donation of the shield.

Nice to see Rhodey wasn't court-martialed after all by Ross and is still with the USAF as a colonel, I think. Maybe he got a pardon like Bucky and perhaps the others who were imprisoned at the Raft, too. It was nice moment to set up the back drop of the series with all the geopolitics going on and Sam's arc. Makes sense anarchists viewed the Snap as paradise and with half the world gone, it was easy pickings.

Dr. Raynor was a welcome addition, totally reading Bucky like a book lol. The reveal that Bucky killed Yoji's son during a HYDRA mission in the past was heartbreaking. And naturally Bucky would run away from the date and makes sense there was a parallel story with Sam running away to the Air Force instead of continuing to work in the family business.

That Flag Smasher having super strength was alarming to say the least. And begs the question of how and I'm sure we'll learn soon enough. Easy to see Sam and Bucky will eventually cross paths going after them.

WHiH! They popped up in WandaVision at the S.W.O.R.D. HQ, too, but it's nice to see something since IM1 is still going and being used. Great ending with the shocker reveal of a new Captain America, and of course, wonder if he's got a serum or not.

Also sites thought Miki Ishikawa was going to be a name character but nope, just a waitress and potential love interest for Bucky.

Loved the tidbit at the Smithosonian exhibit, "For the last time, Captain America operated outside the confines of a governing body. Rogers' new team consisting of fellow former Avengers, including Natasha Romanoff, Wanda Maximoff, and Sam Wilson, was forced to operate off the grid and live a new life as fugitives after aiding and abetting the accused Barnes. With some ties to S.H.I.E.L.D. and the intelligence community still in tact, the team still worked to aid in the protection of Earth and its citizens." It was a minor mention, but it was still a Marvel Studios production acknowledging that SHIELD existed as an agency post-Winter Soldier and for me, in the least, that was dope. It was a nice touch with the SHIELD and HYDRA logos and all the WW II stuff.
 
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Fone Bone

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The Falcon And The Winter Soldier "New World Order"

That was fine. I imagine there will be one or two people disappointed that this doesn't look like it's going to be like WandaVision, and basically an excuse for the craziest Marvel theories ever, but I liked and appreciated how grounded this was. To be honest, the crazy WandaVision theories drove me a LITTLE bit nuts because I was pretty sure none of them would come to pass, and people would be mad when they didn't. This show might temper people's expectations because the pilot was so straightforward.

What is Bucky thinking with the old guy? There is no way this doesn't end badly.

I love Iron Man 3. It's my favorite of the Iron Man movies, and the only one I really like. One of my favorite scenes in it is the "barrel of monkeys", not just because it's majorly empowering that Tony basically turns everyone there into equal parts the hero, but it's a really visually interesting action scene clearly done mostly practically, which is cool. If you told me we'd get a similar scene from Marvel in 10 years on a TV budget I woulda said you were dreaming. But I would have HOPED you were right. The aerial acrobatics at the beginning of the episode were really good.

Hey! Bucky's therapist is the Cookie Lady from Everybody Loves Raymond! Nice to see her still getting work.

Sam is a lot more serious here than he is in the movies (although the situation is a bit serious) and I like that the show is pointing the audience in the direction that the bank won't give the Wilsons the loan due to plain old racism. What I love about this message is that the loan officer clearly loves Sam and thinks being an Avenger is cool. But that doesn't stop him from dismissing him because he's black. It's a strong hint that for a lot of clueless white people, racism involves apathy rather than deliberate malice. I don't think that's good myself. Deliberate malice in racism is easier to fight. Getting somebody to care who doesn't already is pretty near impossible. Apathetic racism may not technically be as sinister at hateful racism. But I would argue it's a LOT more destructive because fewer people are willing to fight it, and quite a few people will not even admit it exists. It's also far more common than white people like to tell themselves it is.

I appreciate that Bucky never really had a personality in the movies, so they are sort of feeling him out here and trying new things. We'll see how this goes. But I think his ideas of how to make amends strike me as a disaster in waiting.

Solid. ****.
 

