Falcon and the Winter Soldier (Spoilers)

Not yet he won’t.

Well, sure, so far. But unless you have super spoiler access or whatever you don’t know if that’s how things will end up, or if he’ll end up being evil/compromised/mind-controlled/whatever.

I think him throwing around the shield is just Action Movie Bullshit, and not because he has powers. When Sam finally takes up the shield, I expect he’ll be able to do the same, because it looks cool, and that’s how Captain America is supposed to fight.

When you get down to it, very few action movies star character that aren’t, technically, superheroes. They can regularly survive damage that, in the real world, would be fatal or permanently disabling. They can walk around with gunshot wounds that should be incapacitating. They can recover instantly from a blow to the head strong enough to knock them unconscious, with no lingering effects. They can dangle from ledges by the finger tips of one hand. They can do all sorts of shit that is flatly impossible for real humans to do, but we accept because it’s part of the package of tropes that make up action films. And superhero films are, also, action films.

So, the thing you have to remember, when someone describes Steve Rogers as “peak human,” is that the baseline human in his universe is basically John McClane. John McClane is an ordinary, run-of-the-mill NYC cop who can run across glass barefoot, and it’s only a temporary inconvenience to his program of murdering a building full of vaguely European thieves.

My wife was bored silly by the first episode. Enough to bail on it midway through and ask for a recap. I didn’t love it either, but I’ve got a higher tolerance for slow moving set up. We both thought the opening aerial fight scene was the best part, realistic or not. I did like the twist that Bucky’s friend was the father of someone he’d killed as Winter Soldier, and really liked the bartender lady’s line about how there’s no equivalent word to orphan or widower for someone who loses a child. The bits with Sam’s sister were good too, if a bit heavy-handed. Other that that, kind of a snoozefest. Big letdown after WV.

Second episode was a huge improvement in both of our estimations. I was impressed that they managed to make the new Cap a nuanced character, and even somewhat likeable. The story started moving along, and we got into the meat of things, with enough fun action scenes to keep things exciting. The things that’s bugging me though is that they’re clearly pushing the buddy cop vibe, but can’t seem to decide which one is the Reckless One and which one is the Straight Arrow. The roles seem to flip flop between Bucky and Sam, sometimes even in the same scene. Maybe more realistic than adhering strictly to the trope, but a bit unsettling.

Yeah, that bugged me a bit, as well. In the scene where they’re infiltrating the Flagsmasher warehouse and see them leaving in the trucks, they seem to flip between the Reckless One and the Straight Arrow from one line to the next.

The dynamic works for me. They’re both used to playing the Reckless Guy against Steve’s Straightest of All Arrows. With Steve gone, they recognize that the dynamic needs a voice of reason, but they both want the other guy to be that voice of reason, so they can maintain their old role.

A lot of people thought the first episode of Wandavision didn’t move fast enough, either.

The only thing I didn’t like was the pretentious camera angles during the therapy scene.

I don’t think you can just force people into therapy like that. Does the military have such rules?

I used to work at a clinic (back in the 1990’s) that had former felons as patients. Yes, you can get court-mandated therapy.

I don’t think Sam’s been ordered by a court to take therapy.

Well, Sam was there to get Bucky out and Bucky wasn’t going anywhere until after the session was complete. The therapist essentially said, “You’re part of the therapy, so until you sit down, the session won’t be complete and he (Bucky) won’t be going anywhere.” She also said it with a very military “I’m in charge” attitude and Sam was military and probably used to obeying orders issued in “that voice”.

So his cooperation was probably a combo of practicality and ingrained response.

This is a very good insight.

Yes, my wife did as well, (though I kind of liked the slowness there). That’s why she was willing to give F&WS another shot.

Agreed! Keeping that in mind will make any future scenes like that feel less strange to me. Head-canon accepted!

Marvel has made it clear that they’re willing to ignore Comic Canon, or even twist it around on its head (how 'bout them evil Skrulls, huh?).

And I really like that. As a comics guy, it doesn’t give me an advantage, plot-wise, and can often mislead me.
(Not just me. Our pastor is an encyclopedia of the Marvel Mythos, and he was SO sure that Adam Warlock was going to show up as the key to Endgame…)

So I’ve learned to ignore the printed page and enjoy the show.

Third episode: pretty good.

It continues the plot-focused storytelling of the second episode, pushing pieces around and carrying things forward, while backgrounding the character emphasis of the first episode. But this one is better structured than the second episode; where that one was occasionally lumpy and awkward, this one moves more smoothly and efficiently and propulsively from scene to scene.

The second episode had a couple of real stand-out moments, which this third episode doesn’t quite manage. It’s kind of a peaks-and-valleys vs plateau thing; the second episode achieved higher highs, but had bigger flaws, while this third episode just sails along at one (pretty good) level. YMMV.

Interesting to note that this is probably the most overtly violent the MCU has ever gotten, in terms of blood and bone-breaking gritty violence. It’s a different kind of ground-level action than we usually get, and for the most part it’s well-staged, fast and impactful.

The real highlight here is Zemo. Great character and the actor is fully engaged. Frequently hilarious without ever losing the sense of being extremely dangerous.

Bottom line for me, it continues to be a pretty good show, though it remains to be seen how thematically ambitious it’s going to get. There’s still a fair amount of setup happening, with great potential, but the payoff is still being deferred. We’ll have to see where it goes. Could be terrific, could be “eh, (shrug), fine.”

There’s a last-minute reveal, though, a little twist, that’s super-exciting. It could seriously raise the stakes and scale of the show.

Feeling positive. Fingers crossed that a big finish is coming.

I do not know where exactly Madripoor is supposed to be in the “Indonesian archipelago”, but I do know that they like Filipino hip-hop there. I just about jumped out of my seat when I heard this:

I think both Daredevil the The Punisher TV series on Netflix were bloodier and more violent. At least so far.

The cameo/intro at the very end was a very nice surprise! Another great episode.

Not MCU. I have no comic book knowledge but I did play the game Marvel Heroes for a long time so it’s cool when i recognize places from there, like Madripoor low town/high town.