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S01.E02: The Star-Spangled Man

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I don't really know enough about the background to be amazed by the appearance of Isaiah Bradley or know that someone related to him will be a Young Avenger, but I am interested enough in the MCU premise as a whole that I am still entertained.  

But I ask the stupid questions, like:

Why doesn't Bucky have any furniture?  Does he sleep on the floor?  What if his date last week went really well, I guess they'd go back to her place, not his?

How do they always get where they're going so fast?  What city are they in, anyway?

Did the therapist come to Baltimore?  Did Bucky get transferred to NYC after his arrest and Sam followed?  What city are they in, anyway?

"Let's go visit Zemo."  Am I supposed to know who Zemo is already?  Was he in a past MCU movie and I missed it?  (This is rhetorical, I know he's from the comic books, but this is the kind of stuff I ask myself while I watch.)  

Amy Aquino, the actress who plays Dr. Raynor, is recognizable from a bunch of things - Bosch, ER, and Picket Fences, just to name a few.

Edited by FnkyChkn34 · Reason: fixed typo

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1 hour ago, Dandesun said:

Steve wasn't a good soldier. He was a good man. That was the whole fucking point.

Isn't that just like our leaders, though? Any leaders, just to miss the whole fucking point? Steve Rogers wasn't a hero because he took the serum and had muscles. He was a hero both before and after the serum, before and after he put the uniform on. Whoever chose this Fake Cap took everything that Steve Rogers looked like on the surface and completely missed the point. Bucky constantly giving Fake Cap the side-eye of death was perfect.

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11 hours ago, paigow said:

Walker is not a dancing monkey...but is a douchebag

I understood this reference.

3 hours ago, Cobalt Stargazer said:

I think that's it, he doesn't want to kill anyone, even by accident. He told Isaiah "I'm not a killer anymore" and asked Dr. Raynor (Rainer?) what the second rule was. "Not to hurt anyone." Plus they didn't even know the Flag Smashers were enhanced until it was too late. Bucky thought Karli was a hostage when she first emerged from between the crates, and then she smiled at him and pitched him halfway out of the truck and onto the road. "That little girl just kicked your ass!" Heh.

Adding to this, Bucky went the route of rescuing the hostage instead of taking down the trucks. With that speed? He could have caused a crash with the two trucks. Instead, he went the route of rescue. 

2 hours ago, calliope1975 said:

I was, too! It was such a great scene and then to think that Steve has a freaking Smithsonian exhibit and Isaiah was used, abused, and thrown away. Infuriating. And all too accurate and realistic. 

I wonder if at the end of the show, Isaiah will be includes in the Smithsonian exhibit bc Sam knows of his existence. If Sam ends up with the mantel, I think he’ll try to right that wrong. I almost thought he was going to go back to the house after Bucky got arrested.

Overall, I love Bucky and Sam together. Six episodes is not going to be enough. Do you think Bucky has a closet of leather jackets with one or two sleeves? He ripped off his sleeve but later saw him with a coat with two sleeves. Man’s got coats 😂

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Btw, just remember the context of Walker saying that "he doesn't have gadgets, but he has guts"...we are in a post Endgame world. Tony f... DIED for the universe less than a year ago. And he DARES to imply that he has more guts than him? Is he for real????????

 

Bucky most likely doesn't have any furniture because he is still punishing himself. I suspect in his mind he doesn't deserve this kind of luxury.

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4 hours ago, Dandesun said:

So they dressed him up in tights and sent him on the road to sell war bonds... because he looked the part.

The Senator saved Steve from the fate that befell Isaiah... 

2 hours ago, SnoGirl said:

Adding to this, Bucky went the route of rescuing the hostage instead of taking down the trucks. With that speed? He could have caused a crash with the two trucks. Instead, he went the route of rescue. 

Also, Bucky had no idea what the trucks were carrying.... so crashing them might have released radiation / nerve gas etc...

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3 hours ago, swanpride said:

I am pretty sure he will become more and more of an a-hole when the story continues. You don't give guys like this power and adoration without expecting them to snap eventually. This episode, he wanted something from Sam and Bucky and acted accordingly. Now that their thoroughly rejected him, gloves will most likely come off.

Walker reminds me of a quote I've heard from a historian talking about LBJ that I really like:

Quote

"I'm fascinated by Johnson. If you don't like me you say I'm obsessed," Caro says. "We're taught Lord Acton's axiom: all power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. I believed that when I started these books, but I don't believe it's always true any more. Power doesn't always corrupt. Power can cleanse. What I believe is always true about power is that power always reveals. When you have enough power to do what you always wanted to do, then you see what the guy always wanted to do."

It will be interesting to see what the power given to Walker reveals about him.

I'm also starting to think the Flag Smashers are a red herring as the villain. So far I don't think they've killed anyone. And they may have been willing to kill in the fight scene in this episode, but you could make the argument that it was in self-defense.

Finally, I know this show was supposed to come out first, but I'm really glad that Wandavision aired first. All of the reviews for this show would have been about how it was just the TV version of an MCU movie if Wandavision hadn't shown that Marvel was willing to do different things before it aired. (And is their an agreed upon acronym for The Falcon and The Winter Soldier yet? Great title, but a pain to type out multiple times).

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47 minutes ago, swanpride said:

Yeah, Steve did the tour, but remember, that's not when he became Captain America, not really. He became Captain America when he rescued Bucky and all the other soldiers. And after that he refused to do the tour. And Bucky and Falcon might have been technically his wingmen, but Steve would have never used that word this way, and they were always first and foremost his friend, in Bucky's case long before he followed him into battle. This guy doesn't even CARE about getting to know the two, he wants their support, but he doesn't really care about them. Hence he was cancelling Bucky's therapy, because it was convenient for HIM, not one thought about the question if Bucky maybe needs this (and we all know that he does).

That is the thing with Walker, he does on the surface all the right things - having doubts, acting all humble on camera abut his service record and his level of intelligence, but nothing about it comes off as sincere. Just imagine Steve in the same situation. Even if someone convinced him to participate in an event like this, he would have used the opportunity to talk about his great comrades who stood beside him during his heroic deeds. He wouldn't have followed up the observation that other people are way smarter than him with "but I am better than them because I do X". He would have never called himself the best friend of a man he never met. He wouldn't even asked Bucky and Sam to be his anything, he would have most likely apologized to them and had cared about what they feel about that matter (hell, he would have most likely never taken the shield without talking to Sam first).

