Written by Boluwatito Adigun.
Blood on the shield.
The third episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier ended with Wakanda’s Ayo (Florence Kasumba) meeting up with the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan); informing him that she will be going after Zemo (Daniel Bruehl) for assassinating King T’chaka (John Kani) — an incident that transpired in Captain America: Civil War. As expected, introducing Ayo to the mix simply adds more roadblocks to the mission of finding the Flag Smashers, making it difficult for the vibranium bros to find Karli (Erin Kellyman), who they intend to stop from making more Super Soldiers.
The fourth episode of TheFalcon and the Winter Soldier titled, “The Whole World is Watching”, begins with a bang and certainly ends with one too. It continues to push the characters into more difficult positions, exposing both their weaknesses and strengths as the episodes unfold. The Falcon And the Winter Soldier is getting really exciting and the fourth episode, asides from the usual suspense and action heroics, explores a more philosophical angle to the villain’s story.
The fourth episode kicks off with a flashback to Wakanda six years from the present happenings where Ayo is testing the Winter Soldier’s reprogramming and reciting the trigger words to see if it works. Upon realizing that those words have no sway on him anymore, the Winter Soldier is filled with emotions. Now back to the present situation in Latvia, the Winter Soldier is still conversing with Ayo and she gives him an 8-hour ultimatum before “they come for Zemo”. This shows that she’s not acting alone and that the Dora Milaje are also in town.
Seeing the Winter Soldier speak Xhosa (the Wakanda language) shows the significance of the flashback to Wakanda and also indicates the close relationship between the Winter Soldier and Ayo. For the sake of that friendship, she is willing to give the Winter Soldier some time to tidy up his business before coming for Zemo.
The Winter Soldier, on getting back to Zemo’s place, announces that the Wakandans are in town to get Zemo. With time ticking, they need to find a fast way to get Karli, especially after learning of the damages she caused at the Global Repatriation Council (GRC) depot. Going by the subtle way, Falcon suggests they track down the late Donya Madani (Veronica Falcon) as he believes there will be a community funeral held in her honor for being an icon in the community.
The trio arrives at the refugee camp in search of answers, as they seek the funeral’s location, but Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s efforts lead to no avail. Zemo decides to pull another trick up his sleeve by acting casually among the refugees. He walks slowly to a group of kids while singing the famous nursery rhyme “Baa Baa Black Sheep”. This exudes his villain glory, giving off an eerie feeling that we’ve not witnessed in the show so far.
Zemo successfully bribes the kids with a bag of sweets and gets the needed information about Mama Donya’s funeral location but withholds the information from the Winter Soldier and Falcon. This is Zemo running the show once again! It’s Zemo’s world and we are just living in it!
The trio returns to Zemo’s place with the Winter Soldier and Falcon thinking they have no leads but Zemo quickly informs them he has the needed information and that he will be holding it as leverage. Seeing how tight the situation is getting, Falcon decides to ask for external help, calling Sharon (Emily VanCamp) once again, to help him track the Flag Smashers.
Meanwhile, the new Captain America (Wyatt Russell) and his friend Lemar Hoskins (Clé Bennett) are able to track the trio to Latvia, meeting them halfway to the funeral. Falcon, with a little help from Lemar, is able to convince the rest (especially the new Captain America) to talk first to Karli privately to see if he could talk her out of her mission. Falcon walks in alone leaving the rest outside while the new Captain America handcuffs Zemo to an iron pipe.
Falcon meets with Karli after the funeral and the meeting is quite insightful. Falcon shows her a new perspective of her not being seen only as a revolutionary but as a supremacist as she’s doing exactly what she’s condemning the government for doing. Seeing Falcon tap into his counselor’s side was a really nice thing as he has not been able to do that since Captain America: The Winter Soldier when he was first introduced.
