The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: The Whole World is Watching
April 9, 2021 4:19 AM - Season 1, Episode 4 - Subscribe

The show moves to the Balkans; some meditations of power. The Dora Milaje is unhappy, John Walker is unhappy, Sam Wilson is unhappy.
posted by cendawanita (121 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Serious comments later, right now I only have silly takeaways:

- wow, tiktokker Nicque Marina truly called it re: Bucky.

- I legit thought I was watching a wuxia show when Ayo attacked Bucky's qi points-- I mean, arm joints-- to dismantle his arm.

- this IS fanfic. drop your ao3 handle sis.

- ETA: i know they're going for the buddy cop comedy aesthetic, but i'm bewilderedly delighted at Bucky's quipping.
posted by cendawanita at 4:23 AM on April 9 [4 favorites]



"The Dora Milaje have Jurisdiction wherever the Dora Milaje find themselves to be."

posted by Faintdreams at 4:25 AM on April 9 [21 favorites]


T_T i love Sam Wilson a lot. This ep is definitely deliberately calling back to that whole conversation Erskine had with Steve in CA1 (a strong man vs a good man). Between that and the casual indictment of American military power and the international community* (though yes, very much situated within a comicbook world that's inherently amenable to 'American ideals'), this show is swinging big.

(*lbh based on my personal track record I will be a sucker working for the GRC, probably in one of the regional bureaus. sigh.)
posted by cendawanita at 4:47 AM on April 9 [1 favorite]


The big jumps that Karli and Bucky took were the first notably non-human acts I can think of on screen besides their mega-strong punches. Like, they were noticably weird (Bucky reversing his arm 360 was a little bit of body horror too) and I think echoed in the non-human part of Walker suddenly making the same leaps. That he'd taken the serum before he talked to Battlestar (poor dude, he was dead man walking).

I really loved the Dora Milajie fight, that was all kinds of smart and powerful. And the look on Walker's face when he goes "they aren't even super soldiers" to Battlestar was someone who has only rarely lost and never learned to live with that.

The whole show is dumb and has enormous plot holes but it has such great character moments - Zemo smashing the blue vials, Zemo understanding how to talk to kids, Sam's sister's bravery on the phone - I keep watching it.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 7:03 AM on April 9 [5 favorites]


The show moves to the Balkans;

Baltic, no? Riga is the better part of 1000 km from the Balkans.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:01 AM on April 9 [6 favorites]


Easily the best episode so far and highlights that the show might be better to binge in 2-3 episodes at a time. The weekly format makes me think they've forgotten or dropped threads, but nope, they just have long beats between visiting them.

The quiet criticism of American power and gung ho ness was stunning and surprising for me, considering this is Disney. I've come across a lot of John Walker type soldiers and it's pretty much a model for how to be a soldier at times. Refreshing to see it criticized, especially when his partner was clearly not that.


"The Dora Milaje have Jurisdiction wherever the Dora Milaje find themselves to be."


Hello new life motto!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:16 AM on April 9 [4 favorites]


It’s not just a good line, Shuri invented a handheld Jurisdiction Field Generator.
posted by sixswitch at 8:45 AM on April 9 [24 favorites]


Baltic, no? Riga is the better part of 1000 km from the Balkans.

GAH!!! I GOT MY COLD WAR THEATRE WRONG
posted by cendawanita at 9:01 AM on April 9 [4 favorites]


The head tilt thing was almost perfectly timed.
Daniel Brühl is having so much fun.
posted by fullerine at 9:05 AM on April 9 [13 favorites]


The whole show is kind of an indictment of America as World Cops and to a lesser extant the UN/GRC as World Cops, and then "The Dora Milaje have Jurisdiction wherever the Dora Milaje find themselves to be." I wonder if Ayo is going to address that directly, or if it's going to be a theme in Black Panther 2 as much as it was in BP1?
posted by fomhar at 11:24 AM on April 9 [7 favorites]


I'm pretty bummed out to have Battlestar graduate from "voice of moderation and counterpoint to John Walker" to "person of color who has died so a white dude can have character development." Beyond that, I keep having to check my expectations with this show when I'm hoping for something a little more well thought-through than the average superhero comic. Nobody has ever laid out the basic state of the world on this show, like what is the GRU actually doing? Why do the Flag Smashers oppose them, and what is their agenda? Why do they attract sympathizers to their cause, whatever it is? Why is it that Sam Wilson says he's on their side, even though he opposes their methods? Why does Sam's sister say that Walker isn't "her" Captain America, when she's presumably only ever seen him on TV?

I'm enjoying the action well enough, but I keep hoping for some better world-building, and I guess I'm now realizing that it's just not going to happen.
posted by whir at 1:58 PM on April 9 [5 favorites]


...like what is the GRU actually doing?

Sorting out the people who have returned and trying to get them back to some semblance of the life they had before

Why do the Flag Smashers oppose them...

Because during the Blip, the world was much more unified on a global scale instead of individual countries. Which is ironic, considering Thanos' goal.

and what is their agenda?

They want the world to remain in that reunified state instead of going back to tribal borders, i.e. counrties.

Why do they attract sympathizers to their cause, whatever it is?

The Flag Smashers main issue seems to be that the various resources and peace they had has been thrown out the window with the return. They've evidently been kicked out various places they use to live in, in order to make way for the returned.

Why is it that Sam Wilson says he's on their side, even though he opposes their methods?

Because he agrees that the Flag Smashers got a raw deal after being moved around to make way for the returned.

Why does Sam's sister say that Walker isn't "her" Captain America, when she's presumably only ever seen him on TV?

Because Walker was appointed the role of Captain America by the same government that's been dealing her family a hard time for generations, i.e. racisim.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:38 PM on April 9 [33 favorites]


And I think we can safely assume that Sarah knows that Sam donated the shield to a museum in the belief that no one who wasn’t Steve was worthy to wield it.
posted by ejs at 4:25 PM on April 9 [4 favorites]


The Flag Smashers main issue seems to be that the various resources and peace they had has been thrown out the window with the return. They've evidently been kicked out various places they use to live in, in order to make way for the returned.
Yeah. It's mostly been suggested by inference across several storylines in the MCU, but it's very good to see the consequences of the Blip explored here. It might best be compared to the fallout of the Black Death, which removed ~30% of the population from medieval Europe. While there were other factors, that sudden population decrease contributed significantly towards overturning the social, governmental and economic system of feudalism that had existed for hundreds of years, tipping the economic balance of power in favour of surviving peasants who could negotiate their labour.

Much of the same would happen here. The Snap removed people, but all the physical stuff remained. After the initial shock wore off there would have been a massive redistribution of wealth, leaving everyone twice as rich. No-one had any expectation of things returning to what they had been. To have that all suddenly taken away - the apartment you had made a life in for five years at an incredibly low rate reclaimed by a Returnee, paying a price you could never afford - would be galling, to say the least.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 4:54 PM on April 9 [5 favorites]


I think they laid out the GRC and the flag smashers' conflict alright in this episode, finally. Not as clear as I'd prefer but with the details of Karli being relocated out of her home it's there and it's very sympathetic.

