The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: New World Order
March 19, 2021 1:41 AM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes realize that their futures are anything but normal.

Sam Wilson aka Falcon learns of a rising threat while juggling challenges at home in Louisiana. Bucky Barnes desperately tries to reintegrate into society, but struggles with nightmares revealing terrifying actions as Winter Soldier that may not be nightmares at all.
posted by Pronoiac (109 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
There’s nothing extra after the credits.

About Steve Rogers being in a secret base on the moon: is that a reference to the Inhumans? ... I don't know if that series is canon, or thrown into the memory hole. I'll turn that on in the background.

The villains at hand:
* LAF, who kidnapped Vasant. These names don't ring a bell for me.
* Flag Smashers, who thought life during the Blip was better. Flag-Smasher was a Captain America villain who was anti-patriotism; it’s worth noting the Wikipedia page for them has spoilers for the show.

There's less theorizing to do here than WandaVision.

I read an article about MCU as Pentagon propaganda, not too long ago; I might track it down and re-read it, because this series might struggle with similar territory.

I can already say it's better than Inhumans, though.
posted by Pronoiac at 2:32 AM on March 19


It’s largely character driven at the moment and those are the best parts.

It was weird seeing so much killing after WV though.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:16 AM on March 19 [9 favorites]


First Lieutenant Joaquin Torres is my designated Sweet Cupcake, and I shall be very upset if anything permanently bad happens to him.

Very Upset.
posted by Faintdreams at 4:54 AM on March 19 [10 favorites]


The kill rate in the first few minutes of the first episode were.. I guess I'm not as desensitized to Military fictional violence as a thought?

Falcon straight up kills (or facilitates the killing) of at least 10 people(?), and I know they are the designated Bad Guys / Mercenaries, but .. sheesh..

So far I like it, Mack and Stan are brilliant to watch individually - they sparkle even more when bouncing off each other.

I was pre-disposed to not like it because (Military Industrial Combat Complex Propaganda and) it's existence means I have to wait a further SIX WEEKS before the Loki Show wonderfully confuzzles my mind, but so far so good.

I hope every episode is as well paved, because that did not feel like 45 minutes.
posted by Faintdreams at 5:01 AM on March 19 [6 favorites]


Yeah, I was also a bit taken aback by the amount of violence that took place in the first bit.

I like the way that they’re exploring some of the aspects of the Blip and the consequences - it’s not just life goes back to normal everywhere. Also banks remain banks, no matter what happens.

I have to wait a further SIX WEEKS before the Loki Show

Loki won’t be out until June 11th - I think a Star Wars show is taking over the Marvel “slot” between TFatWS and Loki.
posted by scorbet at 5:30 AM on March 19 [1 favorite]


I like it so far, but I'm holding lightly at length, considering what happened with wandavision. On that note, it's interesting where we open with Bucky considering the convo around the WV finale. He is literally going around making amends.

I really hope the show's dash of realism pays off. On the fantastical side tho, it cracked me up Sam first mission face-off in the show is the same guy Steve faced off in TWS (in his first in-movie mission). I can't even remember his name i keep saying, "hey! It's the 'on va voir' guy!" Obviously Sam is The One.
posted by cendawanita at 5:32 AM on March 19 [3 favorites]


(and he's fully brainwashed at the time. Which i know fandom discourse really hated how the mcu text with Bucky is that the text dictated he still fully owned those actions. And yet what is the discourse over the last show? Mixed, at best.)
posted by cendawanita at 5:41 AM on March 19


The last episode of F&WS will be on April 23, and presumably a Marvel Studios Assembled making-of episode on the 30th, then there’s a break from new Marvel shows because Black Widow is allegedly in theaters on May 7.

The new Star Wars cartoon The Bad Batch premiers on May the Fourth.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 5:41 AM on March 19


I can't even remember his name
Batroc the Leaper, or likely just Georges Batroc in the more grounded MCU.
posted by Strutter Cane - United Planets Stilt Patrol at 7:10 AM on March 19 [5 favorites]


I can't even remember his name i keep saying, "hey! It's the 'on va voir' guy!"

Oh, so it was Batroc. I am not great at recognising people, so wasn't sure if it was him or whether it was another French guy. (I was inclined to think it was him - 2 French speaking villains in the MCU would be a bit too much to believe.)
posted by scorbet at 8:33 AM on March 19


and he's fully brainwashed at the time. Which i know fandom discourse really hated how the mcu text with Bucky is that the text dictated he still fully owned those actions.

I've actually always really liked that on an-universe character level, Bucky has always owned those actions himself. It was very succinctly put in Civil War: Steve saying "that wasn't you," and Bucky responding, very evenly but with real sorrow, "I know. But I did it." So I'm very happy to see that characterization carried through here, with Bucky actively working on making amends, because it's clear that the character as established cares very much about that. My absolute favorite small moment of the episode: when Bucky's therapist reminds him about Rule # 2 "don't hurt anyone, that's a big one," and Bucky's sharp rejoinder, "then why isn't it rule #1." That says a lot with a little.

Anyway, I'm thrilled that we're going to see Sam deal with two different legacies: the small-stakes personal family legacy of his family's business and his parents' legacy, and the big symbolic legacy of the shield. I'm sure those two will intersect in fascinating and meaty ways, and I'm excited to see it! Mackie's already doing great balancing the sheer charismatic joyful likeability of Sam Wilson with his weighty burdens.

I'm reserving judgment on the Military Industrial Complex Propaganda of it all. Doubtful that a Disney/Marvel product will get critical on that score, but we'll see how the episodes play out I guess.
posted by yasaman at 8:38 AM on March 19 [9 favorites]


Also, re the kill rate of that admittedly impressive opening action scene: kinda weird that it's followed up with Bucky's vivid nightmare about killing people, and his earnest attempts to make amends! Like, are we going to draw a line connecting these two things? Let's be real, probably not. But as a viewer, I'm drawing that line! I'm wondering why Bucky can agonize over killings he had no control over, things he was forced to do, in service of the military industrial complex taken to its chilling and horrifying worst conclusion in the Winter Soldier project, but Sam's all rah rah helping the Air Force. (Marvel's gotta get that sweet DoD $$$$$ is the reason but still.)

Like, the Captain America fandom has wrestled with this. There are multiple fics that do draw this kind of straight line and make critiques of the military industrial complex. There's a reason that the prevailing fandom narrative for the characters of Steve, Bucky, and sometimes Sam has been to have them stop fighting, to have them come home from the war and be something other than superhero weapons. And clearly, this show is not gonna go there! But I do wonder if it will at least attempt to address it. And I wonder too about Bucky saying he's gone from fight to fight for 90 years and he needs some time to figure out what to do next, while his therapist calls bullshit on him wanting peace, along with the emphasis on Sam rescuing people while kind of undercutting that with the high (if unseen) body count of that action sequence.
posted by yasaman at 9:17 AM on March 19 [4 favorites]


So far I like it, Mack and Stan are brilliant to watch individually - they sparkle even more when bouncing off each other

This is spot on and why I'm watching the show. Not necessarily my favourite characters but definitely some of my favourite actors and I'm really looking forward to the at-odds buddy cop/superhero interactions.
posted by slimepuppy at 11:00 AM on March 19


Uncle Sam wants you...to fix up your shrimp boat!
posted by snofoam at 11:12 AM on March 19 [7 favorites]


Lots of thoughts roiling around in my head. This has been my primary fandom love since 2014, when I saw Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but I've loved both Bucky and Sam from the comics for a long time, since Ed Brubaker created the whole Winter Soldier story and Sam got to carry Bucky around and flip him shit on missions. I...haven't been as thrilled with the trailers as most fans, so I was expecting the worst here and braced for being curled up in a ball of misery, but I didn't hate this.

