Written by Boluwatito Adigun.
What does it mean to be Captain America — is the black man ready to become one?
The fourth episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier ended with a bang and served viewers with so much anticipation for the next episode. The fourth episode featured Lemar’s (Clé Bennett) death, the blood on the shield, and Zemo’s (Daniel Bruehl) escape— so many highlights that many viewers including myself couldn’t wait for the release of the fifth episode.
The fifth episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, titled “Truth”, explores more of the emotional sides or standpoints of the characters, giving little room for actions and adventure, however, I did enjoy the first 7 minutes of action that kicked off the fifth episode. I perceive the fifth episode as the needed long breath to take before going deep into the climactic battle of the sixth episode — the season finale.
The fifth episode begins with the new Captain America (Wyatt Russell) fleeing the crime scene and running into an abandoned factory where he tries to gather himself, reflecting on the death of his best friend Lemar and the murder he just committed. The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), and Falcon (Anthony Mackie) catch up with him and ask that he return the shield which refuses, “You don’t want to do this”, he says. What follows is a huge fight and we get to see the dark side of the new Captain once again. He destroys Falcon’s wing pack and almost kills him with the shield. But the Winter Soldier and Falcon eventually get the shield from him, breaking his arm in the process and knocking him unconscious.
The Winter Soldier and Falcon regroup at the city center as normalcy returns thanks to the interference of the state police. They both meet with Torres (Danny Ramirez) who updates them on the situation surrounding the new Captain America. In the middle of the conversation, the Winter Soldier leaves without saying a word but from all indications, he’s going to take care of his business with Zemo. Moments later, Falcon also takes his leave, gifting the damaged wing pack to Torres, ” You can keep it”, he says. This could make us wonder if this is the beginning of Torres as the new Falcon? Well, I’m sure Marvel Cinematic Universe has a lot in store for us centering around Torres but that should be in future seasons of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier series or an MCU movie.
The next scene shows the new Captain America as he returns to the United States. He’s stripped of all his ranks and titles including all the benefits he would have been entitled to upon retirement. The new Cap, upon hearing this verdict, flares up at the senator-in-charge and storms out of the court hearing.
What follows after this is the new Cap (maybe it’s time to say ex-Cap) being comforted by his wife Olivia Walker (Gabrielle Byndloss). She encourages him to take things slowly, starting with visiting Lemar’s family and paying condolences. However, the discussion is interrupted by Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus). Yes! Val is the cameo that was promised by the Marvel team. She certainly gives off the villain vibe and I guess we’ll be seeing her more as the grand scheme of things unfolds.
Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Val for short) reiterates that the ex-Cap did the right thing by murdering Nico (Noah Mills) in cold blood and further encourages him to pick up his phone when she eventually calls. Before taking her to leave, she drops a business card for the ex-Cap which turns out to be blank. Val seems like a big villain so just maybe she’s the Power Broker trying to recruit a Super Soldier who feels betrayed by his country.
Meanwhile, since the murder of Nico by the now ex-Captain America, Karli (Erin Kellyman) has been laying low in Lativa. The scene places her and other Super Soldiers visiting the building that housed the refugees in episode 4, which has now been closed down by the Global Repatriation Council (GRC) for aiding and abetting fugitives. This makes Karli more furious and she doubles down on her resolve to stop the government at all costs.
The next scene cuts to Zemo who decides despite his ingenious escape to have one last look at the memorial to the people of Sokovia. He is met by the Winter Soldier who pulls a gun to his face, even pulling the trigger! Alas, the chamber is empty. The Winter Soldier eventually hands Zemo over to Ayo (Florence Kasumba) and the Dora Milaje who takes him back to Wakanda where he will live the rest of his days in the Raft. But before Ayo leaves, the Winter Soldier asks for one last favor.
To be honest, I really feel for Zemo. He seems tired of fighting an endless battle and I’m not going to lie, he has grown on me. I hope to see him in any of the future MCU movies or series but not as a villain. His 3 seconds dance move will not be forgotten!
Back to the series! Falcon (with the shield) goes back to Baltimore to visit Isaiah (Carl Lumbly) —the black veteran Super Soldier experimented on by the government. Isaiah shares his ordeal spanning the 30 years of his imprisonment, and he advises Falcon not to take up the mantle and the responsibility of the shield. “They will never let a black man be Captain America,” he says “and even if they did, no self-respecting black man would want to be.” With those heavy words dropped on Falcon, there is only one place left to go to think things over; Home!
