The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: The Star-Spangled Man
March 26, 2021 2:30 AM - Season 1, Episode 2 - Subscribe

John Walker is named Captain America, and Sam and Bucky team up against a rebel group.
posted by Pronoiac (73 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
The highlight was the couple's counselling scene and the fact that the new Captain America seems pretty genuine even if he's also a jerk.

Otherwise, I found this all a bit predictable. That ending was just leaden; even if you didn't know Zemo was in this, it wasn't a reveal, it was Sam and Bucky saying they should go see him and then we... see him?

We're a third of the way in already and it still all feels like set up.
posted by crossoverman at 2:44 AM on March 26 [2 favorites]


If you need a refresher on the characters, the “Marvel Studios Legends” are fairly brief recaps, like montages. They hit the highlights.

For the trucks, they probably should've summoned roadblocks.
posted by Pronoiac at 3:14 AM on March 26


Eeee Isaiah Bradley!

This is shaping up to be quite a show of Captains America huh.
posted by cendawanita at 6:38 AM on March 26 [6 favorites]


A solid episode, I'd give it a 'B'. The focus is still on the characters, which I greatly appreciate, while delving into what the current world looks like.

That said, things feel a bit disjointed, as Sam's family wasn't mentioned at all. Falcon made a point about Black Hero name, but it feels like a one off minor point that no one was mentioning. Falcon has always been known as Falcon. Hopefully that leads to some larger point.

Props on making the new Cap not be a total asshole, but still very different from truCap.

Where's Sharon?

Ya black super solider, who also whipped Bucky's ass. But what's up with the in prison for 30 years? No comic back story please!

I think my biggest complaint is knowing that this series is only six episodes and it feels like the pace is moving slowly, compared to think I know that'll happen like Sharon appearing. Hell, we only just saw Zemo and there's only f our episodes left.

It's just a matter of being a viewer as opposed to so much a fan, what knows very things. Just let the creators tell their story, yadda yadda.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:04 AM on March 26 [3 favorites]


Also, I can hear the rumble of a million keyboards at work on various FanFics about that "marriage" counseling scene.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:47 AM on March 26 [6 favorites]


The new Captain bragging about having 20/20 vision.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 9:17 AM on March 26 [2 favorites]


"A Sorcerer is just a Wizard without a Hat. I just came up with that!"

That made me bark laugh, and also Stan's delivery of the line about reading Tolkien when it first came out was just ::chef's kiss'.
posted by Faintdreams at 10:39 AM on March 26 [13 favorites]


Why wasn't that the first episode? It was everything I wanted the show to be in the first place, and hit all the worthwhile beats the premiere did (character-establishing fight scene, therapy, introducing Walker, white authority figures being casually racist to Sam while claiming to admire him, the Flag-Smashers) but with better execution. I agree that it still all feels like setup, but at least this was better setup.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:19 PM on March 26 [10 favorites]


Captain Fauxmerica called Bucky an asset and I said, "Oh fuck YOU," out loud, so that's how that's going for me.
posted by merriment at 12:54 PM on March 26 [14 favorites]


Oh, and the kid who plays doorman for Isaiah Bradley is credited as Eli Bradley, AKA Patriot of the Young Avengers
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:56 PM on March 26 [8 favorites]


lol glad to know I wasn't the only one who immediately decided to hate John Walker forever the moment he called Bucky an asset. He was already on thin ice for all that presumptuous overfamiliarity with Sam and Bucky, but calling him an asset? He is dead to me.

Anyway, I had an extremely lot of emotions about that Isaiah Bradley scene and cannot distill them all into a comment yet.
posted by yasaman at 1:04 PM on March 26 [4 favorites]


Yes, this was the buddy cop show I was absolutely hoping for! It was quippy, I laughed my head off. (Though I am still all, where's Sharon?)