At some point after the Snap, many many countries went with essentially open borders. Free migration from impoverished countries to places with more infrastructure than people. This went on long enough that a lot of people like Karli Morganthau were starting to build a pretty solid life in a new place, and then suddenly whoever happened to be president in MCU 2018 phased back into existence and kicked Karli, specifically, out of her apartment, along with most of her friends and family. So her job was gone, her family and friends locked across borders that seemingly just got made up overnight, her home that she'd worked for for YEARS taken by some walking corpse with a posh accent who hasn't even paid rent in five years, and on top of that the news coverage. Good lord I'm getting myself worked up just imagining the media perspective.

Imagine the worst day of your life being celebrated as the greatest thing to ever happen by almost everyone in the world? Imagine waiting in line for, like, the GRC soup kitchen, and the smiling anchor on the TV in the corner talks about how much better everything is? And at the front of the line, the GRC employee is talking to the person in front of you about how their son is back, everything is great, this is great for everyone, and you're just hungry because the soup doesn't have enough protein to live off of. Every day.
posted by fomhar at 6:14 PM on April 9 [14 favorites]


They've done a pretty good job of making Walker unlikeable, and the fact that getting beat handily by a group of women is what pushed him (a big walking ball of toxic masculinity) over the edge to take the serum just underlines it.
posted by synecdoche at 6:18 PM on April 9 [23 favorites]


And at the front of the line, the GRC employee is talking to the person in front of you about how their son is back, everything is great, this is great for everyone, and you're just hungry because the soup doesn't have enough protein to live off of. Every day.

After the initial shock of the Snap in 2018, there was doubtless a lot of global soul-searching and gradual reconciliation to the post-Snap world being the new normal. Post-return, the world suddenly has half the food production per capita it had the day before. Month number one post-Blip will be even more traumatic all around, I’d think.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:29 PM on April 9 [2 favorites]


Remember that the post-Blip problems were even brought up in Spider-Man: Far from Home at the beginning.

Pretty great episode. Although I'm wondering if we've really accounted for all of the vials of super-soldier formula. And Walker using the shield to murder someone (right in the middle of a city square!) is a callback to the comics Cap using his shield to decapitate a nasty vampire supervillain named Baron Blood, although not in the light of day (obviously) and in front of a whole bunch of people taking pictures. I'm guessing that that, and of course using what seems to be the last dose of super-serum on himself might just be what gets him fired, or at least demoted.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:26 PM on April 9


Lieutenant America?

It shouldn't have taken until the fourth episode to lay out what the Flag Smashers' beef was, but at least they got there. I'm still utterly confused about what the fuck was going on that lead to the final action sequence. Why did Sharon alert Sam about Walker being somewhere (that turned out to be where the other Flag Smasher super soldiers were hanging)? Why did that mean he'd announce it in front of Karli? Why did that also mean that Sam and Bucky would want to rush off there?
posted by ursus_comiter at 7:45 PM on April 9 [4 favorites]


Honestly the only good thing about Walker is he's wearing the flag on the correct goddamn shoulder but that's just a personal fucking pet peeve with the US Military Dress code. (What should be closer to your heart, your country or your unit? _Your country_, my dudes. Grar.)

And they had been dancing around the Flag Smasher's beef since the, I dunno, second episode? It was pretty well laid out that their cause was a sympathetic one even if their methods were not. It's uncomfortably close to "Thanos was right" for me, though, which urrrrrgh.

As an aside, Walker is a perfect example of how underappreciated the casting directors were for the bulk of the MCU - I can't think of any of the major heroes that made people go "uh naaahhhhhhh" in the way that Wyatt Russell has as Cap. I mean, yes, that's the _point_ here, but it wouldn't have taken much for people to not align themselves with someone with a long contract. (ok ok maybe there's been some chris pratt blowback, I suppose? Am I missing anyone else?)

(Also also Morgen-th-au, or Morgen-tau? That's bugging me but I don't know that there's any reason for it.)
posted by Kyol at 7:58 PM on April 9 [2 favorites]


The previews and first episode made me think that this was going to be a breezy adventure series and I didn't expect that we'd be getting critiques of American imperialism and police brutality by the forth one. I half expect Sam and Bucky to switch sides and fight for the Flag Smashers.
posted by octothorpe at 8:02 PM on April 9 [6 favorites]


I was thinking about a third of the way through this episode that, after Steve, the title of Captain America clearly needs to be posthumous. Like sainthood? So I'm delighted/horrified that this wasn't even subtle by the end of the episode. I'm very curious to see where they go with the dude in the American flag decapitating someone in the city square in broad daylight.

Cause that's a metaphor, right? With the bystanders and cell phones?
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 8:22 PM on April 9 [3 favorites]


I'm actually pretty disappointed with several of the "for the sake of plot" movements--six people who all distrust Zemo just completely letting him get away; Daniel Bruhl's incredibly creepy candy approach somehow working on kids who have had reason to distrust adults their whole lives; Karli reacting positively to what sound like bromides from Sam; Karli and her supersoldier friend fleeing instead of knocking Zemo over the head and saving the remaining vials; no one caring about the three GRC guards who died in the bombing but deciding that Karli is beyond redemption once a named character dies, etc.

The annoying thing is that most of these problems could be fixed with just a couple of lines. Make the bombing of the building a reckless act that endangered, but didn't kill people, so that Hoskins's death is an actual turning point; put any of the Captains America closer to the fight (even just with some audio) to force the Flag Smashers to leave faster; make Sam's lines less condescending, and don't ignore that fact that his job has been killing people in the past; use a take where Zemo is actually warm and friendly--a manipulator, not just a briber; etc.

Zemo's lines about supremacy are worth examining, and that's a good speech, but the show really wants us to listen to him for some reason, and so both Sam and Bucky let him go on toying with them when they haven't before. Their responses to him aren't particularly cogent; they might have counterpoints later, but the real conversations seem to be between Zemo and Karli, using Sam as relay. Which is a waste of Sam. The Zemo-Karli debate is about what superpowers do to the world; the Karli-Sam debate is about whether systems can be trusted and to what loyalty is owed. There's some hints of that in what Sarah has to say about America, but that doesn't get to go far before Karli kills that sympathetic line of thought short by threatening the kids. Which is a bit of cowardice on the part of the writers, as well as the character.

The conversation between Walker and Hoskins at the cafe is a rare bit of "serious" dialogue that didn't seem disjointed; if each of the serious conversations in the rest of the episode had been written to that level of quality, I wouldn't be as annoyed with the way this episode seemed to fall short of its potential.
posted by pykrete jungle at 8:29 PM on April 9 [7 favorites]


I'm still utterly confused about what the fuck was going on that lead to the final action sequence.

