Directed by: Kari Skogland
Starring: Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Emily VanCamp, Wyatt Russell, Daniel Brühl, Danny Ramirez, Erin Kellyman
Release date: 19th March 2021
No of Episodes: 6
Available on: Disney+
Marvel Studios’ newest series, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier starring Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/The Falcon, and Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier follow the two much-loved characters in dealing with the fallout of Avengers: Endgame. Bucky and Sam are an unlikely duo already known to dislike each other, who were brought together towards the end of phase three in Endgame. Now they team up over six episodes to take on a global adventure seemingly built to test their ability and their patience!
"When Steve refused to sign the Sokovia Accords, you backed him. You broke the law, and you stuck your neck out for me. I'm asking you to do it again."
Episodes of Marvel Studios' The Falcon and The Winter Soldier began streaming weekly on March 19th on Disney+ and if you haven't caught up yet this is your warning to stop reading!
Last week, episode two left us with our first glimpse of Captain America: Civil War villain, Helmut Zemo (Daniel Brühl) and the possibility of a team-up between him and our two heroes; Bucky and Sam. Episode three started streaming yesterday and did not disappoint on the Zemo front. The episode, ominously titled Power Broker, sees Bucky all too casually explain his plan to spring Zemo from prison to Sam who it's safe to say, is not on board with it at all. When Sam questions the laid-back way in which Bucky gives him this information it starts to sink in that maybe this isn't a plan meant for the future. His suspicions are quickly confirmed when Zemo makes his entrance.
The three manage to come to an agreement and decide to work together using Zemo’s leads to uncover Hydraoperatives who may have further threads to follow towards the super-soldier serum. The brief moment Zemo takes to recover the iconic purple mask from the comics is long enough for Sam and Bucky to realise that he’s a Baron and he’s rich, a perfect link to the comics and to the three taking a private jet to the famed city Madripoor. In order for their plan to work, Bucky is forced to act as though he's still The Winter Soldier under Zemo’s control while Sam pretends to be The Smiling Tiger. Zemo barters with his ‘soldier’ and the famous words previously used to control him for information from Selby but when their cover is blown, a mysteriously accurate gunshot takes out Selby and the three make a run for it.
Their elusive defender stays on their trail and is soon revealed to be none other than Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp). Tracking down the one name they managed to glean from Selby, Dr. Wilfred Nagel, we see Sharon take on an entire gang without so much as a stumble while Sam and Bucky interrogate the scientist and Zemo’s on the hunt for weapons. When the three leave the container the fight really kicks off, between good and bad and between Sam and Bucky. While this clearly isn't the time for bickering, they have a good go at it anyway and are seemingly unaware that Zemo is off doing who knows what at this moment in time. Thankfully, he's there to save them with an epic explosion when they need it most - and also provides himself with an incredibly dramatic entry of fire and destruction when he dons the mask.
Power Broker ends with Sam, Bucky and Zemo hiding out in one of the Baron’s many safe houses. When Bucky decides to take a walk, however, he follows a trail of Kimoyo beads - a direct link to Wakanda which eventually leads to a cameo from Ayo (Florence Kasumba) who claims to be “here for Zemo.” The episode leaves a lot up in the air, especially regarding the big fight hinted at by the Flag Smashers and their growing level of violence when it comes to their cause. With Sharon’s loyalty to Sam and Bucky in question and a huge number of criminals now after the heroes, it feels as though the show is building up to something huge, and I for one cannot wait!
Zemo also gets a considerable amount of screen time in this episode, which worked really well. As a villain back in Civil War his motives were understandable, much like Spiderman antagonists Adrian Toombes or Quentin Beck. In his eyes, the Avengers destroyed his home and family and he wanted to put an end to them. Super-soldiers shouldn’t be allowed to exist in his eyes and so his alliance with The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is surprising yet not unwelcome. He comes across as a likeable character in the episode and provides many comedic additions to conversations the other two are having. He makes a good addition to the group and that makes what’s coming next even more exciting!
The plot is starting to pick up now and at halfway through the series, it feels as though there’s a lot that needs to happen and a lot that needs to be resolved in the next three weeks. If you haven't already, check out the first three episodes of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier: New World Order, The Star-Spangled Man and Power Broker in preparation for next week’s episode. If you’re new to the MCU, the beginning is always a great place to start, the films all appear in order on Disney+ so it's incredibly easy to catch up on everything that’s led us here!
"The world is upside down, and we need a new Cap, and it ain't gonna be Walker. So before you go and destroy it, I'm gonna take it from him myself."
Words by Chloe Pollard.