Now playing on Disney+ here is my review of Marvel’s The Falcon and The Winter Soldier Episodes 3 and 4. The stakes are getting higher and higher and it’s exciting!! The action scenes—Ah. Mah. God.
Okay….first I will do a recap of Marvel’s The Falcon and The Winter Soldier Episodes 3 and 4 (they are a doozy!). Hold on to your hats kids, this is a long one!
Bucky has decided that he and Sam need to break Zemo out of jail. For those of you who do not remember, Zemo is the scientist who framed Bucky for the bombing of the UN in “Captain America: Civil War”. This blast killed King T’Chaka from Wakanda, which in turn catapulted Prince T’Challa into the throne (RIP Chadwick Boseman).
Zemo was part of Hydra, as well as part of the team controlling Bucky as the Winter Soldier. Despite this, he is very much against “super”heroes, mostly the enhanced ones with super serum. He blames superheroes for the deaths of his family who were part of the casualties in Socovia, in “Avengers: Age of Ultron”.
Even though Bucky executes his plan to free Zemo without Sam’s knowledge, they do need his help for information. Karli has found super serum to create her soldiers for The Flag Smashers. Zemo’s sources take him to Madripoor, not exactly the place to bring the family for a vacation. He brings Bucky and Sam to go undercover while he meets with his contact, Selby. Unfortunately, as most plans do, things go awry, Selby is killed during the meet, but not before they get the name of a scientist named Nagel, who made the new batch of serum. Even though neither Zemo, nor Sam, nor Bucky killed Selby, they are now on the bounty hunter list for most of the city. While trying to escape, we get a surprise guest, Miss Sharon Carter, saving the day and getting them away from the scene.
Sharon has been in hiding since Civil War, unable to return to the States without risk of prison for treason. She explains that Nagel is working for someone who calls themselves the “Power Broker” funding the research for the serum. Sam makes a deal with her: help find Nagel and the “Power Broker”, he helps to clear her name in the U.S.
In the meantime, Karli and her crew are running rampant, stealing supplies and scouting new soldiers. She has stored serum available to create her army. However, one of her comrades questions her vision as she blows up a supply center for the GRC (Global Repatriation Council). They raided the supplies, but she had other plans as well, to show them she means business. The “new” and NOT improved Captain America, John Walker, has been leading the GRC charge. They have been tracking hideouts where Karli and her friends have been staying, and arresting those that support her. We learn that the GRC didn’t exactly benefit everyone as expected. Apparently, some people who were gladly welcomed and sheltered during the “blip” were quickly displaced once people returned. A woman named Mama Donya took in Karli as well as countless others, including children. We find that Karli has been trying to get to Riga to cure her of tuberculosis, but is too late and she passes away.
Back over to Sam and Bucky. They go with Sharon and Zemo, find Nagel in a very cool hideout in a shipping container. Nagel explains he was recruited by the CIA to create the serum, which he did successfully without the kinks and long-term side effects. Without saying his name, it is clear they used the blood of Isaiah, the Black man who was made into a super-soldier, to create the serum. Nagel was “blipped” and returned to find the program defunct and then having to relocate to Madripoor. During the meeting, the bounty hunters attack outside, and Zemo shoots and kills Nagel to keep him from making more serum. Sam, Bucky, and Zemo escape in a stolen car, while you see Sharon taking another car, telling someone to contact the “Power Broker”.
Just to add another twist to the plot, we get a visit from the Dora Milaje, the female warriors who protect the royalty of Wakanda. Bucky secretly meets with one of the warriors in an alley. She is obviously upset that he is harboring Zemo who killed their king. They see this act as incredibly ungrateful since they helped to remove his Hydra programming (a very touching flashback to that moment when he realizes he’s cured). He explains their plan to find the serum that Karli has, and stop more from being made. For this, they need Zemo. Unfortunately, she does not agree, and only gives a small amount of time to carry this out.
The whole world collides and blows up as Zemo gets information to bring Sam and Bucky to Mama Donya’s funeral, where they find Karli. Sam wants to talk, while Zemo wants to stop her in her tracks. He believes her ideals to keep a world without borders, as it was during the “blip”, is not very far from the supremacist ideals that grew the Nazis and Hydra. Marvel does as it does and brings the big questions to mind that ask “what would you do?”. And then we cue John Walker, and his friend Lemar (aka Battlestar), who are ordering Sam and Bucky to take down Karli, no questions asked. Sam is able to convince everyone he needs time to talk her down, which he gets very close to, after the funeral, and then John in all his “glory” comes in for the attack. This all but ruins any chance they had to reason with Karli and not cause any more carnage from the fight between the GRC and the Flag Smashers (“one world, one people”).
