The Falcon and the Winter Soldier - Episode 2 - The Star Spangled Man

MarvelVision: The Falcon And The Winter Soldier, Episode 2 – “The Star-Spangled Man”

MarvelVision podcasts

Sam and Bucky finally team up as we break down all the big moments in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier Episode 2, “The Star-Spangled Man.” With John Walker officially named the new Captain America, our heroes head off in pursuit of The Flag Smashers, only to get their butts handed to them, even with a team-up with Walker and his own sidekick, Battlestar. Meanwhile, a side trip reveals how the legacy of the shield is more complicated than he originally thought.

Whether you’re wondering who is Isaiah Bradley in Falcon and the Winter Soldier, whether that was really Sara Haines, all about Cle Bennett who plays Lamar Hoskins a.k.a. Battlestar to the identity of The Power Broker, we break down all the Falcon and the Winter Soldier Easter eggs and Marvel Comics origins.

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Full Episode Transcript

Alex:                 Welcome to MarvelVision, a podcast about Marvel the MCU and Falcon and the Winter Soldier. I’m Alex.

Justin:              I’m Justin.

Pete:                I’m Pete.

Alex:                 We’re going to be talking about the second episode of Falcon and the Winter Soldier, The Star-Spangled Man. This is a big one.

Pete:                Fake Cap.

Alex:                 Lots of stuff goes down in this episode.

Justin:              Huge episode.

Alex:                 So many things happen. More bank loans. More dates for Bucky. That’s pretty much it.

Pete:                What?

Alex:                 No. I was-

Justin:              I mean, yeah. The show pivoted. I think some criticism of the show is like “What is this? This is like the first act of a movie, not even. It’s like the first 20 minutes where you don’t know much about anything,” and I think this episode took that criticism and just crushed it.

Pete:                Shoved it up their ass.

Alex:                 It’s great that they pivoted so quickly, because as we know, these shows are broadcast live. So they probably took the criticism from the first episode, thought about it over the week.

Justin:              Re-shot the whole thing.

Alex:                 Friday night when they were putting the sketches together, they were like “Okay. We got to do this stuff.” Lorne came out and was like “This is what Bucky should do this week,” and then here we go.

Pete:                Wait. What was that? What are you doing?

Alex:                 That was a very bad Lorne Michaels impression.

Pete:                Well, that was awful. I don’t know what-

Alex:                 It was terrible.

Pete:                Just don’t-

Justin:              I think they said-

Pete:                Maybe don’t-

Justin:              … “Live from Atlanta, this is Falcon and Winter Soldier.”

Pete:                You sounded like Mer-Man from He-Man. It was like you were like …

Alex:                 Is that what he sounds like? “[inaudible 00:01:29] the ocean.”

Justin:              Pete, you know that-

Alex:                 He sounds like Buffalo Bill?

Justin:              You know that Alex did the voice of Mer-Man?

Alex:                 Yeah.

Pete:                Yeah. Yeah.

Justin:              In the original He-Man cartoon.

Alex:                 There you go. I did actually all the voices. Anyway, we’re going to be talking about this episode. If you haven’t watched it, go and watch it, because we’re going to jump right into spoilers and Easter eggs and, as usual on this podcast, go way all over the place jumping with stuff, but so many things happened in this episode, as we were saying, as opposed to the first episode, which was a lot of setup and diving into the psychology of where Sam and Bucky are now.

Pete:                The way you’re saying it made it sound like it’s bad though. It was still very enjoyable.

Alex:                 Yeah. I’m having fun watching this show. I still do feel like, after two episodes, I don’t quite know what the show is yet.

Pete:                Who cares?

Justin:              Yeah.

Alex:                 But this at least was pretty episodic. There was a lot of information here. If you’re a MCU fan or a comic book fan, you got a lot of stuff there, but to give the broad overview of the plot, Sam and Bucky get together pretty much in the opening minutes, which did not happen in the first episode. They go on a mission to stop the Flag-Smashers. They fail horribly, even though they team up with a new-

Pete:                Well, I mean, it was close.

Alex:                 … new Captain American, John Walker-

Pete:                Fake Cap.

Alex:                 … and his buddy-

Pete:                Don’t call him the new Cap. No don’t say that. He’s not the new Captain America. He’s fake Cap.

Justin:              He technically is.

Pete:                No. That’s ridiculous.

Alex:                 He’s the new Captain America.

Pete:                Stop.

Alex:                 I believe in the United States government, and I support our new Cap.

Pete:                What?

Justin:              Wow.

Pete:                What? Wow.

Justin:              This is a strong take from this podcast. Alex is fully committing to the John Walker Cap.

