(SPOILER-FILLED) TV Review: Marvel's The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Episode 3

Original series streaming now.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is a 2021 superhero series created by Malcolm Spellman. It is now streaming exclusively to Disney+. It will run for six episodes until April 23, 2021. The series stars Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan. It is based on various Marvel comics. This series runs parallel with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, acting as the second original Marvel series and a sequel to Avengers: Endgame. It was preceded by WandaVision and will be followed by Loki.


"I have no intention of leaving my work unfinished." -Helmut Zemo

Plot


While the Flag-Smashers continue to terrorize the world, Sam and Bucky try to gain some momentum by learning more about their super-powered enemies. To do this, however, they must revisit an old enemy: Helmut Zemo, the man who killed King T'Chaka and caused the Avengers to split apart. With Zemo's help, the duo continues their mission to bring down the super soldiers once and for all.





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Episode 3 "Power Broker" Review


Zemo / Return of Sharon / Madripoor / Who is the Power Broker? / Container Place / Bucky and the Wakandans / Sidelining of Sam and Walker / Final Thoughts



Zemo


The most interesting thing about the episode is definitely Zemo. If you don't remember Zemo, he was the true main villain of Civil War. His family was killed when the Avengers were fighting Ultron in the end of Age of Ultron. But he manipulated and framed Bucky, meaning the two of them are not friends.


However, the way he is utilized in this episode, he is a protagonist. Maybe more anti-hero, but he works with Sam and Bucky. For a moment there, I did think he was going to turn on them and leave, but then he came back and actually saved them. When they announced that Zemo would return, I was almost sure that he would be the main villain, but he is seemingly a good guy. That may not last, but it sure seems like they aren't planning on having him be an antagonist in the show.


And I like that. I love it when lines between good and evil are blurred, which has been explored in Far From Home, Ragnarok, and, most recently, WandaVision. This is different that WandaVision, because we weren't sure if Wanda, a hero, was going to be the villain. It's the opposite. Zemo serves as a Loki-like character, although not as charming. I am interested to see how that plays out throughout the rest of the season.


The one thing that I'm negative on here is the immediate conclusion that he needs to be broken out of prison. Bucky spent a minute talking to this mass murderer and terrorist and, right away, told Sam that they needed to break him out of prison. Really? Couldn't have thought of a more clever solution?


Madripoor


I love being introduced to new places in the MCU, and this was a cool new location that I don't ever want to go back to.


Madripoor seems like a headquarters for scum and villainy (Kudos to you if you understood that reference). It's this gross, crime-ridden place that kind of reminds me of Gotham, but in a different way.


They build out this place really nicely, giving us a nice understanding of the rules and culture that they have. Bucky and Sam trying to fit in is sometimes very uncomfortable and sometimes very funny. The part with the snake is absolutely hysterical.


I think my favorite scene of the episode is when they meet the lady that runs the bar. It starts with Zemo negotiating HYDRA information in exchange for Bucky, pretending to be the Winter Soldier. Then it gets really uncomfortable when Sam's sister calls him and the woman tells Sam to answer it on speaker. This part was one of the best written scenes in the MCU. It's very menacing and gets you right when you think everything is going to be okay. It's a perfectly crafted scene that I loved.


Return of Sharon


Sharon Carter has always been a strange character. She served as a girlfriend to Captain America, which was really weird, because Cap had spent a few years pining over her nearly dead aunt. I know it's worse when I state it like that, but it is true.


And I was alright with her return. She hasn't really been a major character before. She wasn't in Infinity War or Endgame. But hopefully she's a bigger character in this. I like Emily VanCamp's chemistry with Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie. They have some nice, friendly banter in this episode. She doesn't do a ton, but the things that she does do are pretty cool.


Who is the Power Broker?


The episode is called Power Broker, and he is this unseen force behind everything, but we don't actually know who he is. He was mentioned in the previous episode, but we never actually saw him. This is a fun mystery, but not one I'm necessarily invested in.


As for my thoughts on that? I think there's a chance it's nobody. And what I mean by that is someone we haven't seen. It could just be some random dude. If it is a character that has previously appeared on the show or in the MCU, I have an idea for who it is.


I think it's probably Isaiah. He was the black super soldier that Bucky severely injured during combat. Sam and Bucky visited his house and he was not happy to see them. He'd have good motivation, since he was locked up and used as a test subject. The actor that they cast is not an actor that is cast in a show to appear for five minutes. The guy's name is Carl Lumbly. He's been in Doctor Sleep and Supergirl, so he isn't a no name. I think that he's the safest bet.


Container Place Scene


This was the action sequence this episode. And it may have been the most thrilling one yet. Not the best, but the most urgent. Sam, Bucky, and Zemo are interrogating a scientist that they need information from, but Sharon is taking out armed men that are closing in on the team's location.


The action was visceral as usual, but what added the spice to this action sequence was the question of where Zemo's loyalty lies. It seems like he is going to turn on Sam and Bucky as he grabs a gun and runs off. He then causes an explosion, but it turns out that he was saving Sam and Bucky.


This goes back to the point that Zemo is the most interesting character in this episode. And I'm really interested to see if they keep him on the good guys' side for the remainder of the series.


Bucky and the Wakandans


Backing off of my last point, this could be what causes Zemo to turn. The cliffhanger that the episode leaves off on is Bucky meeting with a member of the Dora Milaje, the group of Wakanda militia that Okoye commands. He seems to be a-okay with handing Zemo over to the Wakandans.


This gets me excited for what's to come. I know I shouldn't get my hopes up, but it'd be fun if Shuri or Okoye had a scene or two in this show. This is the first cliffhanger where I am truly eager to go into the next episode just based off of the scene that the previous episode left off on.


Sideling of Sam and Walker


Even though this episode was still good, Sam and John Walker really don't do much. Walker is in about 20 seconds of the episode as a whole, and I really don't understand that. I think his character requires more development, and I hope we get that soon.


But the Falcon is the main character of the show. And he gets shoved in the background in this episode. I don't think we ever see Sam actually wearing his wings. He goes parading around as Smiling Tiger for most of the episode. When we finally get to the climax of the episode, the spotlight is once again given to Zemo and Bucky. One of the worst things that a superhero movie or show can do is sideline it's hero for a supporting character. The only time it's ever worked is in The Dark Knight, because the Joker is such an amazing villain. It happens in The Dark Knight Rises, Wonder Woman 1984, and The Flash, where it does not work at all.


Final Thoughts


I do think that this episode was good. The show is starting to struggle a little bit with overload, though. There are a lot of names to remember and a lot of things going on, and I think that it needs to slow down a bit. I really hope that the six episode run doesn't hurt it, because it feels like they are trying to squeeze as much as they can into single episodes.


However, I still really like this show. It's a well-made Marvel project, and those are always fun no matter what.


Fun Factor: 8.5/10

Acting: 8.5/10

Characters: 8.5/10

Story: 7.5/10

Quality: 8.5/10


"Power Broker"


Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Falcon

Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier

Daniel Brühl as Baron Helmut Zemo

Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter

Erin Kellyman as Karli Morgenthau/Flag-Smasher

Desmond Chiam as Dovich

Adepero Oduye as Sarah Wilson

Wyatt Russell as John Walker/U.S. Agent

Imelda Corcoran as Selby