It seemed like from the trailers, they were just making a show about Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie's comedy duo traveling show act (I still maintain that whoever the genius was who first paired them on the press junkets--since they hadn't actually worked together on Winter Soldier--deserved a huge bonus) instead of a show about these two characters I adore. It also looked like they were amping up that whole "I hate you" thing from Civil War that just...I don't know, it's not my thing. I really didn't want to see a show about a couple of manchildren having staring contests.

I was really worried they weren't going to fully address the effects of that stupid awful Endgame plot and what happens when billions of people suddenly come back to life, or just the personal issues of Bucky's extreme trauma from being the Winter Soldier and Sam's trauma of being a Black man in America, so I'm really impressed that they did. The scene in the bank was excrutiating but it felt so true; I really liked Sam's sister's struggle and her underlying frustration, and the family storyline felt really lived in. Having Rhodey there to give Sam some advice and support at the ceremony was an excellent choice, and I'm so glad they did that; I hope Rhodey can come back.

Bucky seems to be trying to address things, but he's going to have a lot harder time, of course, with his history. The story of him killing Yori's son was...yeah, that was extra painful hitting at this exact time, and I don't know how that's going to get resolved, but I loved the scenes with Yori and I think that'll definitely be extra ouchy. I enjoyed his attempt at having a date, even though I weary of Marvel's endless efforts to insist that Steve and Bucky were 100 percent straight, they're straight, dammit, straight. He does deserve to not be fighting, to have a life, to get to rest, but then we wouldn't have a show, I suppose. With Zemo looking to be the Big Bad here, lots of stuff blowing up and more death is inevitable, as they'll be pulling from his black ops background and of course, what he did to Bucky in Civil War.

Some resolution about what happened to Steve would be nice--both of them are living with his shadow, but they didn't really make it clear if they actually killed him off offscreen (which, grrrrr if they did) or he's just old Steve off living out his days and everyone thinks he died along with Tony and Natasha, the way they did it in Spider-Man: Far From Home. It seemed like they might be saying that, with the stuff about Sam flying him to the moon, but it'd be nice to freaking know, since Steve meant so much to Bucky and Sam and he sure does to me.

Thrilled to see Henry Jackman is doing the music, and loved hearing the reprises of the fantastic, eerie Winter Soldier themes and the heroic action music during Sam's sequence at the beginning. That Winter Soldier sountrack was amazing and I'm interested to see what he'll do here. I thought the cinematography was great, too, which I admit I hadn't expected, especially since they had to stop production close to the end when the pandemic hit.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 11:32 AM on March 19 [7 favorites]


Wait - Is Bucky Canonically Hetero?

I'm just wondering about some of the comedy beats in the 'Date' scenes this episode... ?
posted by Faintdreams at 11:34 AM on March 19 [1 favorite]


Also LOKI IS FIFTEEN WEEKS AWAY?

Oh Great Googly Moogly :C
posted by Faintdreams at 11:38 AM on March 19 [2 favorites]


Just how healed from his injuries is Rhodey, and is he active duty?
posted by 1970s Antihero at 11:38 AM on March 19


Wait - Is Bucky Canonically Hetero?

Well, MCU Bucky was set up as the ladies' man who fixed Steve up with a date when they go to the Expo at the beginning of Captain America: The First Avenger, and later he's flirty with Peggy till he realizes that she only has eyes for Steve. In Civil War, he nods approvingly when Steve kisses Sharon. They've gone to great lengths in the later movies to make sure we know that Steve and Bucky haven't been a thing since like 1934. Marvel really seemed to double down on the straight stuff after Winter Soldier brought their relationship to attention.

Comics Bucky has a long history of storylines with him and Natasha being in love with each other, from their days as Russian agents on. He was a kid initially until they brought him back in the comics, where Brubaker aged him up a little, and he was sometimes presented as having more knowledge of the ladies than the older by a few years Steve.

Just how healed from his injuries is Rhodey, and is he active duty?

He doesn't seem to have his leg braces anymore, and looked like he was walking fine. I like to think maybe Princess Shuri helped him out after she returned; he was involved in the remaining "Avengers" with Okoye during the missing five years, so maybe she put in a good word with Shuri. As for active duty, that's a hard one because he mentions in Infinity War that he just committed a court-martial offense by blowing off Secretary Ross when Steve, Sam, and Natasha bring Vision and Wanda back to the compound. But then, they did save the universe, so that maybe didn't matter.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 12:13 PM on March 19


Falcon, get an endorsement deal already and take care of your family! Or start up a lifestyle brand like Pepper Pots did. Fame can be monetized.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 12:39 PM on March 19 [3 favorites]


Of course Tony wasn't paying the rest of the team a salary. Most realistic reveal in the entire MCU right there. Billionaires don't pay for things. C'mon.

I loved this show. Leaning heavily into the tone and style and even the musical signatures from CA: The Winter Soldier was a really good call.

As for the kill count thing, this is something I have accepted out of the MCU with a lot of frowns. It really sucks, especially coming from the comics where killing is relatively rare. I'm still mad that Peter's "Iron Spidey" suit has kill protocols and it's apparently fine for him to kill aliens because they're aliens. I'm annoyed that MCU Captain America's go-to move since the start has been to throw people from lethal heights. But it's something I've had to sigh and move on from, because Hollywood's gotta Hollywood.

Seriously, though. The only way they could make the Punisher seem more brutal than the majority of the MCU was to focus on the blood as if it's somehow different when he shoots someone than, say, Natasha or Tony. But the only fundamental difference between the Punisher and Endgame's Hawkeye is that Clint happens to be in the right club.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 1:03 PM on March 19 [4 favorites]


I swear to God, I have seen literally every significant beat of this episode play out in fanfic already. (This is not a complaint.) This was the Marvel TV show I was most excited for, and so far so good!
posted by merriment at 2:50 PM on March 19 [1 favorite]


This is a huge change of pace from WandaVision and feels much more of a piece with the $175 million blockbusters, alas. I’ll continue watching but after the premiere of WandaVision I was intrigued. Here I am... mildly interested, I guess?

The final scene with Sam watching the rollout of the new Captain America was rough. I am sure I cannot be the only one who has left a job and seen their successors roll back all the progress of the previous decade and launch an obviously terrible initiative with heartbreaking doomed enthusiasm. Right there with ya, Sam.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:33 PM on March 19 [11 favorites]


Wait - Is Bucky Canonically Hetero?

616 Bucky is canonically hetero, however I maintain that because the MCU's Bucky Barnes creation process went 616 Bucky (straight) + 616 Arnie Roth (gay) = MCU Bucky Barnes, then clearly the math works out for him being bi!