"Do eagles fly overhead wherever you go?" "Yes."
The Big Three: "androids, aliens, and wizards." "Every time we fight somebody, it's one of the three." LOL.
Bucky knows a cultural reference! Gandalf! How very "I got that one."
"I'm coming with you!" "No, you're not!" AND THE BUDDY COP SHOW I WAS WAITING FOR FINALLY BEGINS YESSSSS.
"I have a plan." "Really, what is it?" (Sam jumps out of a plane without answering.) LOL.
Chute, schmute, who needs a chute?
"You're doing the staring thing again." LOL.
"And I can fly, who gives a shit?"
"That little girl kicked yo' ass."
"Could have used that shield."
"It's one of the big three, aliens, androids, or wizards." "THERE ARE NO WIZARDS." "Okay, so it's either aliens or androids."
"You ever jump on a grenade?" "Yeah, I have, four times."
"Does he always just STARE like that?" "You get used to it."
"My daddy told me it's BLACK Falcon." "So are you like, Black Kid?" Good point.
"If by 'met' you mean, WHUPPED YOUR ASS."
"You think you can wake up one day and decide who you're gonna be?" That's a long point of debate, sir.
Welp, this seems ironic on a lot of levels that the white guy just got arrested.
"You too, Sam, that's NOT a request," grumps the therapist.
Sam calls Bucky "Freaky Magoo." ?????
The Miracle Question: if you woke up and a miracle happened, what do you want? FOR HIM TO SHUT UP, they both say. Soulmates, man.
"You leave me no choice: the soul gazing exercise." LOLOLOLOL.
AND A MILLION FANFICS ARE BORN OF THESE GUYS AND THEIR LEGS TOGETHER. ALL THE STEVE/BUCKY SHIPPERS ARE NOW REPLACED BY SAM/BUCKY SHIPPERS.
"Are you having a staring contest? Just blink. SWEET JESUS." I fucking love this show, I am laughing my head off so hard.
"AND DON'T SAY SOMETHING CHILDISH."
"THANKS, DOC, FOR MAKING IT WEIRD. I FEEL MUCH BETTER." LOLOLOLOL LOVE THIS SHOW. This is exactly what I wanted.
"I feel better." "I feel awful."
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:05 PM on March 26 [11 favorites]


I am filled with RAGE over Imposter Captain America. THAT IS NOT CAP. UNHAND THAT SHIELD. And I'm even MORE rage-filled because John Walker is played by Wyatt Russell, who I LOVED in Lodge 49. DAMMIT MARVEL.
posted by cooker girl at 4:32 PM on March 26 [5 favorites]


Falcon made a point about Black Hero name, but it feels like a one off minor point that no one was mentioning. Falcon has always been known as Falcon. Hopefully that leads to some larger point.

The point is, when he takes up the Shield and he's Captain America that no one should call him Black Captain America. He should just be Captain America.
posted by crossoverman at 4:35 PM on March 26 [16 favorites]


John Walker is played by Wyatt Russell, who I LOVED in Lodge 49

I'm assuming it's a shared universe where Sean Dudly got sick of cleaning pools, changed his name, and enlisted.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 4:38 PM on March 26


That marching band version of Star Spangled Man was excellent, I love that there's in-universe pop culture history in the MCU. Which makes me think about culture during the Blip, all the speculative fiction and art that just exists in this bubble that turned out to be temporary.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:59 PM on March 26 [5 favorites]


Which makes me think about culture during the Blip, all the speculative fiction and art that just exists in this bubble that turned out to be temporary.

It's so analogous to lockdown, as well. Not knowing how long the world would change. Re-writing our expectations. Re-wiring our brains. No doubt we'll get lots of movies and plays and TV shows reflecting on 2020, but both F&WS and WandaVision somehow speak to the time even though they were - mostly - made beforehand.
posted by crossoverman at 6:30 PM on March 26 [6 favorites]


I'm assuming it's a shared universe where Sean Dudly got sick of cleaning pools, changed his name, and enlisted.

