TFATWS: Episode 5 - We Need To Talk About Those Scenes
In the newly released 5th episode of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier on Disney+, Marvel has proven that they are definitely not afraid to speak on the racial injustices and the mistreatment of veterans that is so evident in America today. In this blog I'll be sharing spoilers from the new episode, so if you haven't watched it yet stay clear!
At the start, the episode doesn't hesitate to deliver on action. The fight sequence between John Walker, and Sam and Bucky was a heart breaking yet satisfying way to introduce the next part of the story. The scariest part of it all is that John Walker believes he still did the right thing. After murdering a man in an open plaza in the previous episode, he did not even think twice when battling it out against our two heroes, coming close to killing them too.
What's sad is what comes after the fight. Sam breaks John's arm, Bucky recovers the shield for him, and they let John get taken in by authorities I guess. The whole fight was basically a citizen's arrest. But John is treated with complete disrespect at his hearing for his crime by the government who created him. Now, I am not defending John in any way because I think he's a terrible person but I think the government should take some responsibility for his actions. To steal the words from John's mouth, they built him. They created this Frankenstein-esque Captain America out of a trauma ridden US Army Veteran that needed to be sent to therapy rather than back into battle, all because they couldn't have a black man carry the shield. John's outburst at his hearing only speaks to his privilege, and they allow him to leave the board room without any real consequences besides the loss of his veteran benefits. All of John's medals and awards may have made him a good soldier, but it never made him a good man. With the government's ignorance to that fact, they allowed John the right to operate as a symbol which fueled his ego, designing a human time bomb. While high on Super Soldier Serum, the human disaster that is John Walker deserves no pity, but his character does deserve his sentence and really even a worse one.
On a lighter note, we finally get to see more of Joaquin Torres this episode!
Like I've stated in previous blogs, Torres becomes a version of The Falcon in Marvel Comics. So this scene where Sam just allows Torres to keep his broken wings means so much more to just an average fan. We can assume that in the MCU Torres will fix this broken equipment and learn to fly on his own to dawn Sam's old mantle once he becomes Captain America. This only adds to the consistent inclusivity Marvel in building in it's films. Torres has every chance to be the first latino Avenger in the MCU, and I think that's pretty cool.
One of my favorite parts of the episode was when Sam decided to visit Isaiah Bradley again. Learning more about Isaiah's story, which holds true to the comics, is extremely heartbreaking. What's even more heartbreaking is hearing this war hero talk about his country, and how he has no hope left for it. I can't speak on what it's like to be a black person in America. I understand that it is something I will never understand but that doesn't mean I'll ignore my duty as an ally. I commend Marvel for not backing down, and showing us the MCU's truth to the injustice in their system which undoubtedly mimics our own.
When Isaiah talks about how he was tortured, imprisoned, and basically erased from existence, it's hard to get angry. Isaiah rescued fellow soldiers who were captured, just like Steve Rodgers, but instead we was completely punished for it. Back then, and even now, he claims that no one would have allowed there be a black Captain America. What a terrible sentence. But he's right. Sadly, society wasn't ready. These words left Sam with a heavy burden, but he at least knew what he had to do.
The sequence that made me the most emotional this episode was definitely Sam's training montage. Just seeing Sam finally accept and acknowledge that he may not be what the world wants, but he's what the world needs, was truly inspiring. To see him practice with the shield and carry it with such honor and dignity in just those few clips really warmed my heart. After a short-long season of seeing that shield belong to a madman, it felt good to see it at home with the real Captain America.
Sam Wilson is such an amazing character with an amazing heart, played by an amazing actor. Anthony Mackie does Sam Wilson's character so much justice, and he undoubtedly will make a phenomenal Captain America. This can be proven by the scene he shares with one of his nephews while he's holding the shield. His nephew lightly touches it and looks up at his uncle with smiling proud eyes.
It was this scene that broke me. The weight that it carries is heavy yet so effortless. It's always important to see yourself represented in your favorite media. Now, little kids who love Captain America can truly see that anyone can carry the shield. You just have to stay strong and brave and good. These messages are not hidden in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. The show makes it very clear what messages they're trying to send, good and bad, and they're not afraid to say it.
Overall, this episode was loaded with such important pieces that it left me feeling satisfied. I think I can go into the next and last episode with nothing but pure joy and excitement. Although there were things in this episode that leave Sharon Carter and this new Valentina on my radar, I feel no reason to speculate. This episode has left my heart so warm and full of hope. I am very much enjoying this series, and it seems like it could have potential for additional seasons.
Until then, you can stream The Falcon and The Winter Soldier on Disney+ and rewatch all 5 episodes before the finale next week!