Falcon and Winter Soldier episode 2 recap: New Captain America ratchets up the tension

Falcon and Winter Soldier

Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes are tremendous greatest frienemies.

Marvel Studios

After catching up with our two greatest Captain America boys final week, the second episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier — The Star-Spangled Man — hit Disney Plus Friday. The Marvel Cinematic Universe present takes place round six months after the occasions of Avengers: Endgame, because the world offers with the sudden reappearance of billions of vanished folks after a five-year absence.

Wingsuit-wearing Air Power vet Sam Wilson, also referred to as Falcon (Anthony Mackie), was chosen to be the subsequent Captain America by Steve Rogers. Nonetheless, he determined nobody ought to take up the mantle and handed the enduring defend over to the US authorities. The politicians clearly noticed this as a possibility, in order that they shortly selected a brand new Cap — possible one they might management.

Our different hero, Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), is struggling to make amends for his many murders as brainwashed assassin the Winter Soldier. Sam and Bucky did not cross paths within the first episode, however they’re achieved loads of verbal jousting prior to now.

We have additionally received antinationalist group the Flag Smashers operating round inflicting bother. Let’s leap into SPOILER city for episode the second.

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Even in jail, Zemo appears to be like like he is hatching an evil plan.

Marvel Studios/Screenshot by Sean Keane/CNET

Going to see Zemo

On the finish of the episode, missing any leads on the Tremendous Soldier Serum-empowered Flag Smashers and at odds with new Captain America John Walker, Sam agrees to Bucky’s plan to fulfill an imprisoned Helmut Zemo (Daniel Brühl) for intel.

We final noticed Zemo in Captain America: Civil Warfare, when he reactivated Bucky’s programming and used him to drive the Avengers aside. The previous head of a paramilitary group in Sokovia, Zemo misplaced his household when Ultron attacked his nation’s capital metropolis. He blamed the Avengers for this, and have become obsessive about destroying the group.

Black Panther stopped Zemo from taking his personal life after his plan was full, and he was final seen in CIA custody. This episode reveals that he is in jail in Berlin, and he’ll little question play thoughts video games with the boys within the subsequent episode.

Revealing Isaiah

The Tremendous Soldier Serum was used to show Steve Rogers into Captain America throughout World Warfare II, however the unique model was misplaced and its creator Abraham Erskine was killed by a Hydra murderer. It was recreated by teams like Hydra and the US authorities within the years since, enhancing folks like Bucky. Experiments with the components additionally led to the creation of the Hulk and the Abomination

Bucky reveals the existence of Isaiah Bradley (Carl Lumbly), a brilliant soldier throughout the Korean Warfare. They’d a tussle in 1951, throughout the Korean Warfare, when Bucky was underneath Hydra’s management. Isaiah apparently took half of Bucky’s bionic arm — very like Iron Man would later do in Civil Warfare.

Isaiah Bradley in Falcon and Winter Soldier

Isaiah Bradley, a brilliant soldier who fought Bucky within the 1950s, does not need to revisit the previous.

Marvel Studios/Screenshot by Sean Keane/CNET

Bucky tries to persuade Isaiah to inform him and Sam how there are extra tremendous troopers on the market, however he is not blissful in regards to the questioning and finally boots them out.

“You already know what they did to me for being a hero? They put my ass in jail for 30 years,” says an offended Isaiah. “Folks operating checks, taking my blood, coming into my cell. Even your folks weren’t achieved with me.”


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Within the comics, Isaiah was one in all 300 Black troopers used as guinea pigs by the US because it tried to recreate the serum. On a mission, he took on the Captain America mantle — an act the army noticed as treasonous, and which received him thrown in jail. He was finally launched and sworn to secrecy, however the legend of the Black Captain America started to unfold.

It certain feels like one thing related occurred within the MCU. Isaiah’s point out of “your folks” is a reference to Hydra, which infiltrated SHIELD after World Warfare II. His remedy is proof of the chilling lack of ethics in makes an attempt to recreate the components.


Patriot, as he seems within the comics.

Marvel Comics

Residing with Isaiah is his grandson Eli Bradley (Elijah Richardson). Eli’s comedian counterpart is empowered by an infusion of his grandfather’s blood and turns into Patriot, a member of the Younger Avengers together with Wiccan and Pace. Between this present and WandaVision, the MCU might be increase its personal model of the teenage superteam.

A run-in with the legislation

Instantly after studying of the racially problematic remedy of a Black tremendous soldier, Sam is understandably upset as he and Bucky depart. It attracts the eye of some passing law enforcement officials on the road, prompting one in all them to ask if Sam is “bothering” Bucky and to ask to see Sam’s ID. The officer backs down solely when he realizes Sam is an Avenger.