Hence Walker completely missing the point of jumping on a grenade. Bucky was referring to Steve's readiness for self-sacrifice. But I doubt that this guy has any idea what sacrifice even is. He didn't serve because he cared about people, he served because in his mind, it made him a better person. Steve did it because he didn't want to do anything less than others.

And hypothetically, Walker could develop a chance to become Captain America, or at least his version of him, in actual adventures starting in this episode. We are biased because precious few are worthy to be Captain America, and we presumably know that if Falcon and Bucky have doubts over whether they can measure up, Walker should have doubts too. And at least as they portray him in this episode, he genuinely has some.

I dunno if Cap refused to continue on with the tour or if it was more that he managed to show the powers that be that he had more value actually fighting Hydra in real life than fighting screen villains.

Cancelling Bucky's therapy because it was convenient for him is a fair way to read the action. An equally fair way is that he reasonably thought Bucky didn't really need or want the therapy and so it would be doing Bucky a favor, and the country a favor by not having Bucky sidelined.

I don't think Walker was saying he was better than anybody. Now again, all his humility may be fake and calculated. But I don't think that is a given, and again, I point to the fact that he needed to be psyched up in the locker room as evidence that he's not simply an egomaniac.

Maybe I missed it, but I didn't hear Walker say he was best friends with anyone. 

39 minutes ago, FnkyChkn34 said:

I don't really  know enough about the background to be amazed by the appearance of Isaiah Bradley or know that someone related to him will be a Young Avenger, but I am interested enough the MCU premise as a whole that I am still entertained.  

But I ask the stupid questions, like:

Why doesn't Bucky have any furniture?  Does he sleep on the floor?  What if his date last week went really well, I guess they'd go back to her place, not his?

How do they always get where they're going so fast?  What city are they in, anyway?

Did the therapist come to Baltimore?  Did Bucky get transferred to NYC after his arrest and Sam followed?  What city are they in, anyway?

"Let's go visit Zemo."  Am I supposed to know who Zemo is already?  Was he in a past MCU movie and I missed it?  (This is rhetorical, I know he's from the comic books, but this is the kind of stuff I ask myself while I watch.)  

No questions are stupid. Some are easier than others.

Zemo was introduced as a villain in Captain America 3: Civil War. The short version: Zemo was a special forces person from an Eastern European country called Sokovia. He lost his family when Ultron tried to use the country in his plot for world domination, and so Zemo developed a grudge against the Avengers. He somehow knew about Bucky's past as the Winter Soldier including the fact that Bucky killed Tony Stark's parents and exploited that to frame Bucky and manipulate Bucky's programming to create a situation where the Avengers would implode. Although he ends up captured, his plot worked.  So for Bucky to want to confront the man who manipulated him is a Big Deal.

I assume that Bucky and Sam were still in Baltimore when they were in the station, although they could have been extradited to some other jurisdiction. I don't know if the show has established exactly where they reside now, whcih might matter for where the warrant was issued and where Bucky would be taken back from. 

Edited by Chicago Redshirt
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2 minutes ago, Chicago Redshirt said:

 

Zemo was introduced as a villain in Captain America 3: Civil War. The short version: Zemo was a special forces person from an Eastern European country called Slovokia. He lost his family when Ultron tried to use the country in his plot for world domination, and so Zemo developed a grudge against the Avengers. He somehow knew about Bucky's past as the Winter Soldier including the fact that Bucky killed Tony Stark's parents and exploited that to frame Bucky and manipulate Bucky's programming to create a situation where the Avengers would implode. Although he ends up captured, his plot worked.  So for Bucky to want to confront the man who manipulated him is a Big Deal.

 

Sokovia is the country. Which is incidentally also where Wanda (and Pietro) is from.

Zemo being able to uncover all of that information was a little far fetched in Civil War but I actually do like how they used that to re-introduce him here. Zemo unearthed a lot of secrets. Bucky and Sam are dealing with a threat that people don't know anything about. How Zemo might know anything from a jail cell is a question worth asking but... dammit... the music, the chessboard, the gravitas, they certainly set him up to be the guy to get the answers.

Also agree that Bucky being remotely willing to face that guy again is a huge deal. And we don't have Steve around to pull his helicopters out of the sky this time in case things go wonky. I suppose we'll see just how good Shuri's abilities to rewire Bucky's brain actually are.

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2 minutes ago, Dandesun said:

Sokovia is the country. Which is incidentally also where Wanda (and Pietro) is from.

Zemo being able to uncover all of that information was a little far fetched in Civil War but I actually do like how they used that to re-introduce him here. Zemo unearthed a lot of secrets. Bucky and Sam are dealing with a threat that people don't know anything about. How Zemo might know anything from a jail cell is a question worth asking but... dammit... the music, the chessboard, the gravitas, they certainly set him up to be the guy to get the answers.

Also agree that Bucky being remotely willing to face that guy again is a huge deal. And we don't have Steve around to pull his helicopters out of the sky this time in case things go wonky. I suppose we'll see just how good Shuri's abilities to rewire Bucky's brain actually are.

Whoops, got my fictional country confused with real world. Fixed in the original post.

Anyway, I think Zemo does not get enough credit fo rA) succeeding in his objective and B) living to see another day. Thanos is about the only one who achieves the former besides Zemo, and most Marvel villains end up dead. 

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Just now, Chicago Redshirt said:

Whoops, got my fictional country confused with real world. Fixed in the original post.

Anyway, I think Zemo does not get enough credit fo rA) succeeding in his objective and B) living to see another day. Thanos is about the only one who achieves the former besides Zemo, and most Marvel villains end up dead. 

Be fair. He actually tried to kill himself in Civil War. He had a very 'I've made the Avengers destroy themselves and now my work is done. I can now return to my family in the great beyond' mood about him. The only reason he lived to see another day is that T'Challa stopped him from killing himself.

He gets credit for succeeding in his objective but none for living. He didn't want to do that.

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13 minutes ago, Dandesun said:

Be fair. He actually tried to kill himself in Civil War. He had a very 'I've made the Avengers destroy themselves and now my work is done. I can now return to my family in the great beyond' mood about him. The only reason he lived to see another day is that T'Challa stopped him from killing himself.

He gets credit for succeeding in his objective but none for living. He didn't want to do that.

Trying to go out on his own terms but failing strikes me as different from trying to live but failing like most Marvel villains have. 

