Julien Neaves, Editor
Hey Redmangoreaders. Firstly apologies for the tardiness of this article. I was supposed to drop it since Monday but it was my birthday weekend and it was bit busy enjoying myself. What? I do have a life you know. Get off my back!
Anywho, after a somewhat slow start Marvel Cinematic Universe limited series The Falcon and The Winter Soldier has been going from strength to strength, with Episode 4 feeling like an epic MCU film by itself. With the highly anticipated Episode 5 tomorrow and the tease of a big MCU reveal (old Steve Rogers maybe) it’s still a good time to revisit some of the outstanding moments from the past three episodes. And I will be doing the moments chronologically, though incidentally most of the coolest moments did come in the most recent episode. With a helicarrier-sized SPOILER ALERT let’s break down the Top 10 Moments from Episodes 2-4:
#1 Meet John Walker (Episode 2)
In my Episode 1 review I mentioned how much I hated the look of the new Captain America (I call him “Faux Cap”) and how punchable his face was. And all that from two minutes of screen time. But the opening scenes of Episode 2 did well to flesh out and humanise the character, introducing his best friend and his beautiful and caring wife. You understand he is someone under massive pressure to live up to an iconic legacy.
Sure he still comes off cocky in the interview but he feels less like a walking douche and more like a human being. So while not a big whiz and bang moment it was an important character establishing one. And let me say from early that Wyatt Russell (who I didn’t know was the son of Kurt Russell aka one of my favourite actors) is killing it in this role and all you people sending the poor guy death threats you need to stop that crap because you are both looking and acting crazy. #stopit
#2 Therapy Session (Episode 2)
Bucky and Sam going through a therapy session with an exasperated therapist? Pure comedy gold. The two pivot from acting like a feuding old married couple to feuding playground children, and it delivers on the laughs. Kudos to Mackie and Stan on their comedic timing, but the biggest praise goes to Amy Aquino as therapist Christina Raynor, as she played the role to perfection.
#3 Fast and Spurious (Episode 2)
I may be cheating a bit because this is actually two big moments and not one. But they are so closely intertwined it would not make sense separating them. Firstly is the truck fight. Man that was just 12 flavours of awesome sauce! You had banter “That little girl kicked your ass”, Sam flying and kicking butt, Bucky holding his own (mostly), and then the surprise appearance of Faux Cap and his sidekick.
And post-fight we had the awkward jeep ride of our four heroes (or two or three depending on who you ask). Bucky’s thinly veiled (and not-so-thinly veiled) disgust at Faux Cap was priceless. When he learned Faux Cap’s sidekick was named “Battlestar” and he was like “I’m out” I burst out laughing. Definitely a memorable moment that really set the stage for things to come.
#4 Finding Isaiah (Episode 2)
The Powers That Be did promise the series would address the theme of racism and we get that overtly in the second episode. Carly alum Lt delivers a brief but impassioned performance as a secret super soldier who imprisoned and experimented on for 30 years by the US government and Hydra. It is some riveting stuff.
And then we have the police stop. I saw some viewers had issues with the scene but systemic racism is a reality and while it’s not the focus of the series I think it appropriate that it was highlighted. And the cops deescalating when they realise Sam’s identity, well that is some layered stuff right there. It is some deep and topical content for a superhero action show. Good on you guys.
#5 From A to Zemo (Episode 3)
Pop quiz, hotshot! Who the best character in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier? And why is it Baron Helmut Zemo? Who knew that a blink and you miss it scene of the MCU villain dancing would spark a mini-meme movement. #ReleasetheZemoCut. And there was just something so oddly beautiful about this supervillain awkwardly dancing in a club. Seriously I could do about five moments on Zemo alone as Daniel Brühl was quite the scene stealer.
We laughed at his goofy dancing and stinging one-liners, and our draws dropped when he donned his comic-accurate mask and started dropping fools like flies. Or when he shot that scientist dude without a moment’s hesitation. I love that he is still the same bad guy from Civil War and still has no love for The Avengers of super soldiers (facts he never refrains from mentioning). The dynamic between him, Sam and Bucky is my favourite aspect of the show. I never know what Zemo will do or say next but I am always excited to see it.
#6 Welcome back Agent 13 (Episode 3)
I was so happy to see Emily VanCamp back as Agent 13 and I loved this jaded version of the character. But then she took up bodyguard duty in the shipyard and I was like hot dang! Whoever choreographed those fight scenes needs an award because that was some visceral, gritty, gut punching action. To say I loved it would be an understatement. Please sir, can I have some more Agent 13 backside kicking? Pretty please. And I don’t even care if she’s the mysterious power broker. I know she’s the broker of taking names and kicking a—
#7 White Wolf (Episode 4)
This opening scene of Episode 4 was a short one but resonant. We see Bucky aka The White Wolf in Wakanda with Dora Milaje warrior Ayo (more on her in the next one) at the end of his Winter Soldier deprogramming. Sebastian Stan is just so good in this scene and delivers on the emotional goods.
#8 Not even super soldiers (Episode 4)
I mean, what can I say about the Dora Milaje scenes that haven’t already been said. Florence Kasumba as Ayo went from being known for a single quote in Civil War (“Move or you will be moved”) to a star-making turn here. The Dora Milaje disarming Bucky (Disarm. Get it? You get it) and beating up Faux Cap like he owed them money gave me multiple nerdgasms. And Faux Cap’s line “They weren’t even super soldiers” will likely go down in history as one of the MCU’s greatest. The Dora Milaje have always been bosses but in this episode they were final level, spend hours trying to beat, possibly looking up cheat codes out of frustration, super cool bosses.
#9 Heart to heart (Episode 4)
We go from epic action to a quieter scene. Now I complained about Anthony Mackie’s often flat acting in my Episode 1 review, but I think he outfitted himself in this scene where he tries to reason with Flag Smasher leader Karli Morgenthau (played by the very talented Erin Kellyman). The rapport between them was surprisingly strong and we really got a sense where both of them were coming from. And I always say some of the best villains are the ones who believe they are the heroes of the story, and that comes out with Karli. And between her and Faux Cap (we all know he is going straight bad guy) this series is giving us some rounded and relatable bad guys. And I for one appreciate that.
#10 Fallen star and Stained Shield (Episode 4)
The chit chat between Sam and Karli got broken up when Faux Cap busted in and “Jackassed the scene” as we say in Trinidad. And that led to the death of Lemar Hoskins aka Battlestar, which I kind of saw coming. It’s sad though, because Lemar seemed like a genuine dude and a positive influence in John Walker’s life. But we needed a reason for Faux Cap to go full dark side and so he had to go.
Now on to that scene. You know what I’m talking about. Super powered Faux Cap goes ape sh— after Battlestar is killed and brutally murders the Flag Smasher (and former Cap fan) with the symbol of justice and freedom—Cap’s shield. The image of him standing with the blood-stained shield was seared into my brain and will remain for a long time to come. And they said MCU was for kids.
I’ve seen many folks on social media trying to defend his action, including pointing out that the original Cap has killed in the past. Well, yeah he killed but it was always in the line and duty and in the middle of battle. Faux Cap EXECUTED this dude. I’m sorry, but there is no justifying that. But kudos to Russell and the writers for delivering one of the most impactful and dark scenes in MCU history.
Well that’s my list. What are your top three moments from the last three episodes? For my review of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode 1 you can click here. Or for my review of the WandaVision finale you can click here.
Julien “Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. I can also be found posting about TV and movie memes, news and trailers on Facebook at Movieville. And to stay on top of all Redmangoreviews articles you can like and follow us on Facebook here.