My read is Sam (and Bucky; they're a set, ha) wanted to meet Karli and continue his approach. But he's got canon-supported suspicion that Walker will continue his offensive approach with the Flag Smashers, which is something (per his convos with Zemo) he's still not onboard with. So when Sharon alerted him of ersatz!Cap moving in, he (and by default Karli) is alerted of this new front for trouble and headed off there.

I do agree the politics of it all is murky, in a way I'm not yet sure if it's intentional or because we're still in the faux profound phase of 'hey it all makes sense if you think about it' where the story itself ultimately couldn't decide and will utilise a personalised plot device to definitively decide who's the bad guy. (I mean, it's shaping up to be, re: Karli and her threats to Sarah. What's interesting is, I keep forgetting that textually she's nineteen. The age and lack of maturity is doing a lot of carrying to explain the shallowness off her approach. Sam v Karli dialogues are like reading tumblr reblogs of lefties who lived through the Dubya years fighting with kpop-bred tankies who've barely left high school)
posted by cendawanita at 8:36 PM on April 9 [11 favorites]


Yeah, as impressive as their fighting skills were, the Dora Milaje ended up looking pretty silly letting Zemo get away like that.

If you've written a scene that makes the Dora Milaje look silly, you need to go back and do some revising.
posted by straight at 1:52 AM on April 10 [11 favorites]


So here's an interesting thread contrasting Walker's outfit with Steve Roger's uniform. It's interesting to see the deliberate design choices made to give the feeling enters something"off" about Captain Privilege. Honestly I love the work they put into making this a "bad guy to be" outfit without obviously telegraphing it
posted by happyroach at 2:41 AM on April 10 [11 favorites]


On the wrongness of Walker's outfit, also see EatTheWeak's comment in the post on the second episode.
posted by Strutter Cane - United Planets Stilt Patrol at 2:51 AM on April 10


[Walker picks up serum]
Me: "Is he gonna use the serum?!"

[Walker & Hoskins talk]
Me: "Is he gonna use the serum!?"

[Walker arrives at Zemo's]
Me: "Did he use the serum?"

[Walk gets ass kicked by women]
Me: "Oh. Now he's gonna use the serum."

Also, there's got to be a term for when you really vibe with a villain's interior design choices. (Maybe "architect"?)
posted by cocoagirl at 5:33 AM on April 10 [1 favorite]


Weird point: In all the discussion about supremacists, superhumans, the blip, and the return, Thanos is never mentioned. Not even hinted at, which is really odd because Kari describes the aftermath of the initial Blip as a kind of paradise on Earth that is wrecked by the return.

But you'd think Thanos would come up as a huge example of nothing giving any being more power, considering what he did with it.

Also, was Zemo blipped or not. It's never hinted how that went for him, not a mention.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:46 AM on April 10


I would assume Zemo was not blipped, since he went into prison pre-blip and was still there post-blip. I suppose he would have reappeared in the same cell, but I’m going with not blipped.
posted by Fleebnork at 7:03 AM on April 10


This whole trope of left-wing terrorists being right in terms of motive but just bad enough to justify their faces getting smashed for challenging the status quo is kind of tiresome.

I mean she killed 3 people, big deal.. how many people are killed by states every year?

Now they've got her out here threatening people's families... ugh.
posted by yonega at 7:34 AM on April 10 [3 favorites]


I'm not sure how to interpret the Flag Smashers.

I noticed with Zemo, who's a very clear baddie, they gave him a quote that I feel sympathetic to: "The desire to become a superhuman cannot be separated from supremacist ideals".

I'm not sure whether the writers trying to present the Flag Smashers as having goals the audience can sympathize with, or if they're just trying to be clever and give all their baddies a plausible motivation.

Maybe they're just assuming the audience will naturally find the Flag Smashers repugnant for wanting to destroy obviously good things like flags and nation states, and they're talking up the things like medical aid to try to make them less one-dimensional.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 8:03 AM on April 10 [2 favorites]


I found the writing of this show remarkably mature for a dumb punch-em-up TV show. I liked Sam's speech to Karli. I like Karli's ambiguity, in particular whether it's ever possible for her to come back from the choice to kill people. I even like the creepy implications of the Dora Milaje's global reach, although I suspect we're not supposed to question that one. It's all a little more grey zone than these shows usually allow themselves to be.

So by contrast John Walker is a little one-sided for me. They built him up early on to be the All American Boy but he's pretty much terrible in every scene we've seen him in and of course now, unredeemable. Then again there's only so much screentime and only so much room for morally ambiguous characters in a single show. Also he's just dumb. His partner gets punched across the room and suffers a massive head/neck injury. So his first instinct is to grab his chin and shake his head trying to wake him up? Bro.
posted by Nelson at 9:06 AM on April 10 [1 favorite]


See, Sam clearly deserves to be Captain America because, as the first episode shows, he knows how to kill people privately without getting blood on his wings.
posted by straight at 9:31 AM on April 10 [1 favorite]


(suggested revision)

Sam: Did you know they could do that?

Bucky: [shrugs] I'm not surprised that Wakanda wouldn't give me a weapon that could be used against them.

Sam: You know your code name now is Arm-Fall-Off-Boy, right?
posted by straight at 9:42 AM on April 10 [11 favorites]


I was really excited for a moment by the idea that the Dora Milaje might just take their vibranium arm and their vibranium frisbee and go home.

Post credits scene: Ayo repainting the shield green and red as the show's logo morphs into "Captain Wakanda and the White Wolf."
posted by straight at 9:45 AM on April 10 [17 favorites]


But then I realized that back in Wakanda they've got whole armories full of vibranium weapons and shields more impressive than that silly frisbee.
posted by straight at 9:54 AM on April 10 [3 favorites]


Maybe I am misremembering but isn't the plot of Black Panther mostly a battle over whether or not Wakanda should be a global police force to protect people of African Descent? Killmonger being of the flag-smasher variety and T'Challa more of the benevolent billionaire variety. Violence versus charity/investment. It would make sense that the Dora Milaje become CIA-like in either versions of The New Wakanda. T'Challa had a CIA compadre and followers of Killmonger would certainly approve of wetwork.

I believe that most people want to see The Shield either retired or taken up by Sam/Bucky but personally I would like to see Karli be the next person to overcome the serum supremacy complex as only Steve has done. I don't follow the comics at all but to me if she ended up with The Shield without the moniker or uniform it would be fascinating. If Bucky can be redeemed certainly she can too.

This comment about how the new Cap uniform is just wrong really goes with just how insanely wrong that image looking up at Walker with the bloody Shield is. Which I feel validates my point of seeing someone not-white and not-male holding The Shield with no uniform/country behind it.

A superhero who stands for refug...nay, displaced people over country would be a refreshing take and almost the logical evolution of what Steve was actually doing as Cap.

