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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.

FILM RATING

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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