Nooooooo. Dud is too pure to be Walker!
posted by cooker girl at 6:52 PM on March 26 [2 favorites]


Rewatching the ep to track the different rates of full understanding, where Bucky was basically vibrating with rage from the moment the news was announced and Sam too, but in a more... I can't find the word in English, but basically a confirmation of the world he's in and that's fate ('pasrah' if anyone else is interested) and I'm really interested by the indication that the show is picking up the narrative and charaterization threads from TWS (which makes it more of a sequel than CA: Civil War which was basically Avengers 2.5), where we have two characters with established reasons to distrust the state and what the shield is to them outside Steve: Sam with a historical and personal understanding of systemic oppression (domestically. The layered complication that's their military identity is uh, noted /sad lol) and Bucky, who was uh, the literal hand that flexed that oppression personally.

IDK I'm just very caught as a viewer at these two points: when Bucky basically hit his internal limit when he heard Battlestar's call sign, and Sam's emotional headspace post-Isaiah.

Oof that's heavy. Would they stick the landing where the corporate endpoint is Sam being the Cap? I'm gonna rewatch for all the couples bickering then.
posted by cendawanita at 7:37 PM on March 26 [5 favorites]


Bucky, who was uh, the literal hand that flexed that oppression personally.

While also being a victim himself, in terms of being an unwilling subject of medical experimentation and being turned into a super soldier murderbot! It's a thorny, painful set up all around, the scene with Isaiah threw it all into stark relief, and I too am wondering about them sticking that landing.
posted by yasaman at 7:45 PM on March 26 [4 favorites]


This episode really flew by. I wasn't expecting it when the credits started to roll. I could have sworn there should be at least another scene or two.

And I know I posed this question in the WandaVison discussion, but I'm still really curious how this qualifies for funding from Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia when, as far as I can tell, nothing was shot here or no post-work was done in Canada.
posted by sardonyx at 8:28 PM on March 26


MARZ did visual effects for WandaVision, as did Rodeo FX - not sure about the BC connection.
posted by warriorqueen at 9:05 PM on March 26 [1 favorite]


I am super-impressed; well before last week's ep, I knew about the Flag Smashers, John Walker, Zemo returning... but not about Isaiah Bradley, Eli Bradley, or Battlestar (can't wait for someone to goof on that name). Especially with the possibility of Patriot; we already know that Kate Bishop will be in the Hawkeye series, we saw Tommy and Billy in WandaVision, and America Chavez in the next Doctor Strange movie--I'm not saying "Young Avengers", buuuuut... Young Avengerrrrrrrrrs

Anyway. Yeah, John Walker wasn't as bad as I was expecting, and he knows how to use the shield, but he also seems to be digging the spotlight just a bit too much. I wonder if that will be his downfall, or if his handlers will try to urge some sort of super-soldier formula or Power Broker-esque treatment onto him; whatever is juicing up the Flag Smashers might end up in his veins. (Speaking of the Flag Smashers, I recognized Erin Kellyman from Solo; she was arguably one of the better things about that film.) The therapy scene was, of course, sublime.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:21 PM on March 26 [8 favorites]


I can't help but noting that twice now, we see Sam getting remind that, Avenger or not, he's still a black man in America.
posted by stevis23 at 9:28 PM on March 26 [15 favorites]


Yeah Walker is definitely overmatched, shield or no shield. I can see getting juiced (or tempted by it) in his future.

I really like the way Sam's race is being treated as too important to ignore; that and Isaiah's story reminds me of Killmonger's museum scene in how they shine a spotlight on what racism does and how it crushes people.
posted by emjaybee at 9:42 PM on March 26 [5 favorites]


Wyatt Russell looks distractingly like his dad.
posted by 41swans at 11:11 PM on March 26 [8 favorites]


This was 10x better than the snoozefest that was last week and really shows the flaws in Marvel's strategy of spinning movie-sized plots into TV shows two times their length. Hopefully they keep the energy up for the rest of the show!
posted by adrianhon at 5:18 AM on March 27


Wyatt Russell looks distractingly like his dad.