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Very much enjoyed the chase to Libya, like Rick, I felt shades of Rocketeer which that fight sequence and aerials. So great to see a good feature on Red Wing in action. Have a feeling we'll see Batroc again. Made perfect sense Falcon became a contract agent for the USAF. But still the status of Avengers left vague. But the bank scene seemed to imply everything really was on Tony's dime when he was alive and now they're cut off. Torres is an interesting addition, a bit too gung ho, and looking forward to see how it unfolds. He's a name character from the comics but Marvel knows we know that and he could be a red herring and he might get killed off.
He seems so nice though! Although I did find it kind of noticeable that they never addressed his first name :confused:.
That Flag Smasher having super strength was alarming to say the least. And begs the question of how and I'm sure we'll learn soon enough. Easy to see Sam and Bucky will eventually cross paths going after them.
You could definitely tell that Sam didn't want to think about the possibility of them having some variant of the Super Soldier serum :ack:.
WHiH! They popped up in WandaVision at the S.W.O.R.D. HQ, too, but it's nice to see something since IM1 is still going and being used. Great ending with the shocker reveal of a new Captain America, and of course, wonder if he's got a serum or not.
I guess it could be a demonstration to Sam that you don't need the Serum to be able to wield the shield well...
Also sites thought Miki Ishikawa was going to be a name character but nope, just a waitress and potential love interest for Bucky.
Be kind of hilarious to take a "name" character like Bucky and pair him with a random, normal, OC. I mean, it's why I think it won't happen, but it'd still be kind of funny :p.
Loved the tidbit at the Smithosonian exhibit, "For the last time, Captain America operated outside the confines of a governing body. Rogers' new team consisting of fellow former Avengers, including Natasha Romanoff, Wanda Maximoff, and Sam Wilson, was forced to operate off the grid and live a new life as fugitives after aiding and abetting the accused Barnes. With some ties to S.H.I.E.L.D. and the intelligence community still in tact, the team still worked to aid in the protection of Earth and its citizens." It was a minor mention, but it was still a Marvel Studios production acknowledging that SHIELD existed as an agency post-Winter Soldier and for me, in the least, that was dope. It was a nice touch with the SHIELD and HYDRA logos and all the WW II stuff.
I'm guessing they had Fury and Hill still helping them while they were on the run :).
 

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You could definitely tell that Sam didn't want to think about the possibility of them having some variant of the Super Soldier serum :ack:.
My inclination was they raided a HYDRA lab during the Snap that had some work done on the serum that Zola used on Bucky or maybe a U.S. one since Ross did create Abomination back in the day. Though I guess it's entirely possible someone else might have created their own or they're enhanced in a different way.
I guess it could be a demonstration to Sam that you don't need the Serum to be able to wield the shield well...
True, but a part of me hopes he does power up.
I'm guessing they had Fury and Hill still helping them while they were on the run :).
A tie-in canon comic indicated Steve's team was not in contact with Fury and Hill. AOS did leave ways to explain it, like during Director Mace's brief tenure S.H.I.E.L.D. was legitimized again and they could have been aiding Steve's team on the sly. Or it was indicated at one point that May kept in contact with agents current and former. Or they were just using S.H.I.E.L.D.'s network like allies to S.H.I.E.L.D. who were still loyal, using old safehouses, etc.

EDIT: Interview with Spellman about the episode and hints of what's to come. Also confirms a Flag Smasher nod.

Breakdown of easter eggs and references in the end credits!

Anyone catch the IM villain nod on Bucky's list? Rostov is Red Barbarian in the comics.
 
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thefalconandthewintersoldier.jpg

Episode 2 "The Star-Spangled Man"
John Walker is named Captain America, and Sam and Bucky team up against a rebel group.
 
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Fone Bone

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The Falcon And The Winter Soldier "The Star-Spangled Man"

Okay, this confirms what I sort of suspected last week: Disney+ should have aired this show before WandaVision. It's a more clear-cut example of what the MCU TV shows want to be about. WandaVision was really great, but it was also super weird, and gave people a lot of wrong ideas about what to expect. This show should have aired first.

I was disgusted with the cop who finally recognized Sam. He expects an "Oopsie!" and "Aw, shucks..." smile will immediately get him into back into the Falcon's good graces. Sam's biggest adversary so far isn't Hydra, and it isn't even Flagsmasher. It appears to be white privilege.

Isiah's story was similarly shocking, but I think Carl Lumbly is too young to play a Korean War vet. True, he was given the super serum, but so was Cap, and he aged at the end of Endgame.

