‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ Episode 5 Recap: Who Will Wield the Shield?

‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ Episode 5 Recap: Who Will Wield the Shield?

On this episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, our heroes battle John Walker for management of Captain America’s iconic defend, yadda yadda yadda, Julia Louis-Dreyfus reveals up.


And for a short second there, I believed Veep had been retconned into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In spite of everything, JLD’s character reveals as much as introduce herself to the totally disgraced Walker, who will get his ass handed to him by Bucky and Falcon in the present’s opening minutes, instantly after the authorities listening to stripping him of his gig as New Cap and booting him from the navy. Introducing one other minimally competent determine from the American authorities at that second would match, proper?

However Louis-Dreyfus is merely taking part in Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, a superspy of doubtful loyalties created by legendary Captain America writer-artist Jim Steranko. (Not that creating these characters is all that lucrative.) She doesn’t do a lot besides give Walker’s spouse a card with no seen writing on it, however she does function a kind of anticipatory echo of the episode’s different large shock, which additionally includes a feminine superspy of doubtful loyalties. Seems that Sharon Carter, Falcon and Bucky’s former pal, positive seems to be the Energy Dealer, the shadowy determine liable for procuring Tremendous-Soldier serum for Karli Morgenthau’s Flag-Smashers—and, on this episode, connecting Karli with French supervillain Batroc, who’s again from his humiliating defeat in the premiere to assist her pull off an assault on the International Repatriation Council in New York Metropolis. (Wiser commenters than me already pointed the finger in Sharon’s path, because it’s not like the present launched another possible candidates.)


Amid all these goings-on, the present takes its hardest swing but at sociopolitical commentary, targeted on the subject of what it will imply for a Black man like Sam Wilson to hold the defend. To growing old Tremendous-Soldier Isaiah Bradley, who was imprisoned and experimented on for 30 years after rescuing two pals from a POW camp the American navy deliberate to immolate to maintain the serum of their blood from falling into enemy fingers, the very thought is preposterous. “They will never let a Black man be Captain America,” he tells Sam, “and even if they did, no self-respecting Black man would ever want to be.” Bradley’s viewpoint, and his hideous remedy at the fingers of the American authorities, actually get to Sam…for a couple of days, anyway.

After a montage through which he and Bucky repair his sister Sara’s boat and have a heart-to-heart—Bucky apologizes on behalf of himself and Steve for not pondering the symbolism by after they first gave Sam the defend; Sam encourages Bucky to truly make amends with individuals he wronged who want closure reasonably than simply going round taking down unhealthy guys he remembers from his Winter Soldier days—Sam adjustments his tune. “What would be the point of all the pain and sacrifice,” he asks his sister rhetorically, “if I wasn’t willing to stand up and keep fighting?” With its implication that Isaiah is by some means being unreasonable or “[un]willing to stand up and keep fighting” in contrast, as if his experiences (to say nothing of others’) don’t justify his skepticism and bitterness, this rings actually harsh in the ear. A second montage, this time a coaching sequence, follows, and wouldn’t you realize it, he’s embracing the defend.

Sadly, the writing stays surprisingly slapdash even on the stage of the primary plot required of sturdy style work. For one factor, characters stay capable of finding different characters as in the event that they planted a hidden monitoring system: Bucky and Sam find runaway Cap John Walker in some random deserted warehouse he ran to; when Bucky and the Wakandan Dora Milaje safety pressure pop in on and arrest Baron Zemo at a monument to Sokovia’s useless, it’s nearly like they deliberate the assembly collectively prematurely. I get that these individuals are all super-spies and whatnot, however with out exhibiting them really put in the effort to find each other it continually feels as in the event that they’re simply strolling as much as each other on the avenue. (Which, in the earlier episode, they really did.)


Walker’s listening to in entrance of that tribunal or council or Senate sub-committee or no matter incorporates one other howler. As Walker storms out, the chairman calls for the return of Steve Rogers’s defend; minutes later, the Contessa confides in Walker that she is aware of he doesn’t have it anymore. This means that in all the time between when Sam and Bucky apprehended him and when he appeared at that listening to—days at a minimal, weeks and even months if we have been to go by real-world requirements for these sorts of issues—the powers-that-be allowed Walker to walk round with, they consider, the stolen property of the most iconic superhero America has ever produced, which oh by the manner can be the weapon utilized in a globally televised homicide. Did they merely stick their fingers of their ears when Walker when he advised them he didn’t have it? Did nobody ask Sam? Did he not suppose to inform anybody?

In the meantime, it continues to pressure credulity that an individual with the world-famously universe-saving observe document of Sam Wilson need to crowdsource the funds to repair up the household fishing boat from his late mother and father’ working-class pals and acquaintances, as an alternative of rolling round on a pile of endorsement cash or speaking-gig charges. I’m not shopping for that authorities safety forces detailed to the GRC are secretly part of a world-without-borders fringe group; one would think about their sympathies are extra aligned with the John Walkers of the world than the Karli Morgenthaus. Aside from a pleasant headfake through which Sam and Bucky preserve bouncing the defend from one to the different, teasing the risk that both man might wind up claiming it, there’s nothing right here that surprises.

There’s one episode left in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and given the manner Sam was eyeing the contents of the high-tech Wakandan briefcase Bucky delivered to him, it appears secure to imagine the Falcon—whose wings received torn off by Walker, if you happen to’re in the symbolism market—is about to don the stars and stripes himself. I’d guess some kind of reckoning with Sharon is in the offing, in addition to a battle with Karli and the Flag-Smashers that may paint them as well-intentioned however dangerously misguided and militant the manner the complete remainder of the season has executed. Walker, by the manner, continues to be strolling round free, mendacity to the mother and father of his slain pal Lamar that he’s already killed their son’s killer. He’s received a grudge towards Karli and a possible backer in the Contessa, and if we all know something about this present, it’s that individuals can present up wherever at a second’s discover, so I wouldn’t rely him out of the ultimate battle simply but both.

All advised, it’s an entire lot of labor simply to get Sam to the place the place the films left him. I get that the present is meant to be a meditation on the thought of Captain America in gentle of the fictional peril of felony superhumans (whether or not in the type of Karli or the pre-cure Winter Soldier) on the one hand and the real-life subject of anti-Black racism on the different. However a present like this was all the time going to reply these questions just by pointing at the heroes and declaring theirs the appropriate path. The sport isn’t price the candle. Oh hey, look over there, it’s Elaine from Seinfeld!


Sean T. Collins (@theseantcollins) writes about TV for Rolling Stone, Vulture, The New York Instances, and anyplace that will have him, actually. He and his household reside on Lengthy Island.

Watch The Falcon And The Winter Soldier Episode 5 (“Truth”) on Disney+

Share this article