I... I had not made that connection. It's really too bad that Jack Quaid is in The Boys on another network; finding an excuse to put those two together would be hilarious.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:58 AM on March 27 [5 favorites]


Really enjoying this show so far. "The big three" and Bucky's Gandalf hipster flex made me laugh out loud.

I'm a comics guy from way back, but there are certain stories I'm more keen to see in the filmed portion of the multiverse at this point. The realities of this format can lead to stories that we're not likely to ever see in the comics, and this could be one of them. Since Chris Evans seems pretty definitively done playing Cap, the MCU will need to reckon with what happens when Steve Rogers really is gone, and not coming back even if the fans demand it.
posted by EatTheWeek at 10:02 AM on March 27 [3 favorites]


I have think there being conspiracy theories that Cap isn't gone but is "on the moon" is awesome, very much what would happen.
posted by emjaybee at 11:58 AM on March 27 [1 favorite]


I'm not saying it's at all intentional, but I thought the idea of some segment of the population believing that Steve Rogers is on the moon was very reminiscent of Grant Morrison's version of Superman's history...where at some point he retreats to live inside the Sun, keeping it working order until he returns in the 83,000-and-something. Because there almost certainly would be some rumors flying around, right? My assumption is that most people believe that he simply died during the final battle with Thanos, along with Tony Stark. But at the same time...there was this old guy who turned up around the same time. How long did he stick around? Did anybody other than Sam and Bucky interact with him? Where did he go after that meeting on the park bench?

Of course there would be rumors. And of course there would be stories that he'd be coming back, whenever the world needs him most. I don't know if that's so much "conspiracy theory" as it is people just telling themselves the same story over and over again.
posted by Ipsifendus at 12:56 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


Where is Steve these days? Hmmm...
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:22 PM on March 27


That truck fight was some weak sauce. Maybe you could cut Bucky some slack for being out of action for a while, but Sam does some wing-fu in Civil War that he seems to completely forget in this scene. Lame.
posted by Fleebnork at 4:35 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


I'm waffling on this show (although my family's invested in the MCU, so I'll watch it just for plot points). It doesn't speak to my heart like WandaVision does, but I feel like I'm not really the core audience in a way.

I find the urban/southern fishing bits a really interesting match to the faux-suburbs and immigrant pipe dreams of WandaVision. I kind of feel like taken as a duo, these two shows have a lot to say about different American experiences.

I did get teary at the Baltimore cops scene. It was those weird tears where you're kind of relieved they wrote it in and angry that this is current state of the universe.

The fake couples counselling session...I was dying. I mean, it's funny, the fanfic-esque part of my brain was delighted, I was really hoping for a Very Different scene after, but at the same time I'm like...PTSD treatment doesn't work this way! Don't make them touch each other and stare into each other's eyes EW! Couples counselling in this situation is inappropriate! (Unless they are a couple, if that's revealed later I'll eat my words.) I feel like Bucky's suffering is being treated at the same time like a serious theme and for laughs, but not as intelligently as Wanda's.

I guess what it comes down to is...I don't feel like this show has the same degree of artistic control. After the attention to detail in WandaVision's sets and costumes and nailing the fake world and adding in the sort of quasi fourth wall breaking Jimmy/Darcy/Monica commentary...all the little fight details and (going back to ep 1) the flight suit gymnastics and the really whack therapy (unless the therapist is Agatha All Along) are taking me out of the story.
posted by warriorqueen at 4:47 PM on March 27 [3 favorites]