Sam's exchange with the little girl gives a pretty solid reason for why he shouldn't be called Black Falcon. It that a dig at Black Panther? Because the same is true there.

I am interested that Bucky blames Sam for giving up the shield because it means that Cap was wrong about him, and that would mean Cap might be wrong about him. While I think the logic of that actually tracks, if you asks me, that's an overly narcissistic interpretation of events. I get that part of Bucky's shtick is that he's annoying and emo, but that strikes me as petulant rather than moody.

I am trying very hard not to like John Walker. I am failing miserably. NOT a clear-cut issue.

Speaking of which, I love the political issues the show is dealing with from the fall-out from the Blip. It effects every part of the political situation, and the fact that Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. never brought it up once means that none of the Marvel Television stuff is canon. Seeing how cool and interesting the idea of the fall-out of people returning wound up being, it is to Jeph Loeb's eternal guilt that he didn't actually explore it.

I think Doctor Strange constitutes a wizard. But it feels weird to bring him up in a context that has nothing to do with him. It's a bit of shameless namedropping some fans will love. Me? I actually think it IS shameless. But maybe that's just me.

The fight on the moving trucks says Disney+ TV budgets are not like other TV budgets. I don't even think Game Of Thrones could have had the budget to do a similarly fast paced scene. This budgets for this show and the last episode of WandaVision are majorly unusual.

Do you know what's weird? All things considered, the Mandalorian is pretty low-tech and low budget. It leans into the Original Star Wars Trilogy aspect of the franchise in mostly using practical effects that could be done in the 1980's and 90's. But this show and WandaVision do stuff you could only previously see in a modern movie. It's pretty neat.

The therapy session was painful and not funny. And it's the sort of painful and not funny thing MCU stuff does all the time, so I can't even act surprised or disappointed. This was pretty much the entirety of Iron Man 2.

Should have aired this first. Solid. ****.
 

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"The Star Spangled Man" - To me personally, Captain America: Civil War is the greatest of the MCU films. Which isn't that controversial a pick considering most people would have at least one of the four Russo Brothers MCU films as their favorite but this is a movie I love not only for it's serious message and characterization but also it's comedy. As that movie has a lot of great bits. And yet in a movie with Robert Downy Jr's Iron man, Tom Holland's Spider Man and even Paul Rudd's Ant Man doing that bit about pretending to be Tony's conscious, the greatest comedic exchange probably is between Sebastian Stan's Bucky Barnes asking for Anthony Mackie's Sam Wilson to move his seat up. That gets me every time and as that and a couple of later scenes prove these guys have hilarious comedic chemistry. Something you didn't really get to see in Infinity War and Endgame but obviously something that Marvel must of realized as yeah when they were pitching shows for Disney Plus, this is the one that was first fully green lit and moved into production.

Due to various issues it wasn't the first to come out (which yeah was the plan Fone Bone but due to Coivid things changed so Marvel just had to roll with that) but it's clear this is a big reason why this was given the push. And you get to see that great banter on display in this episode. Admittedly the "there is no big 3" and "what's going on in that robo brain" and even the therapy session were all clips given away in trailers but stuff like Bucky's hatred for Red Wing and admitting he wanted to smash it after that whole truck chase and Falcon calling him White Panther when Bucky said he's actually White Wolf and then Sam managing to sneak up on him and then point out "hey there's actually more people then just the two you see" are really good funny scenes and I'm sure we'll see more of them in the episodes.

But I also like how serious the dynamic is. Like the scene of Bucky admitting his anger at Sam not taking the shield because it showed how much Steve believed in him and that circling back to not believing in himself and Sam pointing out "I know you guys wouldn't get it but can you at least respect this is what I wanted to do and leave it be" does hit really well. It's pretty clear it's going to be a bit of a slow burn to get Sam to get the shield and something else is going to need to happen but I like how this obviously doesn't really have easy answers. And yeah for those wondering if we were going to keep hinting at those political and racial subtext the first episode gave, Sam having to ask to be IDed by cops just for raising his voice when they came to arrest Bucky and one having to be told "That's the Falcon." I was wondering if that was a bit on the nose but... yeah I think last year showed no that clearly if anything could be an underplayment of such a scene and yeah kudos for the show to continue sticking to it's guns.

