Episode 4 of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier released today on Disney+. You can read my thoughts on the previous episode here or continue reading for my initial thoughts on episode 4. Be warned – spoilers below!
We’re over halfway through The Falcon and The Winter Soldier now and after the exciting events of last week’s episode as well as the surprise appearance of Wakandan warrior Ayo, episode 4 begins exactly where episode 3 left off. In a flashback right at the beginning of this week’s episode, we see Ayo helping Bucky overcome his traumatic brainwashing past. It was fascinating to see a rare emotional release from Bucky, if only for a brief moment, but it’s also great that the series is further developing the Wakandan Dora Milaje (more on that later).
After Zemo’s breakout from the Berlin prison last week, where we learnt quite a bit about his backstory, this week we got a further insight into Zemo’s wealth and past. We got a glimpse of Zemo’s stunning hideout in Riga as well as the brief mention that he once had a son. Thus far in the MCU, there has been very little surrounding Zemo’s past, other than we know his family died in Sokovia as a result of the Avengers’ battle with Ultron, so it’s nice to learn more about such an interesting character. Zemo has been one of my favourite characters in the series so far and I hope we see more of him in the remaining two episodes.
Ayo and two members of the Dora Milaje also appear later in the episode as they demand Zemo is handed over to them, sparking an epic fight sequence between themselves, John Walker, Lemar Hoskins, Bucky and Sam. We only really get a glimpse of the Dora Milaje, but it’s evident to see just how much of an elite taskforce they are. Wakanda’s involvement in the series came as a surprise to me, but it’s completely logical and intriguing to watch evolve. Whilst their main motive is capturing Zemo, I can’t help but think that they will perhaps have a wider involvement with the Flag Smashers and John Walker.
Speaking of John Walker, boy does he cause some drama in episode 4! Mid-way through the episode we see Zemo smash the Flag Smashers’ vials of Super Soldier Serum, barring one vial which Walker seemingly injects himself with. Wyatt Russell is doing a fantastic job at creating such an unhinged character and watching John Walker’s internal battle playout has been fascinating to watch unfold. I can somewhat sympathise with John Walker, taking the mantle of Captain America is no easy task – hence why Sam turned the shield down, but there is no escaping the feeling that the series is building him up to become a protagonist.
The ending to episode 4 was definitely the most jaw-dropping moment in the whole series! After the death of Walker’s right-hand man, Lemar Hoskins, Walker goes on a rampage and provides the most brutal scene of any MCU iteration, smashing a guy’s face in using the shield, whilst in broad daylight. The shot of blood dripping off the shield was truly chilling and now that Lemar has gone, who effectively acted as Walker’s moral compass, Walker is no doubt going to take matters into his own hands to seek revenge. Plus, the fact that the brutal face smashing scene was caught on camera by civilians suggests that he will have no other option but to go rogue.
Episode 4 is undoubtedly the best episode of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier series so far and is definitely gearing up for a dramatic climax. This weeks episode also does a great job at making a great case for Sam to take back the shield and reincarnate a true Captain America, something which I think will end up as being one of the main outcomes of the series.
There are still so many unanswered questions; what will happen to John Walker now? Where did Zemo disappear to? Will the Power Broker ever make an appearance? I can’t wait to find out what happens next!
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is available to stream on Disney+.