If we aren't getting anymore Enfys Nest cracking fascist heads maybe we'll get more Morgenthau cracking fascist heads.
posted by M Edward at 11:42 AM on April 10 [6 favorites]


They built him up early on to be the All American Boy but he's pretty much terrible in every scene we've seen him in

I've seen multiple people say something like this but I actually thought they built him up to be a failure and disappointment from the beginning.

His origin story is that people in power basically conned the shield out of Sam, who thought it would memorialize Steve Rogers when in fact they just wanted to redo the whole Captain America plan but do it right (from their point of view), with a hero who'd be all in on the propaganda aspect.

At his best he's been just barely professional, superficially humble while toeing the Pentagon line. Giving him some self doubt and real human emotions (in addition to rage) was a nice bit of characterization but I didn't think he was being touted as MCU hero caliber for one second.

He's the rebound Captain America that the public kind of hooked up with but we knew he was the wrong guy all along.
posted by mark k at 11:45 AM on April 10 [19 favorites]


Zemo is a scheming sonofabitch, but you gotta admit he's got integrity. He says Super Soldiers shouldn't exist and when he's in a position to either steal or destroy the Super Soldier serum, he doesn't hesitate to destroy it. He's a stand-up guy even if he is a villain.
posted by wabbittwax at 12:28 PM on April 10 [29 favorites]


when he's in a position to either steal or destroy the Super Soldier serum, he doesn't hesitate to destroy it.

Right--I half expected him to do a quick look around, then pocket a couple, but he commences to stomping directly.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:15 PM on April 10 [4 favorites]


The Zemo serum stomping moment was nicely handled. I spent most of the run up to it legit wondering if we were witnessing the origin of an MCU version of the Masters of Evil / Thunderbolts. Which would have made for an even busier final two episodes than we're already in for, so Zemo made the right call for several reasons.
posted by EatTheWeek at 1:48 PM on April 10


GAH!!! I GOT MY COLD WAR THEATRE WRONG

No worries. My friend Yuri's people are from either Slovenia or Slovakia, and I have forgotten which and have never found the right moment to ask him to tell me again.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:23 PM on April 10 [1 favorite]


"They weren't even super soldiers."

Props to Wyatt Russell, he makes Walker come across as an utterly broken man when he delivers that line.

Compare and contrast his and Battlestar's (and Bucky's and Sam's) fight against the DM with how General Okoye and Widow fare when fighting the likes of Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive, two upper tier threats. Not even super soliders, but both of them handle their biz against the Black Order.

In all of Zemo's scenes, I'm reminded of The Simpsons episode where future Bart works in demolition and says, "I can't believe they're paying me to do this." It makes me so happy to see that Daniel Bruhl is having a great time.

I was prepared for disappointment with this show after the incredible ride that was WandaVision, but I am digging it after all. I do kind of wonder how I would have felt about both shows if they'd stuck to the original intent of having TFATWS debut first.
posted by lord_wolf at 3:55 PM on April 10 [4 favorites]


So here's a thing.

The woman that Karli and the refugees were mourning in this episode was named Donya Madani. That surname has come up in the MCU before: Dinah Madani is one of the main characters in The Punisher.

In any other franchise I would chalk this up to coincidence, but Marvel pay a lot of attention to even minor character names. I would be surprised if there wasn't intended to be some relation between the characters.

If they're setting some connection up here that would be interesting. The Punisher show was a lot darker and more violent than most of the MCU and has so far been almost completely disconnected from the rest of the franchise. It crossed over with Daredevil, but they left Frank Castle out of The Defenders entirely - which was the big crossover of the other four MCU shows set in post-Avengers New York.
posted by automatronic at 5:20 PM on April 10 [2 favorites]


I'm bummed that we've only got two episodes left and "Captain America" is still John Walker. Maybe, like in the first season of Daredevil, we'll finally get see Sam pose with the shield and a new uniform for 20 seconds in the last episode?

"Tada! Captain America! See how cool he looks in his uniform? The End."
posted by straight at 5:35 PM on April 10


I think it would be way more interesting if they don't have Sam take up the shield at the end of this.

Everyone's been assuming that's what will happen, because it happened in the comics, and because Steve gave Sam the shield at the end of Endgame to set up that known plot, and because they've spent three quarters of this show giving Sam reasons to do it. They're telegraphing very hard that Sam's going to have to take the shield back from John Walker and become the new Captain America.

And sure, they can do that. But it means this whole show will have gone basically nowhere. At the end of Endgame it already looked like Sam was, albeit reluctantly, going to take up the shield. If that is what happens it's going to feel like an anticlimax.

This show started off somewhere much more interesting - with Sam's choice not to do it. If the end result is just that he changes his mind to what people expected in the first place, what was the point of the story?

The shield has just been used to beat someone to death, in public, as an act of personal revenge against an opponent begging for mercy. It was always a tainted symbol anyway; America has never lived up to its ideals, even if Steve Rogers did. But now it may be beyond repair.

Why would Sam want it now? There are much more interesting directions they could go with this.
posted by automatronic at 6:33 PM on April 10 [7 favorites]


Sam would want it now because he's seen Walker fail at using it. Had it stayed in the museum, he wouldn't give another thought about the Shield. But it's out there now and it's been tainted. Taking it and putting it to good use now so that it, Steven's legacy, won't be remembered by that bloodied image.

I've really enjoyed seeing Walker's character. He didn't ask for this, but was assigned and clearly wants to do good. But he's been a good soldier for so long, in specific situations that benefited from the aggressive approach. But that doesn't work as Cap, and he can't learn that fast enough.

Few things are worse than seeing someone who's been successful their entire life suddenly confronted with failure. It gets can quickly get ugly.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:01 PM on April 10 [16 favorites]


It would make sense that the Dora Milaje become CIA-like in either versions of The New Wakanda.

The impression I had from Black Panther is the Dora Milaje have for a long time acted as a worldwide intelligence agency, though it's probably insulting to compare them to the CIA.

One thing that struck me about the Dora Milaje is how restrained they were. I mean yes, kinda furious and willing to fight, but also willing to wait. And they were obviously holding back during the fight scene. The precision contrasts massively with Walkers's messy incompetence.


Also, put me down as someone who doesn't want Sam to take to the shield and become Captain America. But that's largely because when I was a kid reading comic books, I thought Falcon was just about the coolest superhero. He had high-tech wings with concealed jets! How cooler than a shield is that!
posted by happyroach at 7:32 PM on April 10 [2 favorites]


The woman that Karli and the refugees were mourning in this episode was named Donya Madani.

Are we sure it is Donya and not Doña?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:10 PM on April 10 [1 favorite]


Are we sure it is Donya and not Doña?