But I also like how this isn't going to be a show with easy answers. Like with how the last episode ended it just took a look to make you hate John Walker who didn't even do anything or even say anything but seeing him in the Captain America costume just felt wrong. So naturally you think this show would just treat him as a bad guy right off the bat especially since he's known in the comics as not being a great guy but... yeah it's more complicated then that. I like how the first scene shows how human the guy is and how accepting this title actually does mean a lot to him and seeing the bit with his girlfriend and best friend (Lemar aka Battlestar who yeah didn't know was going to also be a character in this show but he is because heh I guess even new Captain America needs a black best friend) before he gives the interview shows a human side to him I wasn't expecting. The exposition of who Walker is does feel pretty forced but again I like how in the interview it does show he does want to honor and respect the title and start fighting the fight. And I do like actually seeing him as part of that truck chase.

Now admittedly the truck chase isn't nearly as good an action beat as the opening one but I guess that makes sense since every episode will probably have a set piece and makes sense the one on the truck compared to the mid air fight isn't going to be as good. But I do like some of the moves like Sam moving out of the way of that highway sign or how he got Bucky off the back of the truck. As well as Walker using the shield to save Battlestar before being knocked away. Plus props for them actually having a fight so early with this take on Captain America and showing that he can handle himself even if yeah he isn't really on the same level as Steve but yeah seems like for now neither are Sam and Bukcy. I also like the idea of him trying nicely with that bit in the keep to get them to work for him and him just saying the one wrong line to get Sam off his side and then trying to pardon Bucky to the two to work for him. Which shows that yeah John isn't really the bad guy at least right now and is coming from it from a reasonable angle so the two's animosity towards him though you get it, isn't black and white. Thus his whole "stay out of my way" though showing shades he could be an enemy does make sense within the context of the story. Again just would of been so easy to make him a bad guy but they don't go that route.

I do also like getting more about this Flag Smashers group. I have a feeling this was also pitched because the idea of having this squad of super soldiers that Captain America Civil War teased but was a red herring there was something that would make a good story. But I like getting more on Karli and pointing out the motivation of "the world carring now about who came back then who left and going back to how things were before" which yeah I can see people having issues with since even we as fans had issues with how the government acted in those other movies. The bit with that guy stalling for time and getting shot didn't land as yeah you didn't really get to know him or care about his connection with Karli and I doubt any of the other major flag smashers I'll care about but with that scene with them getting refuge from that group does show again they aren't pure evil or spiteful so props there.

And in addition this also had some good comedic bits between that kid calling sam "black falcon" and Sam calling her "black kid" and the reveal of Isiah. If you know the comics you know that was also Captain America at one point while here he was just a super soldier from ages back who had a run in with Sam once (honestly it is nice to show more history of the Winter Soldier and the world considering we know how many attempts there have been at replicating the super soldier formula and how most of them have been under the bunker) and then the ending setting up a convo with Zemo. We all knew Zemo would factor into this show but yeah wasn't expecting the first would be the two talking to him about where the super soldier formula would be. Kind of do hope they rag on him for how splitting up the Avengers is part of the reason the earth got blipped in the first place but eh that's for next week. This one though was a solid outing that didn't have as good a fight scene as last week but solid banter, good intro to John Walker's Captain America, showing more off of the villain and more of our main leaders banter and angst that will be explored. Guess so will actually seeing what Zemo is up to (along with Sharon who got name checked here since we know we'll see her later as well) in the future and can't wait for that so yeah still a really solid show.
 

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John Walker is, well, John Walker. He's a career-soldier, an all-American, man, and his intentions to live up to the legacy of Captain America and do the best that he can are genuine. He has a lot of bravado and confidence with a winning smile to boot, while enough self-doubt to wonder whether he's truly capable of living up to the mantle. I don't think Walker is a bad guy. He's just probably not what America really needs right now, and is liable to turn into a stooge for the government instead of being what Captain America is supposed to be :(.

Was that Walker's wife (who he does not have in the comics)? I only ask because they seem close and it seems like they were romantically involved in high school, plus that "I love you" :confused:.

Battlestar! It was nice to see Lemar turn up as Walker's buddy and then as his probably government-sponsored Falcon equivalent like in the comics ;).

That marching band rendition of "Star-Spangled Man" wasn't half-bad :).

So yeah, Walker is seemingly in perfect Captain America shape and isn't half-bad with the shield, all without the Super Soldier Serum. On paper he's not really a bad successor, but it's likely more complicated than that :ack:.