It is an uncomfortable scene to look at, particularly after the demise of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis final Could. Between this and the scene within the financial institution in the earlier episode, it is clear this present is not steering away from race as a problem.

John Walker

A lot as I needed to hate the politician-approved Captain America, John Walker (Wyatt Russell) begins out fairly likeable and has wonderful Steve Rogers-esque hair. He even has a Bucky-style companion in Lemar Hoskins (Clé Bennett), also referred to as Battlestar, and tries to persuade Sam and Bucky to work with them.

“You did not suppose the defend was gonna find yourself right here,” he says, understanding Bucky’s anger. “I am not making an attempt to be Steve. I am not making an attempt to exchange Steve. I am simply making an attempt to be the most effective Captain America I might be. It might be a complete simpler if I had Cap’s wingman on my aspect.”

John Walker in Falcon and Winter Soldier

John Walker flaunts his energy as the brand new Captain America.

Marvel Studios/Screenshot by Sean Keane/CNET

The final half bugs the heck out of Sam, and he turns down the supply. Walker tries to persuade them once more in Baltimore, and divulges a sinister aspect when he is rejected.

“Keep the hell out of my approach,” he says, giving off some main supervillain vibes.

Setting off the police siren was fairly obnoxious although — a transparent warning signal that Walker is a jerk.


Sam and Bucky work by means of the stress.

Marvel Studios

The Duo

Sam and Bucky’s rivalry is massively entertaining all through the episode, and we study that the main threats confronted within the MCU have been divided into the Massive Three —  Androids, Aliens and Wizards — since all of them apparently match into a kind of classes.

Regardless of the stress between them, the pair make a wonderful workforce after they tackle the Flag Smashers. They solely lose as a result of they’re shocked and completely outmatched by the eight tremendous troopers. 

Throughout an impromptu remedy session, Bucky reveals his aggravation with Sam springs from Sam’s rejection of the defend regardless of Steve selecting him for the function. If Steve was incorrect about Sam, possibly he was incorrect in pondering Bucky might be redeemed for his crimes because the Winter Soldier.

‘One world, one folks’

The Flag Smashers are led by Karli Morgenthau (Erin Kellyman, whom chances are you’ll keep in mind as masked marauder Enfys Nest in Solo: A Star Wars Story). They’re Robin Hood-style “freedom fighters,” decided to cease international elites who took again energy after the Blip, they usually’re getting cowl from civilians as they transfer round.

We additionally study in regards to the International Repatriation Council, which is reactivating citizenships, social safety, healthcare and different assets for refugees displaced when billions of individuals abruptly returned. Mainly ensuring that the established order returns.

Karli Morgenthau in Falcon and Winter Soldier

Karli has a brilliant soldier shock for Bucky.

Marvel Studios/Screenshot by Sean Keane/CNET

“The GRC care extra in regards to the individuals who got here again than those who by no means left,” says Karli, hinting on the division that is arisen in society. “We received a glimpse of how issues might be.” 

She additionally alludes to some form of large occasion they’ve deliberate, possible some sort of assault.

Nonetheless, they’re being pursued by goons working for the unseen Energy Dealer, after Karli seemingly took one thing belonging to them; possible the Tremendous Soldier Serum. Within the comics, Energy Dealer is a reputation utilized by a number of folks. The frequent component is giving folks superpowers in order that they’re left in Energy Dealer’s debt — John Walker and Lemar Hoskins’ comedian counterparts have been enhanced by means of this course of.

Observations and WTF questions

  • Former SHIELD agent Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) will get a shoutout from Sam — she was apparently branded an “enemy of the state” after she aided the fugitive Cap, Sam and Bucky in Civil Warfare.
  • Walker’s interview takes place on the soccer discipline at Custer’s Grove Excessive Faculty, Georgia. That is his hometown within the comics. 
  • He is interviewed ABC’s Good Morning America — Disney has owned ABC since 1996.
  • Bucky learn The Hobbit when it got here out in 1937, making him some form of popular culture hero. Surprise what he considered the film trilogy?
  • Bucky asks Walker if he ever jumped on a grenade, alluding to pre-Tremendous Soldier Serum Steve doing so throughout World Warfare II — a second that proved his heroism. 
  • I might love a flashback to Isaiah’s 1951 battle with the Winter Soldier.
  • Karli’s comics counterpart is Karl Morgenthau, the primary individual to tackle the Flag-Smasher identification. He unfold anti-nationalist sentiment by means of acts of terrorism, and had a significant beef with Cap.
  • Who’s Zemo enjoying chess with? Within the spirit of untamed theorizing, as an instance… Physician Doom?

Be a part of us for extra Easter eggs and observations subsequent Friday, when episode three of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier hits Disney Plus.