I mean, I'm joking, but also I'm kind of not.
posted by yasaman at 4:35 PM on March 19 [6 favorites]


My first reaction after the episode ended was "that was fine, I guess" but thinking back on it none of it actually was fine? It's generic, flat military-action with a Marvel brand stamped on. I'll hang on to see if the chemistry the two leads had in the trailers can save it (while remaining mystified that they wouldn't put Sam and Bucky in a single scene together in the premiere) but dang, what a disappointment after the delightful weirdness of WandaVision.

Also, why even have a character named "Batroc" if he's not going to be a ridiculous Frenchman who kicks superheroes for the fun of it? What a waste.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 5:02 PM on March 19 [4 favorites]


Definitely went by quick, in a good way. When the credits started I assumed I had just sat through a long cold open and there was 30+ minutes left... Which was entirely not the case.

I'm just wondering about some of the comedy beats in the 'Date' scenes this episode... ?

I took that as "he's actually 106 years old". IMO we saw similar loveable awkwardness with Steve Rogers elsewhere.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 5:30 PM on March 19 [1 favorite]


(oh yeah, if it was _____ all along, when does she show up? Next episode?)
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 5:31 PM on March 19 [1 favorite]


I have a very strong suspicion that this new government-approved "Captain America" is going to end up drawing from the "U. S. Agent" comics storyline. It could be a very worthwhile story exploring interpretations of what it means to be patriotic, if they've handled it well.
posted by traveler_ at 5:53 PM on March 19


I wish MCU Batroc had enough screen time to get a personality, in the MCU he's just a blank slate generic bad guy, but comics Batroc is fun because he was a punchline for so long but in more modern interpretations he half knows he's a joke and is half totally full of himself. I have a soft spot for the ridiculous guy. I know the Cap corner of the MCU kind of strikes its own tone following from Cap 2 and I like it, but it could use just a touch more fun personality in the villains.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:07 PM on March 19 [5 favorites]


Also, why even have a character named "Batroc" if he's not going to be a ridiculous Frenchman who kicks superheroes for the fun of it? What a waste.
"For the record, Councilman, he's Algerian. I can draw a map, if it'd help."

―Alexander Pierce
posted by mikelieman at 6:09 PM on March 19 [3 favorites]


Given that we're apparently going to see the dry, tragic MCU Zemo put on the purple ski mask after all, I hold out hope that in the fullness of time, we will see a fully realized BATROC ZE LEAPER onscreen. Remember how long it took to finish creating the Scarlet Witch, after all! Gotta give them at least one more phase to finish laying out his origin, of how his resentment grows more and more villainous as one Captain America after another whips his ass in their respective first acts.
posted by EatTheWeek at 6:14 PM on March 19 [10 favorites]


this new government-approved "Captain America"

If Star Lord hasn't departed Earth yet, I wonder if he will reflect on how much the new Captain America looks like Ego, the Living Planet.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:22 PM on March 19 [2 favorites]


It's generic, flat military-action with a Marvel brand stamped on.

I mean, the big action set-piece at the beginning was certainly that, but the rest of the episode was mostly just one guy trying to save his family's failing business and another guy going to therapy and on an awkward date?

Also, I feel like the "military propaganda" angle is seriously undercut (though maybe unintentionally) by showing the same dude who carried out this incredible military rescue operation then be totally unable to secure a loan from a bank, in the civilian world. Too real. I wish all military recruitment propaganda came with disclaimers like that, it really ought to.

Although at the same time, I do feel like "the Avengers don't get paid" is the kind of thing that writers put into this one story because they need it for specific beats in this specific character's plotline and it ends up having massive, massive ripple effects out into the vastness of the MCU. Also, gotta agree with paper chromatographlogist - if Falcon's really hard up for money I'm sure Nike or somebody would be happy to set him up for money and a shiny new pair of sneakers to go along with it.

I am cautiously optimistic, given the way Sam was introduced in the movies and based on a few lines from the therapy session with Bucky, that this show is gonna take some time to really recognize the mental toll of that being an instrument of violence can have on people. Netflix's Punisher series, though it had its faults, managed to walk a pretty delicate tightrope of showing pretty unflinchingly how badly a life of violence will mess a person up while still retaining enough violent-action-hero machismo to be popular with a lot of the guys who most need to see really unflinching portrayals of PTSD. I don't know that this show can pull off that same balancing act, and I have a suspicion that much like Wandavision's exploration of grief, F&WS's exploration of these themes will end up being a bit facile, with the resolution of a big Marvel punch-em-up substituting for anything approaching an actual resolution of the issues they'll touch on. But even if that's the case, it'll still help to offset the shiny-military-propaganda-ness of it all.
posted by mstokes650 at 6:25 PM on March 19 [14 favorites]


> I have a very strong suspicion that this new government-approved "Captain America" is going to end up drawing from the "U. S. Agent" comics storyline.

USAgent's alter ego's name cropped up during the credits. I wasn't too familiar with the character, though. (Wikis have spoilers, btw.)


> I hold out hope that in the fullness of time, we will see a fully realized BATROC ZE LEAPER onscreen.

For maximum terrible accent, it's BATROC ZE LEAPAIR!
posted by Pronoiac at 6:50 PM on March 19 [6 favorites]


I didn't know anything about this going in (comics or trailers or spoilers or anything), and here are my thoughts:

1. An episode that passed the Black Bechdel test! (Surely that has a real name, what I mean is the Black version of the Bechdel test where the 4 points of the test are 1. At least two Black characters 2. who talk 3. to each other 4. about something other than white people.) Falcon with Rhodie didn't pass the test but Falcon with his sister did.

2. White people using the snapture as an excuse for more white supremacy is very on brand.

3. This is way more of a conventional superhero show than Wanda vision was, so far at least.

4. Mackie is really just noticeably, remarkably hot.

5. Bucky's "oh I am an angsty white boy who murdered lots of people and I'm ridden with guilt boo hoo hoo" thing is not doing much for me.
posted by medusa at 7:34 PM on March 19 [5 favorites]


Well, this was "fine" but the only really interesting part to me was the Federal Government rolling out an approved Captain America at the end, who will be problematic and Sam will have to stop him and take up the mantle at the end.

I thought most of the writing was lazy but the most lazy was the date scene where Bucky's date talks about how there's no word for a parent losing a child, which is almost entirely lifted from a scene in Six Feet Under. Ugh.
posted by crossoverman at 8:26 PM on March 19 [1 favorite]


I feel like the "why doesn't Sam just ink a deal with Nike" comments are really missing the point. This is a guy who was given Captain America's shield by Cap himself, but ended up regifting it to the Smithsonian because he didn't feel worthy; concerns about superheroes killing aside (although not entirely aside, as Bucky's attempts at amends shows), this is not MCU The Boys, with Sam and anyone else associated with the Avengers pulling in tall coin from Underoos and energy drink endorsements. And, if Sam's reaction to the banker who wants a selfie and superhero gossip even as he's turning down him and his sister for a loan is any indication, I don't think that they'll be going down that road any time soon.