Bucky and Sam sure slipped into their odd couple buddy cop dynamic like an old glove :cool:.

I love how Bucky and Sam talk about Redwing like he's actually sentient and alive like in the comics :rolleyes2:.

So the Flag-Smasher's got their Super Soldier powers by stealing it from the Power Broker? Is Power Broker going to turn out to be the hidden real villain of this series or is it set up for future MCU installments? I wonder who's playing them :confused:?

Karl Morgenthau, Flag-Smasher in the comics, becomes "Kari." These gender-flips are funny just to see them come up with the feminine equivalent of the character they're gender-flipping ;).

"Sharon Carter: Enemy of the State?" Jeez, I guess I took it for granted how bad Sharon got it for helping Steve, and she didn't even get the guy in favor of her aunt. Even in-universe Sharon Carter isn't treated well :sweat:.

Isn't there a Superhero named "Black Falcon?" Maybe I'm thinking of Blue Falcon or Black Condor o_O.

We finally meet the Bradley family in live-action, Isaiah and Eli Bradley, and that Isaiah was more or less the Captain America of the Korean War and ended up fighting and defeating the Winter Soldier. Poor Isaiah was turned into a Super Soldier but was then basically betrayed by his country because of his body and the power it held, turning him into a volatile and justifiably angry and tense man. America's history isn't always the brightest, unfortunately :sad:.

Carl Lumbly taking a break from playing martians to play a black Captain America! Not bad for a first Marvel role :proud:.

It's nice to see Eli. I wonder if they cast him fully with the intention of him leading the Young Avengers in the future, because we're almost at a complete roster of the original team (with Kate Bishop coming up soon)? He didn't get much of a role here other than being hostile to Sam and Bucky and protecting his grandfather, but I imagine we're not done with the Bradley's yet, so we may in fact see the start of Eli's Superhero journey :).

Oof, the police bothering Sam with no cause and making a whole lot out of nothing was tough to watch. Especially when learning Sam was Falcon was the only thing that got them to back off, as if that should matter :mad:.

Of all the things I expected our protagonists to be arrested for, missing a court-appointed therapy session was not one of them :(.

It's kind of funny that Sam and Bucky are going to Baron Zemo for Hydra secrets when he's not even a member of Hydra in this continuity :rolleyes2:.
 

Yojimbo

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Phew. Just a brutally good episode. The theme of identity was explored so well here between John, Sam, Bucky, and Isaiah.

The locker scene laid out John Walker is going to fail as Captain America. He's forcing himself into a role that's not him. Once the pressure on him builds, that bit where he mentions everyone is expecting him to be something? That's going to make him pop. Then Hoskins implies Walker's default is to punch his way out of his problems. That MIT study recap just highlights even more that they got it wrong with picking Walker. Erskine didn't pick Steve because of his physique, his intelligence stats, his record (I mean Steve was still a raw recruit). John may be the 'best out of the best' because of his stats, his record in special ops, but ugh, it's almost the same mistake as with Ross and Blonsky.

I like that Bucky took it personal that Sam gave up the shield. I can kind of see Bucky feels like an ship with no anchor now that Steve is out of the picture So with thinking Steve was wrong about Sam, he was wrong about him, too, and what does that say about what kind of person he really is. Before he shipped off to World War II, Bucky was portrayed as the smooth operator/ladies man so he was implicitly shallow but he had the strong brotherly friendship with Steve. So take away Steve and his HYDRA years, he's grappling with who is Bucky?

Ooo snap when Sam sharply told him in the hangar not to tell him about his rights.

The dysfunctional buddy cop duo hit gold right away. "Big Three". "I have that all on camera." :D Or Sam sneaking up on Bucky in the warehouse and not getting why he corrected him with White Wolf, clever callback. Ha ha, and Bucky's stare - totally has to be him concluding he will eventually punch out Walker and take the shield away. The improvised therapy session I was on the fence about. Them getting close and the staring was amusing but we saw most of that in the trailer already. Bucky being truthful was the shining point of it along with him basically telling Raynor he was going to break Rule #2.

The truck scene. Not as flashy as the Libya chase but they were dealing with untrained Robin Hoods with super powers and Sam and Bucky were caught off guard. I also liked they used the fight to show a little of Walker's skills like the shield and sharp shooting. But ooo, calling Sam and Bucky "wingmen." Not cool.