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41 minutes ago, Chicago Redshirt said:

No questions are stupid. Some are easier than others.

Zemo was introduced as a villain in Captain America 3: Civil War. The short version: Zemo was a special forces person from an Eastern European country called Sokovia. He lost his family when Ultron tried to use the country in his plot for world domination, and so Zemo developed a grudge against the Avengers. He somehow knew about Bucky's past as the Winter Soldier including the fact that Bucky killed Tony Stark's parents and exploited that to frame Bucky and manipulate Bucky's programming to create a situation where the Avengers would implode. Although he ends up captured, his plot worked.  So for Bucky to want to confront the man who manipulated him is a Big Deal.

I assume that Bucky and Sam were still in Baltimore when they were in the station, although they could have been extradited to some other jurisdiction. I don't know if the show has established exactly where they reside now, whcih might matter for where the warrant was issued and where Bucky would be taken back from. 

Oh!  He's THAT guy!  Thanks!  I just re-watched that movie not too long ago, too...

Am I mistaken, or did he go by several names in that movie?  I think that's why I never actually picked up on any of them, I just knew he was the "bad guy" (in addition to Rumlow).  Interesting that I thought they were showing he's in Berlin, rather than Wakanda.  Maybe I'm mistaken that the aerial shot was of Berlin?

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11 minutes ago, FnkyChkn34 said:

Oh!  He's THAT guy!  Thanks!  I just re-watched that movie not too long ago, too...

Am I mistaken, or did he go by several names in that movie?  I think that's why I never actually picked up on any of them, I just knew he was the "bad guy" (in addition to Rumlow).  Interesting that I thought they were showing he's in Berlin, rather than Wakanda.  Maybe I'm mistaken that the aerial shot was of Berlin?

Zemo murdered T'Chaka in Germany, IIRC.  You generally do the time for your crime in the jurisdiction in which you commit it.

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2 minutes ago, johntfs said:

Zemo murdered T'Chaka in Germany, IIRC.  You generally do the time for your crime in the jurisdiction in which you commit it.

They were in Vienna to sign the accords, I think.  

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1 hour ago, FnkyChkn34 said:

Oh!  He's THAT guy!  Thanks!  I just re-watched that movie not too long ago, too...

Am I mistaken, or did he go by several names in that movie?  I think that's why I never actually picked up on any of them, I just knew he was the "bad guy" (in addition to Rumlow).  Interesting that I thought they were showing he's in Berlin, rather than Wakanda.  Maybe I'm mistaken that the aerial shot was of Berlin?

In Civil War, Zemo stole the identity of a psychiatrist and (I think) a couple of others in doing his dirt. 

I took the last shot to be that he was in Berlin too, which indeed was where the airport fight among the good guys was. IIRC, we did have a shot of him in prison, which I thought to be the Raft. I don't know if it has ever been firmly established where the Raft is other than it is underwater. 

1 hour ago, FnkyChkn34 said:

They were in Vienna to sign the accords, I think.  

The accords signing was indeed in Vienna, but Zemo committed so many crimes that the prosecuting attorneys could probably have chosen a whole lot of venues to have the trial. Which of course assumes the quaint notion that he got a trial in the first place. I would imagine whatever authority is behind his imprisonment can make up whatever rules it wants to. 

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10 hours ago, Ailianna said:

I thought the grenade question and answer were particularly illuminating. Bucky asked if Walker ever there himself in a grenade--really meaning, did you ever put your life and flesh in a situation where you would lose them to save others? Walker answered that he's done it four times--then adds, though it was cut off a bit, that he used some special helmet to do so. Meaning the actual answer to the actual question is no.

In the interview, we find out that he has received the Medal of Honor three times. That's the highest recognition a member of the US military can receive. It's commonly awarded posthumously. Walker may be an entitled asshole, but his military career is legit hero stuff.

Like others, I'm puzzled Walker's portrayal. It felt like they started out trying to show him as a sympathetic character, but they burned through that pretty quickly. The "sidekick" line must have really pissed off Bucky and Sam. Not only did Steve not consider them to be sidekicks, they were his friends. And they were friendships that had nothing to do with being a super hero.

Isiah Bradley is interesting not just for his super soldier history, but also for the fact that his experience echoes those of many African Americans returning from the war(s). They returned to a country just as racist as the one they left. Their service did nothing to protect them from lynching's, Jim Crow laws, being excluded from post war veteran's benefits etc.

I'm far more petty than Sam or Bucky because I would have dropped the A(vengers) card right on Walker's head. "Bucky, remember that time we fought Thanos and his minions? What about you Walker?"

7 hours ago, swanpride said:

Regarding the Football stadium: I really appreciate them picking up The Star Spangled Man again, and how they distorted it to ensure that it feels wrong from the get go.

It's an arrangement that feels true to what a band from a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) would play. It fit the performers. 

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3 minutes ago, Chicago Redshirt said:

The accords signing was indeed in Vienna, but Zemo committed so many crimes that the prosecuting attorneys could probably have chosen a whole lot of venues to have the trial. Which of course assumes the quaint notion that he got a trial in the first place. I would imagine whatever authority is behind his imprisonment can make up whatever rules it wants to. 

My most common question comes up in nearly every movie/show...  What city are they in, anyway?  😉 

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So we get to meet Cosplay Cap, and while they did a good job at humanizing him and showing that he does seem to want to do good and seems to be well meaning, he is exactly the opposite of the kind of person Dr. Erskine wanted to give the serum to. He seems like the kind of guy who has always been the best, who has always had everything come easy to him, who really wants the glory and attention of being Captain America. He has this smug way about him, like someone who has never struggled a day in his life and just knows that he deserves this, despite the fact that this was all handed to him because he looks good on TV and while he never went full asshole, he did all of these little things that really rubbed me the wrong way. Cancelling Bucky's therapy appointment and calling him "an asset" or the way he called Sam Steve's wingman, the way he danced around the reporters questions about if he ever knew Steve, he just seems to be loving the attention in a way that Steve never did. Steve knew what struggling was like, he never took what he could do as Captain American for granted, and while this Cap might be a good soldier, that was never why Steve was Captain America. He was a good man first and foremost, and that's why he was Captain America. Not for the cheers and the interviews, but because he wanted to help people and stand up for anyone who was being pushed around. Walker isn't a bad guy yet, and he might never become one, but considering what we know about the serum and how it can take aspects of the persons personality and accelerate it, I feel like his cockiness could just grow and grow until he goes full on villain. Steve would have been cringing at his grandstanding as much as Sam and Bucky were. Or maybe Steve is cringing right now on the moon. 