Really, I'm enjoying the quieter moments more than the chase-through-the-canyons stuff, as generally well done as the action scene was; the tension between the Blipped and Unblipped tracks with what I'd expect, and, even if it's just a little too coincidental that the guy that Bucky just had a nightmare of killing was the son of the guy who he (I guess) knew from the war, it's also a decent illustration of his essential dilemma: given all the bad stuff that he did, what are the real chances of his being able to make amends? I hope that people who are still sore about the end of WandaVision will be a little more sanguine over this show and its willingness to poke at some of the more unpleasant implications of what's already happened in the MCU. Some other things:

- I'm not voting for the goofy comics version of Batroc Ze Leapair, unless they want to lampshade it, maybe by having Georges deliberately clowning with the whole hon-hon-I-am-zee-Franch thing as a cover, maybe opening a savate school, maybe even adopting the comics' crazy facial hair.

- Speaking of military propaganda, I'm looking forward to see how Captain Fauxmerica/USAgent is developed over the course of the season. The Smithsonian exhibit had its share of WWII-era small arms, pointing out that Cap in that era did use guns, but I'd still be very surprised if part of the anticipated pushback against NuCap doesn't have to do with his sporting a sidearm. (I know that other MCU superheroes--Winter Soldier, War Machine, Black Widow, Falcon, even Hawkeye in at least one scene--have used firearms, but not Cap since thawing out.) I also wonder if he's going to turn out to have some sort of enhancement, whether another try at duplicating the super-soldier serum or something else; the comics version had him getting enhanced strength from someone called the Power Broker who also set up a superhuman professional wrestling organization, and there was someone in the second season of Jessica Jones who was likewise capable of inducing superpowers, although often with side effects.

- Compare/contrast the Flag Smashers with the Rorschach-masked racists of the Watchmen series, or Anonymous/V for Vendetta.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:29 PM on March 19 [2 favorites]


US Military-Industrial Complex propaganda?

My read was foreshadowing exactly the opposite - that war spending and blind patriotism is getting the side-eye here.
posted by porpoise at 8:31 PM on March 19 [2 favorites]


the comics version had him getting enhanced strength from someone called the Power Broker

I believe I caught a Power Broker reference in the end credits, so I wonder if they’ll incorporate that.
posted by MrBadExample at 9:11 PM on March 19 [1 favorite]


even if it's just a little too coincidental that the guy that Bucky just had a nightmare of killing was the son of the guy who he (I guess) knew from the war

WW2 vets would look and act much older than that imo, unless we're just using time the way comics and internet culture have been and all time has collapsed. FWiW, my mental understanding of that thread was, "ah! See, that therapist is wrong, Bucky does have one friend! He's like Cap in Ultron who only had ww2 vets as friends" rapidly to "oh God, he found that uncle in his amends journey and he's been trying to work up the courage to make explicit amends per Rule 3". Bucky is in a hell of his own making for sure.
posted by cendawanita at 9:13 PM on March 19 [14 favorites]


Also, re the kill rate of that admittedly impressive opening action scene: kinda weird that it's followed up with Bucky's vivid nightmare about killing people, and his earnest attempts to make amends! Like, are we going to draw a line connecting these two things?

These were my thoughts exactly. I definitely think you can draw some interesting examinations of patriotism out of Captain-America-adjacent storylines (although it's not as easy to do it well as every Captain America writer seems to believe), but I'm frankly going to have a hard time accepting any bromides about nationalism and the appropriate use of force from the writing team that just blew up all those helicopter pilots on service to the US military, USAgent or no.

comics Batroc is fun because he was a punchline for so long but in more modern interpretations he half knows he's a joke and is half totally full of himself

Totally. I have no idea why I find him so delightful, but I'm unexpectedly fond of the guy. They really need to give the MCU version beaucoup plus more personality. I don't even need the ridiculous costume, just have him talk himself up more and do way more leaping.

this is not MCU The Boys, with Sam and anyone else associated with the Avengers pulling in tall coin from Underoos and energy drink endorsements

Besides that, Sam Wilson from the comics would never dream of cashing in his fame that way, and that underlying sense of integrity is one of the things that forms the basis of his friendship with Steve Rogers. (Hopefully they'll find some way to show that aspect of his character in this show in between all the flying and explosions, I'm cautiously optimistic so far.)

Anyways, I was basically OK with this episode as the first part of a big dumb action movie, though the only thing I really care about so far is Sam's sister's shrimp boat business.
posted by whir at 9:33 PM on March 19 [3 favorites]


My read was foreshadowing exactly the opposite - that war spending and blind patriotism is getting the side-eye here.

I mean, that's certainly my hope! I definitely noticed that the scene in the Smithsonian was shot in very cold colors, and that the camera really lingered on all the Captain America propaganda, even as Sam and Rhodey kept talking about Steve, referring to him as Steve and not as Cap, setting up a slightly jarring juxtaposition, because where's Steve? He's sure as hell not in those wartime propaganda posters. That's all Captain America, that's all the shiny propaganda image.

But one of the show's launch events took place at an Air Force base, so like, I'm feeling pretty cynical. I fully expect to end up more or less satisfied with the character work in the show, while being disappointed to actively enraged by the plot.
posted by yasaman at 10:14 PM on March 19 [3 favorites]


even if it's just a little too coincidental that the guy that Bucky just had a nightmare of killing was the son of the guy who he (I guess) knew from the war

I took the reveal at the end with the man's name in his little black book to mean that Bucky sought him out to apologize and make amends, but has ended up befriending him and keeps chickening out because now it's too hard to reveal his rôle in the death of the man's son.

Don't know if that's correct, but I'm sure we'll see it unfold. I don't think they'll leave that string un-pulled for long.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 10:30 PM on March 19 [21 favorites]


I find hilarious that people keep mentioning Baltroc's (Georges St-Pierre's) French accent, because it's definitely not French. It's 100% pure Québec. It's been toned down since CA:TWS, where Robert Redford made the entire audience in my local theater burst out laughing when he said that Baltroc was Algerian-French, but there's quite a lot of Canada in his voice still.

I really enjoyed the pace of this first episode, and I like how interconnected with the larger MCU it is, how the traumas of the past inform the present.
posted by snakeling at 3:14 AM on March 20 [3 favorites]


We are definitely not going to get a real unpacking of the problems of militarism in this show or any other MCU property anytime soon. It’s a bridge too far from where the franchise stands. At best, we’ll see individuals grappling with their individual traumas.

But the only serious systemic critique so far has been season one of the Punisher, which is vaguely not-canon—they keep dodging what is and isn’t—and which still ultimately presents a “gone off the rails” story that won’t satisfy if you’re looking for something to indict the whole institution.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 4:40 AM on March 20 [1 favorite]


I work in Montreal and see Olympic & Paralympic champions, world record setters, title holders of all sorts everyday. When GSP trained here he was definitely in that small subset of athletes that still made me look twice - on paper he's not a particularly large man but in person that presence is huge. And oh so very Montréal Québécois.
I took the reveal at the end with the man's name in his little black book to mean that Bucky sought him out to apologize and make amends, but has ended up befriending him and keeps chickening out because now it's too hard to reveal his rôle in the death of the man's son.
This; very much this. Also? I agree that the writing regarding his soul searching seemed really clunky. I didn't read it (as suggested above) so much as "oh I am an angsty white boy who murdered lots of people and I'm ridden with guilt boo hoo hoo" as "who (and what) the fuck am I even?"

