Prison breaks, familiar faces, and people still hating on new Cap in many places. All this and more on the latest episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier!
(Spoilers Ahead – You’ve Been Warned)
Parole Violations Galore
The episode begins with both duos in Germany seeking out information. John Walker is getting nowhere in Munich (while getting the same hatred his character has been getting online). But the real fun comes in Berlin as Sam and Bucky pay a visit to Baron Zemo in prison.
His Plexiglas cell is very Silence of the Lambs inspired, as is Bucky’s rash and immediate decision to break him out so he can lead them to the super serum (given his knowledge of Hydra).
And while it is a lot fun to see these three people who really don’t get along forced to work together, it does casually gloss over the implications. Bucky has worked very hard to get where he is and breaking an international terrorist out of prison on foreign soil is likely to violate his parole.
That said, he also firmly believes in what he’s doing, it’s just the episode doesn’t give this decision the necessary gravity it deserves. To be fair, Sam does object on the basis of the nasty things that Zemo has done, not wanting to overlook it. But we get no such conflict from Bucky.
The Consequences of Civil War
Bucky, Sam, and Zemo, set out on their mission in what proves to be a really fun and interesting film noir-esque mystery. It takes them to seedy places with seedy people, making deals, and trying to follow the trail of the super serum, where/how it was made, and how it wound up in the hands of the Flag Smashers.
In a moment when Sam accidentally blows their cover, they’re saved by Sharon Carter, who’s been flying under the radar ever since she broke the law to help Steve way back when. Even though it’s been years and Bucky managed to get a pardon, she has had no such luck.
It really frames the events of Captain America: Civil War in a new light as there were numerous consequences that Steve probably didn’t even think of. While he was off having his happy life and retirement with Peggy, he sort of forgot about Sharon and what helping him ultimately cost her. Sam promises that in exchange for helping them now, he’ll go back to the U.S. and get her a pardon as well.
There’s also the fact that when Zemo blew up the U.N. to frame Bucky, he killed King T’Chaka of Wakanda in the process, and now that he’s out, they’re after him as well. And given what we can recall from Black Panther, Wakanda won’t turn him back over to the U.N., they’ll bring him back to their country and deal with him personally.
The Real Villain?
Throughout this episode, as well as the series itself, we’ve seen a theme of systems being corrupt and/or not working the way they should. Sam turned down becoming Captain America, so he was replaced with a corporate tool.
Likewise, we saw how a superhero like Isaiah was used, incarcerated, and completely forgotten by the nation that he had served. All of this echoes the stand that Steve took in Civil War that the safest hands were still their own, and that governments are made of people with agendas who can be corrupted.
So with all that in mind, it’s interesting to see Karli Morgenthau portrayed not only as a sympathetic villain, but as self-proclaimed freedom fighter who’s genuinely trying to help people.
At the moment Sam and Bucky are after her for stealing the serum, but it wouldn’t be all that surprising if they wind up joining her at the end against some other yet-to-be-revealed villain who’s much more evil at the core.
What did you think of this week’s episode? What do you hope to see next week? Let us know in the comments!
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is in theaters and streaming exclusively on Disney+