This show is just getting better and better, Sam and Bucky really do have amazing chemistry and I love their odd couple dynamic. They endlessly bug each other but clearly also have each others backs and are building a lot of trust between them. They're banter went from funny (Its White Wolf actually) to serious (Bucky saying that if Steve was wrong about Sam he was wrong about him) and I am really liking seeing their friendship grow. I also love that, despite their differences, they are both united in their utter disdain for Walker and anger over the government dishonoring Steve's memory. Bucky's face when Walker was giving his big hometown hero interview said it all, he was just disgusted by this dancing monkey wearing his best friends clothes while betraying his legacy. I really feel for both Sam and Bucky in their argument about Sam not taking up the mantel, they both so badly want to guard Steve's legacy but its mixed up in so much personal baggage and grief. On a more humorous note, I loved them both walking silently down the road while Walker tried to talk to them as they very pointedly ignore him. Then Bucky just stomping off in disgust over "Battlestar" as a superhero name. 

I know that some people thought that the show would back off the racial discussions from the comics, but it looks like they are fully going there, albeit in a different way maybe, and I am glad for it. It gives Sam a strong story and there is so much to dig into about it. The most obvious parts were the sad story of Isaiah Bradley and Sam being stopped by the police for the crime of existing while being black, but I also thought his brief talk with the kid about being Falcon vs Black Falcon was really interesting. So much of this story is about the intersection between peoples identities and different ways the world sees them. Sam is a superhero who is beloved and famous the world over but also cant get a loan and is harassed by cops for being a black man. Bucky is ignored by cops as a white guy but has also spent a century having absolutely no rights or autonomy and almost started a war by just existing. Just a lot to get into and I am glad that the show is going there with Sam as a black superhero, and what both of those aspects of his life mean to him. He is both black and the Falcon, not one or the other. 

I am so glad they included Isaiah Bradley, what a sad terrible story. No wonder he is so bitter, he served his country and was then used abused and thrown away. We are also getting closer and closer to the Young Adventures and I am here for it. I don't blame Bucky for never telling Steve about him, it would have broken his heart knowing what people used the super serum for. 

The Flag Smashers have rather troubling attitudes towards people that came back after The Snap and are obviously operating far from legality, but they don't seem to be without sympathy and their ideals don't seem to be all bad, I wonder if they could be red herrings for the real big bad, this Powerbroker who they are all running from. Who is actually...

Spoiler

MEPHISTO! Look, I`m just going to keep guessing every bad guy is Mephisto until I'm right. If you bet on green, you win eventually right? 

I know that Marvel wanted to air this show first and I get why, it very much feels like a follow up to Endgame, but I am glad that WandaVision went first. WandaVision showed that Marvel is more willing to take risks and experiment with style and tone, while this shows that Marvel is interested in dealing with tough topics in a direct way. 

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Zemo was responsible for the bomb in Vienna (which is NOT in Germany), but he also killed a lot of people in Germany (from the psychiatrist who was supposed to talk to Bucky to whoever was in his way in the SHIELD facility). It is therefore not completely unrealistic that he is imprisoned in Germany, especially considering that he is not enhanced and therefore not a candidate for the raft.

All this said, this doesn't really look like a German prison. Unless they are trying to suggest that in the MCU, the German government reactivated the RAF block in Stammheim just for Zemo.

Quote

We are biased because precious few are worthy to be Captain America, and we presumably know that if Falcon and Bucky have doubts over whether they can measure up, Walker should have doubts too. And at least as they portray him in this episode, he genuinely has some.

Naturally we are. But, well, this is not Jeffrey Mace, who was initially widely resented too mostly because the Characters in AoS resented him. But he was actually always pretty fair even if his "A team that trusts is a team that triumphs" slogan was pretty douchy.

Walker is different. I mean, Mace was always slightly off and even at his best he didn't quite compare to Steve, but with him you believed that he meant well. Walker on the other hand...he is just so condescending. Just take his little interview, no matter how humble he pretended to be, he basically said that she had more guts than someone who just died in the most heroic fashion possible, while dismissing his achievements in development as "gadgets".

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2 hours ago, Minneapple said:

Steve Rogers wasn't a hero because he took the serum and had muscles. He was a hero both before and after the serum, before and after he put the uniform on. Whoever chose this Fake Cap took everything that Steve Rogers looked like on the surface and completely missed the point. 

 

21 minutes ago, tennisgurl said:

Steve knew what struggling was like, he never took what he could do as Captain American for granted, and while this Cap might be a good soldier, that was never why Steve was Captain America. He was a good man first and foremost, and that's why he was Captain America. Not for the cheers and the interviews, but because he wanted to help people and stand up for anyone who was being pushed around. Walker isn't a bad guy yet, and he might never become one, but considering what we know about the serum and how it can take aspects of the persons personality and accelerate it, I feel like his cockiness could just grow and grow until he goes full on villain. Steve would have been cringing at his grandstanding as much as Sam and Bucky were. Or maybe Steve is cringing right now on the moon. 

Agreed on the differences between Steve and John Walker. The serum just enhanced the "good guy" quality Steve always had...and would still have had even without the serum.

I think one of the reasons why Steve/Peggy are my OTP is because the Steve that Peggy loves is the "good guy" pre/serum and pre-Captain America.  That's why in the Agent Carter series and in Avengers: Endgame, the photo of Steve Peggy chooses to keep is pre-serum Steve. She got to know and interact with him pre-serum and that's when she began to fall for him (imho). And then, she further interacted with him post-serum and that's when she truly fell for him because it just cemented her feelings even more. 

 

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14 minutes ago, swanpride said:

Walker is different. I mean, Mace was always slightly off and even at his best he didn't quite compare to Steve, but with him you believed that he meant well. Walker on the other hand...he is just so condescending. Just take his little interview, no matter how humble he pretended to be, he basically said that she had more guts than someone who just died in the most heroic fashion possible, while dismissing his achievements in development as "gadgets".

And that person who died in the most heroic fashion ever spent a lot of his life as a spoiled, entitled brat who happened to call Steve nothing but a lab experiment.  It's still possible Walker doesn't come out of this as a complete disgrace - getting the Medal of Honor three times means he's the ultimate glory hound or that there are some redeeming qualities alongside the crappy ones.