Admittedly this could be a more-personal-than-required read. I'm not 106 years old and wasn't a multiply-mind-wiped-assassin but I do live with a neurological impairment that regularly changes how I read emotions in others, regulate my own, communicate with the world and form/retain memories of experiences in the long and short term. I regularly face the reality that a bad day can simultaneously leave me struggling with counterproductive emotions, maladaptive responses to other people and little, no or confused recollections of said events later. I am me throughout but ,given the breaks in consciousness and memory, do I still own those experiences afterwards? To whit; the consequences are always mine but when the experience is essentially stolen from me is it still part of me?

Closer to the Bucky end of the spectrum - Dr Jekyll could be said to have created Mr. Hyde and certainly (at the beginning) chose to become Hyde.... but when he looses that choice it's arguable that he remains culpable for Hyde's actions while not owning the experiences at all anymore. So who and what is he?

In the MCU - their take on The Hulk is very different and there is an integration that's not only possible but realized & (somewhat) explored on screen. In this miniseries I don't know that there'll be time (or craft) enough to properly explore Bucky's duality so I'm rather hoping they drop it sooner rather than later.
posted by mce at 7:08 AM on March 20 [3 favorites]


I know that other MCU superheroes--Winter Soldier, War Machine, Black Widow, Falcon, even Hawkeye in at least one scene--have used firearms, but not Cap since thawing out

Not quite correct, when Loki-controlled Hawkeye's agents invade the helicarrier in The Avengers, while Tony is trying to fix the propeller, Cap grabs one of the goon's machine guns and fires it at them, I think several times. But I don't think he's picked up any firearms since then.
posted by wabbittwax at 7:44 AM on March 20 [2 favorites]


Is anyone else really bothered by Bucky befriending the father of someone he murdered while brainwashed? That's an incredibly bad idea that can't end well for either of them and is probably further harming Bucky's metal and emotional recovery. He can't fix this particular situation, no matter how much good he does, nothing will bring the son back. Best to move on. He'd probably be better off pulling a Banner and just working with the sick in some rural spot.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:55 AM on March 20 [3 favorites]


It absolutely seems like a bad idea, which is why I think it's a promising storyline--he loses his nerve during his apology tour, can't admit to Yori why he's introducing himself, and then ends up befriending him accidentally, leaving the time bomb of the revelation ticking.

It's a great contrast in how there's some kinds of "amends" that are easy for him to make (intimidating a crooked politician), and some that are hard (actually apologizing to the family of an innocent victim). We teach boys that anger is the most acceptable emotion for them to show, while remaining "serious" or "strong."
posted by pykrete jungle at 8:13 AM on March 20 [13 favorites]


I would also mention that, as someone in recovery, the whole concept of making amends can be very tricky--steps 8 and 9 of twelve-step programs are "8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all", and "9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others." [emphasis mine]
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:21 AM on March 20 [12 favorites]


This is not an important question, but is there an in-universe reason why there's not a Seal Team full of Falcons? Obviously his wings are cutting edge tech but even in-universe they have had them for years, why aren't there at least a few more paratroopers thus equipped? Especially since Wilson spent 5 years dead.
posted by BungaDunga at 11:00 AM on March 20 [5 favorites]


They never explained it, but it might have something to do with Sam’s wingman being shot down.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 11:15 AM on March 20


I hope I’m proven wrong, but I’m pretty sure my favorite moment in this episode happened by accident.

I would love to watch a show where Sam Wilson, a Black man that will soon become a walking advertisement for American exceptionalism, spent the whole series really trying to square that fact with the spoken line “when things get better for one group, they always get worse for another”.

But yeah, based on the body count in the canyon scene, I don’t think it’s gonna be that kind of show.
posted by FallibleHuman at 12:44 PM on March 20 [2 favorites]


They never explained it, but it might have something to do with Sam’s wingman being shot down.

I always figured it was something like that, or maybe the wings were some kind of DARPA blue-sky project that was deemed too expensive. Or it could just be that they tested multiple pilots, and Sam was the only one who ever had a knack for it.
posted by MrBadExample at 12:51 PM on March 20


Did they make reference to any new characters as having been snapped? The first thing I wanted to know about Sam's sister Sarah and her kids were whether or not any of them had been gone for most of the last five years. Same for Bucky's date (who I just learned literally does not have a name, despite getting two scenes).

This takes place six months after Endgame, right? WandaVision had a pretty good in-universe rational for not talking about the snap, but otherwise, it seems like it should be the foremost topic of conversation. I know the bad-guys are supposed to be snap-revanchists or something, but there's gotta be more repercussions, both broad and personal. For the time being I'll assume they're just getting started with that.
posted by skewed at 1:05 PM on March 20


Sam's sister specifically mentioned she held things down for five years and he said he came back to his nephews having grown.
posted by emjaybee at 1:29 PM on March 20 [2 favorites]


Oh right, I had remembered that for Sarah but not the kids, thanks.
posted by skewed at 1:56 PM on March 20


Winter Soldier Co-Creator Reveals ‘Mixed Feelings’ About New Marvel Series (Variety)
Brubaker and Epting’s Winter Soldier first debuted in the “Captain America #1″ comic in 2004. In the new series, Anthony Mackie plays Falcon and Sebastian Stan assumes the role of Winter Soldier/ Bucky Barnes. Brubaker praised the two actors and the kindness of everyone he has met at Marvel Studios, acknowledging the privilege of his writing career.

Work-for-hire work is what it is, and I’m honestly thrilled to have co-created something that’s become such a big part of pop culture,” he wrote.
(emphasis mine)

What the ever-loving fuck? WORK-FOR-HIRE?
posted by mikelieman at 3:42 PM on March 20 [1 favorite]


You’re not wrong, mikelieman, but just wait until you learn about the rights situation around DC and Watchmen.
posted by FallibleHuman at 4:00 PM on March 20 [4 favorites]


Far as I understand it, work-for-hire is pretty much the standard for Marvel. And I think DC, too.

I imagine a lot of creators at Marvel have these feelings when they see the MCU blow up their creations.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 5:00 PM on March 20


I know a (largely retired) comic book artist who has done some work for hire. He has told me a sad tale or two of creative accounting on the art of publishers which they hope explains why they are so late with the cheques -- this is largely why he is retired.

Curiously, the thing that seems to annoy him the most is one character whose look he created (he was, I think, the first artist). The publisher used the character for a bit then retired him. They are not especially interested in defending the IP, I guess, because a shoddy online costume supply company makes a lightly renamed and highly derivative costume of my friend's old design with a tweak or two from other characters -- imagine if a costume company made what was transparently Superman but gave him a different chest blazon (maybe a Flash lightning bolt), and called him Superpower Guy. And as the publisher still holds the rights, he can only take a rueful pleasure in yea many thousands of kids dressed up every Hallowe'en in something that came off his drawing board thirty years ago.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:42 PM on March 20 [3 favorites]


Sam was an Avenger for a while and his (military? spy? S.H.I.E.L.D agent?) buddy is marveling at the "Stark-tech" as he repairs Redwing, so I'm guessing Tony made a bunch of improvements to the Falcon gear like he did for Spider-Man and so it's superior to most anything the military has and only works for Sam. (Like I'm pretty sure Sam never used his wings as a shield and didn't have a drone when using the US military version of the wings in Winter Soldier movie, but he was using both of those in Civil War. In fact weren't his original wings destroyed in the battle at the end of Winter Soldier?)