Maybe my head is fuzzy because I forgot to take my meds this morning, but I didn't understand why the therapist even had Sam and Bucky in there together? I mean, other than fanservice? How does Bucky missing his therapy appointment rate her trying to put the two of them in the get-along shirt? I really *wanted* to like this scene (see: fanservice), but I just couldn't get it to make sense.
posted by velvet_n_purrs at 7:18 PM on March 27 [4 favorites]


I assumed she dragged them in together because the whole reason they got noticed by the cops was that they were having a loud argument in the middle of the street. Thin justification, but it's not totally out of left field, and she's not framing it as a PTSD thing, just a "why were you two yelling at each other in public, time to talk it out" thing.
posted by yasaman at 7:36 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


I think that, if Steve and his friends would allow it, he's probably in an extremely nice government facility somewhere, being studied for long-term effects of the super-soldier serum. That's something that both the comics and the MCU apparently have in common: the most commonly desired superpower seems to be being a perfect human specimen, and the most desired application seems to be producing a super-soldier. The Hulk is Bruce Banner's attempt to duplicate the process, and it seems to have been successful in the past Soviet/Hydra experiment, before those subjects were killed... by Helmut Zemo, whom Bucky and Sam are going to see.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:49 PM on March 27


I’m enjoying this show, though not obsessed with it like I was with WandaVision. The pacing is strange—I liked that they spent the full first episode not necessarily going anywhere, but exploring Sam and Buck’s lives. Then this episode is all plot and no mention at all of Sam’s sister or Bucky’s failing attempt to atone to Yori. Whatever, still digging it!

But one line was strange to me, when Sam asked Bucky what was going on in his cyborg brain, and Bucky answered “computing.” Does Bucky actually have other mechanical parts than his arm? My friend read it as Sam just teasing him about the fact that he’s part machine. And my scan of MCU wikis didn’t bring up a cyborg brain. Anyone have a definitive answer either way?
posted by ejs at 7:58 PM on March 27


when Sam asked Bucky what was going on in his cyborg brain, and Bucky answered “computing.” Does Bucky actually have other mechanical parts than his arm?

Sam was teasing him, and Bucky's deadpan response was in kind. It was one of my favorite little moments of the episode, I've been really enjoying Bucky's dry, deadpan humor. Though I could have sworn that one of the early teasers/trailers had an alternate take of this scene with Bucky saying "you don't want to know" so perhaps this was an adlibbed alternative.
posted by yasaman at 8:11 PM on March 27 [3 favorites]


Has Sam just given up on guns? He had, like, machine guns in Winter Soldier. Now suddenly he’s just doing it by hand? You can shoot super soldiers.

Also I straight out lol’d at the racist cops in a Disney show.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:28 AM on March 28 [1 favorite]


When the "Captain America is on the moon" theory was mentioned, I thought it was a thinly-veiled shout out / homage to the Watchmen TV series, and Doctor Manhattan being on Mars.
posted by Apropos a pro's pose at 4:53 AM on March 28 [4 favorites]


The first thing I thought of was The Watcher, who lived on the Moon and observed humanity.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:58 AM on March 28 [2 favorites]


I’m pretty sure it’s not a shout-out to Unbrella Academy which actually did have the group’s leader stationed on the moon for a few years.
posted by ejs at 8:53 AM on March 28 [3 favorites]


Maybe my head is fuzzy because I forgot to take my meds this morning, but I didn't understand why the therapist even had Sam and Bucky in there together? I mean, other than fanservice? How does Bucky missing his therapy appointment rate her trying to put the two of them in the get-along shirt? I really *wanted* to like this scene (see: fanservice), but I just couldn't get it to make sense.

Yes, I am a fan that this fanservice was for (hit me up if you want some Bucky/Sam fanfiction recs) and I just found it weird and inappropriate for the therapist to act that way. Also, she should really focus on making sure Bucky is actually taking care of himself--he doesn't even have furniture!
posted by chaiminda at 10:20 AM on March 28 [3 favorites]


Anyone being “on the moon” in a Marvel media thing automatically makes me think of The Blue Area of the Moon. Speaking of which, I wonder if we’ll see Blue Marvel on this show.
posted by sleeping bear at 12:24 PM on March 28 [1 favorite]


Thin justification, but it's not totally out of left field

If she's his military keeper, but if a real therapist grabbed anyone's friend or significant other and threw them into weird couple counselling exercises - the second "giving her no choice but to pull out the big guns" or whatever she said, that would be like, incredibly bad.

