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The Falcon & The Winter Soldier


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So I just discovered the vitriol directed at Wyatt Russell, literally the actor not his character. This shouldn’t surprise me, but gawd damn humans stop sucking just so hard at something that should be so simple to understand. You’re not supposed to like Walker, Walker isn’t Russell. Holy Fuchs.

That Said: I feel like Walker is a guy that works out to the Airwolf Theme on repeat.

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Just finished watching it and couldn’t agree more Tank. Fantastic episode with great character development.

All set for an intriguing final episode!

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I'm really a fan of how they have taken Cap's two key supporting characters, his old BFF and his new BFF, and put them through storylines that bring them to the place Steve was always at. It's interesting because in Cap's movies we already saw Sam and Bucky follow Steve without question. Steve was ALWAYS the embodiment of what America should be morally at its core, vs what the government was telling him to do. He was not a fan of the covert stuff at the top of Winter Solider, then obviously in Civil War and Infinity War, he's very upfront about this.

What makes Steve Rogers a great character is that he considers himself above the law, but is the only person in history who manages to not be corrupted by having that thought. That's what Erskine saw in him, and it's why he's the only person to have taken the serum that wasn't turned to a dick. Walker exemplifies that.

Steve saw Sam to have that same moral potential, but of course Sam didn't see it and this whole show has been putting Sam in these moral quandaries: he saved the world, but can't get a loan to save his family. He thinks the Flag-Smashers core belief is a good one, but knows their methodology is wrong. He's culturally tied to the tainted legacy of what was done to Isiah Bradley. Bradley even says that as a black man Sam shouldn't WANT to be Captain America. All this is drag Sam through racial politics, the calling of being a superhero, and knowing right vs wrong. So basically, everything needed to give him the perspective to have that same core ethical superiority that Steve had.

I'm a big fan that Sam would follow Steve anywhere, but not himself. While I don't think this show has been as subversive and interesting as Wandavision, I do really like this methodology of them enhancing and expanding the supporting Avengers that didn't get their own movie via short run TV series.

Sidebar: I somehow missed that Julia Louis Dreyfus was going to be Lady Hydra in Black Widow, so her showing up here was a fun cameo. With one episode to go I don't know that they will go too far with her-- but clear a set up for Walker to become US Agent (or something else).

 

 

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Additionally— there’s a mid credit scene that’s an interesting call back to Iron Man, but BAD.

also, I realized that despite their various allegiances, every character in this story has been somehow abandoned by the government/power/agency that made them.

For the Flagsmashers it’s the failing of the GRC. For Sam, Sharon, Isiah, and Walker, it’s the US government. For Bucky it’s Hydra. Walker’s speech about being what “they” made him only to be cut loose with no support applies to all of them.

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This is such a great show.  Even the episodes others thought were weak, I really enjoyed.  I love them tying in Bradley's experiences to Sam's internal struggle.  It's such a great contrast that was missing in the comics when Sam took over, I think.  Granted, the circumstances were very different....

Anyway, I just love this show.

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Jacob— Sharon is deF bad. The power broker apparently made Isiah so either she’s inherited the job, or works for him. I’m still pulling for robo-Zola. Though it could be Contessa too I suppose.

Jacen— you said the words I have been scared to say— “missing from the comics.”

I’m going to admit here and now, I like the MCU better than the comics. As an OG comic nerd we’re always supposed to enforce the idea the comics/original version of pop culture adaptations are the best. And everything must be true to that.

But here’s the thing— the comics are so far gone at this point... I just read the announcement about the new X-Men comic volume starting this summer and it just sounded tired. Worse, it has so much baggage. After 60 years of stories, you can’t just have the X-Men be half a dozen misfits living in a weirdos mansion trying to help the world. They ran out of stories. At this point the X-Men live on their own island nation (for the 3rd time) and through the power of taming sentient plant Krakoa can travel anywhere in the world and have plant grown clones of themselves on stand by to replace themselves if they die and are seen as a rogue nation and bla blah blah.

It’s just too much. After decades of trying to raise the bar and always push the envelope it’s become ridiculous and uninteresting.

I’m using the X-Men as an example, but pretty much all the characters/books have gone through some version of this.