Falcon goes to Louisiana to be with his sister Sarah Wilson (Adepero Oduye) and to lay low for some time since Kharli is in the wind, and the United States government has taken total control of the situation. Falcon decides to help Sarah fix the family boat so they can sell it off. He calls in the favor of everyone who their parents have helped in the past and immediately starts working on the boat. The Winter Soldier later joins Falcon, bringing a box with him, courtesy of the Wakandans, to gift Falcon. However, before Falcon could open the box, an emergency from the faulty boat distracts both of them and they leave to fix the boat.
Next up, ex-Captain America follows his wife’s advice and visits Lemar’s grieving family (Antonio D. Charity, Tara Warren, and Shenai Hylton). Trying to give them comfort, and maybe save himself from the embarrassment, he lies to the family that the Flag-Smasher he killed was responsible for Lemar’s death. Well, Lemar’s mother is at least satisfied that her son’s “killer” got the justice he deserves.
Now to the big surprise! Sharon (Emily VanCamp) is shown on screen (still at Madripoor), talking over the phone with Batroc (Georges St-Pierre) about how she helped him escape from the Algerian prison. This is all the confirmation needed to prove she works with the Power Broker, but is she an undercover agent or maybe she’s the Power Broker herself? Hopefully, we get to know in the upcoming season finale.
Back in Louisiana, The Winter Soldier and Falcon continue to work on the boat but are reprimanded by Sarah for trying to fix the wrong things. They both give in to Sarah and decide to take a hike back to the house. At the Wilson’s home, they practice with the shield and both have a deep conversation about the situation surrounding Falcon being the chosen Captain America. The conversation is quite insightful with both of them sharing their perspectives on the issue. After the entire conversation, the Winter Soldier leaves to make amends for his past mistakes.
Falcon also has another heart-to-heart conversation with his sister, Sarah. They agree not to sell the boat as it represents their history which is something they can’t afford to lose. Sarah also advises Sam on being the next Captain America, and Sam admits understanding Isaiah’s standpoint, but he has to keep fighting to make things better. This is the time for Falcon to embrace his new identity and become the new Captain America.
Meanwhile, Karli’s big plan is setting up nicely. She meets up with Batroc who gives her some sophisticated weapons, and together, they plan on taking down the GRC and Falcon, an Avenger Batroc has a personal beef with. The Flag Smashers arrive in New York where they plan to attack the GRC who are voting on the “Patch Act” which would see millions of refugees moved back to their origin countries. Moments after the meeting commences, the Flag Smashers infiltrate and shut down the entire building.
Falcon, still in Louisiana, receives a phone call from Torress who updates him about the activities of the Flag Smashers which he has been tracking on the web. Before Torres could finish talking, Falcon already has an idea via the News on the Flag smashers’ next point of attack.. He cuts the phone call and finally opens the box from Wakanda, which I’m 200% certain contains a new suit!!
Well, that’s not the last scene of the fifth episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. It turns out there’s a post-credit scene that shows the ex-Captain America designing a new shield for himself. Don’t beat yourself up, I didn’t wait to see that either, I was only able to discover that on YouTube.
The fifth episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was written by Dalan Musson and directed by Kari Skogland.
- Based on MCU’s original schedule, Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine was meant to debut in Black Widow which was slated to hit the cinema last May but due to the COVID-19 delay, her debut was reshuffled into this series. However, it now remains uncertain if she will still feature in the Black Widow.
- Val mentions that the shield does not really belong to the US government which is kind of true when you look at it. The shield was made by Howard Stark (iron man’s dad), using a small amount of vibranium which comes from Wakanda. So technically, the shield belongs to Wakanda.
- “The Raft” is a unique underwater prison located in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. In Captain America: Civil War, due to the disagreement on the Sokovian accord, some members of the Avengers were jailed in the raft.
- We get to see Bucky flirt with Sarah, I guess the 1940s charm still has its magic. No wonder Falcon was worried.
- Who knew the Winter Soldier is Right-handed? I’ve always assumed he was left-handed, no thanks to his metal arm.
The next episode drops on April 16, 2021. We publish a recap every Sunday evening.