Which...MCU, ok, but it is the kind of thing where making therapy like people who haven't done therapy think it's like (basically, your sort of strict/mean mom that makes you follow the rules and do weird chores) is just not working for me, I get so annoyed that it breaks the world building for me.
posted by warriorqueen at 2:07 PM on March 28 [3 favorites]


It didn't help that the therapeutic exercises she ran them through might as well have been improv games.
posted by EatTheWeek at 2:32 PM on March 28 [1 favorite]


I hate Walker. He's not my Captain.
posted by yonega at 4:34 PM on March 28 [2 favorites]


To be fair, I don't think he's supposed to be anyone's Captain.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:01 PM on March 28


I just discovered her account, and her recaps are hysterical, but this short clip I thought is interesting for this thread:
Bucky's therapist = almost every Mental Health "professional" in military/VA (her personal testimony)
posted by cendawanita at 12:02 AM on March 29 [5 favorites]


Has Sam just given up on guns? He had, like, machine guns in Winter Soldier. Now suddenly he’s just doing it by hand?

That served to throw Captain Faux-merica's pistol into even sharper "wait, this Cap shoots people?" relief.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:04 AM on March 29 [4 favorites]


That's...horrific cendawanita. I am so sorry for American vets.
posted by warriorqueen at 3:29 AM on March 29 [1 favorite]


This is the first time in about 20 years I've been tempted to write fanfic, just so Bucky can get a good therapist. Is there a therapy subgenre?
posted by warriorqueen at 3:31 AM on March 29 [3 favorites]


Is it even possible for a presidential pardon to have conditions like seeing a therapist? I thought it meant the punishment part of a conviction is concluded, and you're free to continue your life.
posted by WhackyparseThis at 5:40 AM on March 29 [1 favorite]


I don’t remember the first Captain America movie too well, but I distinctly recall our Cap using a machine gun against brainwashed SHIELD agents on the Helicarrier in the first Avengers movie.

The AV Club – The Falcon And The Winter Soldier consciously dialed back its gunplay

I guess one of the things that I did as a sort of overview was that we reduced weaponry. That does mean that all the things we choreographed come from sort of a different mindset, and that just by definition brings a different flavor to a scene.

AVC: Why did you decide to do that?

KS: For obvious reasons. I think that we need to look at weaponry in entertainment as being too much of a crutch. We wanted to have our characters be clever and interesting and not just rely on the go-to.

posted by ejs at 6:54 AM on March 29


I don’t remember the first Captain America movie too well, but I distinctly recall our Cap using a machine gun against brainwashed SHIELD agents on the Helicarrier in the first Avengers movie.

In the first Captain America movie, Cap definitely shoots Nazis.
posted by Fleebnork at 7:54 AM on March 29 [3 favorites]


Ya black super solider, who also whipped Bucky's ass. But what's up with the in prison for 30 years? No comic back story please!

(Disclaimer: I know much of the comic backstory, but this is pure MCU speculation.) Clearly, Isaiah was a secret asset, as opposed to Steve being a PR asset. Given we've seen the racist bank manager and the interaction with the Baltimore police, I expect that we'll be seeing at least a mention of the Tuskeegee study (I guess that after Watchmen taught a lot of people about Tulsa, Disney is feeling a little pressure to keep up.) regarding exactly how Isaiah managed to get an experimental treatment before the Korean War (1950-1953) that was still an experimental disaster when they had Dr. Banner on the project. If the stuff was still primarily producing dead subjects and monsters in 2003, whatever they were using in 1940-something had to have been pretty dire. I would not be surprised if some time in the 60's Isaiah tried to be a whistleblower and the military came down hard on him for it. That would give us 30 years in prison (the military needs far fewer excuses to lock people up indefinitely than the civilian authorities).