A part of me believes he would have been able to talk Karli down if not for the impatient Captain America who crashes the meeting, scaring off Karli. And so the pursuit begins with the vibranium bros trying to catch up with Karli. Meanwhile, Zemo successfully sets himself free as he is left alone and he is able to get to Karli first, injuring her and destroying vials of serum, unknowingly leaving one behind. The new Captain America knocks Zemo out and yields to the temptation of keeping the last vial of the serum for himself without anyone’s knowledge. However, Karli is able to escape the whole incident with a gunshot wound only to receive more threats from the Power Broker.
Back at Zemo’s place, the trio discusses how the incidents went down only for the new Captain to barge in asking for Zemo to be turned over. Falcon objects, telling him Zemo has been useful and won’t be released to him. As the argument ensues, the Dora Milaje led by Ayo, makes an iconic entry and they are also there to collect Zemo. A fight breaks out, with the three parties fighting over who keeps Zemo, proceeding into a turn of events I’ve patiently waited for since the beginning of the episode.
The winter soldier, Falcon, Lemar, and the new Captain America have their asses handed over to them by the Dora Milaje. Who runs the world? Girls!!! All hail Feminism!!! During this action sequence, an interesting thing happens. I was really surprised to see the Winter Soldier’s vibranium arm get deactivated and drop off like a toy — an indirect reminder that they can always take back what was given to him. Meanwhile, while watching the whole drama unfold, Zemo quietly escapes through the bathroom— El-Chapo style.
Back to Karli, she concludes that the new Captain America has to die, and to do that, she needs to separate the group. She places a call to Falcon’s sister Sarah Wilson (Adepero Oduye) threatening her to ensure that Falcon meets with her in a few hours. Sarah relays the message to Falcon who hurries alongside the Winter Soldier to meet with Karli. However, that is all a distraction to separate the group as other members of the Flag Smashers have laid ambush for the new Captain America and Lemar.
Falcon is able to recognize the trap through Sharon’s help. He and the Winter Soldier take off to save the new Cap and his friend Lemar. However, before they could arrive, the ambush is already in motion and the Flag Smashers have captured Lemar. The new Captain America seems to be doing just fine against the Flag Smashers as he has become visibly stronger — an indication that he made use of the last vial of the super serum. The Winter Soldier and Falcon eventually join in the fight which continues to extend. Lamar, who was tied up, frees himself and also joins the fight, saves the new Cap from a knife attack only to pay the ultimate price as he is kicked into a wall, losing his life in the process.
There is an immediate pause, as if no one imagined anyone getting hurt or even dying during the fight but what did they expect fighting with sophisticated gadgets and super strength? The new Cap rushes to check on his friend but he’s gone! This is the breaking point for the new Captain America. Clouded by his emotions, he chases after a member of the Flag Smashers, Nico (Noah Mills), till he catches up with him. And then, right at the town square, the new Captain America shoves his shield repeatedly into the guy while paying zero attention to the crowd that has gathered around to film his action. The whole world is indeed watching!
The new Captain America raises his head to realize what he’s done, standing in the middle of the crowd with the blood-coated shield. Everyone is shocked, including Karli, the Winter Soldier, and Falcon who are among the bystanders.
The second episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was written by Derek Kolstad and directed by Kari Skogland.
- Rest in Peace Lemar Hoskins who is played by Clé Bennett. A very sad end for a bright character. He really deserves more than just being the new Captain America’s trigger for murder.
- In the words of Lemar Hoskins, “Power just makes a person more of themselves”, and now I wonder if that’s what the new Captain America has become; more of himself.
- Zemo mentions the Turkish Delight being his late son’s favorite sweet. He lost his son and wife when the Sa’s capital city was destroyed by Ultron.
- Zemo finally escapes, but to where? Is he going to lay low or go after Karli to justify his stance against the creation of more superheroes? Or maybe, the Dora Milaje will catch up with him.
- The blood-coated shield is of great significance, but what does it signify? As we all know, Marvel doesn’t display blood in its series and movies. So, why now? We can say that the blood on the shield subtly comments on the United States’ legacy, one that has triggered wars in the name of peace and freedom while killing innocent citizens. Honestly, I really do not see the new Cap getting away with this. Besides, I think it’s time the shield returns to its rightful owner.
The next episode drops on April 16, 2021. We publish a recap every Sunday evening.