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The Falcon And The Winter Soldier Episode 5 | SPOILER Review/Discussion

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So a few weeks back we were promised by Malcolm Spellman, the showrunner for The Falcon And The Winter Soldier, a BIG MARVEL cameo in episode 5.  A cameo that would “hands down” make us cry.  This got people theorising that the late great Chadwick Boseman may show up in his last live action appearance as T’Challa. There was a point in this episode where this would have fit perfectly, i.e. when the Wakandans arrest Zemo and talk to Bucky. This scene would probably have had a lot more impact had Boseman appeared. Another theory would have been old Steve Rogers. This wouldn’t have been as good, especially after the conversation that Sam and Isiah have. But no, we didn’t get any of these. We did, however, get the appearance of Julia Louis Dreyfus for the first time and her scene was certainly shot like she was a big reveal.

Unless there are some hardcore Seinfeld fans out there that burst into tears every time they see one of the cast members, I don’t think anyone was crying Mr. Spellman.  This disappointment comes as yet another example of Marvel essentially lying to people seemingly as a joke. With WandaVision, Paul Bettany openly lied about the appearance of a massive character in show’s finale with his tongue in his cheek. And, of course, who can forget the massive over sight that was Ralph Bohner. A possible opening to the multiverse that was quite clearly being teased was squashed by turning Quicksilver into a penis joke.  It’s obviously fine to lie about these things to keep them secret. Saying “I can’t confirm or deny that” when asked questions about theories is completely understandable. But when you hype something up only for that to just be a complete lie. That’s a problem.

Who knows, it may be that the lie was in the fact that the cameo was going to be in the finale not episode 5. But that some how seems unlikely given the hype and results of WandaVision‘s finale. Though of course, this disappointment could be forgiven if the rest of the episode was good. But sadly it really wasn’t and it reveals a lot of the glaring issues with the show’s writing.

The opening fight scene with John Walker, Bucky and Sam was fantastic. It was brilliantly choreographed, scored and directed and it was really nice and brutal. But it came way too early. It should have been at the end of the episode after a long hunt to track down Walker as he evades the media. Instead we got the longest episode so far which was filled with a lot of ambling about and nothingness. John Walker’s punishment after the fight seemed to be quite a bit of an overreaction. He’s to be stripped of his title and all of his merits simply because he killed an enemy combatant on foreign soil? Isn’t that what soldiers are meant to do? Presumably this is all because it was caught online but really that’s not Walker’s fault. Quite frankly, Walker’s angry response to the board sentencing him was more than justified.

Walker is also the sole feature of the show’s first end credits scene. He’s seen in a workshop creating a new shield. This is obviously his transformation into US Agent. Just as Sam Wilson’s new costume will be revealed next week assumedly.

As previously mentioned, this week’s episode featured quite a lot of empty space and hot air. Sam Wilson went back to working on his boat with his sister. Yes, that seems like a perfectly logical thing to do while there’s still a group of terrorists at large. Oh of course, John Walker was the REAL villain, he’s dealt with so we don’t need to worry about the Flag Smashers. The people that blew up a building filled with innocent people and started riots in Switzerland. No the soldier that killed someone he was ordered to kill by the government is the problem…

There was also Sam Wilson’s conversation with Isiah Bradley where he reveals the horrors he went through for thirty years. The experiments he said went on to find out why the serum worked. It’s not completely clear how that all adds up and where that fits in the timeline. Steve Rogers was frozen during the Second World War, Isiah Bradley was fighting in the Korean War which was just under ten years after. Why did they need to find out how the serum worked if they already had Steve Rogers fighting as Captain America? It could be because they wanted to replicate Rogers or it’s a completely new serum. Either way, this probably needs to be a bit expanded upon somewhere along the line.

Though the main take away of that conversation was the implication that the mantle of Captain America is a symbol of racism. This somewhat stems from the modern idea of wrongly equating patriotism with nationalism. There are some interesting conversations to be had about having a hero named after a country wearing their flag whilst fighting people on foreign soil. Especially after the events of Captain America: Civil War where jurisdiction and control of assets becomes an issue (things that don’t seem to apply to the Wakandan government, who signed the Sokovia Accords). Sadly though, The Falcon And The Winter Soldier’s‘s writers aren’t intelligent enough to have any meaningful thoughts on the matter and are instead just preaching pseudo-moralist politics that come across as forced and meaningless.

It’s ironic that this episode comes the same week that Red Skull in the comics was controversially written like famous internet spokesman and famed psychiatrist Dr. Jordan Peterson. Marvel seems determined to besmirch the name of one of their most beloved heroes simply because of his name.

