The Star Spangled Man is the title of Episode 2 of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, so let’s talk about it. Welcome to Free Talk Friday, a weekly column that usually allows me to discuss whatever is on my mind come a Friday. Given that today is release day for The Falcon and The Winter Soldier Episode 2, guess what’s on my mind?
As usual I may well get into serious SPOILERS for The Star Spangled Man here, so with that, I’ll quickly give you my thoughts before we get there in case you want to bug out and come back after you’ve watched it.
The Star Spangled Man was in my opinion a far superior installment than Episode 1. Very quickly the dynamic between Sam and Bucky come to the forefront. This episode as the title implies also gets right into where this new Captain America came from and how Bucky and Sam feel about it. In other words whilst last week felt like a first step, to give the lead characters their emotional centers , this week feel like the real start of the show. I thoroughly enjoyed The Star Spangled Man and did not want those end credits to pop up when they did. Enjoy
From here on out we are going into specifics so,
**Final SPOILER Warning for after the image.**
What I loved about this episode was how it took no time at all for the dramatic reveal of Episode 1 to be dealt with. We begin with how John Walker prepares himself for being presented as the new Captain America. We also find out a little about John in this episode. Given his expertise at throwing it seems Walker was a star quarter back for his High School, straight into the Forces and then a hero various times in his deployments. The U.S. Government seems to have done their homework on who the next Cap should be. However, does he have humility, does he know what it’s like to be the downtrodden and not the hero?
I think this is ultimately were we will see a difference between Rogers, Walker and Wilson himself. Rogers was never the heartthrob, the spots guy, or the decorated soldier. Rogers was a good man given abilities, and this he respected that power. Wilson equally I feel has been the Vet counsellor, the sidekick, and as this show is beginning to explore someone who has experienced unfair treatment in his life. Walker means well, and he is even likeable in a way, but he is also lacking something and it’s plain to see. I think we are supposed to begin rooting for Walker, only to realize it has to be Sam by the end.
As I have been predicting for some time, this show is going to be about Super Soldiers. What has surprised me so far is that Walker is not Supered up. I totally thought he would have been give the Super Soldier treatment. Though perhaps he has, or will going forward? What is clear is that the science is there. The villains led by the Karli Morgenthau played by Erin Kellyman all have super strength and reflexes. Sam refers to them as Super Soldiers like Bucky.
I get the feeling that Walker is going to allow himself to be experimented on, or take something the villains have to give him the edge he lacks against them. Perhaps the effect this has on him makes him overly aggressive, who knows? John Walker was never a villain in the comics, he just was never quite Captain America and still joined up with other super heroes on the right side. I’m not sure if that’s where this John Walker will go, but I think we’d all guess that come the end, Sam and not Walker will have that shield.
I still hope that by the end Sam also gets to be a Super Soldier, because I think it’s the step his character needs to take.
Bucky and Sam
Finally we get Bucky and Sam together and the banter is good. Still the pair pretend they don’t like each other, but they are simply too alike. Whatever happens in the rest of the show, I’m betting Sam and Bucky will be tight by the end. The world needs a new Captain America, and I think Bucky needs someone like that to lead him. It’s just not going to be anyone but Sam and once Sam does take the shield, that’s I think when Bucky will respect and follow Sam’s lead.
I like John Walker, which I’m supposed to do at this point, and I can kinda feel some sympathy of the villains. However the dialogue from the lead characters has been great so far, and that’s down the the writers. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier falls apart if we don’t care about both Sam and Bucky. So far, this fan definitely does.
The Final Word
I couldn’t not say something about the Isiah Bradley scene. I loved how simply that scene was written, and how powerfully it was performed by Carl Lumbly. Lumbly nailed it as a hero betrayed by his own Government and jailed as a criminal for 30 years. Clearly all these blood tests done on him by his own people, and Hydra have borne some fruit for someone. That scene is only a few minutes and yet it tells you everything. You feel like you understand how Bradley was treated badly, and why he is so angry.
We also got to see Eli Bradley, though only briefly. However, what’s the bets young Eli will end up becoming Patriot in the rumored Young Avengers project? Will The Power Broker make an appearance somewhere in this show, fulfilling the same role he did in the comics?
Lot’s of questions, and I can’t wait to see more. I think more than any other big Disney+ show so far though, I wanted more. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier feels like the kind of show I could easily binge watch in one day. If that’s not praise I don’t know what is?
What were your thoughts on The Star Spangled Man? As always leave any The Falcon and The Winter Soldier thoughts below if you can.