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I'm much more interested in the Flag Smashers than the main protagonists.  My guess is they'll turn out to be actual Robin Hoods, stealing from the Power Broker (?) and giving to the refugees, and our good guys will have to team up with them at some point.  

The moving trucks fight made no sense to me.  Bucky jumped onto the lead truck, opened the back, and had a good look around inside, and the trailing truck had NO REACTION.  Did the driver of the second truck not see anything?  

Also, Walker and his buddy should be dead.  Neither is a super soldier, so falling off a truck moving that fast would have killed them both.  Certainly Walker wouldn't have been able to walk it off.

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Yes, which is why Tony was Ironman and didn't wave a shield around. Not even when Steve gave it up. Tony's insult towards Steve were always born out of a feeling of not measuring up to him. Weather he was right about it or not, he only ever took credit for things he actually did (for the better or the worse), not trying to get glory by proxy.

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I didn't realize Isaiah was Carl Lumbly when I saw the scene! I saw him on recent episodes of SUPERGIRL and he still sounded the way he did on Alias and as the voice of Martian Manhunter on the Justice League cartoon. He really got his voice to sound really elderly. That and the makeup I didn't recognize him.

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1 hour ago, xaxat said:

Like others, I'm puzzled Walker's portrayal. It felt like they started out trying to show him as a sympathetic character, but they burned through that pretty quickly. The "sidekick" line must have really pissed off Bucky and Sam. Not only did Steve not consider them to be sidekicks, they were his friends. And they were friendships that had nothing to do with being a superhero.

 

I think they're showing us a guy who ticks all the boxes - strong, brave, handsome, magnanimous, a natural leader - but he just lacks that essential essence that made Steve who he is.

Walker has been all those things because it was expected of him. That's who he is, and who he's been his whole life. A natural. He's never had to overcome adversity like Steve, never had to really look inside himself and ask "who am I?" and find the moral fibre to stand up straight regardless of what he faces.

It's the difference between Steve Rogers representing the very best that America can aspire to be and John Walker protecting the interests of America as it is.

For instance, Steve would immediately identify with the Flag Smashers and see their desire for a global community as noble, even if their methods are wrong, but Walker will see them as a threat to America that has to be dealt with.

 

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Redwing! 😞  

Steve leaving really fucked Bucky up, and I'm glad the show is pointing it out. (I will take any chance to mention my hate of Endgame Steve.)

I'm interested to see if the show wants me to care about the Flag Smashers' cause. I can get behind them wanting to help the people who were left behind during the Snap if they're being "ignored" now, but it sounds like they want to do that at the expense of everyone else. No joy there for me.

Damn Zemo's intro was dramatic (Mozart's Requiem? 😄 ), but not much more so than Kari's directing style, which it turns out I am enjoying, even if it's noticeable in the moment.

Isaiah's scenes were a gut punch. I need there to be more for him in this show, not just to be another example of how the US government and white supremacy have caused so much harm.

I actually like John Walker so far. He seems to be a great soldier and a good man, but he is not Captain America and at this point does not have what it takes to be Captain America. Him being given the role will change him, but the ways he'll be changed are many and varied depending on circumstance, and there are already hints it may not be for the better. I'm interested to see how his story goes in the show. (Oh, and the Captain America suit is ugly. I mean, honestly - ugh.)

I have a mighty need for the blooper reel from the couples therapy scene.

Give me Sharon, damn it.

3 hours ago, swanpride said:

Btw, just remember the context of Walker saying that "he doesn't have gadgets, but he has guts"...we are in a post Endgame world. Tony f... DIED for the universe less than a year ago. And he DARES to imply that he has more guts than him? Is he for real????????

...What? Walker wasn't comparing himself to Tony, he was just explaining why (he thought) he was worthy to be Captain America when he didn't have any internal or external enhancements of his own.

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5 hours ago, swanpride said:

All this said, this doesn't really look like a German prison. Unless they are trying to suggest that in the MCU, the German government reactivated the RAF block in Stammheim just for Zemo.

The writing in the prison was in German though, so it's probably somewhere in Central Europe at least.

4 hours ago, mac123x said:

The moving trucks fight made no sense to me.  Bucky jumped onto the lead truck, opened the back, and had a good look around inside, and the trailing truck had NO REACTION.  Did the driver of the second truck not see anything? 

Yeah, this kept taking me out of the fight a bit too, even though I liked it in general. Also - who drives along a highway, sees a guy being thrown off a moving truck in front of them and, instead of slamming on the breaks, goes "Nope, just gonna keep on driving behind that truck people are still fighting on"?

Besides, it kind of stretches credibility that the Flag Smashers managed to comfortably escape in two huge trucks after all that, especially since nuCap arrived in a helicopter that could have easily followed them (or at least kept tabs on them until further help arrived).

I'm really confused the Blip period now - in Endgame it was presented as some kind of miserable hellscape period, but apparently enough people enjoyed it for the Flags Smashers to want to bring it back (and have significant support in that). Also, I'm really curious how the main group got their powers - wether this was some sort of government experiment situation or whether they were a "normal" group initially that merely stumpled upon some supersoldier-me-up juice and used it to give themselves an edge (maybe that's what was in the freezer units in the truck)?

Also, I'd really like to know what Flag Smasher leading lady meant when she said "after tomorrow there's no going back", considering that we've seen at least one day pass in the time since then.

I can't decide whether the fact that the therapist is apparently at nuCap's beck and call will come back in any relevant way in the future. And it's even more muddy now in how far Sam works for the government - presumably, if that stakeout near Munich was an official mission, it wouldn't have been surprising for another military agent to know about it? And they did fly there in a government plane, after all (which takes what, eight hours from the East Coast? I hope Sam and Bucky didn't spend the entire time mutely staring at each other, lol). Alternatively, if it was a secret mission, "hacking" Redwing to get at info about it would have been illegal whether Redwing is government property or not.

(Which reminds me - were we given a reason for why exactly nuCap felt he had to follow Sam at exactly that point in time, or are we supposed to think that was just weirdly fortuitous timing (especially since Bucky happened to be there as well) and he was truly just on a mission to recruit him to "Team nuCap"?)

Edited by silverstream · Reason: Pretty sure I talked myself into being suspicious of nuCap, lol
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Boy, do I like this show. Two episodes in, and I'm already thinking that a six-episode season is not going to be enough.

