Series Review (With Spoilers): The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: Season 1, Episode 2


Image from Disney+

Sam (Mackie) and Bucky (Stan) preparing to team up against the Flag Smashers.

“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: Episode 2 – The Star-Spangled Man” was written by Michael Kastelein and directed by Kari Skogland. John Walker (Wyatt Russell) is named the new Captain America and Sam (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky (Sebastian Stan) team up against the Flag Smashers.

Well, somebody has been reading the comics. We’re only two episodes into the show, and we already have much more to work with. That’s partially where “WandaVision” faulted – the story was inconsistent with meaningful detail. The “WandaVision” showrunner, Jac Schaeffer, even admitted she did not read the comics. Last week’s episode was fun, but I’m glad that they’re not wasting any more time to get the story started. 

One big thing that the trailers showed that everyone was waiting to see was the character dynamic between Sam and Bucky, and it is off to a great start here. So many scenes that involved the two are comedy gold. The single scene between the two that I felt was ultimately unnecessary after making a significant appearance in the trailer was the therapy scene. There was terrific banter between the two after both were rarely able to converse with one another in the films. I liked the embrace of the real-world and the issues within them, especially with the racially motivated social commentary.

Kari Skogland’s action directing continues to impress with the phenomenal fight on the semi-trucks between Sam, Bucky, Walker, Lemar Hoskins (Clé Bennett), and the Flag Smashers. The scene following this, after they all miserably fail to stop the Flag Smashers, truly shows how incompetent Walker is. He is someone who saw an opportunity and believed they were the perfect person to fit the role when, in reality, he is the worst possible choice. He’s the type of character that you love to hate, and there are so many layers to this entitled jerk.

Image from Disney+

We also meet Isaiah Bradley (Carl Lumbly) and Eli Bradley (Elijah Richardson). Eli is the character Patriot in the comics, which further sets up the Young Avengers. However,  Isaiah was the Captain America after Steve Rogers “died” in the 1940s and he faced off against Bucky, establishing their past relationship together. However, I would’ve loved to actually watch that fight rather than only be told about what went down.

The Power Broker is someone who was teased in both last week and this week’s episode, he is the one who juiced up the Flag Smashers with the super soldier serum, and in the comics he gave it to both Walker and Hoskins. It was said that Walker does not yet have super strength, and I suspect that Karli Morgenthau (Erin Kellyman) and the rest of the Flag Smashers will end up being allies in the end. All I hope is that the same thing that happened in “WandaVision” does not happen again, with all of the setup and nothing actually happening in the end.

Emily VanCamp has not yet shown up as Sharon Carter, but it was said that she is still on the run after assisting Steve in “Captain America: Civil War.” Zemo appears in a brief shot after Sam and Bucky are out of options for leads on the Flag Smashers. He most likely escapes from his cell in the next episode, but whether that means Sam and Bucky will break him out and work with him for the remainder of the season, I do not know.