Speaking of the mantle of Captain America, that conversation that Bucky and Sam have in the Wilson’s garden about the shield felt a lot like they were going to make Bucky Cap. Bucky talks about his nightmares and what the shield meant to him, it almost sounded like he was going to basically ask for the shield. That last shot where they walk away from each other in slow motion felt like a perfect moment for Sam to throw the shield at Bucky for him to catch it in a call back to Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Sadly not though. It seems that Bucky is going to continue to be a bit of a lost soul with not much purpose in the MCU from now on. Sam losing his Falcon wings, that training montage where Sam mysteriously forgot and relearned how to use the shield and what is presumably a new vibranium suit from the Wakandans shows the firm intent for Sam to become Captain America…or Captain World. Really this would have all been rectified if Steve Rogers handed the shield to his friend of over half a century that he became a fugitive for instead of the bloke that helped him out here and there.

There’s also that one scene with Sharon Carter in Madripoor. Without a cameo this week, that probably means that she in fact is the Power Broker. Not Zemo. Maybe it’s Julia Louis Dreyfus, but that seems out of no where and pointless.

Theory Time: US Agent kills Karli Morganthau. Sam Wilson arrests him after defeating him with his shield and then destroys it.

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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Disney + | Marvel’s: What If – Official Trailer

Exploring pivotal moments from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and turning them on their head, leading the audience into uncharted territory.

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Genre:

Animation, action, adventure, fantasy

Release Date:

August 6, 2021 (Disney +)

Director:

Marvel Studios

Cast:

Various MCU actors/actresses

Plot Summary:

Exploring pivotal moments from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and turning them on their head, leading the audience into uncharted territory.

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Marvel | Marvel: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings – Official Trailer

Shang-Chi is a master of numerous unarmed and weaponry-based wushu styles, including the use of the gun, nunchaku, and jian.

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Genre:

Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Release Date:

September 3, 2021

Director:

Destin Daniel Cretton

Cast:

Simu Liu, Michelle Yeoh, Awkwafina, Florian Munteanu, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, ronny Chieng, Gala Chen, Dallas Liu. Falla Chen

Plot Summary:

Shang-Chi is a master of numerous unarmed and weaponry-based wushu styles, including the use of the gun, nunchaku, and jian.

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Loki | Fun And Entertaining As It Feels Wholly Original

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This will be an entirely spoiler-free review of episodes 1 and 2 of Loki.

The last time we saw the God of mischief was in 2019. Well, it was actually 2012- but in 2019. If you cast your mind back to Avengers: Endgame, we last saw Loki when the Avengers travelled back in time to 2012. The Hulk bursts out of the stairwell causing the Tesseract to slide across the floor, landing right at Loki’s feet who picks it up and escapes in a portal to who knows where. Well, now we get to find out where exactly that version of Loki from 2012 went and what happened to him next.

I won’t divulge any plot details from either of the first two episodes that aren’t featured in the trailer so that when you watch them you can go in completely fresh, but the first two episodes of Loki set the show up in a really fun and dynamic way and it really feels like the start of a good TV show and not just a 6-hour long film.

The show kicks off right where we last saw Loki and he ends up imprisoned by the TVA- the Time Variance Authority. The TVA help make sure the timeline stays intact and Agent Mobius (played by Owen Wilson) and Loki must work together to stop a threat to the timeline.

Even from just the first two episodes, Loki already has such an energetic and mischievous feel to it. It feels very much akin to a crime thriller, but it still has that fun, Marvel tone to it too. Much like WandaVision it also feels quite different to some of the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But it is still rooted in that Marvel style and feel so fans of the MCU will absolutely still enjoy it, but Loki is still bringing something new to the table and it feels fresh and original.

Loki is fun and entertaining as it feels wholly original but it’s also very emotional too. As with any new Marvel project, there will of course be call-backs to moments in previous films and in the character’s past. Whilst perhaps there’s a bit more Thor: The Dark World than you might want the character Loki is such a fascinating and compelling one and in the first two episodes alone we get to see the emotional and sensitive side of him much more.

Tom Hiddleston, as always, is absolutely great as the God of mischief and he looks like he’s having such a fun time playing Loki. Also joining him is Owen Wilson who’s also really good and makes a welcome addition to the MCU. The two of them have a really strong chemistry together and make a good on-screen pairing, and when you add in the nice, fresh production design, overall Marvel have got yet another winner on their hands.

Much like the two other Marvel shows this year, the first couple of episodes are a really intriguing set-up with lots of promise for what’s to follow. It will be interesting to see where Loki goes as a character over the rest of the series; WandaVision saw Wanda’s evolution into the Scarlet Witch and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier saw Sam Wilson take up the mantle of Captain America so as to where Loki ends up at the end of episode 6 we’ll just have to wait and see. But the first two episodes are hugely entertaining, with the second being my favourite of the two. It’s different, it’s mischievous and if the first two are anything to go by, it looks as if there are lots of surprises and a lot of excitement coming our way over the next few weeks.

Loki starts streaming on Disney+ June 9.

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