I'm glad Sam and Bucky are sharing the screen, not only for the humor but for the hard won emotions they pull out of each other. I found Sam kind of grating in the first episode--I was on team sister--but seeing his unstoppable force run up against Bucky's immovable object energized everything. I could get a better sense of Sam's strategic mind, warmth, and anger tucked under a smile, as well as Bucky's vulnerability, swamped by feelings of unworthiness and loneliness. And I'm not familiar with all Sebastian Stan's work, but he is a spectacular straight man.

Isaiah Bradley's story was compelling. From that 5 minute scene I now want to know everything about him from his origin to today. And this is a small thing, but I loved the set dressing and the locations for the Baltimore scenes--they grounded the show in a way that was really effective. I really hope that Isaiah shows up again.

The villains aren't really grabbing me yet. Captain America the Lesser is probably the most interesting of the lot. I appreciate that they didn't go the full evil route and instead made him an entitled asshole. He comes across as someone who hasn't had empathy and humility beaten into him by life, and being Captain America is a job for him rather than a mission. The Flagsmashers are just confusing. They seem to want one world and how things were during the snap, but what does that mean exactly? And they're super-soldiers?  And Hydra might be involved? Maybe? The woman who plays Karli is great--she has real authority and you can see the character choose to play innocent--but I'd like to find out what she wants soon.

Also, I don't like the ending song--it reminds me of the Law and Order theme. But that's a small thing. I can't wait for next week.

Edited by thegirlsleuth · Reason: typo
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25 minutes ago, silverstream said:

The writing in the prison was in German though, so it's probably somewhere in Central Europe at least.

The shot of the roundabout with the Victory Column, is the Tiergarten, in the centre of Berlin. So that's where Zemo is apparently supposed to be. 

Quote

I'm really confused the Blip period now - in Endgame it was presented as some kind of miserable hellscape period, but apparently enough people enjoyed it for the Flags Smashers to want to bring it back (and have significant support in that). Also, I'm really curious how the main group got their powers - wether this was some sort of government experiment situation or whether they were a "normal" initially that merely stumpled upon some supersolder-me-up juice and used it to give themselves an edge (maybe that's what was in the freezer units in the truck)?

I think it makes sense that there would be a demographic that really benefited from the Blip - young people who have been aching to own their own houses, to be financially secure and have high paying jobs but have been thwarted by the realities of the free market and unregulated capitalism.

Previously we just saw the Blip from the point of view of those who lost a lot, but now we're getting to see it from the point of view of those who had a lot to gain, and have now suddenly had it ripped away by everyone returning.

For these guys, it's like Occupy Wallstreet succeeded, like all these avenues opened up and global society realigned to deal with the new reality, only for it all to revert back to the neoliberal norm after five years. I can see how that would be infuriating and drive people to insurrection.

Edited by Danny Franks
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I didn't realize that Isiash Bradley would be appearing.  They did a great job of working his backstory into this series, altered to fit into the MCU's continuity.  I also didn't realize it was Carl Lumbley.  I've been a fan of him since Alias so I'm not surprised he absolutely nailed that scene.  I'd definitely like to see a flashback of Isiash's confrontation with Bucky in Korea.

Another good episode.  I don't think the show has completely taken off yet but it's getting there.  I like how Walker is portrayed.  Likeable but you can see the problems with him showing with the way he goes about thinks.  While I enjoy the Sam and Bucky dynamic, I particularly enjoyed their interaction with Walker and Battlestar.  

 

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1 hour ago, mac123x said:

I'm much more interested in the Flag Smashers than the main protagonists.  My guess is they'll turn out to be actual Robin Hoods, stealing from the Power Broker (?) and giving to the refugees, and our good guys will have to team up with them at some point.  

I doubt it. The most telling line from the flag smashers wasn’t their one world slogan but the complaining about the people who returned. There was a bitterness there that makes it unlikely they will be seen as right in any way. 

 

1 hour ago, mac123x said:

The moving trucks fight made no sense to me.  Bucky jumped onto the lead truck, opened the back, and had a good look around inside, and the trailing truck had NO REACTION.  Did the driver of the second truck not see anything?  

I assumed it was a setup. Otherwise there is no reason for their leader to be hanging out in one of trucks. 

59 minutes ago, Abra said:

What? Walker wasn't comparing himself to Tony, he was just explaining why (he thought) he was worthy to be Captain America when he didn't have any internal or external enhancements of his own.

He is comparing himself to Tony. He specifically says he doesn’t have the flashiest gadgets (like Tony) but that he has guts. It reminded me a lot of Tony and Steve’s fight in Avengers. Steve thought Tony wasn’t the guy to make the sacrifice play and was almost immediately proven wrong. Walker appears more like Steve on the surface but he doesn’t appear to be the guy who will make the sacrifice play. 

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2 minutes ago, Dani said:

He is comparing himself to Tony. He specifically says he doesn’t have the flashiest gadgets (like Tony) but that he has guts. It reminded me a lot of Tony and Steve’s fight in Avengers. Steve thought Tony wasn’t the guy to make the sacrifice play and was almost immediately proven wrong. Walker appears more like Steve on the surface but he doesn’t appear to be the guy who will make the sacrifice play. 

Given Tony's history of heroics, capped off with sacrificing his life to save the universe, the comment came off as ham-handed and highly self-indulgent. It's bad enough that he thinks he has the right to step into Steve's persona because the government decided that he satisfied their checklist of virtues and gifted him with the shield. Right now, Walker is getting all the accolades for doing jack all to earn them,. But he feels that he can belittle those who used either their access to technology or their own intelligence to become heroes. 

And Walker's assumption that Sam and Bucky were Steve's sidekicks and would happily fall into line behind him just because he's wearing a Captain America Halloween costume really shows how off the mark he is. Steve deeply respected both of them and they were his peers, not his underlings. No wonder Bucky rolled his eyes at "Battlestar" because if Steven had suggested that Bucky play such a role for even a second, Bucky would have decked him. With the left arm.

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14 hours ago, TiffanyNichelle said:

I freaking love that they are bringing in Isaiah Bradley. Does that mean maybe an Eli Bradley appearance as well to set up Young Avengers. Also does anyone think they had his wartime appearance be in the Korean War to say he got his serum after Steve instead of before Steve like in the comics? That feels a little like a cop out that way. 

 

10 hours ago, Chicago Redshirt said:

I was operating under the assumption that the kid who answered the door might be Eli.

