Like many of you, today I watched Episode 4 of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. So let’s have a chat about Episode 4, The Whole World is Watching. As always I will be getting into SPOILERS for this episode after the jump. So If you just want to know what I thought of this episode without SPOILERS? Here it is.
The Whole World is Watching was an episode of two sides for me. One side was pretty compelling regards the story of the new Captain America. However the side dealing with fleshing out the Flag Smashers a little more left me a little underwhelmed. Overall I still enjoyed The Whole World is Watching, especially for the closing moments. Yet, some criticisms, I find are unavoidable here.
**Warning! The Falcon and The Winter Soldier Episode 4 SPOILERS lie below the image.**
Above I said there were two sides to this episode, one good and one less so. Specifically, what I loved about The Whole World is Watching was everything that involved John Walker, aka Captain America. However, at the same time, this show is starting to feel a little predictable and paint by numbers for me. If you had asked me three weeks ago what was going to happen in this show my answer would probably be this. John Walker will at some point take the Super Soldier Serum and he will essentially become the villain of this story. Sam, reluctantly will have to take the Serum to stop John by the end. Sam will take the shield and be the new Captain America , funnily enough, whilst the world is watching.
I never felt like the Flag Smashers were anymore than an excuse to get the Serum out there to set up the true purpose of this show. However, I did not think the Flag Smashers would be made so impotent that I already don’t care about them, and for me we are there now. So let me break down the things I love, followed by what I didn’t.
John Walker – The Good
Look, we all knew this was coming before Episode 1 even began. John Walker would become the new Cap, not Sam, but by the end he’ll go bad and Sam will be the new Cap. Unless we are all being trolled like hell, that’s how The Falcon and The Winter Soldier was always going to play out. In base terms anyway. What I am finding truly unbelievable over these last few weeks is how much social media garbage that Wyatt Russell is having to deal with. If some one is brain dead enough to send a message to an actor playing a role he didn’t write, and tell them they hate him and hope he dies, those people should be in a a prison or a psych ward.
Personally what I am loving about this show is the time taken to let us understand who John Walker is. As is said in this episode, the Serum magnifies what’s already there. For Steve Rogers it was the desire to help people wronged, and fight for his own strong morals. In Karli Morgenthau it’s that revolutionary side of her and her friends. However, take that Super Soldier serum away, and they are just young people with no training and no true idea of what to do.
John Walker is no angel, before he got the Serum we could see the warning signs. Walker is quick to anger and violence to solve his problems. This is a man who wants to win at all costs and that has served him well in both Football and the military. However amplified by the Serum and Walker is s walking time bomb. He wants to have a fight with Sam pre-Serum just for disagreeing with him. That’s for later though.
We are not supposed to like Walker, if you hate him, then the actor is doing the job he was hired to do, because that’s kinda the point. Though, hate as always is far too strong a word for a fictional character. Walker is complicated by competing ideals in his own head. Do the ends always justify the means? That’s a question that neither Walker, Morgenthau, or even Zemo has the right answer for. Though. maybe Sam and Bucky do, and that’s perhaps why both are worthy of taking that Serum., and the shield.
We are made to think that there is no more vials left, but I’m guessing there is. What I would find most interesting is if that vial is currently with a certain Zemo and he gives it to Sam. Though, perhaps that would be a little too much and we are not quite at a place where that would make sense? I think Sam’s immediate reluctance to use the Serum is also inevitably what makes him the right choice. It’s the old adage, those who seeks power are rarely suited for it, those that have it thrust upon them reluctantly can be far more capable. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is about John Vs Sam, not physically perhaps, yet, but morally for sure. It’s this aspect of the show which is interesting and engaging. Sadly, that’s not all we have.
Flag Smashers – The Bad
Not gonna lie folks, every week that goes by, my opinion on the Flag Smasher gets worse. They suck. The group feel like antagonists with no agency and no actual plan. The Flag Smashers reason for even existing is simply to place Sam and John at opposite ends of a moral conflict. That’s fine in most stories, but so far I’m finding them a little dull and forgettable. I feel like you could switch actors on any of the roles outside of Morgenthau and you would not even notice. This episode specifically I felt like all the Flag Smasher did was set up little meet up, and then escape points to put all the main character where they needed to be.
Where is Karli getting her intel from on Sam? Apart from the fact we’ve seen locals help them out, the Flag Smashers appear to have the technical capabilities of an average broke person on the street. Would it not be more engaging if there was someone with more resources aiding Karli and her crew? Something deeper behind her five-man revolution that gave them an advantage. Why are Sam, Walker and Battlestar G (RIP) not onto the CIA getting satellite footage and coordinating with governments? Is everyone else just leaving it to the police to sort, or do they think because Captain American took an interest that’s all that’s required. It doesn’t feel right to me.
I wonder if the show had kept the rumored pandemic plot, i.e. a clear end game for Flag Smashers that it would have made them more bearable? Right now when those guys are on screen I’m struggling to care. Where do they go next, with no more Serum, no plan, and a pissed off John Walker on their heels who wants blood?
The Final Word- The Ugly
I am loving what Wyatt Russell is doing with Walker, but it’s not pretty. The transition is great and we see Walker’s insecurities manifest themselves. This episode was about what drives Walker to take the Serum and why it effects him the way it does. Walker feels humiliated by the Dora Milaje whereas Bucky knows how good they are. He then loses his friend who had helped convince him to take it and his anger explodes. What we are left with is a permanent stain on that symbolic shield as The Whole World is Watching. Steve, nor Sam would ever have killed that man once he was disabled and helpless. That’s the difference between Captain America and U.S. Agent and why Sam is destined to become Cap and Walker destined to become Agent.
However the weakest part of this show as a while is the Flag Smashers. Even Kellyman struggles to do anything with the rather dully written role of Karli Morgenthau. To the point where I can’t wait for them to get soundly beaten so we can focus on the moral battle between John and Sam.
Also, I can’t leave this without talking about how much I loved Sabastian Stan this week. Bucky’s emotional journey in Wakanda was a great little flashback and helps towards making his character truly embody becoming the White Wolf. As last week, anything involving Zemo was also great. Though it was needed, it kind of a shame when Walker spoiled the fun the trio were having.
Last but not least. Sharon Carter! I’m telling you man, despite what VanCamp says herself, there is something going on there. She walks though that tunnel with all those people seemingly on guard duty, and armed, and no one bats an eye in her direction? We have two episodes left. I think whatever we find out about Carter in next week’s episode is going to make us look at the character differently. That’s all I’m saying at this point. Could she be the Power Broker, sure, but maybe not. Something is rotten in Denmark though.
What did you think of The Whole World is Watching? Do you find The Falcon and The Winter Solider a little predictable like me. Do you agree with what I thin works and what doesn’t about this show. Thoughts below.