Tension and foreshadowing are most definitely the order of the day in this week’s new episode of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. And the tension is rarely broken as the foreshadowing ramps up throughout this epic episode culminating in the most dramatic, jaw-dropping cliffhanger of the series so far. It’s most definitely a game-changer, is all I’ll say for those who might still have not seen it. Even if die-hard comic book fans probably saw coming a mile off, you don’t need to know your Captain America comics to work out this one. The clues have been there from the very start, but it’s still shocking nonetheless.
Hanging out with a bad guy like Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl) for one episode is a bad enough look, but to still be dealing with Devil in this week’s episode is harder to explain. Although, surprisingly, the real danger does not emanate from Zemo himself. Bizarrely, his character still continues to make the most sense in a series that deals greatly with the concept of good and bad. This time round he gives his clinical opinion on the existence of the Super Soldier serum that we learnt about last week, and what it can do to a person, which certainly gives Sam food for thought. And a great early example of the foreshadowing at play here.
This grey area explored in the series – what is right, what is wrong, what is good, what is evil? – does not give up easy answers and, if anything, this new instalment only muddies the waters further. An again we get the underlying question being posed: who are the freedom fighters and who are the terrorists? It’s clear that what we are supposed to warm to Flag-Smasher leader, Karli Morgenthau (Erin Kellyman), but her murderous actions certainly make it difficult. Especially her continued defiance of those cations, even when Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) tries to get her on side with a one-on-one. This theme run deeps, and there’s even a graveside discussion on the topic of heroism and how the concept has changed greatly since the days of Steve Rogers. It’s certainly a them played out enough time sin comic books, so I;m bot surprised that it’s central to the story being told here, a big part of which is how the world is dealing with losing captain America, a true American hero.
Add to this stew the introduction of Ayo (Florence Kasumba) and her Wakandan troop of Amazonian warriors that is only guaranteed to end in action and you get possible the best, balanced episode of the series thus far. The Falcon suits up again, and the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) also gets his hands dirty, while the news Captain America (Wyatt Russell) and Battlestar (Clé Bennett) continue to make a mess of things. Like I said, who the real heroes are here – other than Sam and Bucky – remains to be seen. But, from where I’m sitting, it looks like the forces of evil are winning.
Here’s hoping to levelling the playing field in the last two episodes of this exciting, not-to-be-missed “espionage and capes” show. Excelsior!
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is streaming now of Disney + with new episodes every Friday