The cast credits at the end of the episode listed one character as Eli Bradley.

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6 minutes ago, Fiftyninth said:

The cast credits at the end of the episode listed one character as Eli Bradley.

I'm not a fan of Eli Bradley in the comics. I feel like he was almost always written as 'angry, young black man' in the Young Avengers comics, which was problematic but also quite tiresome because he was always snapping at Tommy or Billy, or at Kate because he had a crush on her. However, it's cool if the MCU gives us a better thought out version of him.

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The new Cap feels like a homage to Ultimate Cap: hot-headed, antagonistic, "patriotic" in the wrong sense of the word: everything 616 Cap isn't.

Oh yeah, and let's not forget this:

96189ef01320062a381d5b0793997187cf-01-br\

The whole "cop giving Sam a hard time 'coz he's black" scene was a little on-the-nose and annoying. I hope we see less of those scenes. Even though it's relatable and realistic, man, why drag that kind of racial politics into this, especially with the chaos BLM has left behind?

Edit: Okay, never mind; turns out John Walker is his own Marvel character:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Agent

Edited by MagnusHex
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25 minutes ago, Danny Franks said:

I think it makes sense that there would be a demographic that really benefited from the Blip - young people who have been aching to own their own houses, to be financially secure and have high paying jobs but have been thwarted by the realities of the free market and unregulated capitalism.

Previously we just saw the Blip from the point of view of those who lost a lot, but now we're getting to see it from the point of view of those who had a lot to gain, and have now suddenly had it ripped away by everyone returning.

For these guys, it's like Occupy Wallstreet succeeded, like all these avenues opened up and global society realigned to deal with the new reality, only for it all to revert back to the neoliberal norm after five years. I can see how that would be infuriating and drive people to insurrection.

Still, they might have gained housing (depending on how long it took for it to be ok to simply move into a single blipped person's place and take over their stuff) but they would also have lost parents/sibling/friends/employers/etc. as well. And I don't see the economy not massively tanking with both half of the work force and half of the consumer base - at random positions and levels - gone, especially since I have a hard time believing the remaining people managed to band together enough to get everything working again (or even have the will to, I'd think many people would simply give up on conventional life and/or simply loot their neighbours' houses for stuff they wanted, because after all, they're not there to need it anymore).  There wouldn't really be any free positions because the need for them would have blipped out as well.

(But then again, realistically I'd also expect a couple of huge wars and geopolitical realignments.)

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3 hours ago, mac123x said:

I'm much more interested in the Flag Smashers than the main protagonists.  My guess is they'll turn out to be actual Robin Hoods, stealing from the Power Broker (?) and giving to the refugees, and our good guys will have to team up with them at some point.  

The moving trucks fight made no sense to me.  Bucky jumped onto the lead truck, opened the back, and had a good look around inside, and the trailing truck had NO REACTION.  Did the driver of the second truck not see anything?  

Also, Walker and his buddy should be dead.  Neither is a super soldier, so falling off a truck moving that fast would have killed them both.  Certainly Walker wouldn't have been able to walk it off.

Well, neither Walker nor his buddy is a super soldier as far as the show has said...

And the trailing truck had no visible reaction.  Though I suspect that the guys driving it made a bet on just how far Karli would kick Bucky's ass.  AKA they knew she was in there and they correctly trusted her to be able to handle Bucky.

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This show is not completely clicking for me yet.  It is packed with events but they don't flow together well.  I feel like it thinks I have a very short attention span.  I feel like more time should have been spent with Bradley, or with the main characters.

I am thus far uninterested in the opposition, and the whole intro with Walker set my teeth on edge.  I know that he is supposed to annoy me, but he is a little too good at it.  ETA: His costume with the horizontal stripes and offset star looks ridiculous and over styled.  Coulson did better.

All the time with Bucky and Sam is well spent.  They are a great antagonistic duo.  I would like to spend more time with them.

Bucky does have furniture; his make-shift bed is next to a chair.  He's more comfortable being on the ground.

Also, Bucky has more of a New York accent in this than I've previously noticed. 

Edited by MisterGlass
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Doing a rewatch and it was more obvious the trucks were a set up. Why I'm not sure. Maybe the supes could hear their loud asses in the warehouse.

I also noticed and liked how all the Baltimore neighbors came out when the police showed up. My only criticism is no one had their phone out and in reality that would have been live streamed on every social media platform with #falconwhileblack trending.

 

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Love the chemistry and the banter between Sam and Bucky, but I do wish this episode had a little bit more time to breathe. 
 

As someone who doesn’t read the comics, I wanted more Isaiah Bradley. I get the broad strokes, of course, but some of the significance gets muddled under the weight of the movies’ timelines and backstories. Sam is mad at Bucky for not telling anyone about Isaiah, which I think is emotionally understandable but doesn’t make a lot of sense to me plot wise. Bucky says he didn’t tell anyone about Isaiah because he’d been through enough. When could he have learned anything about what Isaiah had been through except recently? When could he have even told anyone about Isaiah except during/after Bucky’s Wakanda deprogramming? And at that point, why the hell weren’t the good guys looking through the SHEILD/HYDRA files for exactly this type of information? 
 

I don’t particularly care about the plot specifics and am happy to hand wave them, but a beat to deal with the emotional implications before hopping off to more action and/or buddy comedy would be welcome.  
 

Minor nitpick however, and one that very well may be addressed as the show continues. 

Edited by Gin and Tonic
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Walker is an interesting character. He has an impressive resume and I get a sense that if some other soldier had been picked to be the new cap (whether more qualified or not) he would have been pissed.

7 hours ago, Dandesun said:

I mean, that just gutted me because that goes back to everything Steve went through to save Bucky... repeatedly. "I'm not sure I'm worth all of this, Steve."

Sam and Bucky feeling like they can't live up to Steve's belief in them when all that mattered to Steve was that they just be who they are.

Excuse me while I go cry in a corner for a million years.

That end of the therapy session was really good. I could really feel Bucky having lost his faith in Steve. Especially since there whole thing was "to the end of the line" except it wasn't actually.

5 hours ago, Captain Carrot said:

Finally, I know this show was supposed to come out first, but I'm really glad that Wandavision aired first. All of the reviews for this show would have been about how it was just the TV version of an MCU movie if Wandavision hadn't shown that Marvel was willing to do different things before it aired. (And is their an agreed upon acronym for The Falcon and The Winter Soldier yet? Great title, but a pain to type out multiple times).