As far as the scene with the therapist, I wondered if the writers had forgotten that we first met Sam he was working for the VA counseling veterans suffering from PTSD. It's possible that he just didn't want to start a fight with Bucky's counselor/parole officer about the fact that he's got significant counseling experience himself. That was part of why he bonded with Steve. While everyone else was seeing Captain America, he was seeing Captain Rogers, who had just come off of multiple instances of (weird) combat trauma and wasn't getting any support for it.
posted by Karmakaze at 8:35 AM on March 29 [6 favorites]


During the first therapy sequence, I commented to my wife that I wanted to send Bucky the number of my therapist from when I lived in Chicago.
posted by Mutant Lobsters from Riverhead at 1:25 PM on March 29


Also, when I first saw Walker, I thought they were trying to make him look like Matt Salinger as Captain America .
posted by Mutant Lobsters from Riverhead at 1:27 PM on March 29 [3 favorites]


Texts from Superheroes: Bucky and Wanda have a little chat.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:39 PM on March 29 [1 favorite]


> I hate Walker. He's not my Captain.

Such an overly familiar jock.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:53 PM on March 29 [1 favorite]


It’s the exposed-ear costumes. They can’t help but look goofy af.
posted by sixswitch at 3:00 PM on March 29 [3 favorites]


Also, when I first saw Walker, I thought they were trying to make him look like Matt Salinger as Captain America .

100% agree! That first shot of him in the mask could have been pulled right out of that movie, swear to God.

The Walker Cap costume is a true accomplishment, evoking not only the famous US Agent costume with the horizontal stripes, but also Liefeld Cap in the tampering with the "A" symbol, Hydra Cap in the darker blue color, Janky 1944 Serial Cap in the sidearm, and 70s Motorcycle Helmet Cap with the more vertical wings. So many Caps we'd prefer to forget, all rolled into a single offense to the eye. A costume in which every stitch is meant to communicate that something is wrong, a costume as ugly and troubling as it is absurd. Magnificent work.
posted by EatTheWeek at 3:44 PM on March 29 [25 favorites]


I swear the thing that is making me the most unreasonably irritated so far is Marvel's inability to do even the most basic research sometimes, especially as regards military stuff (and don't get me started on the fact that in the Smithsonian exhibit in CATWS, they gave two different birth dates for Bucky in the same damn display text). It's apparently not enough to just be awarded a medal of honor; no, John Walker gets three. FFS, there have been only 19 double MOH recipients in history, and they were all or nearly all from WWI and earlier. Three. That's apparently all they could come up with to show that he's a worthy white man successor to Steve Rogers. It would have taken like a couple minutes to look up something slightly more plausible and make him seem a tiny bit less Marty Stu-ish.

It's funny how much I don't like John Walker's face. It's like all the parts that make Kurt Russell so handsome got put together wrong on Wyatt, or maybe it's just the character is so awful it's affecting my vision. I'm thrilled to see Carl Lumbly and I hope we get to see more of Isaiah (and maybe Eli). I actually shouted out "Enfys Nest!" when she showed up, the actress was one of the only good things in the Solo movie.

Man, I loved that marching band version of "Star-Spangled Man," even if it was in service to their white guy faux Cap.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 10:48 PM on March 29 [6 favorites]


It would have taken like a couple minutes to look up something slightly more plausible and make him seem a tiny bit less Marty Stu-ish.

that's probably the point though, imo.
posted by cendawanita at 11:30 PM on March 29 [3 favorites]


I rewatched both episodes today, back to back, and think they fit together better than I previously thought. I'm still slightly worried about the pacing, as it's episode 3 and the duo are just getting started. There's a lot going on, what with the Flagsmashers and some form of the Super-Soldier serum floating around, on top of the Bucky and Sam's issues, and the Captain America mythos.