The question is in what capacity was Sam flying that mission? Did the US Military call and say, "Hey would you please help us with this problem...?" He mentions "military contracts" when talking with the bank. Did he work as a military contractor for a while and then retire to Louisiana?
posted by straight at 11:06 PM on March 20


I couldn't draw lines this clearly in real life, but I think for the purposes of this genre I can see a difference between Sam (and Steve) killing paramilitary soldiers who are killing people in a military op vs. Bucky deliberately killing an innocent bystander who just witnessed him assassinating some people.

The sense I got from the way Bucky's part was presented was that he tracked down the old man as part of his repentance tour, but that he didn't actually remember doing it until he had the dream. So the significance of seeing the photo is Bucky confirming the realization that made him bail on the date, that the dream was of how he killed that guy's son.

I think the reason Bucky denies having a nightmare is that he's denying that it was a fictional creation of his imagination.
posted by straight at 11:24 PM on March 20 [2 favorites]


I feel like it is hard to get as excited about this compared to WandaVision, but I think that’s largely because we can only compare the first episode of this to the entire series of WandaVision. The first episode of WV was certainly intriguing, but if it was the only episode, it would have been more oddity than masterpiece. Disney even released the first two episodes together so it didn’t have to stand alone.
posted by snofoam at 4:15 AM on March 21 [3 favorites]


I think the gubmint takes the wings less seriously than Sam does.

“‘Bird costume?’ Come on.”
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:29 AM on March 21


It's probably because there's not enough F-35 style pork barrel grifting for the defense industry. They're too busy building (and rebuilding) Helicarriers and Quinjets that get keep getting wrecked every other week. Not enough profit margin making wings for flying dudes.
posted by ssmith at 7:43 AM on March 21 [4 favorites]




I feel like it is hard to get as excited about this compared to WandaVision, but I think that’s largely because we can only compare the first episode of this to the entire series of WandaVision.


I thought the WV was kinda boring in those first two episodes, but stuck with it because it was weird and different. The third episode was where it really took off for me.

FatWS feels run of the mill, but has potential because it's starting off with characterization and has yet to put the two leads and their obvious chemistry together. The blockbuster style action piece was alright, a bit thrilling and fun, but I'm here for the characters and what they do.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:53 AM on March 21 [2 favorites]


I'm tempted to guess where the plot is going, but am trying to do less of that these days with this Marvel stories. It can be disappointing when I think I know where the plot is going, based on the various comic book backgrounds, but it's important, IMO, to realize these shows and movies are a different medium and not everything can or will be the same.

Plus it's exciting to just see where the creators are taking us.

That said, am slightly worried about there only be 5 hours of this series left, but perhaps that means the plot will be tight with few wasted points.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:57 AM on March 21


I'm thinking I'll have to sit through a few more of these threads to see if this is something I want to put myself through. The description of the violence/killing has me putting this show solidly in the "Skip" category right now. If, on the other hand, that turns out to be the extent of the violence, I might take a look, and maybe fast-forward through the killings. Given the subject of this show, though, I'm not hopeful.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:31 AM on March 21


Thorzdad, the violence, is mostly original A Team type violence ?
Let me explain.

The 'Action' opening sequence with Falcon involves lots of dudes getting kicked out of high spaces, or being in vehicles which blow up, but it's not gratuitous or bloody, just that logically - even with superhero physics, the bad guys in a helicopter that get hit with a rocket, are most definitely deceased.

There is some extended hand to hand fighting later on in the episode, and there is some uhm uncomfortable foley involved with punches/kicks landing but very little blood.

The violence is edited in a way that implies a lot, but doesn't actually show a lot?

Oh there is a scene in the first episode of the Winter Soldier breaking into what looks like a Museum and straight up killing about six people who were all trying to escape, and did not seem to have any military training what-so-ever as well.

Gauging how violent something is via description is tricky because different people have difference tolerances / violence triggers - but (so far) it's about the same levels of violence/editing as the Winter Soldier movie is.

Hope that helps?
posted by Faintdreams at 9:24 AM on March 21 [1 favorite]


I got hung up on that extended scene which was entirely alternating between Bucky's nose in extreme close-up and his therapist's nose in extreme close-up. I literally counted the blackheads in their pores. I feel so lucky it was the wrong angle for nose hair. WTF was that?!
posted by MiraK at 10:09 AM on March 21


I keep thinking that the shield that is in the Smithsonian is either a copy or Sam has a Wakanda-made duplicate. Sam may be a straight arrow but no one in the hero business should be giving up a tool like that. Sam has no powers and he needs every edge he can get.
posted by Ber at 11:37 AM on March 21 [1 favorite]


that extended scene which was entirely alternating between Bucky's nose in extreme close-up and his therapist's nose in extreme close-up

Yeah, that was an...interesting directorial choice there, and I'm not sure what the intention was.
posted by Naberius at 3:28 PM on March 21


I loved the cinematography in that therapy scene. I took the extreme closeups to be claustrophobic on purpose. Like, the therapist is telling Bucky "you're free now," while the close-in focus on his face and eyes are telling us that Bucky doesn't feel that way, he still feels trapped.

Also, not sure if this is deliberate or not, but I thought it was meant to mirror or evoke the close-up from this scene in Captain America: Civil War. Which is an interesting choice or echo if so, because that scene was the Winter Soldier getting his orders. So that suggests some interesting things, in a therapy scene from Bucky's POV: 1) it's all part of the same continuum to Bucky. He goes from being tortured as the Winter Soldier (he just had his memories wiped for the nth time in that scene) and having some dude with words in a notebook control him, to being returned to himself as Bucky Barnes again, but there's still someone right there with a notebook (which he even calls out as passive aggressive!), seeking to control him only this time with rules and not trigger words (from his POV anyway, ideally therapy isn't about your therapist 'controlling' your actions, obviously). Which leads into 2) perhaps unsurprising that a guy who's been the subject of noncon medical experimentation and mindfucking isn't feeling super thrilled by and willing to cooperate with government-mandated therapy.

The way these shots echo each other, the similar cool coloring in both of them, really gets across, to me at any rate, that sense that Bucky still feels trapped, that he's ambivalent about his freedom because it still doesn't feel like freedom, not when there are so many echoes of his imprisonment with HYDRA, and not while he's still wrestling with his past and his guilt.
posted by yasaman at 4:04 PM on March 21 [15 favorites]


I keep thinking that the shield that is in the Smithsonian is either a copy or Sam has a Wakanda-made duplicate. Sam may be a straight arrow but no one in the hero business should be giving up a tool like that. Sam has no powers and he needs every edge he can get.

They showed in the opening battle that Sam can use his wings as a shield and he's got Red Wing to be his sidekick.