The MCU, despite 20+ films in 12 years still feels new. It feels to me how the comics felt in the 80s. Everything is interconnected, time is allowed to pass, heroes come and go and pass on their mantels while others are still there. Am I bummed I’ll never see Tony Stark trade barbs with Wolverine? Sure— but if they keep going they are creating that same effect I felt as a kid.

Like, Gwen Stacy and Captain Marvel were dead when I started reading— they were part of the tapestry, and if I wanted I could go find old issues to see what happened to them. I used to complain about the MCU doing origin story after origin story— but now that the stage is set, think of them in another 10 years. You can have some kid watching Avengers 6 as their entry point and pointing to Winter Soldier and saying “What’s that guys story?” And there will be a long-form history woven into multiple movies and a show to tell that story. 
 

Apparently I am a huge MCU mark now.

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I prefer more weird in stuff, but I think this is a good series. I love the commentary and I appreciate that I’ve cared about the fights. A lot of times in hero stuff it’s “okay now they punch”, and often I could not care less about that part of the spectacular, but I think they have done a good job at continuing to get the viewer invested in why they are punching.

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Finale gonna be a lot of punching. This week was the character work. There’ll be a bit more—Bucky and the old Japanese guy—but there’s a lot to tie up so there’ll be a lot of punching. I wanna punch someone.

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11 hours ago, Darth Krawlie said:

Finale gonna be a lot of punching. This week was the character work. There’ll be a bit more—Bucky and the old Japanese guy—but there’s a lot to tie up so there’ll be a lot of punching. I wanna punch someone.

I hear there’s an asshole begging for it inside your mirror.

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So I was thinking about poor Wyatt Russell again today. He could be in Backdraft 2 playing his father’s character’s son, just saving the day, and people would be like kill it with fire.

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Absolutely!  The only storyline that didn’t sit quite right with me by the end was Sharon’s.  More so, it was the way it happened.  Revealing her hiring Beatrix last episode just kind of sucked all the air out of it, I think.

everything else was awesome, though.  I like Sam’s new suit so much better in live action than I did in the comics.  I don’t think it is that much different from the comic look, but it just seems to work better to me on Mackie, I guess.

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I liked the finale too, with a minor quibble here and there about the speed of the action... but that is likely more me being an older guy with eye issues and an adhd issue which makes it more difficult for me to focus on that stuff.

Really really looking forward to more Cap and Bucky. I am also interested in Walker’s evolution from here out. I love Sam’s costume overall.

I’m hoping to see Sharon get her due justice now that she is a villain. I despise her betraying herself, her name, and generally the good of humanity by taking advantage of the vulnerable just because she felt slighted. She feels really Palpatine-ish at the moment and I hope to see her thrown down a long ventilation shaft. Maybe on the moon, by Old Man Steve.

Final Thought: I wish Stark Tech would give Sam a form fitting nanotech helmet he could shapeshift on and off for flying.

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That nanotech may come in the now announced Captain America 4 movie. Bigger FX budget. REALLY interesting to me that they are following a short run TV show with a film instead of another season. I actually like this blurring of the lines. A series allows for that character work, then the movie can have the spectacle.

I think the X-Men would work great in that format. Stick to the drama at the school in a series, then go to the feature when you need to fight Sentinels.

Making Sharon evil was a bold move given the legacy of Peggy, but I am confident they can make it work.

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So, I’ve seen other geeks say that Sharon and Rhodey were Skrulls in this series. Rhodey because he has no visible leg braces (although IMO he prolly just has nanotech or better now). Sharon because everything (although her wanting tech and money seems weird if she is an interstellar travel capable shape shifting alien). Thoughts?

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^That's why I didn't like Secret Invasion as a comic and why I'm not excited for the show. Granted everything else MCU that I've been wary of turned out great, but I really don't like the idea of someone not being who we thought they were, and then trying to backtrack and figure out when and how and why and ugh. I dunno. That's just not the kind of storytelling I like.

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Forgot to comment on the ending, mostly because it went exactly as I wanted/predicted-- which isn't a bad thing. If the penultimate was all about the character we knew the final one was going to be jumpy/fighty/explodey, and it delivered.

I think the only thing I felt didn't quite land was Walker's back to face turn. I don't know he quite earned it. Had they been able to maybe squeeze out another episode or 2 they could have gotten there, it just felt abbreviated.

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