So these "vaccines" that the Flag Smashers were so set on transporting. I bet those are new super soldier serums and what Power Broker was alluding to on Karli's phone. He has his own agenda, but the Flag Smashers stole them and used them on themselves, and I guess that was original eight, now seven, and to bring things back to one world, what they're gonna give the serum to others like them? Should we think the GRC is evenly distributing among the world to those who came back? The cynic in me says they're not. Dare I say I can kind of see what the Flag Smashers are against, things going back to the way they were. Power in a small percentage, the rest suffer in inequality. There's the safe house scene even that shows 'the people' see the Flag Smashers as freedom fighters, as modern day Robin Hood and his Merry Band.

But the shocker. Of course there were rumors during production. But it didn't matter, just how the scene with Isaiah Bradley played out was done perfectly and was shocking even though I knew of the rumors he may appear. The US had a secret black Captain America during the 1950s and they treated him like an object... a thing, a weapon to point at the Winter Soldier, a bank to draw blood from to keep serum samples (we saw them do that to Steve in The First Avenger, too) and tossed him when they done. Disavowed. Made him rot in prison for 30 years to keep him in one place. Now an old, bitter man living as a recluse. How he responds to his enemy walking into his house - still young, able to walk around with a pardon - that was pitch perfect. And those gears turning in the silent Sam's head before they're told to leave. Isaiah was kept a secret... Patented revisionism like what Churchill said? History is written by the victors. Only to end with another bout of racism like with the banker last week, here's it's with something a lot more charged, police rolling up thinking Sam is the perp until the cop is told he's Falcon. Man.

Love it! They need Zemo because he studied up on S.H.I.E.L.D. and HYDRA from all the decrypted files. And surely, Zemo won't be too pleased to learn there's more serum and super soldiers trotting around.

R.I.P. Redwing. Hope you get rebuilt. "Subtle" way to set up Sharon's appearance at some point in this series.

I think we may see Isaiah again. The shot in the trailer of Sam throwing the shield in New Orleans... I mean, that looked like Steve's shield. But up until now, there was one Cap. Could they have somehow cobbled some Vibranium together to make a second shield? If so, maybe Isaiah and Sam have words and Sam is given his shield? Making it a legacy. Or I'm totally off and Marvel was trolling us with the final scene of the series in the trailer, lol.

Isiah's story was similarly shocking, but I think Carl Lumbly is too young to play a Korean War vet. True, he was given the super serum, but so was Cap, and he aged at the end of Endgame.
Well, yeah. Lumbly was born in 1951 whereas Isaiah must have been in his early to mid-20s in-universe in 1951. Isaiah would be probably in his 90s in 2024 so he looked well despite being in prison for 3 decades enduring God knows what - what he said was likely the tip of the iceberg. Steve well 25 to 26 when he stopped Red Skull, awakened 68 or 69 years later, lived for 11 years from 2012-2023, went back to 1949 and lived for 74 years so he was over a 100. It's a relative...?

Speaking of which, I love the political issues the show is dealing with from the fall-out from the Blip. It effects every part of the political situation, and the fact that Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. never brought it up once means that none of the Marvel Television stuff is canon. Seeing how cool and interesting the idea of the fall-out of people returning wound up being, it is to Jeph Loeb's eternal guilt that he didn't actually explore it.
The last seasons of AOS wasn't about the fall out from the Blip. That's not fair to dismiss it was non-canon for not addressing it. I bet that even if they did have a plan to, Marvel Studios would have vetoed it. They vetoed them from using S.W.O.R.D. so I doubt Marvel Studios would want AOS to be the first to discuss the Blip without their direct oversight. We were probably very lucky they got to use the Quantum Realm.

So the Flag-Smasher's got their Super Soldier powers by stealing it from the Power Broker? Is Power Broker going to turn out to be the hidden real villain of this series or is it set up for future MCU installments? I wonder who's playing them :confused:?
Remember there were casting rumors about Giancarlo Esposito and people jumped to thinking Norman Osborn. What if he's portraying Power Broker instead? Yeah, could be just setting him up for more appearances down the line in the MCU.