It was spelled Donya in the subtitles.
posted by automatronic at 9:27 PM on April 10


I have noticed that as well. I have also been chortling at closed captioning and subtitle errors for decades now. It’s not impossible that intentionally or inadvertently the subtitles are misleading viewers, especially as (to the best of my knowledge) neither Madani appears in the comics.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:31 PM on April 10 [2 favorites]


Donya as provided is probably accurately spelled, at least to my ear because that's an actual Arabic name (coupled with the hamza iconography). To my raised-muslim ear, the arabic actually can be read as a phrase relevant to the show, since donya is 'world/global' and madani is 'city/civilization/community'.

Regarding the Captains, I've always thought it's both telling and interesting that Steve's MCU backstory still located him in WW2, which is the last 'good' war the USA was involved in, and how, once removed from that (re: the Cold War aesthetics of TWS), he chafed against his role and subsequent MCU narrative has always provided substantive narrative justification in that he was never fully ethically compromised. Contrast that with Walker, whose MCU rendition mined more current military history, placing the new Cap not only a product of America's Forever War mindset but also subsequently fully compromised. He could've never been the right Captain in Steve Rogers' image.
posted by cendawanita at 1:30 AM on April 11 [13 favorites]


Zemo is a scheming sonofabitch, but you gotta admit he's got integrity. He says Super Soldiers shouldn't exist and when he's in a position to either steal or destroy the Super Soldier serum, he doesn't hesitate to destroy it. He's a stand-up guy even if he is a villain.

I mean, I think he did steal one, and he’ll give it to Sam, on the basis that the only person who can be trusted with power is someone who doesn’t want to.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:04 AM on April 11


The character is listed as "Mama Donya" in the credits, so I think in this case we can assume that's the intended spelling.
posted by automatronic at 5:50 AM on April 11 [4 favorites]


While "They weren't even super soldiers" is solid gold, for me the real money is how the actual super-soldier assassin in the room knows how any fight is gonna go even if he & Sam jump in to help. And they only do so reluctantly, to keep Walker from getting his stupid ass killed & causing an even bigger mess.

I was real annoyed with episode 3 because of all its Idiot Ball and how it made Sam into a passenger in what is presumably his show. This episode brings some real cringe, too, because Lemar's apparent death is an intersection of genuinely harmful tropes. However the fight was beautiful, the opening scene with Ayo and Bucky was beautiful, and I was so, so glad to see Sam's skills and experience as a counselor brought to the fore and made relevant and real. I've been waiting for that.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:52 AM on April 11 [3 favorites]


Not a musician, but to my untrained ear the note progression with the strings when Walker picked up the vial was completely sounding Zimmer from Inception.
posted by bfranklin at 2:20 PM on April 11 [1 favorite]


Interesting review of the episode that focuses on what made Steve "special" before getting the serum. The link within the article about "half the ailments on Steve’s enlistment forms" is also interesting, as it looks a bit medicially about all of Steven's attitudes and his attitude about his health.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:31 PM on April 11 [3 favorites]


Also:
Completely Irrelevant Nitpick

Why does the Turkish Delight clack when poured out onto a table? Turkish Delight is the opposite of hard candy.

And what's with the interior design of Zemo's Riga apartment? Is it supposed to be vaguely Levantine? And the rose tea, as well. Is Sokovia nearer to Bulgaria than Poland than I'd been mentally placing it?
posted by pykrete jungle at 6:16 PM on April 11 [4 favorites]


There is a theory bouncing around twitter that the original, pre-COVID story for the series involved the Flag Smashers being involved in a pandemic, and maybe vaccine distribution being a vector for giving everyone on Earth the super soldier serum. Once the real pandemic hit, Disney decided to edit out that storyline, resulting in the less-than-fully coherent series we have here.

Showrunner Kari Skogland spins this positively:
“While the world was changing, we were really able to sharpen our focus. When we went back, we really knew what we were going for, what we were shooting for to finalize the series. It didn’t change anything, it really just helped us focus, I guess.”
Whatever your opinion on various Marvel installements, they rarely feel as loose as this show, which for me lends credence to this theory.

Did love the arm-off moment.
posted by HeroZero at 6:18 PM on April 11 [2 favorites]


This gave me some really cool perspective on Sam, and I wish they made this explicit in the show or movies. It's so much more interesting and thematically rich than the abbreviated version of his backstory that made the actual text.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:29 PM on April 11 [9 favorites]


Ahhhh that makes a lot of sense that the Flag Smashers storyline got a covidtimes rewrite. I’m glad they did, too, the last thing we need is something as culturally huge as the MCU serving antivax vibes.
posted by sixswitch at 6:53 PM on April 11 [3 favorites]


Dunno, I got vaccinated a couple of days ago and I'd be all in favour of superpowers being included. I'll take the version with massive chiselled muscles you don't have to work out, bulk and cut for too.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 3:53 AM on April 12 [6 favorites]


The Turkish Delight line read as some overly complex reference to CS Lewis to me. Zemo gives it to "refugee" children and specifically a young girl. CS Lewis was supposedly inspired to write his first Narnia book by a young refugee girl who wandered around his family's house and got into their wardrobe. Lewis' character Edmund sells out his siblings because of the candy, the young girl sells out Karli for the candy. There is also a history of it being a food that was never able to be truly recreated outside of its origin, a sly reference to Steve vs Walker perhaps?

Or you know, the props people have no idea what Turkish Delight is and just threw something out there for the camera.
posted by M Edward at 7:06 AM on April 12 [9 favorites]


It does seem like a Narnia reference, mostly because I can't imagine any modern child being tempted by weird squishy candies that taste like rosewater of all things. Since I tried Turkish Delight I've decided that the only way Edmund could possibly be a fan is because he was deprived in war-torn England from trying any GOOD candy, like I dunno, chocolate.
posted by wabbittwax at 8:44 AM on April 12 [9 favorites]


I'm seeing a lot of discourse about this show claim that "nothing in tv or film happens by accident" and it blows my mind because it's from the same folks who rightly recognize and call out the military propaganda of the MCU.

Like... we realize Hollywood has accidents just like everyone else, right? Are we really that good at recognizing military propaganda but this bad at recognizing the propaganda Hollywood pushes about itself?
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:59 AM on April 12


I suppose there's one thing to say there's no such thing as a hard candy version of turkish delights but quite another to say lokum of any kind (which is common in that region or anywhere adjacent to the former ottoman territories) is a poor and weird substitute to chocolate?
posted by cendawanita at 9:01 AM on April 12 [2 favorites]


I've heard that lokum itself is great, but that the version in England during the war was not.

Why Was Turkish Delight the Ultimate Temptation in C.S. Lewis’ Narnia?
According to food critic Cara Strickland, the Turkish sweet cast an intoxicating spell over late-Victorian England. Made from a confection of rose oil and sugar, the candy is simple on paper, but proves extremely difficult to make – no matter how Western Europeans tried, they never quite replicated it. Thus, if you wanted real Delight, you had to import it from Turkey, which got expensive fast, so that it became a marker of either status or indulgence in much the way the way coffee had a century earlier.