Karli escapes with the serum, she thinks, until Zemo finds her. The pouch holding the serum vials is knocked out her hand and he stomps on them all while trying to kill her. She’s wounded by a gunshot, and runs away. Zemo leaves and John Walker is not far behind, and sees a vial untouched, and pockets it.
When they return to their hideout, provided by Zemo, the Dora Milaje attack, trying to capture Zemo. Everyone is fighting everyone. Zemo escapes (predictable 🙄). In ANOTHER unbelievable plot twist, the Dora Milaje warrior Bucky met with earlier, hits a few punches and makes that bionic arm crumple like it was aluminum foil!! And to answer your questions: yes, he was able to put it back on, and no, he did not know they could do that (mouth drop). Just another reminder of the fortitude of these women. I ADORE THEM!! Fun fact: the women who were cast to play these characters in “Black Panther” did in fact shave their heads. This is a huge testament to their commitment to the message of this movie in Black culture (Love it!).
John Walker gets his first meeting with the Dora Milaje, and he is not happy about it. I personally love this scene because it shows how much men can underestimate women (i.e. mansplaining). Particularly when women are pissed off and on a mission, but here you have a cocky White dude who underestimated strong Black women who were pissed off. It’s a great scene. Did I mention how much I loved this scene? Dude got his ass whooped.
John later discusses with Lemar their time in the U.S. military and how the serum would have helped them save more lives. It is clear John has already taken his stance, as he expresses his envy for those with super serum. His ego is also bruised by the defeat from the Dora Milaje, who didn’t even have serum LOL. Lemar agrees he would take the serum if he had the chance, not knowing John possesses just enough for himself.
We end Episode 6 with a HUGE cliffhanger as Karli contacts Sam’s sister, Sarah, and asks her to help her decide whether she kills Sam or not. She demands a meeting point, or she visits Sarah and her sons. Sam meets with her, bringing Bucky, with John and Lemar in tow. The meeting again is ambushed. But surprise surprise, John has seemingly taken the serum, because his action moves are toe to toe with the Flag Smasher soldiers. During the fight, Lemar is accidentally killed, which sends John into a tailspin. He chases one of Karli’s friends and kills him in full view of the public, in the street, on cameras. The scene ends with a chilling shot of the Captain America shield back in his hands, stained with blood.
Okay, end of recap!
First, we have to address the hypocrisy that is Zemo. He helped create a super-soldier, helped control a super soldier, and actively worked with a supremacist cult, yet calls Karli a supremacist. Hydra and the Nazis wanted one world under control, ordered. Karli and the Flag Smashers want one world, under control, ordered. To Karli’s credit, she’s looking for more of a like co-op-friendly situation, but her methods of doing it are through terrorism and violence, so where is she right?
Another question raised is to keep your friends close or your enemies closer? Zemo is a necessary evil. Their whole time together, Sam and Bucky have to keep two eyes behind their backs. In one scene, Zemo bribes a young girl with candy to get the location of Mama Donya’s funeral but tells her to not trust Sam and Bucky. He does this to keep the information hostage and then they don’t have a reason to send him to jail or kill him. Without provocation, he kills Nagel, to complete his personal mission to keep super soldiers from being made. He keeps picking away at Bucky, trying to command him with the old Hydra words that activated the Winter Soldier. Bucky is even forced to fight in Madripoor as if he’s the Winter Soldier, undercover. He has to revert to old ways that are no longer in his character, and Zemo has fun watching him do it. As much as he wants to blame the Avengers for the death of his family, other people can blame him for death also.
Bucky is now caught between his undying loyalty to the Dora Milaje for giving him is mental freedom, and trying to fight another war to save the world, again. They are dealing with their shame and grief over the death of King T’Chaka, so personal vendetta is more important to them than his mission. How do you choose?
Lastly, my theory is that Sharon is working for the “Power Broker”, but a friend thinks she is the “Power Broker”, we debated heavily about it. My thoughts are that during the “blip”, she was in fact pardoned by the CIA, brought in to oversee Nagel’s serum research, and has been working for them this whole time under the guise of being on the run. I mean, how far can you really run from the CIA? 🤨 They did not tell Nagel the program was still in effect, why would they take down a program like that?? Half the Avengers were gone during the “blip”, they needed to make superheroes.
Marvel’s The Falcon and The Winter Soldier Episodes 3 and 4 show we have more to learn about Sharon and Zemo’s intentions, while Sam and Bucky are caught in the middle. What will Karli do now without serum and how will she avenge her friend murdered by John Walker? What are the repercussions of John’s public display? Is there more serum out there? Will Isaiah be brought in to help end the season? Will Sam and Bucky beat the Dora Milaje to capturing Zemo?
So much to see!! Stay tuned!!
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