It's nice to see Eli. I wonder if they cast him fully with the intention of him leading the Young Avengers in the future, because we're almost at a complete roster of the original team (with Kate Bishop coming up soon)? He didn't get much of a role here other than being hostile to Sam and Bucky and protecting his grandfather, but I imagine we're not done with the Bradley's yet, so we may in fact see the start of Eli's Superhero journey :).
But it's a question worth asking, what affect does the serum have on the person's children, grandchildren, and so on?
 

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Can't decide, if playing over dramatic choir music after mentioning Zemo was corny in a good way or just plain corny.
 

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The locker scene laid out John Walker is going to fail as Captain America. He's forcing himself into a role that's not him. Once the pressure on him builds, that bit where he mentions everyone is expecting him to be something? That's going to make him pop. Then Hoskins implies Walker's default is to punch his way out of his problems. That MIT study recap just highlights even more that they got it wrong with picking Walker. Erskine didn't pick Steve because of his physique, his intelligence stats, his record (I mean Steve was still a raw recruit). John may be the 'best out of the best' because of his stats, his record in special ops, but ugh, it's almost the same mistake as with Ross and Blonsky.
I don't think Walker is going to go as off the rails as Blonsky did, and I think his intentions are much better than Blonsky, but I think they're definitely missing the point of what makes Captain America Captain America as embodied by Steve Rogers.
I like that Bucky took it personal that Sam gave up the shield. I can kind of see Bucky feels like an ship with no anchor now that Steve is out of the picture So with thinking Steve was wrong about Sam, he was wrong about him, too, and what does that say about what kind of person he really is. Before he shipped off to World War II, Bucky was portrayed as the smooth operator/ladies man so he was implicitly shallow but he had the strong brotherly friendship with Steve. So take away Steve and his HYDRA years, he's grappling with who is Bucky?
He's also the only person left who was around when Steve first became Cap and even got the shield, and was there for the mission that truly made him Captain America, so that might have played into how Bucky was mad at Sam for his perceived giving up of the shield.
The dysfunctional buddy cop duo hit gold right away. "Big Three". "I have that all on camera." :D Or Sam sneaking up on Bucky in the warehouse and not getting why he corrected him with White Wolf, clever callback. Ha ha, and Bucky's stare - totally has to be him concluding he will eventually punch out Walker and take the shield away. The improvised therapy session I was on the fence about. Them getting close and the staring was amusing but we saw most of that in the trailer already. Bucky being truthful was the shining point of it along with him basically telling Raynor he was going to break Rule #2.
I liked the "White Panther" line because the White Wolf in the comics is more or less a white Black Panther suit :p.
So these "vaccines" that the Flag Smashers were so set on transporting. I bet those are new super soldier serums and what Power Broker was alluding to on Karli's phone. He has his own agenda, but the Flag Smashers stole them and used them on themselves, and I guess that was original eight, now seven, and to bring things back to one world, what they're gonna give the serum to others like them? Should we think the GRC is evenly distributing among the world to those who came back? The cynic in me says they're not. Dare I say I can kind of see what the Flag Smashers are against, things going back to the way they were. Power in a small percentage, the rest suffer in inequality. There's the safe house scene even that shows 'the people' see the Flag Smashers as freedom fighters, as modern day Robin Hood and his Merry Band.
Seems like the government commitee designed for handling the fallout of the Blip and post-Blip have been fumbling the job...but I feel like with Power Broker in play the Flag-Smashers probably genuinely think they're doing the right thing if they would go this far and anger a pretty serious customer just to achieve their ideals :ack:.
But the shocker. Of course there were rumors during production. But it didn't matter, just how the scene with Isaiah Bradley played out was done perfectly and was shocking even though I knew of the rumors he may appear. The US had a secret black Captain America during the 1950s and they treated him like an object... a thing, a weapon to point at the Winter Soldier, a bank to draw blood from to keep serum samples (we saw them do that to Steve in The First Avenger, too) and tossed him when they done. Disavowed. Made him rot in prison for 30 years to keep him in one place. Now an old, bitter man living as a recluse. How he responds to his enemy walking into his house - still young, able to walk around with a pardon - that was pitch perfect. And those gears turning in the silent Sam's head before they're told to leave. Isaiah was kept a secret... Patented revisionism like what Churchill said? History is written by the victors. Only to end with another bout of racism like with the banker last week, here's it's with something a lot more charged, police rolling up thinking Sam is the perp until the cop is told he's Falcon. Man.
I feel like Isiah and Bucky could probably bond over the fact that they were both basically used as weapons and treated poorly, and more or less by the government because of SHIELD/Hydra :(.
Love it! They need Zemo because he studied up on S.H.I.E.L.D. and HYDRA from all the decrypted files. And surely, Zemo won't be too pleased to learn there's more serum and super soldiers trotting around.
I guess it's an interesting question whether Zemo views the superpowered as more of a threat than Superheroes :eek:.
I think we may see Isaiah again. The shot in the trailer of Sam throwing the shield in New Orleans... I mean, that looked like Steve's shield. But up until now, there was one Cap. Could they have somehow cobbled some Vibranium together to make a second shield? If so, maybe Isaiah and Sam have words and Sam is given his shield? Making it a legacy. Or I'm totally off and Marvel was trolling us with the final scene of the series in the trailer, lol.
I think the government giving Isiah a shield is probably predicated on the idea that they also gave him a Cap costume to go along with it...
But it's a question worth asking, what affect does the serum have on the person's children, grandchildren, and so on?
I know in the comics Eli got a blood transfusion from Isiah that gave him some semblance of the Super Soldier serum.
 