Of course just as costs had gone down, the outbreak of World War II and its subsequent rationing meant that the candy was harder than ever to come by. Perhaps this is why it became so significant to Lewis? As he welcomed refugee children into his Oxford neighborhood, he thought back on the candies and holidays that had marked his own childhood.
It makes sense that Turkish delight would have been on Lewis’s brain as he crafted a book where Christmas features as a main theme. In Narnia, it is “always winter and never Christmas,” a product of the White Witch’s evil magic. It makes sense to draw a parallel between this dismal fantasy and the stark realities of wartime. Rationing extended to timber, which made Christmas trees harder to come by, and confectionery rationing didn’t end until February of 1953—still well before the end of sugar rationing later that year. When the White Witch asks Edmund what he’d like best to eat, it’s entirely possible that Lewis was answering for him: the candy that would be most difficult and expensive to obtain. Edmund isn’t just asking the witch for candy, he’s essentially asking her for Christmas, too.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 9:50 AM on April 12 [2 favorites]


"always winter and never Christmas"

And upon further reflection, what's this show called again?
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 9:50 AM on April 12 [5 favorites]


Mind you, via Cadbury, the modern cheap British/Commonwealth turkish delight is basically a bar of chocolate with rose gummy bits. The best of both worlds! *insert cry-laugh emoji here*
posted by cendawanita at 10:14 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


I thought this was the best episode of this show so far. It's still a far cry from Wandavision, but I'll watch the rest.

Also, does anyone else keep calling this show The Falcon and the Winter Snowman in their head, or is it just me?
posted by Tabitha Someday at 10:28 AM on April 12 [7 favorites]


Nah. Whenever I refer to it, it's just "Sam and Bucky," as in "did you see the latest episode of Sam and Bucky?" or "did you watch Sam and Bucky?"
posted by sardonyx at 11:34 AM on April 12


It would be the ultimate meta-joke if the Power Broker turned out to be a new character played by either Sean Penn or Timothy Hutton.
posted by wabbittwax at 11:39 AM on April 12 [3 favorites]


I can't tell whether I'm disappointed or pleasantly surprised at how much this series lifts from my favorite run of Cap comics from the early '90s. Everything from the Flag Smashers to Battlestar and Walker losing it is in there, but they've twisted it in ways that sometimes don't make sense - Battlestar being a sacrifice, for instance, is pretty tone-deaf.

I'm really just happy they're mining my favorite Cap stuff for the show, and it give me an excuse to tell everyone to go back and read Gruenwald's Cap, I think it was around #320-350 where this all happens. Certainly the showdown between Walker and Rogers is in 350, but it all involves the Red Skull pulling the strings, obviously not an option here.

Is it pretty well known that this is all from a 30-year-old comic run? I don't look at much discussion to avoid spoilers.

Anyway the show is fun but pretty lopsided and I do wonder about that pandemic edit angle people have mentioned. It would explain a bit why the actions of the Flag Smashers are so nebulous.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 4:07 PM on April 12 [1 favorite]




One of the most interesting things re: Walker's comment "They weren't even super soldiers" is that he doesn't comment on the Dora Milaje* being black women. Yet because of the world we live in, it's very easy for us to make that jump that Walker is also shamed and angry that he was so easily beaten by black women. There's not even a question of it.

Also, I'm bothered by the "“The Dora Milaje have jurisdiction wherever the Dora Milaje find themselves to be” comment. If comes off as passive, as the Dora Milaje don't find themselves to be anywhere, they're always exactly where they want to be.

* I was going to refer to them as The Dora, but that felt so incredibly wrong. One must always refer to them by the full name.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:49 PM on April 12 [2 favorites]


It's awesome that a discussion about an MCU property has hipped me to all kinds of knowledge about Turkish Delight.

I now really, really want some of the authentic kind. Not badly enough to sell out my siblings or give info to a villainous mastermind, but almost. :-D
posted by lord_wolf at 4:58 PM on April 12 [1 favorite]




So does this make Bucky the White Witch and Zemo his dwarf minion?
posted by bq at 5:35 PM on April 12


re "they weren't even supersoldiers"

Previously on Metafilter: I’m a WNBA player. Men won’t stop challenging me to play one-on-one.

Re Turkish Delight (apparently, I'm not ready to let this go): Sure, it could be a Narnia reference, but it seems a bit of a throwaway if so.

I also feel the need to defend it, for some reason. Lokum is extremely tasty, particularly if you get a variety that doesn't go the rosewater route (presuming that many people, like me, tend to associate rosewater more with perfume than food). I do fully believe that tons of people have had utterly terrible Turkish Delight, and because of the contrast between that and its role in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, it's become a sort of generations-long running joke. But I have a hard time believing that there's some location-based magic to doing it well, versus just low standards for an unfamiliar sweet in other parts of the world. E.g., my first experience with the sweet was as a child, via Applets and Cotlets which I thought were great, and I which didn't realize that this was the "Turkish Delight" of Narnia, because I had been given some dire Cadbury's thing by an Irish friend.
posted by pykrete jungle at 5:36 PM on April 12 [4 favorites]


Also, does anyone else keep calling this show The Falcon and the Winter Snowman in their head, or is it just me?

winterfalcon is perfectly lovely and silly fandom portmanteau and i will never let it goooooo
posted by cendawanita at 5:54 PM on April 12


Sam is Black, and Karli (at least the actress) has a Jamaican father, and to me the conversation they had, the problems Karli is dealing with, it reminds me of the home front during WW2, where workers and soldiers were embraced when needed then tossed aside.

"I'm not your enemy, I agree with your fight, I just can't get with the way you are fighting it." To me it echos a lot of Black Panther. It maybe even echos Dr. King and Malcolm X. The thing is, both King and to a certain extent T'Challah were leaders already. Sam... this is the closest to leadership he's been. He's a good man. Can he become a great one?

This show seems like it's as much about being Black in America as anything else.

Bucky's story is interesting because he's not a good guy. He wants to be, but his first impulse isn't a good one, ever. He's haunted by his past. He's a bad guy. Can he become a good man?

Also has anyone else but Ayo called Bucky, James? "Bast Damn You James." She told him he was free. She was his friend, one of the most skilled warriors in the world, the person he trusted to protect people if he went off the rails, and he didn't trust her to make the right call. Bucky doesn't trust her... and I think it's because he doesn't trust himself.

There are what, two episodes left? Sam has to take on a leadership role. Sam will, I believe decide to become a leader, maybe becoming Cap with some serum, maybe just himself as Falcon, his own man. Bucky? He has to learn to make better decisions, to accept that he's more than his past.

That said, I gotta say, I'm not liking all these women/femme folks being used to advance the stories of men, and I hope they get some character/story development. Maybe Sarah gets invited in from the cold by Nick Fury. I really hope Sam's sister saves her home. And Ayo better get a good story, if not here than in the next Black Panther movie. I think Karli is going to die, I think it's going to feel like Killmonger's death. I hope not, In my heart of heart I hope she survives, grows, changes. She's 19. Maybe she could be Cap one day. Fuck that would be awesome. But I doubt it.

