Personally, this episode was the weakest. Not to say that it wasn’t good, but right before the final episode this week slowed it right down. This episode is oddly placed in the series. (Warning: spoilers ahead).
Before I dive into some more critiques, let me talk about Walker. For me, he is the most interesting character on the show. In this episode, I felt sorry for him. That’s not to ignore the fact he made bad choices, he did, but because how the government later treated him. They dropped him like a stone. Not only stripping him of Captain America, but his other military titles. Now thats just harsh.
But this is not the first time the US government has dropped a Captain America. While the treatment of John Walker and Isaiah Bradley, is incomparable, it only serves as a reminder that this is not the first time the Captain has been done dirty. Bradley’s scene was powerful, even if it got slightly too overt towards the end. It showed that the government will simply drop anyone they do not deem as even having the slightest use to them. Isaiah has suffered greatly at the hands of the government, and none of it was right. I’m glad Sam went back to talk to him, to see what the shield meant to Isaiah.
For me, the boat repairing scene slowed the pace of the episode down too far. While in some ways it was needed to build Sam and Bucky’s relationship, this should have been done perhaps in its own separate episode, just like the development of episode one. Sam could have been more conflicted about the shield as well, as it appears he has gone back on his idea of destroying it and is now happy to use it.
The set up for the last episode, Patchwork legislation vote, should have been framed as the driving force from the start of the series. Especially, for the Flag Smashers, which would have only added to their excellent ideological motivation already. The Patchwork legislation vote was the material goal the Flag Smashers were missing in earlier episodes.
The hyped-up cameo was a slight miss, however that isn’t Marvel’s fault. The cameo was Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine aka Madame HYDRA. Louis-Dreyfus’ character was meant to appear first in Black Widow, which was originally supposed to come out before Falcon and Winter Soldier but due to the COVID-19 pandemic Black Widow has since been delayed. However, in terms of what this means, HYDRA is still active and looking to recruit Walker. That would be super interesting, and I am looking forward to how that develops.
Overall, while the slower pace worked for episode one for the series, it didn’t work for this episode quite as well. However, now that some stakes have been firmly set, the show looks poised to have an action packed but hopefully thought- provoking last episode.
By Kieran Burt
Featured image: Disney