There's no way, from a narrative point of view, that Sam has the original shield stashed away somewhere. For the story to work, he has to have given it up and now that it's been handed to someone else, he needs to want to get it back and then to get it back.

If it's a bait and switch, all that dramatic tension is gone.
posted by crossoverman at 4:24 PM on March 21 [2 favorites]


I took the extreme closeups to be claustrophobic on purpose. Like, the therapist is telling Bucky "you're free now," while the close-in focus on his face and eyes are telling us that Bucky doesn't feel that way, he still feels trapped.

I very much share this reading. Of course after that it instilled momentary humility and that night i think i remembered to apply facial serum (i think, my covid-19 skincare routine is barely there on the best of days).

I also don't think this is the kind of story that's meant to be a heist, so Sam wouldn't be someone with a card up his sleeve in this one. This is back to TWS-type of military ops thriller it feels like, which I'm low-key in a relief about (I'm ambivalent about the propaganda in the sense that, yeah, as a non-american, this is new how? This cinematic universe kick-started with a military contractor). But I'm in relief because I've been :/ for years that Cap 3 was basically Avengers 2.5 and had to play correction from AoU.
posted by cendawanita at 5:01 PM on March 21


That opening sequence got boring. Nice to catch up with Batroc, but it does not take five helicopters and half a dozen missiles (or whatever) to convince me that The Falcon is a legit superhero. I did like the rest - Rhodey, Sam's family, Bucky lying to everyone, the blip fallout, the gutpunch of Fake Cap.

But I'm keeping expectations low. I hope that the Wilson family home gets saved. The family boat too, as long as that's what Sarah wants - reading between the lines, she shouldered that duty/legacy because she had to, and may not have been completely sorry to see it come to an end? And I look forward to seeing Uncle Sam retrieve the shield from Fake Cap.
posted by mersen at 7:43 PM on March 21 [1 favorite]


My roommates and I spent the first several minutes screaming "THAT IS NOT HOW WINGSUITS WORK", especially the guy rolling INTO the helicopter. Also wondering why Sam needs that jet engine if some guys in wingsuits are pretty much just as fast and capable.
posted by hanov3r at 12:54 PM on March 22 [1 favorite]


Yeah, this is obviously very different from WandaVision and the CGI is going involve more action and blowing things up.

I do expect this to be mildly, non-subversively ant-military. In the sense that the misguided fools who've already betrayed Sam by using Cap's shield because rah-rah go-US will be antagonists, if not villains, in the show. But, sure, it's not going to be anti-imperialistic or ask if we shouldn't perhaps be performing violence in random Arab nations.
posted by mark k at 5:07 PM on March 22


Is anyone else really bothered by Bucky befriending the father of someone he murdered while brainwashed? That's an incredibly bad idea that can't end well for either of them and is probably further harming Bucky's metal and emotional recovery.

I agree it's not being set up as a good situation; maybe the writers can pull something out with a happy resolution, but I don't think that's the intent. And it's also an interesting callback to the end of WandaVision- or the audience reaction. People really do like meaning amends and atonement, but there are cases where that's simply not going to be possible, and the best thing to do is to stay away and do good elsewhere.

Unlike the walking disaster Tony Stark, both Bucky and Wanda are being portrayed as doing things that can't easily be atoned for, in a much more ambiguous and emotionally complex way. I'm anticipating that the Loki series will have yet a different lettuce on dealing with one's past.
posted by happyroach at 7:09 PM on March 22 [2 favorites]


Sam may be a straight arrow but no one in the hero business should be giving up a tool like that. Sam has no powers and he needs every edge he can get.

Plus, if Vision's body is 3 billion dollars worth of vibranium, then Cap's shield is probably $100 million in scrap alone, let alone the historical value. He should have made the Smithsonian buy it from him. Family problems solved.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:10 PM on March 22


Plus, if Vision's body is 3 billion dollars worth of vibranium, then Cap's shield is probably $100 million in scrap alone,

The scrapped one could be recovered in pieces from a battlefield in upstate New York. The one i9n this episode is apparently the one that $OldSteve brought forward in time which is not necessarily the same one. For one thing, the star now has five narrow diamond shapes in relief where previously it was smooth. Of course, the one handed over in Endgame had a slightly different pattern there too. Or possibly it is the new prototype Happy mentions in the most recent Spider-Man movie. Who knows?

Seems to me in comics lore, the shield was proto-adamantium but this fictional medal was tied up with the X-Men over at Fox (sheathing Wolverine’s skeleton) when the MCU began.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:33 PM on March 22


He should have made the Smithsonian buy it from him.

Didn't someone in a previous MCU film pull the "this is government property" card and confiscate the shield? I'm thinking it's Civil War over the Sokovia Accords. Sam's lucky some general didn't just take it from him at the first opportunity.
posted by Servo5678 at 5:02 AM on March 23 [1 favorite]


Seems to me in comics lore, the shield was proto-adamantium but this fictional medal was tied up with the X-Men over at Fox (sheathing Wolverine’s skeleton) when the MCU began.

The closest that I know of to a definition was in the semi-canon Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, which included superlative technical illustrations for much of the gear of the MU by Eliot Brown. Here's the shield, which explains that the shield is a proto-adamantium/vibranium alloy that adamantium's inventor, Dr. Myron MacLain, has never been able to duplicate.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:43 AM on March 23


I have an ok tolerance for action stuff, in that I like it when it's done well but get fidgity when it goes on too long. I definitely live for the character moments, and I think the first ep did a good job of balancing the two reasonably well. (I didn't hate the WandaVision finale, but it set some stuff up and then didn't resolve it well and that was a lot of flying around shooting lasers.)

I also get what they're trying to do with Sam and his sister's loan storyline, but I don't know that it was handled well. Then again, coming from Fanfic World, you expect things like "pick up a phone and call Pepper" (in the same way you do "everybody lives in Stark Towers!) when the actual canon properties don't tend to go that way. So I'll appreciate it for what it's doing even if all it did was open a big can of worms for people to argue on the internet. As if people weren't going to argue on the internet.
posted by PussKillian at 7:44 AM on March 23 [1 favorite]


I thought this was just really mediocre. Then again it lost me early when Sam was learning about the terrorists and said "Trust me. Every time something gets better for one group, it gets worse for another." That really rubbed me the wrong way.

We're supposed to accept that half of the population disappeared for five years but the world is basically the same? Except I guess banks decided to hold being blipped against you.
posted by graventy at 7:10 PM on March 23 [3 favorites]


I don't think the remaining half was at status quo. I mean, imagine all the suddenly empty property etc, which is how I took that exchange to mean. But we'll see, likely MCU canon right now would prefer to keep it open rather than fleshed out fully for future plot reasons (ala an actual serial).

Speaking of future MCU, it seems like they've caved with Black Widow on it just being a theatrical release, this new announcement indicates a D+ simultaneous release as well.
posted by cendawanita at 9:49 PM on March 23


Not just D+, but D+ plus a $30 fee.
posted by Servo5678 at 7:23 AM on March 24


I wonder how many people are going to shell out for that for an underplayed character who's already dead in a movie set in an irrelevant past.
posted by kokaku at 8:30 AM on March 24


I might shell out the $30 for a beloved and well done character, especially if the movie spotlights a part of the past that will, almost certainly, have some impact on the future.