The writers of the MCU loves killing women; not to mention Black folks. Hell they killed off Sam's Tete and Donya Madani. But this has some excellent people behind it, including Black women, so I'm not giving up hope completely.
posted by Chrysopoeia at 6:08 PM on April 12


Actually that's not fair to Sam completely, given his military record and work as a counselor, Sam has been a leader, just not like Cap was.
posted by Chrysopoeia at 6:15 PM on April 12 [3 favorites]


Certainly the showdown between Walker and Rogers is in 350, but it all involves the Red Skull pulling the strings, obviously not an option here.

I know it's extremely unlikely they'd bring the Red Skull back, and a lot to throw into this small series, and would diminish some interesting things this show is doing, but every time I see Walker's mask's pronounced skull shape I think "maybe...."
posted by jason_steakums at 6:24 PM on April 12


I'm still wondering about where Karli is going to end up at the end of this season, and bringing up Captain America #350--and how that ended, specifically--makes me wonder about the possibility of her being the new Red Skull.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:42 PM on April 12


* There was much fun with the word TITI.
* "I'm pretty bummed out to have Battlestar graduate from "voice of moderation and counterpoint to John Walker" to "person of color who has died so a white dude can have character development." Seconded.
* Daniel Bruhl's incredibly creepy candy approach somehow working on kids who have had reason to distrust adults their whole lives Good point. Also, not that I've had Turkish delight, but isn't it supposed to... not taste good? Or at least not be the "delight" it's cracked up to be?
* was really excited for a moment by the idea that the Dora Milaje might just take their vibranium arm and their vibranium frisbee and go home. Yeah, why the hell did they give the shield BACK?!
* Zemo just quietly sneaking out without nobody noticing, good lord.
* I really wanted to say "Steve Rogers is rolling over in his grave" except I guess he's probably not dead yet?
* But seriously, YOU DECAPITATED A GUY WITH STEVE ROGERS'S SHIELD, THE FUCK. IN FRONT OF CAMERAS.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:46 PM on April 12 [2 favorites]


I first tasted Turkish Delight as a kid from Persian relatives who would bring it out as a special treat, and I thought it was absolutely delicious. Oh, that sugar around it too...

As an adult, I occasionally get decent versions of it too and I still love it. A Turkish co-worker brought in some fantasic examples before lockdown and I'm still savouring the memory.

It's definitely a Thing that North Americans try something labelled "Turkish Delight" and complain that it's actually horrible. I'm not sure if it's just a question of different tastes, or me learning to love it in childhood and getting a nostalic thrill now, or if they're just getting some kind of weird horrible version of it.

The stuff that Zemo puts on the table is individually wrapped in plastic which I've never heard of for actual Turkish Delight, which comes in a box full of thinly powdered sugar separating the pieces from each other.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 1:45 AM on April 13 [1 favorite]


I used to think I didn’t like Turkish Delight as I’d only ever tried the English Fry’s Turkish Delight. I remember as a kid if I ever got some in a selection box I’d give it straight to my grandpa who liked it.

As an adult I tried the proper stuff (including some I got from the shop in Istanbul where it was supposedly invented) and it really is one of my favourite confections. Fortunately pretty easy to get in the UK these days should a craving strike.
posted by chill at 3:12 AM on April 13 [1 favorite]


I assumed the Turkish Delight reference to the White Witch of Narnia was sort of a reminder that Zemo Is Evil. In the comics he's so Evil, he's the leader of a team called THE MASTERS OF EVIL. You have to have a graduate degree in Being Evil to even get an interview for Zemo's team.

When the villains make too much sense and get too sympathetic, you gotta have them do some mustache twirling to remind the audience who to root for.
posted by straight at 3:36 AM on April 13 [4 favorites]


YOU DECAPITATED A GUY WITH STEVE ROGERS'S SHIELD, THE FUCK. IN FRONT OF CAMERAS.

I thought he bashed his chest in ?
posted by Pendragon at 4:25 AM on April 13


Hard to tell exactly, but my impression was he was aiming the edge of the shield on the guy's neck, not chest. I....guessed from there.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:05 AM on April 13


Yeah it's not clear exactly how Walker used the iconic symbol of America to kill a person in a murderous rage, only that he did.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:09 AM on April 13 [2 favorites]


Also, does anyone else keep calling this show The Falcon and the Winter Snowman in their head, or is it just me?

You don’t see many summer snowmen, except possibly if you see a puddle with a carrot, a scarf, and a few buttons of coal lying in it.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:33 AM on April 13 [2 favorites]


FYI not the first time Cap has decapitated someone with his shield. I believe in Ultimate Avengers he chopped off an alien invader's head after the latter told him to surrender - he said "Surrender? You think this A on my head stands for France?!" and splat. Needless to say this is something of a different canon than what we're looking at here.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 12:00 PM on April 13


The Ultimates Steve Rogers is just as much Not My Captain America as John Walker.
posted by straight at 2:25 PM on April 13 [6 favorites]


Yeah, I guess my respect for MCU Steve Rogers went up a notch when I read that and knew that both the decapitation and the France joke are not going to happen.
posted by mark k at 2:35 PM on April 13


Also has anyone else but Ayo called Bucky, James? "Bast Damn You James." She told him he was free. She was his friend, one of the most skilled warriors in the world, the person he trusted to protect people if he went off the rails, and he didn't trust her to make the right call. Bucky doesn't trust her... and I think it's because he doesn't trust himself.

I read an interesting discussion elsewhere about how the Wakandans had told Bucky he was free, but built a kill switch into his arm that he didn't know about, and what a betrayal that might feel like to a person who'd spent 70 years mind-controlled.
posted by Orlop at 3:43 PM on April 13 [3 favorites]


I personally can't get Walker's PTSD & obvious anguish out of my head. Wish Sam would / could use his soldier counseling skills on him. Or maybe he could take Bucky's place at the therapy sessions. But I'm liking the theme of "bringing the war home" that Walker personifies. Nice reflection of the current reality.

I guess I have considerable sympathy for him. I hope they continue along that path and not make him the easy-to-hate villain.

Though it's always a bit jarring to me to hear about real world events in the superhero dramas. I keep imagining a Dr. Manhattan-in-Vietnam type scenario. Though I guess I don't have to imagine too much. The beginning of this series was something similar.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 3:50 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


I read an interesting discussion elsewhere about how the Wakandans had told Bucky he was free, but built a kill switch into his arm that he didn't know about, and what a betrayal that might feel like to a person who'd spent 70 years mind-controlled.

I only spent 2 hours watching Black Panther and it was obvious to me that Wakanda would be able and willing to do that with any tech they gave anybody. Bucky lived there for weeks? Months? It's hard to believe this would surprise him. He just watched Tony Stark do the same thing to Thanos.
posted by straight at 5:01 PM on April 13


I have noticed that as well. I have also been chortling at closed captioning and subtitle errors for decades now.

