The Falcon and The Winter Soldier Ep. 2 clues, takeaways & predictions
Following last week’s jaw-dropping premiere ending in which the world was introduced to new Captain America, John Walker, Disney+’s latest Marvel Cinematic Universe series The Falcon and The Winter Soldier has returned and we finally get to see the titular duo team up for hilarious and explosive storytelling. Let’s dive into what we learned and where we think the rest of the series will head.
Clues: A New Villain Emerges, The U.S. Did Some Nasty Experiments and New Cap Has Some Backstory
- The episode opens with viewers getting a little insight into the mind of John Walker, the new man in the Captain America suit as he gears up to greet a crowd of people at his hometown high school football field, even revisiting his old locker in the locker room of Custer’s Grove High School in Georgia. During this moment, we are also introduced to Walker’s partner Lemar Hoskins, who we later learn is working under the codename Battlestar, which holds greater implications from the world of the comics.
- Following Walker’s press conference, Bucky confronts Sam about his giving up the shield, to which Sam rebuffs him saying it’s not his business and wondering what it even matters to him. Not willing to part without a proper conversation, Bucky joins Sam on his mission to Germany to go after the Flag Smashers based on intel Redwing detected, which the former objects to as he doesn’t care for the tech.
- The mission sees the titular heroes facing off against the Flag Smashers led by Karli Morgenthau as they hijack trucks full of medicine to bring to various refugee camps around the world and attempt to fight them, but as they find themselves overwhelmed Walker and Hoskins arrive in an attempt to help, but don’t do much as the enemies are super-powered in a manner similar to Bucky and Steve and are able to escape with the trucks and vaccines.
- In a tense conversation after the fact, Walker and Hoskins reveal they are specifically working for the Global Repatriation Council, a government agency working to reactivate the citizenships, social security, healthcare and other resources for refugees displaced after billions of people returned from The Blip.
- Disagreeing with their methods and treatment of code names and hero monikers, Sam and Bucky head off to meet someone from Bucky’s past. Before arriving in Baltimore, Maryland, Bucky proposes they just take the shield from Walker, to which Sam rejects and refers to the last time they did so, in which Sharon Carter was labeled an enemy of the state and Sam and Steven were fugitives for a few years.
- The two then meet Isaiah Bradley, whom Bucky met during his time as The Winter Soldier under HYDRA’s control in 1951 during the Korean War and was injected with a form of the super serum by the U.S. government in an effort to recreate Dr. Abraham Erskine’s formula and fought against Bucky, taking half his robotic arm but still losing. He was subsequently imprisoned for 30 years by the government and experimented on, turning him against working with Buck and Sam to help get to the bottom of how the Flag Smashers got their hands on any form of the serum. While arguing on the street about Bucky keeping Isaiah a secret from everyone the whole time, the two are accosted by police who don’t initially recognize them but are then forced to arrest Bucky after he misses his court-mandated therapy appointment.
- Bucky is able to be released from prison, but to Sam and his therapist’s surprise Walker is the one who gets him released in an effort to get him back in the mission against the Flag Smashers. Before they leave, Dr. Christina Raynor pulls Bucky and Sam into an interrogation room for a mandated session and force them to settle their differences, but the biggest growth they’re able to express is that Bucky’s afraid that if Sam gave up the shield so easily then Steve might have been wrong about gifting it to him and therefore may be wrong about Bucky deserving a redemption and defense in Civil War.
- After turning down Walker’s offer to team up once again and even receiving a threat to stay out of his way, Sam and Bucky elect to go visit Helmut Zemo in an effort to learn more answers about how the Flag Smashers were able to get their hands on the super serum.
- Meanwhile, the anti-patriotism group are forced to flee quickly with the vaccines they’ve stolen as a mysterious group of people working for the Power Broker are attacking the airfield they’re at, leading one to stay behind and sacrifice themselves while the others escape.
Takeaways: Sam & Bucky are The New Best Odd Couple, Walker’s a Little Reckless and a Villain Returns
Much like the premiere, this week’s episode holds more character development than intricate plotting but there were a few interesting things learned and seen to keep in mind for the rest of the season, namely of which is that the titular duo are the new best odd couple on television, from their banter to the heavy emotional moments between them. Aside from Bucky and Sam, this episode gave audiences a better, proper introduction to the new man in the Cap suit as well as his partner Battlestar, who was not only Walker’s partner in the comics but was also the fifth character to take on the alias of Bucky before assuming his more heroic moniker. In meeting Walker, we initially see a heroic personality akin to Steve but slowly see the darker behavior he’s best known for in the comics starting to steep through as the episode progresses. We also learn more about the Flag Smashers and their mission, one that has a basis in good intentions but whose actions work against such motives, and their connection to the mysterious Power Broker, whose reach is extensive in the comics for nearly every character in the series and whose impending introduction will hold major consequences for two key characters. Last but not least, we are given a look at iconic Civil War villain Zemo in his prison cell in Berlin playing chess against someone (likely himself).
Predictions: Walker Will Team With Power Broker, Sam Will Pass on Falcon Moniker & Someone’s Breaking Zemo Out
- One thing that Walker is going to have to realize after his first fight against the Flag Smashers is that he may not be physically strong enough to battle the group and will need to get his hands on the super serum Bucky has running in his veins and may need to use the same path the Smasher did: the Power Broker. This would tie directly into the comics, as both he and Hoskins received their treatments granting them superpowers from the man, whose true identity was initially Curtiss Jackson. Jackson co-founded the eponymous corporation with Dr. Karl Malus, who acted as the chief scientist for all experiments done at the place and fans may remember the name as that of Callum Keith Rennie’s character in the second season of Jessica Jones. Though that iteration of the scientist took his life at the end of the season, he was the one behind the heroine’s powers and with the rights now open for the House of Mouse to properly bring the Netflix world into the MCU, this could be one of the early paths to bridging the storylines with the Power Broker’s intro and Walker and Hoskins’ acquisition of the serum from him.
- Though the end of the episode saw the only real human death of the episode with one of the Flag Smasher sacrificing themselves to let the others escape, there was one tragic demise in the form of Sam’s trusty exosuit drone Redwing at the hands of one of the superpowered enemies. Though his blueprints are undoubtedly in a government or Stark Industries database, the fact that Joaquin Torres is still a key part of the series’ story and working with Sam, there’s still a strong chance Sam may choose not to repair the drone and come to terms with taking on the Captain America moniker, leaving him to pass on Falcon and a rebuilt or upgraded Redwing to Torres by the end of the series. The brief moment in which Sam makes a joke while chatting with a Maryland kid that he’s not the “Black Falcon,” as the kid’s father calls him since he’s Black and The Falcon, even feels like a very subtle nod to his time as Cap being known as the “Black Captain America” to some and would tie in nicely to the racial themes head writer Malcolm Spellman is seeking to address throughout the series.
- It might be the most obvious prediction of them all, but with plenty of footage and images teasing the iconic villain’s open-world activities, it seems pretty easy to believe now that Daniel Brühl’s Helmut Zemo is going to break out of his Berlin prison and, though he’s plenty intelligent enough to figure it out on his own, will likely be assisted by someone. The real question is who will assist his escape and while Sam and Bucky aren’t incredibly desperate to find the Flag Smashers just yet, their resigned willingness to visit him in an effort to find answers may point towards them helping him escape and using him for answers (much like how Will Smith and Martin Lawrence’s Mike and Marcus did with Michael Shannon’s Floyd Poteet in Bad Boys II).