The Star-Spangled Man: Falcon And The Winter Soldier – Disney+ Talk
Like my coverage with ‘Wandavision’, my coverage of ‘The Falcon & The Winter Soldier’ will be done via weekly episodic articles. However, this article (like last week’s one) will not contain spoilers.
Episode 2, titled ‘The Star-Spangled Man’ sees John Walker be introduced as the new Captain America. Bucky and Sam also team up to figure out what the terrorist group from the previous episode are planning, all while ‘trying’ to get along.
Ultimately, this episode serves as an introduction to the dysfunctional duo that is Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes. From the moment they meet in the show, they were delightful to watch onscreen. They have fantastic onscreen chemistry and, while that may have been expected to some people, it’s easy to forget that Bucky and Sam didn’t share many solo scenes together when they both featured in the MCU films. So, essentially, it’s an introduction to how they’ll interact with each other. And it’s both hilarious and heart-breaking. The former is because their banter is reminiscent of child-like bickering at times. Bucky’s therapist even asks that they ‘don’t answer with a childish response’ when she interrogates them near the end of the episode. The closest I can think of is Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson in ‘Fast & Furious Presents Hobbs & Shaw’ when thinking of inspirations.
But there’s a reason why they don’t get along: Bucky is angry that Sam gave Captain America’s shield away when it was given to him for the sole purpose of him taking up the role of the new Captain America. And, while Sam says he wasn’t ready for that, it’s hard to disagree with Bucky Barnes. His argument is understandable, especially considering that they were both close friends with Steve Rogers. Bucky essentially feels that Sam betrayed Steve which is hard to argue with.
A detail that wasn’t mentioned in last week’s Disney+ Talk article was how the first episode ended. The reason for that is because I knew this episode would give viewers more answers and details. Therefore, more discussion could be had this week, rather than briefly mention it in last week’s article. And, yes, the episode ended with the government announcing a new Captain America, complete with the shield that Sam had donated to be displayed. Not only is this decision disrespectful to Steve Rogers, Sam and even Bucky, but it also feels like a PR stunt until a fight scene takes place later on in the episode. This new Captain America is John Walker (who later becomes U.S. Agent in the comics) and, from the moment he opens his mouth, he seems genuine and humble. He truly believes in what he is doing, but also knows that he will never be like Steve Rogers, so won’t try to be. However, the one thing he can do is try to keep people safe. He has similar morale values to Steve Rogers, so it’s clear why he was picked for the role. He also portrays strength and can hold his own, for the most part, in a fight. But, because of Sam and Bucky’s connection to Captain America and Steve Rogers, it can’t be helped that I feel dislike towards John Walker. Unfortunately, the only thing he’s done wrong is take up the role of Captain America, not matter how good he is at it at the moment.
And the fight is against a terrorist group of super soldiers, presumedly led by Zemo, judging from the handprint logo. These were people who were introduced in the last episode, but it’s in this episode that they get to show their super strength. While Zemo’s story arc was one that I found dull in ‘Captain America: Civil War’, his appearance makes sense within this context: because the MCU civil war is done, his character has more time to expand here, so I’m interested to see this plot line develop.
Overall, this episode was better than the last one and serves as a great introduction to Bucky and Sam’s interactions as well as their first meeting with the new Captain America. And, with Zemo reappearing, I’m more interested in his character now that the MCU civil war is over.
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