Pete:                Yeah. Wow. You’re a sellout.

Alex:                 He’s the Star-Spangled Man, man.

Pete:                Boo.

Alex:                 So the new Cap and his buddy-

Pete:                Fake Cap. Stop saying that.

Alex:                 I’m going to keep saying it, and Battlestar battle them, try to team up with them. It doesn’t quite work out, and by the end of the episode, things have turned quite a bit where they now may be working against each other, and Bucky has decided to go get help, find out what’s going on with the Flag-Smashers, find out what’s going on with these new super soldiers in town from the only source he knows, Zemo himself, the villain of Captain America: Civil War.

Pete:                As soon as he … I was like “Zalben’s losing his mind right now.”

Alex:                 I love Zemo. I love him.

Pete:                Yeah.

Justin:              You do love Zemo.

Alex:                 I love Zemo. I love the new Cap. That’s it.

Pete:                Stop.

Alex:                 Just those two.

Pete:                It’s the worst.

Justin:              You’re going to be very disappointed where this show ends up, Alex. I have a feeling.

Pete:                I hope so.

Alex:                 We’ll see. We’ll see.

Pete:                Oh, my god.

Justin:              Season two, Zemo and the new Cap.

Alex:                 So let’s start talking through this, because there are so many threads and bits of information thrown in here. Justin?

Justin:              I know. Let’s start off with one of our favorite characters, the Zipper.

Pete:                Oh, yeah. That-

Justin:              The episode starts out … Could have just watched that journey. What a journey.

Pete:                Oh, wow. Right?

Justin:              What a journey that Zipper goes on.

Pete:                What a shot. What was great about it … It was so good they couldn’t not put it in. I know this doesn’t make sense to have a shot of the Zipper, but it’s so beautiful and so well done and satisfying.

Justin:              Never flew off the rails. Goes from beginning to end. Super clean. I guess-

Alex:                 I got to be honest. When they started doing that, I thought we were back to the shield case from the beginning of the first episode.

Pete:                Oh, wow.

Justin:              You love that shield case.

Alex:                 It’s a very pretty case.

Pete:                It’s a nice case.

Alex:                 But we weren’t, in fact. We’re getting this setup from John Walker. Now, Pete, I know what your opinion of John Walker is. You’ve very clearly expressed that. I’m curious, Justin, to get your take, because we get a lot of information about his back story about him in this episode. We follow-

Pete:                His team around him-

Alex:                 … almost more than Sam and Bucky’s are-

Pete:                … was just just handling him. He’s just being handled by people in a circle.

Alex:                 Well, he has, arguably, I would say, the best or most interesting character arc over the course of this episode. What was your take, Justin?

Justin:              Yeah. I agree with you-

Pete:                Fuck you.

Justin:              … and I will say, just wait-

Pete:                Isaiah had a better fucking than that. Fuck yourself.

Alex:                 [crosstalk 00:05:20].

Justin:              I wouldn’t call that an arc, but yes. Definitely, we’ll get there, but I thought it was interesting. At the end of last episode, we see John Walker as Captain America, and we’re like “Boo. We don’t like this. This is bad. This is a problem,” because we’re right there with Sam, who’s like … You’re seeing his stress and just absolutely frustration for what’s happening, and in this episode, we get in Walker’s head. We’re meant to sympathize with him at the beginning of this episode. He’s not the villain. He is someone who’s like-

Pete:                He’s a douche.

Justin:              Maybe, but also, we don’t know too much about him, but this episode, I would argue, is designed to make us empathize with him a little bit and at least be like “Oh, he’s not the enemy. He’s another player in this game,”-

Pete:                No.

Justin:              … which was not something I expected. The fact that we’re in his head … He doesn’t have a secret identity. He’s fully public. He is great with a shield, no super strength, as we know so far. He’s just a guy who trained a lot and is a good soldier or whatever.

Pete:                I’m not buying it.

Justin:              No. Of course, and maybe it’s not going to end up being true, but what I think is unique about this episode is it put us there with him as opposed to being like “He’s a problem. We have to get him.” We see Sam and Bucky react that way later, but it’s a little confusing because we don’t know sort of which way it’s going to go, you know?

Alex:                 Yeah. I’m definitely right there with you, and we get these great scenes in the beginning of him in the locker room. It’s such a easy visual slash plot thing to do, but his wife comes in. His wife says “I love you, and I support you.” His best friends come in. So we’re already in this place where, like you’re saying, we’re very off kilter. We want to hate this guy, but there are other people-

Pete:                We all [crosstalk 00:07:03].

