‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ Recap: Season 1, Episode 3, “Power Broker”

Written by Boluwatito Adigun.


 The Vibranium brothers dine with the enemy.

The second episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier ended with Zemo (Daniel Brühl) playing chess in a Berlin prison and appeared to be making a big plot. This set some expectations for episode 3 but what transpires is a couple of plot twists I personally didn’t expect. 

The third episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, “Power Broker”, introduces more familiar faces, actions, and a couple of plot twists into the mix.  It starts off with a colorful Global Repatriation Council (GRC) commercial which is the organization that is in charge of restoring and rebuilding the world after the Blip. This is a little bit strange but I think it is the easiest way to introduce the group as its function was not explicitly stated in episode 2. 

Immediately after the advert, a black van belonging to the GRC pulls up, introducing the new Captain America (Wyatt Russell) alongside some policemen ready to raid the warehouse, where Karl Morgenthau (Erin Kellyman) and her men used as a hideout in Munich. The Flag Smashers loyalists arrested during the raid refuse to help the new Captain America with a man claiming Americans have become the brutes.

The Winter Soldier and Falcon. Via Disney.

In Berlin, the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) and Falcon (Anthony Mackie) arrive at the prison where Zemo is kept. The Winter Soldier convinces Falcon to let him go see Zemo alone as Zemo is not a fan of the Avengers (Falcon is one). At first, Falcon is hesitant but eventually agrees. 

The scene that follows is quite interesting as this is the first time the Winter Soldier is meeting Zemo ever since his mind was reprogrammed. By meeting Zemo, the Winter Soldier is facing his dark past which he has been trying to avoid. Zemo, upon seeing the Winter Soldier, tries to use the old words to see if it works. The Winter Soldier then explains to Zemo that someone has successfully recreated the Super Soldier Serum and Zemo, being smart, he realizes that the Winter Soldier must be desperate to find answers to have come to him. The next scene shows the Winter Soldier and Falcon entering a dark warehouse as the Winter Soldier narrates his conversation with Zemo to Falcon and suggests that they need to break Zemo out. 

Zemo (Daniel Brühl). Via Disney.

Falcon is furious and reminds the Winter Soldier of all the crimes Zemo committed including killing King T’chaka (John Kani) of Wakanda. The Winter Soldier asks Falcon to be calm and runs a hypothetical prison break plan by Falcon. Unknown to Falcon the plan has already been set in motion and Zemo has become a free man. This chain of events comes as a surprise to me as I never thought that the good guys will break  Zemo out of jail! I’ve nurtured the idea that the Flag Smashers’ big plan is to rescue and recruit Zemo. Also, I love the idea that the prison break runs smoothly, well detailed, and doesn’t take too much screen time. 

Back to the series! After the prison break, the Winter Soldier, Zemo, and Falcon appear on a tarmac with a plane waiting for them, set for Madripoor (a fictional island nation). With the vibranium brothers surprised about his level of wealth, Zemo reveals that he’s rich and could afford the plane as he was Sokovian royalty. A brief cut takes us to Riga, Latvia introducing us to Karli as she walks to meet a woman (probably her mother) who lays on her deathbed. Karli holds the woman’s hands and sobs quietly. 

Madripoor, a futuristic Gotham. Via Disney.

In Madripoor, Falcon is to play a criminal known as the “Smiling Tiger”, the Winter Soldier must also channel his old self answering to the commands of Zemo, and Zemo, well, is Zemo. As the trio moves within the city, Madripoor reminds me of Gotham; its lawlessness and dirty environment. The trio then stop at a bar and try to get a meeting with Selby (Imelda Corcoran). To secure that meeting, the Winter Soldier beats up several guys at the bar channelling  his old self and fighting like a deadly assassin once again! One could see the worried look on Falcon’s face. 

The trio eventually  meet with Selby, and Zemo tries to strike a deal, asking for information on how to locate the Super Soldier Serum in exchange for the Winter Soldier. Shelby begins by divulging some information about Dr. Wilfred Nagel (Olli Haaskivi) who is responsible for recreating the serum. However, the situation starts to turn sideways as Falcon’s phone rings out during the meeting. He tries salvaging the situation but his cover is blown. The situation eventually turns for the worst as an unseen assailant assassinates Selby and the crime is pinned on the trio. Trying to escape the crime scene, Zemo, the Winter Soldier, and Falcon walkthrough Madripoor’s Lowtown but not for long. A bounty offering of 1000 Bitcoin has been placed on their heads so bullets start flying around as many bounty hunters are after their lives. 

Sharon (Emily VanCamp). Via Disney.