The funny things is this is kind of the more complicated show than Wandavision. I mean that show had a kinds of weird stuff going on, but it also had witch's spells making it kind of easy to understand. My kids watched it and were able to follow and look for clues. I am not sure that some of the issues that Sam and Bucky are dealing with are as easy to comprehend.

5 hours ago, Dandesun said:

Zemo being able to uncover all of that information was a little far fetched in Civil War but I actually do like how they used that to re-introduce him here. Zemo unearthed a lot of secrets. 

Is it that far fetched though? Natasha dumped all of Shield and Hydra's secrets into the internet at the end of Winter Soldier even if they didn't spell out exactly what happened to Bucky and how he was controlled, there could have easily been enough unconnected pieces where if someone combed through it all they could at least find the people to start talking to.

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My second favorite scene was the therapy one. Of course because it was funny and I love that therapist but also Bucky. Oh, Bucky. He's hanging on by a thread and Sam doesn't really have time to deal with it, he's got his own shit. And they're not really friends. But you could see it register on his face for a split second. AM and SS were so good in this scene.

I feel my teeth clenching every time John Walker calls Bucky "Bucky". Like who are you, you don't get to call him that with that tone like you know him! It just irritates me.

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4 hours ago, swanpride said:

Zemo was responsible for the bomb in Vienna (which is NOT in Germany), but he also killed a lot of people in Germany (from the psychiatrist who was supposed to talk to Bucky to whoever was in his way in the SHIELD facility). It is therefore not completely unrealistic that he is imprisoned in Germany, especially considering that he is not enhanced and therefore not a candidate for the raft.

Basically, whoever runs the Raft can decide whoever they put in the Raft and for what reason and for what length. Ross tells Tony that he's lucky that he wasn't in a cell there. Hawkeye and Falcon are not enhanced people and yet they were thrown in the Raft in Civil War.  I was under the impression that the Raft was where Zemo was placed at the end of Civil War, but he obviously could have been moved since, or if he was Snapped, he could have been recaptured and put in another prison.

1 hour ago, Dani said:

He is comparing himself to Tony. He specifically says he doesn’t have the flashiest gadgets (like Tony) but that he has guts. It reminded me a lot of Tony and Steve’s fight in Avengers. Steve thought Tony wasn’t the guy to make the sacrifice play and was almost immediately proven wrong. Walker appears more like Steve on the surface but he doesn’t appear to be the guy who will make the sacrifice play. 

Saying that he doesn't have gadgets like Tony or strength like the Hulk, but he does have guts isn't saying that he's better than Tony or that Tony doesn't have guts, though. It's at least on a surface a self-deprecating statement that he's not a super-superhero, but he's still worthy of being Cap 2.0 because he's gutsy. 

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1 minute ago, Chicago Redshirt said:

 I was under the impression that the Raft was where Zemo was placed at the end of Civil War, but he obviously could have been moved since, or if he was Snapped, he could have been recaptured and put in another prison.

Zemo's incarceration starts in the phone booth-sized cell Bucky was in, but they probably moved him once they realized he'd done what he meant to do. Ross needled him about how his plan didn't succeed, how he put in all that work and made all that effort only for it to fail, and he replied, "Did it?" For some reason, I could see him manipulating things behind the scenes, a Kingpin-like character, from his new cell. Even if he's not behind the Flag Smashers as their broker, the only reason the other Winter Soldiers in the bunker didn't cause trouble is because he killed them all. I don't see him providing Karli and her cohorts with any version of the super serum, so he'll want to stop them just for his own purposes. Will they have to cut a deal, let him out in exchange for his help?

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Bucky keeps his gloves on when he's home? I find that heartbreaking, like he doesn't even want to see it when he's alone. And Long sleeves as well!

The White Panther/White Wolf exchange made my day. Sam had no idea! lol 

These two are really family and don't realize it. They give each other crap all day but defend each other in front of others. That's how kinfolk act lol. Anthony and Seb are really delivering, I could watch a show of Sam and Bucky just doing random things: grocery shopping. Bucky getting furniture (after Sam pushes him into it and more therapy), picking out paint colors and decor... I just can't get enough of them. 

5 hours ago, VCRTracking said:

I didn't realize Isaiah was Carl Lumbly when I saw the scene! I saw him on recent episodes of SUPERGIRL and he still sounded the way he did on Alias and as the voice of Martian Manhunter on the Justice League cartoon. He really got his voice to sound really elderly. That and the makeup I didn't recognize him.

Yes, first saw him in Alias - I'm so glad he's still around doing great work. He was great in key role in Dr. Sleep - which a lot of people ignored but I really enjoyed it. 

Edited by shoetingstar
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2 hours ago, MisterGlass said:

This show is not completely clicking for me yet.  It is packed with events but they don't flow together well.  I feel like it thinks I have a very short attention span.  I feel like more time should have been spent with Bradley, or with the main characters.

I agree with this, at least about this second episode.  It did jump around a good bit, both in time and geographically.  In last week's episode, Dr. Raynor is talking about how Bucky is ignoring Sam and not answering his messages, and then in this episode he all of a sudden just shows up wherever Sam was and they bicker.  Then they jump around the world, both in and out of police custody...  Overall, I like the show, but I agree that it really lacks continuity.

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I have now watched the episode twice, and booked a Zoom chat with my 12yo nephew who is a Marvel nerd to discuss. 

I do think that casting Carl Lumbly and aging him up may mean we see Isaiah in the future - if not this season, maybe future ones (fingers crossed?) or other properties? I’d be down with that.

And I’m definitely in the ‘where the hell is Sharon?’ crowd. Her image was in the end credits and it was awkward due to the credits themselves. 

After the great cgi in WandaVision, the cgi in the truck top fight was just...bad. I’m hoping that was an aberration.
 

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3 hours ago, MagnusHex said:

The whole "cop giving Sam a hard time 'coz he's black" scene was a little on-the-nose and annoying. I hope we see less of those scenes. Even though it's relatable and realistic, man, why drag that kind of racial politics into this, especially with the chaos BLM has left behind?

It was an important scene because it set up Sam's explanation to Bucky about why he gave up Cap's shield. "Maybe this is something that you or Steve will never understand. But can you accept that I did what I thought was right?" A huge part of Sam's journey in the series is about "racial politics" and what it means to inherit the mantle of Captain America as a black man. 

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