Alex:                 … who seem reasonable who like him. We find out that he has this incredible military record where he saved so many people-

Pete:                It’s all made up.

Alex:                 … and then there’s-

Justin:              We don’t know that.

Alex:                 … even this great moment when they’re in the car, and I love that scene when they’re in the car and they’re trying to get Bucky and Sam to get in the car, and Bucky just throws out at him “Did you ever jump on a grenade,” and he says “Well, actually, I jumped on three grenades.” You put the helmet on there. Very funny, but it also makes him very self-effacing, but I would say, at the same time, you get these notes of turn against him by the end of the episode. That’s why I think he has a really interesting arc, because you start in his head. You start wondering if you’re supposed to be sympathizing with him, but then he pulls out the gun with no hesitation on top of the truck, which, mind you-

Pete:                That was crazy to see somebody with the shield rocking the gun like that.

Alex:                 Well, here’s the thing though. Captain America has done that in the movies.

Pete:                Oh, really? I didn’t know that. Thank you for pointing that out to me. I’m just saying it’s still weird.

Justin:              Who’s that? Is that a new character? Is that a new character in the podcast?

Pete:                It’s still weird to see it-

Justin:              Clown Pete?

Pete:                It’s still weird to see it happen, is my point, regardless of-

Justin:              Agreed.

Pete:                … seeing it in the comic a bunch-

Alex:                 Yes.

Pete:                … seeing it other times.

Alex:                 I am agreeing with you. You’re very angry at me, Pete.

Pete:                Yes.

Justin:              I think-

Alex:                 Just because John Walker is my favorite character and I identify with him-

Pete:                Oh, my god. All right. So you got-

Alex:                 … and it’s the first time I saw myself on screen, but go ahead.

Justin:              Wow.

Pete:                All right.

Justin:              Congratulations.

Alex:                 Look at me. I’m like John Walker right here.

Pete:                Okay. Okay.

Justin:              I really love the gun moment because it was something that was sort of … He just did it. It’s unmentioned. He shot the person, and then …

Pete:                Like a punk.

Justin:              Unless I forget, in the comics-

Pete:                He shot someone.

Justin:              In the comics, when Bucky takes over as Cap for a time, he has a gun, and Bucky, as we know in this show, is atoning for all the hundreds of people that he’s killed.

Pete:                Yeah. What’s rule number two? So I think it’s one of those things where, though, as somebody who has a little bit of knowledge of this character, may or may not like this character, I was like “Don’t waste time on this fake Cap. I want to know about all the things going on with the characters that I do care,” and you guys, Justin especially, loves to get in characters heads. So I can see why that’s very exciting to you, and it is an interesting twist to put to see where this douche comes from, but this isn’t what we’re here for, guys. This isn’t Falcon and Winter Soldier and some douche sometimes. Okay? I want the action. I want the real story. I don’t want to waste time on this stuff, but-

Alex:                 Yeah. See, what I want is I want Sam to get the shield, become Captain America, and the show is two minutes long and he has no problems ever. I think that would be great.

Justin:              Hurry up. Who has time for this?

Pete:                Oh, okay. Yeah. Cool. Cool.

Justin:              But let me throw that out there.

Pete:                Like a shield?

Justin:              The fact that they’re willing to … Yes. It’s going to come right back to me. The fact that they’re willing to put us in Walker’s head for this episode and follow that … Then we should talk about this more later when we get there, but we meet Isaiah Bradley in this episode, and we’re not in his head. By his own, he’s like “I don’t want to talk. I don’t want to say anything.”

Pete:                Yeah. You can’t even be in his house, let alone his head.

Justin:              Exactly, and I think he’s also Captain America.

Pete:                Yeah. The first.

Justin:              So we have all these Captain Americas. We have all these Captain … Exactly. All these Captain Americas, and we don’t … We’re in varying degrees of their heads, and we don’t know where we stand, really, with any of them. That is a very exciting place. So I really appreciate that in this episode.

Pete:                The only thing I appreciated about douche Cap was the marching band. That was a sick marching band. It was a fun song to play over the Marvel credits. I enjoyed that very much. Other than that, douche Cap, get out of here.

Justin:              Next birthday, Pete, I’m going to get you your own marching band to sort of dance around you. You can high-five. They’ll play the Pete song. Oh, and while we’re talking about things Pete loves, let me just say, when you first saw that scene where John Walker’s walking into the locker room, did you immediately think Ted Lasso?

Pete:                No. I didn’t.

Justin:              Oh.

Pete:                Yeah.

Justin:              I thought for sure, because it looks like locker room from Ted Lasso.

Pete:                Yeah. It does a little bit. A little bit.

