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The Falcon And The Winter Soldier Episode 2 | SPOILER Review/Discussion

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This second episode of The Falcon And The Winter Soldier is a lot firsts for the show. It’s the first time the two titular characters have met within the programme’s timeline. Right from the get go it’s clear that we are in for a real treat; Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie have fantastic chemistry and produce even more laughs than the sitcom segments in WandaVision. The therapy scene that was teased to us in the trailer is hilarious and is a standout as one of the funniest scenes of the MCU.  You can tell that those two had a lot of fun making that session happen.

The action sequence in the German Alps was nice and well choreographed. It’s also interesting to have a fight scene where our heroes lose. Granted, this isn’t a new thing to see obviously but it’s a great character moment and leads to even more banter between Sam and Bucky. Though, of course, in this scene we have the two big reveals of the episode and that’s what we’ll get into a little bit here:

Firstly, let’s talk about the new Captain America. This episode confirmed that Wyatt Russell is playing John Walker.  He’s from the comics and is the man who takes on the mantle of Captain America when Steve Rogers refuses to approve a new act of legislation (sound familiar?). Walker is known to be a fraud, having fake extremists come and attack him and is a lot more brutal than Steve Rogers. We see that come through here when Walker simply gets out a pistol to fight the Flag Smashers. Later on, Walker becomes US Agent, a darker version of the Captain. Once again, with the line “Stay out of my way”, we can see that Walker in this show will become some what of an antagonist rather than just a placeholder for Rogers.

We also get the reveal that one of the leaders of the Flag Smashers is Karli Morgenthau, played by Erin Kellyman (who you may recognise from Solo: A Star Wars Story as another mysterious masked leader). In the comics, KARL Morgenthau is THE Flag Smasher. The Flag Smasher holds similar ideologies to the group we see in the miniseries. He believes that having any form of national loyalty is detrimental to world peace. He also wears a mask but is known to wear a white costume with a black cape while carrying a big mace. Karl Morgenthau stepped down as The Flag Smasher once when he found out that Red Skull was his secret funder. Could it be that Zemo is funding the Flag Smashers and once they find out they’ll turn against him? It should also be noted that the person that Torres claimed to be the leader of The Flag Smashers is NOT Karli Morgenthau, that was clearly a large man. Was this person a red herring? Or are they someone important?

Additionally there’s the introduction of Isiah Bradley (the old tough man who lives in Baltimore), who in the comics was the original Captain America. He was the one that the government tested their serum on before they used it on Steve Rogers. We see this come through in the show as we are introduced to a man who’s spent his life being experimented on and tormented. He may hold the key to a lot of secrets behind The Flag Smashers’ powers. He may even be the man who provided them with said powers. A man so disenfranchised has more than enough reason to aide terrorists. 

Theory Time: With all of the above in mind, there’s a big chance that The Flag Smashers will turn out to be good, or at least sympathetic, in the end. There’s probably a reason why they made one of their leaders a freckly young lady rather than the hulking menace we saw at the start.

Throughout this series so far we’ve seen that it’s saying something about American Foreign Policy and the problems it has with Policing. The scene in Baltimore where Sam and Bucky have a run in with the local law enforcement and the all-American hero that John Walker has been depicted as reveal a lot toward this sentiment. 

By the end, Falcon and Winter Soldier will have sided with the Flag Smashers in an attempt to take the shield away from Walker and reshape the future of people like the Avengers. There’ll be some sort of income established for heroes as well. This will all be especially possible if it turns out that Bradley is the man behind the Flag Smashers’ powers. Maybe Baron Zemo is behind all of this and he’s playing both sides against each other once again. 

Episode 2 sets up a very fun and exciting political buddy cop thriller. It will be great next week when we finally see Baron Zemo and what he has to do with all of this.

Is there anything we’ve missed out? Do you have any theories of your own? Tweet @CoastalHMedia and @TheREALFreddieD for more discussions online.

The Falcon And The Winter Soldier is streaming weekly on Disney+

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Freddie has a degree in Digital Film Production from Ravensbourne University London. He’s obsessive about many things but mostly Batman, Doctor Who and The Incredibles. To find out all of Freddie's film opinions go to his Letterboxd - TheDeightonator

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