The Falcon and the Winter Soldier S01E04 is the fourth instalment of a six-part superhero streaming TV drama miniseries. Set six months after the events of Avengers : Endgame, the miniseries continues to expand on the Marvel Cinematic Universe (“MCU”) after the 5 year blip, and the impact this has on the world, and of course, on the superheroes themselves.
S P O I L E R S F O L L O W
Entitled “The Whole World is Watching”, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier S01E04 is the best episode of the miniseries so far and somewhat redeems the uneven quality of the first half. In our review of S01E03, we were hoping that that disappointing episode would be the low point and things would improve from there.
Thankfully, that is the case with episode 4, as the miniseries takes time to explore the characters and their opposing motivations. This allows the audience to get more investment into the various players in this conflict. In addition, the miniseries has allowed the MCU to actually transcend the typical Marvel trope to sprinkle a bit of the Deconstruction trope into the mix.
The question that is being asked is simple – should super-soldiers exist? The adage that absolute power corrupts absolutely is uppermost in the characters’ mind – whether ‘enhanced’ or not. This is a theme that Alan Moore explored in Watchmen (a DC Comic, by the way) and for once MCU characters are being subjected to the same examination.
This is where Baron Zemo is utilised as the writers’ mouthpiece . Zemo’s opinion that the super-soldier serum represents supremacy – the idea that one group of people should have dominance over others – resonates strongly and stops Sam and Bucky (and even Karli) in their tracks.
Then, Zemo’s question is perfectly answered by John Walker’s descent into madness. The miniseries had portrayed Walker’s assumption of the mantle of Captain America as something he deserved based on his exemplary military record. The events of episode 4 provided Walker with the opportunity to take on power to do the things he believed was right.
By the final act of this episode, the enhanced Walker – encouraged by his sidekick Lemar’s insistence that the serum would not change Walker in any way negative – becomes the very monster Karli and her Flag Smasher wished to destroy. However, placed on an equal footing, Sam, Bucky, Karli and the Flag Smashers may not be able to stop Walker, the super-soldier! “Violence begets violence” indeed.
We continue to stand by our assessment that the characterisations of Zemo and Sharon Carter were totally unearned but with respect to the arc of John Walker, from optimistic Cap replacement into super-villain, the writers have done an excellent job! This mid-point twist pivots the miniseries perfectly for the last 2 episodes. With The Falcon and the Winter Soldier S01E04, the whole world is watching…. indeed!
Now streaming on Disney+.
… still there’s more …