Two tickets to the movie are about $24 bucks for me and da wife. A single snack and a drink will easily tip that over $30, so it's not a big deal.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:02 PM on March 24 [3 favorites]


This McSweeney's article is a hilarious take on the question of the Avengers' pay: Falcon's GoFundMe Page:
Hi, my name is Sam Wilson. I’m a US Air Force veteran and I recently left my job at the VA to become an Avenger. My new gig at Stark Industries doesn’t come with a salary or benefits, which they forgot to mention during recruitment. We are now told it “pays in goodwill.” My boss, a billionaire, doesn’t provide health insurance because I’m considered an independent contractor. Unlike my co-workers, I do not have a safety net. Thor benefits from both generational wealth and god privilege. Bruce has seven PhDs, an MD, and no student loan debt, so there has to be a rich uncle in the mix. Captain America is covered because his age qualifies him for Medicare.

I hate having to ask, but anything you can spare will help me stay afloat and keep on Avengin’!
posted by yasaman at 5:17 PM on March 24 [13 favorites]


Having the eventually new Captain America be "Uncle Sam" is pretty great.
posted by straight at 6:52 PM on March 24 [4 favorites]


Sam was unemployed for five years by virtue of being poofed and dead. He wasn't getting paid for anything while being dead. You don't have a job by virtue of being dead. Hell, wouldn't he have lost his accounts and everything while being dead? Think of millions of people, back from the dead, with no homes, no means of support, all of their savings gone. I hope he's getting paid by whoever's sending him off on that mission, but it seems pretty likely that he doesn't have money. Also, how the hell is Bucky being financially supported enough to have a home and be able to afford to eat at a sushi bar? He was poofed AND what, pardoned? How's he managing to live life?

I'm not shocked that the bank turned him down, I'm sure "dead for five years and has no job now" is a good reason to turn down half the clientele.

Anyway, how do I feel about this show? Eh, it's okay so far, not gonna be mindblowing like WandaVision, more standard. I am disappointed that our title characters don't even meet during the first episode, though. Geez, guys, you only have six!

I nth that Bucky's sushi buddy is an inevitable drama bomb that will go off (seriously, don't befriend the guy, just...don't), and I like sushi girl and wish she had a name and would be in the show more. Ah well, probably not.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:48 PM on March 24


I'm not shocked that the bank turned him down, I'm sure "dead for five years and has no job now" is a good reason to turn down half the clientele.

Except he has a job - he's a contract killer for the US military. That has to pay well.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:06 PM on March 24 [5 favorites]


Sushi girl’s name is Leah, although at this moment I don’t know how I know that.
posted by PussKillian at 5:46 AM on March 25


He has a job now, but bank guy didn't give him the loan. And cited five years.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:51 AM on March 25


Marvel desperately wants us to believe that a world where half the people were considered dead for five years and then all miraculously came back is basically like our own. Both of those events would be catastrophic to every aspect of society. Would countries still exist? Would governments?

But yeah sure ok a super-famous government employed superhero can't get a loan because he was unemployed for five years.
posted by graventy at 8:45 AM on March 25 [1 favorite]


Excuses, excuses, is what I'm thinking on that one. (And, of course, it's at least somewhat likely racism is involved too.)

But yeah, why the heck didn't they just snap everyone back 5 years in time and make everything easy on them? I read somewhere in Rolling Stone that they just didn't want to snap little Morgan Stark out of existence, and the guys who wrote the show didn't have to care about the aftermath. *eye-roll*

Both of those events would be catastrophic to every aspect of society.

Yeah, this is part of what annoyed me about "Far From Home." They wanted to make Fun Summer Trip! movie...after THIS happened. If you wanna open up this can of worms, you gotta deal with the worms, man.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:21 AM on March 25 [4 favorites]


It's best to acknowledge, though difficult and unfulfilling, that the MCU sometimes write narrative checks it will not cash.

Those five years are a fascinating gold mine of story potential and Marvel has the clout to hire the very best talent to bring those stories to life. But they won't, 'cause reasons.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:01 AM on March 25 [5 favorites]


Why does anyone expect Disney to suddenly create narratives that deal with the more problematic aspects of the worldbuilding in thier Tentpole properties?

They never have. They never will.

The closest they have ever gotten was the 'war is hell' underpinnings of Star Wars : Rogue One

Extensive Fanfic of everything Disney has ever produced *exists for a reason*

[Yes I'm stating Fanfic in particular and not just Slashfic which is a sub category before anyone makes that joke]
posted by Faintdreams at 12:49 PM on March 25 [2 favorites]


Hey, we can dream!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:00 PM on March 25 [1 favorite]


I think everyone was expecting Endgame to be some time travel and/or magic do-over that would erase the Infinity War defeat and make like it never happened. But they wanted the story to have more stakes and consequences than that.

When HulkBanner wore the glove, he was as omnipotent as his frail/mighty body could handle. I think his wish must have been to bring everyone back with the least disruption logically possible (not plausible). If anything post Snap/Blip doesn't make sense, it's because A Wizard Did It.
posted by straight at 3:26 PM on March 25 [2 favorites]


It really covers almost any discrepancy that comes up. If one writer says thousands of airline passengers didn't die from reappearing in mid-air, it's because Banner Did It. If a later writer wants to tell the story of someone who was hurt or killed by reappearing in dangerous circumstances, it's because Banner Couldn't Fix Everything.

This also gives you permission to enjoy whatever story you want to enjoy without constantly asking, "Wait, does it make sense the world would be like that after five years?"

Comic book fans might recognize this as a subset of the problem "Why hasn't all the Stark & Wakanda & alien technology made the Marvel World unrecognizably different?" The answer to which is always "We want to tell superhero stories set in something like our world."
posted by straight at 3:40 PM on March 25 [1 favorite]


Bucky should be owed lots of US Army back pay for being a never discharged, captured prisoner of war. (I think that was always reasoning given for Steve's ability to support himself.) I don't know how long Sam was part of the military for, but he should have some kind of pension. I'm not saying it would be enough to fix the boat and keep the business afloat, but again, he should be able to support himself (blip-effects aside).
posted by sardonyx at 4:33 PM on March 25


Sam clearly has a job with the US military, so he some money, just not enough to save the business.

Banks being very conservative after everyone returns is very believable.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:39 PM on March 25




Please tell me the rest of the series is all about Bucky teaming up with Sam’s family to help turn around their struggling fishing business.
posted by mbrubeck at 7:52 PM on March 28 [1 favorite]


Give it a few episodes?
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:02 PM on March 28 [1 favorite]


Behind-the-scenes Easter Egg -

One of the names on Bucky's "Amends" list, which you can see briefly, is "L. Kaminski". That's actually a shout-out to a former Marvel writer and editor Len Kaminski, who worked on both the Iron Man and Winter Soldier series during his tenure (among other titles). Len's the one who created the character of Bucky's sister, as well.

I knew Len in the 90s (long story) and am Facebook-linked with him today. He's bemused by the sudden notoriety - but I think deep down he's also touched. He's had some hard knocks lately and I hope this helped.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:23 AM on April 9 [2 favorites]


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