Luckily for the Winter Soldier and Falcon, it appears that they have a guardian angel in the person of Sharon (Emily VanCamp). After saving their asses, she tells Falcon how betrayed she feels as she has been on the run since she helped Captain America steal the shield. Falcon pleads  and makes a deal with her to get her name cleared so she can return home. Sharon decides to help the trio and takes them to her apartment on the Hightown side of Madripoor. 

Sharon has embraced the hustle of life and she sells stolen art. In helping the trio out, she plans to use the auction party she’s organizing later that night to find more information about Dr. Nagel. On getting the necessary information, Zemo, the Winter Soldier, Falcon, and Sharon, take a trip to the dock. Nagel is found in a tiny lab that is secretly hidden among the containers. Upon interrogation, Nagel reveals how the CIA recruited him to work on some blood samples (definitely Isaiah’s), how he got blipped, and how the Power Broker funded his project. 

Nagel reveals that Karli stole the 20 doses of serum he produced and how she needed his help to save a woman known as Donya Madani. During the interrogation, Sharon who waited outside has been involved in some action, killing and fighting off bounty hunters. She then walks into the lab to warn the trio of the impending danger and while they are distracted, Zemo picks up a gun and kills Nagel. While the rest are trying to understand what has happened, a bounty hunter blows up the lab. Zemo escapes leaving the rest in the lab that is about to explode.  This is the betrayal I’ve been patiently waiting for as I believe Zemo still has other plans for himself. 

(L-R): Falcon/Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), Sharon Carter/Agent 13 (Emily Van Camp) and Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) in Marvel Studios’ THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Before the lab could explode, the Winter Soldier, Falcon, and Sharon also find their way out. The lab explodes once again and bullets start flying around. The Winter Soldier, Falcon, and Sharon are eventually pinned to a spot and out of bullets. Then comes Zemo as he appears on the top of a container wearing his mask, he makes a bigger explosion and saves the guys pinned down. Well, it turns out Zemo didn’t escape or maybe he changed his mind (I still have my eyes on him). I never thought I would say this but Zemo saves the day! 

Back to Karli, she is in Vilnius, Lithuania as she scouts the GRC supply depot that they plan to break into. She reminisces about past times and how she wanted to be a teacher. She also confirms that Donya Maldini was her mother as she keeps calling her “Mama Donya”. Karli is aware that Nagel is dead and comes to the conclusion that since they have the last vial of the Super Soldier Serum, a partnership is bound to be formed with the Power Broker. 

Karli Morgenthau (Erin Kellyman). Via Disney.

The next scene shows the new Captain America and his friend Lemar (Clé Bennett) investigating Zemo’s escape from the Berlin prison. The new Captain America is certain that the Winter Soldier and Falcon have everything to do with Zemo’s escape. The new Cap decides to also start operating off the books if they want to have an edge over their competition. 

Flipping back to Vilnius, Lithuania, the Flag Smashers steal six-months worth of food supplies from the GRC depot. And Karli, fully settling into her role as a villain, blows up the GRC building, killing all the innocent civilians they locked inside. On the other hand, Zemo, the Winter Soldier, and Falcon are on Zemo’s private plane and can track Donya Madani or rather her dead body to Ruga, putting them one step closer to Karli. The plane is rerouted and off to Ruga. 

Ayo (Florence Kasumba). Via Disney.

On getting to Ruga, the trio is walking within the city and the Winter Soldier excuses himself saying he needs to go on a stroll. With Zemo and Falcon out of sight, the Winter Soldier picks up a kimoyo bead and continues to find more, leading him to Wakanda’s Ayo (Florence Kasumba). The Winter Soldier isn’t surprised to see her as he had known it’s just a matter of time before Wakanda comes running after Zemo for killing King T’chaka. 

I honestly didn’t think MCU would pursue Wakanda’s revenge on Zemo given the number of episodes to be released. But it really does add more excitement to the series. It seems the show continues to heighten the stakes for our characters and with Wakanda coming into the mix, things are going to get more difficult for the Winter Soldier and Falcon. 

The third episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was written by Derek Kolstad and directed by Kari Skogland.

Rating: A+ 

Side Musings 

  • Sharon, looking all worried after the whole incident at Nagel’s lab, got me concerned. We all know she’s become a full-time hustler and so there’s a possibility that she’s working with the Flag Smashers. Because how do you explain Karli knowing about Nagel’s death just moments after it happens? 
  • The third episode closes off with Ayo, one of Wakanda’s soldiers, meeting up with the Winter Soldier. It’s clear she’s coming after Zemo but is she acting alone or sent by Wakanda. Also, are we going to be seeing some of the happenings in Wakanda which could be an introduction to Black Panther 2 or the Wakanda-set series Disney+ is developing?
  • Zemo! He’s beginning to grow on me and watching him dance for like 3 seconds got me laughing. Hey! Who said bad guys can’t be fun? 

The next episode drops on April 9, 2021. We publish a recap every Sunday.

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