The Falcon and The Winter Solider Episode 2: First Thoughts

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier title art

Episode 2 of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier was released today on Disney+. You can read my thoughts on the previous episode here or continue reading for my initial thoughts on episode 2. Be warned – spoilers below!

After the introduction to the series last week where we saw Bucky and Sam going about their own lives, as well as the introduction of the new Captain America, John Walker, we finally got to see everyone together in episode 2. I’m loving Bucky and Sam’s dynamic at the minute, with both characters not quite on the same page yet they hold a unified grudge towards John Walker which brings them together. It is great to see the Falcon and The Winter Soldier team up, they have a good balance of brains and strength and I’m enjoying watching how they’ve developed since first appearing in the MCU.

Last week’s introduction of the new Captain America, John Walker, brought a lot hatred towards the character. Whilst I did feel as though Chris Evans’s Captain America was irreplaceable, I was happy with there being a new Captain America, as long as they were their own character and it wasn’t simply a like for like replacement. I actually kind of like Wyatt Russell’s reincarnation of Captain America, I think his hearts in the right place, but ultimately he is just going to be seen as an imposter to the majority fans. 

In episode 2 we learnt that John Walker has a sidekick in the form of Lemar Hoskins, also known as Battlestar. I love that the series is taking a lot of inspiration from the comics and introducing new characters like Battlestar, John Walker and the Flag Smashers. I loved the reference from Bucky too, where Sam called him “The White Panther”, to which Bucky responded “no it’s White Wolf”, again another reference to one of The Winter Soldier’s aliases from the comics.

Speaking of inspiration from the comics, we saw the introduction of a new character, Isiah Bradley, a Super-Soldier once tasked with tracking down The Winter Soldier in the 1950’s. Interestingly enough, in the scene where Bucky and Sam go to visit Isiah, we actually see his grandson Eli too. This is fascinating because in the comics, Isiah Bradley’s grandson Eli actually becomes the superhero Patriot. In the comics, Patriot is one of the founding members of the Young Avengers and given we’ve already seen Billy and Tommy in WandaVision, plus we know that Kate Bishop is coming in future Marvel series Hawkeye, it seems like only a matter of time before the Young Avengers are formed!

We also learnt that the Flag Smashers actually have superhuman strength and can certainly put up a fight, as seen in their skirmish with Bucky, Sam, John and Lemar. I’m still unsure on the Flag Smashers, they have a cause which I can somewhat sympathise with, yet I just don’t think it’s a solid enough motive at the moment. Time will tell on whether the series expands on this, but perhaps the Flag Smashers are not actually the main protagonists? Towards the end of the episode we see the Flag Smashers are being chased by “power broker’s men”, could the “power broker” actually be one of the main protagonist in all of this? 

We’re still yet to see Sharon Carter in the series, although in this weeks episode we did learn that she was branded as an enemy of the state, following the events of Civil War. I’m looking forward to seeing her eventually reappear, given she has featured heavily on a lot of the promotional material for the show. I hope her reveal isn’t simply just to act as an ally to Bucky and Sam, but that her introduction to the series will come with a twist.

The episode ends with Sam and Bucky deciding to ask Helmut Zero for any information on how the Flag Smashers obtained superhuman strength. It’s interesting to learn that Zemo is still in prison following the events of Civil War and I wonder whether he will cooperate with Bucky and Sam or act as one of the main protagonists in the series. Either way, the first two episodes of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier have been very solid and I look forward to more twists and turns next week!

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is available to stream on Disney+.

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