The biggest take away from the review is that the shrink, Dr. Raynor, doesn't seem totally off the wall with her treatment. She recognizes that Sam has texted Bucky repeatedly, so upon seeing them working together, she gets unconventional as a way of helping Bucky.

Because she doesn't have a choice. NuCap makes is clear that he's overriding her in some vague way about about Bucky's treatment, which is obviously incredibly stupid, considering Bucky's past. So Raynor starts mixing and matching, probably to connect Sam and Bucky together so there's at least one person looking after Bucky that doesn't see him as just as asset.

It's a mess, Raynor is triaging. Not sure there was much she could have done in a few minutes.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:45 PM on April 1 [6 favorites]


Here's several therapists talking about the first episode. The second video is more interesting, IMO.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:08 PM on April 1 [1 favorite]


You know, the couples' therapy scene was played for laughs but I really think it was a shitty nod at all the fans who thought Bucky and Steve were a couple. The scene uses couple-like physical closeness to let Sam and Bucky say nope, no way, we're definitely not a couple. It strikes me as homophobic.
posted by medusa at 10:55 AM on April 4 [2 favorites]


It's probably just a throwaway but I thought having Bucky be the one to actually say what he felt was good. It's interesting because WandaVision really explored what was happening through Wanda's emotions but here we get 2 seconds of actual emotion from Bucky and it just whizzes on by and is not mentioned or called back to (yet).

For a moment there I thought we'd get at least some pushback against some of the toxic masculinity imbedded in the Captain America storyline but doesn't seem like they have the will to pursue it.

Also, I need to rewatch but do Bucky and Sam pass the, uh, Captain America/Bechdel test? As in do they ever talk about anything other than Cap?
posted by M Edward at 8:15 AM on April 6


> do they ever talk about anything other than Cap?

Yeah. In this episode I think they banter about Redwing almost as much as they talk about Steve.
posted by mbrubeck at 9:21 AM on April 6 [1 favorite]


A therapist on Twitter had ... a few things to say about Bucky's therapist.

For example, "I’m just saying, if that was me he would be on my big squishy couch, bright open windows, bowl of Hershey kisses, random fidget toys, and two therapy dogs laying all over him while we work through that trauma and he builds back his identity and finds the calm he wants so badly."
posted by Pronoiac at 7:02 PM on April 10 [1 favorite]


Yes, I am a fan that this fanservice was for (hit me up if you want some Bucky/Sam fanfiction recs) and I just found it weird and inappropriate for the therapist to act that way. Also, she should really focus on making sure Bucky is actually taking care of himself--he doesn't even have furniture!

I'm late to this conversation because my family just caught up on the show this week. I really liked Bucky's bare apartment—I texted a friend that it felt like a fanfiction moment, because there is so much fanfiction that is about the challenges Bucky has living in the world and being a regular person, but in the movies it feels like there's often a kind of "snap your fingers, everything's OK now" vibe.

In my ideal world, they wouldn't be up against a Big Bad at all—maybe a couple little kerfuffles to be dealt with, but mostly Bucky and Sam dealing with their lives. I love the actor who plays Bucky's therapist—she's one of those character actors I'm always glad to see. She has this wonderful mix of empathy and toughness.

We re-watched Civil War to remind us of the backstory, and enjoyed seeing Sam and Bucky banter with each other in that movie. It felt like their match-up here was less random, something that had a little bit of foundation.
posted by Orlop at 3:13 PM on April 13


I think if you want the show to make as much sense as possible, you have to assume this therapist has tried all the right things a therapist should do, Bucky was completely unresponsive, and what we see is the closest anything she has tried so far has come to getting anywhere with him.
posted by straight at 5:08 PM on April 13 [3 favorites]


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