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I know in the comics Eli got a blood transfusion from Isiah that gave him some semblance of the Super Soldier serum.

Yeah, that came after Eli lied about having the serum genetics passed down from his grandfather while he was taking illegal Mutant Growth Hormone to be able to go out and hero with the other Young Avengers. Then he got the transfusion from Isaiah after he was hospitalized while trying to do the right thing. I suppose they could always alter that if they down that route any further on screen.

I really loved that original Young Avengers run, and it's nice to see the Bradleys being used in the MCU after it seemed like they were put into comic limbo for years.

I can only imagine how much experimentation happened with Isaiah when guys like Zola and Pierce had their hooks into the system.


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reflection01

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Great comments so far. What a fantastic show. One thing that stands out about the MCU is how they use relationships to legitimize characters. I didn’t really appreciate this until WW84. Diana had no relationships and no one in the film had a relationship with anybody.

Ep 1 throws us into an existing relationship between Bucky and his therapist that sets her up as a legit character and a good soldier in her own right.

We see that she did field ops with Walker and vouches for him so that builds his legitimacy. The “homecoming” scene at his high school does the same thing. The show kind of comes out early and shows us that Walker is a small town Georgia boy from a predominantly Black high school in what we can presume is a Black belt town in GA. He seems beloved by the people who know him so he’s not a controversial figure. They even use the real world legitimacy of Good Morning America to establish him as well.

Then we see him fight and his skills are legit with no powers to the point that he doesn’t make Sam and Bucky look bad but he shows they’re at a similar level. So it still seems condescending when Walker calls them “wingmen.” It’s a great piece of character building.

The Disney+ shows allow us to see how real people interact with the Avengers. We haven’t really seen that before outside the heat of battle. But the loan officer, cop, and even the kid let you know that society sees Sam as a Black man before seeing him as The Falcon for better and for worse.

Rest assured, that scene with the cop is not at all unusual for Black men. Something very similar happened to me standing on a street outside a shop talking to a white female friend. The realness of these shows truly stands out.


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Frontier

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Great comments so far. What a fantastic show. One thing that stands out about the MCU is how they use relationships to legitimize characters. I didn’t really appreciate this until WW84. Diana had no relationships and no one in the film had a relationship with anybody.
Well, there it served a point that Diana was emotionally isolated during that period because she'd lost all the friends and connections she had made when she first arrived in Man's World since she outlived them all to add onto her desire to have Steve back.

She was slowly building a rapport with Barbara and there was also Max's relationship with his son.
 

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That’s two relationships. Neither had any real rapport and each told us little about the characters.

We got more character background from Sam and Bucky in the car in Civil War than we got from Diana in that whole film.


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That’s two relationships. Neither had any real rapport and each told us little about the characters.
I mean, I think the relationships were perfectly genuine and, in Max's case, central to his entire character.

The fact that Diana and Barbara's relationship didn't get to deepen is one of the (intentional) tragedies of the film.
We got more character background from Sam and Bucky in the car in Civil War than we got from Diana in that whole film.
Are you talking about that actual scene or in this series? I think there was tons of character insight into Diana when we saw her apartment.
 

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