Yeah, we watch with audio + captions -- because 50+ and no longer willing to put up with losing dialogue to muddy sound mixing -- and the captioning on this is ... not great? It often omits words, phrases, entire sentence fragments in a way that's very jarring if you're following along on a mixture of both.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 5:28 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


More bad captioning, it had Ayo "[speaking Wakandan]" to Bucky before leaving. She said "dasvidaniya, James", which is very deliberately not Wakandan.

Speaking of, I do wish Zemo hadn't been interrupted before explaining (or lying about) why he's made no objection to Bucky so far.
posted by mersen at 6:54 PM on April 13 [2 favorites]


I wanted to hear why Sam would not take the serum.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:08 PM on April 13


the Wakandans had told Bucky he was free, but built a kill switch into his arm

I can't believe it's been five days since the episode was released and the word "disarm" still has not been used here.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:11 PM on April 13 [16 favorites]


Also, I would be very interested in a show titled Law and Order: The Dora Milaje
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:42 PM on April 13 [7 favorites]


deCAPitation America
posted by medusa at 9:10 PM on April 13 [3 favorites]


In the international justice system, there is only one group that matters: the Dora Milaje.

dun DUN

*Kendrick’s tonal drumming and whoops*
posted by sixswitch at 9:15 PM on April 13 [2 favorites]


Also, I would be very interested in a show titled Law and Order: The Dora Milaje

Dora Order

In the international justice system, there is only one group that has jurisdiction wherever they find themselves: the Dora Milaje.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:58 PM on April 13 [4 favorites]


I wanted to hear why Sam would not take the serum.

That is probably going to be a thing in later episodes. (not a spoiler, just my own hunch)
posted by Fleebnork at 5:28 AM on April 14




Aw, man, that article is a terrible reading of the show. I don’t feel like they’ve been paying very good attention..... for example: (I mean, the man appears to sleep in a blanket nest on the floor of his home. Could we maybe… find out why that is?)

That is a direct call back to Captain America: Winter Soldier:

Sam Wilson: It’s your bed, right?
Steve Rogers: What’s that?
Sam Wilson: Your bed, it’s too soft. When I was over there I sleep on the ground and used rock for pillows, like a caveman. Now I’m home, lying in my bed, and It’s like…
Steve Rogers: Lying on a marshmallow. I feel like I’m going to sink right to the floor.
posted by bq at 5:39 PM on April 14 [3 favorites]


I think that article is spot on, nothing much has been done to develop Bucky's character. The first episode was interesting and held promise on this front, what with him trying to make amends and dating.

But now? It's all SHIELD SHIELD SHIELD, which is really STEVE STEVE STEVE. When does Bucky move on from that and find his own reasons to continue fighting? Hopefully in these last two episodes.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:28 PM on April 14 [1 favorite]


I was shocked when Ayo removed Bucky's arm. It reminded me of a blog post from (maybe a Mefite?) whose school-age daughter used an electric AAC device to speak. She was doing something in class one day like talking when it wasn't her turn, and the teacher turned her device off. You don't do that. You just don't do that. You don't take a disabled person's technology away from them.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:50 PM on April 14 [6 favorites]


I think there is a lot to address in the final two episodes and I hope they don't rush everything and make no one happy.

I'm interested in seeing Winter Wolf actually have reasons to trust someone.

His life experience (post first army 'Death') has taught him to see people as Target or Not A Threat. The two people in authority he might have trusted (his counsellor - although he didn't tell her about his nightmares so he probably didn't trust her) and Ayo - who helped him at his most vulnerable during his brain deprogramming, have both shown that they don't trust him.

Not one bit.

Ayo, dis-armed him outright - which makes sense, but must have psychologically dented if not slashed Bucky - and the Counsellor's remit was never really his holistic well being, more his efficiency as a tool to be re-deployed when/if the Govt ever requested.

I hope Bucky learns to fully trust Sam, and can continue to heal a little bit more.

I hope Zemo ends up back in Prison, but suspect him running around in the wider world has great MCU story opportunities.

I hope they address what Walker has done and what was witnessed on a worldwide stage.
Bucky was filmed pretending to have reverted to Winter Soldier Mode, and Walker was filmed outright murdering someone. That media dissemination has to be addressed.

In summation I have a lot of hope.
posted by Faintdreams at 2:51 AM on April 15


It's my understanding that Zemo joins some sort of Marvel version of the Suicide Squad in the comics and well, Disney and spinoffs are a thing. The name might need some work though, Thunderbolts.

Is it just me or did that article completely miss where Bucky, in what I feel is the most genuinely emotional moment so far, admits that he only sees his self-worth through Steve's eyes and that if Steve is/was wrong about anything it melts his own tenuous thread of himself? I don't know if that moment was meant to be the entire moral theme of the show and since it was during a scene played mostly for laughs we just whizzed by it.

The Dora Milaje showing they seemingly don't trust Bucky either really hammers it in even more that Bucky really is just a shell that only Steve believed in. I mentioned before how it feels like Bucky and Sam never pass a Steve Bechdel test and it feels intentional so I hope the showrunners have something more for Bucky to do than live in Cap's shadow.
posted by M Edward at 6:29 AM on April 15 [3 favorites]


More bad captioning, it had Ayo "[speaking Wakandan]" to Bucky before leaving. She said "dasvidaniya, James", which is very deliberately not Wakandan.

As others have mentioned, it was "Bast damn you, James".
posted by Pendragon at 10:39 AM on April 15 [2 favorites]


The first episode was interesting and held promise on this front, what with him trying to make amends and dating. But now? It's all SHIELD SHIELD SHIELD, which is really STEVE STEVE STEVE.

Is it just me or did that article completely miss where Bucky, in what I feel is the most genuinely emotional moment so far, admits that he only sees his self-worth through Steve's eyes and that if Steve is/was wrong about anything it melts his own tenuous thread of himself?

I agree that making Bucky's story largely about him dealing with Steve's shadow makes sense and fits with the overall theme of the show, but I think the bits of Bucky dealing with all the stuff he did without Steve (as Winter Soldier, White Wolf, and whoever he is now) were more interesting and what I would prefer to see more of.
posted by straight at 11:26 AM on April 15


I have my issues with this show, but damn if I’m not excited for that weekly drop!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:57 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]


Episode 5 (next one after this) has a short post-credits sequence at 54:20.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 9:41 PM on April 16


Yeah it's not clear exactly how Walker used the iconic symbol of America to kill a person in a murderous rage, only that he did.

Homelander: "Yes, and?"
posted by Apocryphon at 11:18 PM on April 16


If you haven't watched The Boys, Homelander is huuugely into improv
posted by Pronoiac at 5:52 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


And milk.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:02 PM on April 17


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