Justin:              I thought for sure you were going to be like “It’s Lasso. Lasso exists in this world. It’s a whole crossover. Lasso’s the Captain America we need.”

Alex:                 Oh, man. He kind of is, I think. Just shave the stache, and he’s ready to go.

Justin:              Save the stache.

Alex:                 Save the stache.

Justin:              Hashtag.

Alex:                 So a couple little things that I’ll throw out there while we’re going through and talking about potential Easter eggs. So as Pete mentioned, they play a band version of the Star-Spangled Man With a Plan from Captain America: First Avenger when they’re introducing him. Pretty weird that they’re filming Good Morning America at night, I think. Not 100 percent sure how that happened.

Pete:                Yeah, and still saying good morning?

Alex:                 Yeah. Maybe it was early morning. Maybe it was like pre-dawn hours or something like that.

Justin:              That’s a great point.

Pete:                Sure. Sure.

Justin:              That’s a great point.

Alex:                 But Sara Haines, one of the hosts there from The View and also from Good Morning America, introducing him. So very exciting for the Haines heads like myself.

Pete:                Oh, nice.

Justin:              Exactly.

Pete:                Congrats.

Alex:                 Yes. Thank you very much.

Justin:              GMA hive stand up.

Alex:                 The fact that it is-

Pete:                Give me Robin Roberts, and then I’ll care.

Alex:                 Okay. Give me Meghan McCain. That’s what I wanted to see in this, Meghan McCain-

Justin:              Wow.

Pete:                Boo.

Alex:                 … MCU continuity. Make it happen. The high school that he’s at is a reference to where John Walker grew up in the comics. It’s in Georgia. I’m forgetting the exact name of it. I should have written it down. I’m sorry.

Pete:                Yeah. You should have.

Alex:                 But I like this. I liked setting it up. We not joked about it, but said he was probably going to turn out to be the racist Cap, last episode, but I think they very squarely set it up there that you question that or you think he’s going to be that, he’s going to be … A lot of people online over the past week called him MAGA Cap, which very funny, a little-

Justin:              Funny.

Alex:                 Yeah.

Pete:                [crosstalk 00:12:33].

Alex:                 A little funny joke there.

Justin:              Topical.

Pete:                Let’s pause for how funny that is.

Alex:                 But he comes in, and he went to a mostly African American high school. His best friend is African American. His wife … Not sure exactly what her nationality was, but she’s clearly not Caucasian. So at least I went into the episode immediately questioning that, like we do a lot of other things. I don’t think it precludes him being racist or turning out to be racist in the long run at all, but-

Justin:              I think you’re right. It doesn’t preclude it, but I give them credit for being like … They didn’t take this simple thing. Even if he does turn out to be racist or whatever, it is still this path that is creating more nuance, which is like the real world, and to give an MCU show or movie credit for diving deeper, I think, is great, and that’s what’s sort of the promise of this show is it’s not a movie. They’re able to get into these issues a little bit more, which is something I think we’ve all been wanting from the MCU.

Alex:                 Well, and I think, to ignore Pete’s canoe miming going on right below me right now … What are you doing? I’m sorry-

Justin:              I don’t know what that means.

Alex:                 I’m sorry a show has nuance. I apologize, Pete.

Pete:                Can we move past this douche canoe already? I don’t want to talk-

Alex:                 Yeah. I want to talk about the Flag-Smashers, because I think it’s-

Justin:              That’s what canoe is.

Alex:                 … the same sort of thing with the Flag-Smashers that we get in this episode and was hinted at in the last episode. There’s a lot more nuance to them too, and we find out more about them and potentially even start to feel something and kind of understand their cause.

Pete:                Whoa. Well-

Justin:              Well, yes, a little bit, but also, again, we’re left to spend time with them when they’re not committing a crime. They’re trying to get by, and they’re like … You see-

Pete:                That food did-

Justin:              … Karli-

Pete:                … did not look good.

Justin:              Food did not look good, and they kept passing it around, so you know it wasn’t.

Pete:                Liver.

Justin:              You see Karli feeling sad that one of her soldiers, one of her fellow … I don’t know what you want to call them. Another Flag-Smasher sacrificed himself, and rather than being like “Oh, that guy died,” they linger on her. So we’re meant to be like “Oh, there’s something here too.” Whether it’s evil, probably, or it’s wrong headed at the least, we’re still meant to think about these things, and I think that is, again, smart and nuanced. I also think there’s a lot … They’re trying to get back to the Blip and feel like the world has been splitting resources amongst too many people, which was Thanos’ original idea of why he snapped his fingers and created the Blip, which I think is super interesting. They don’t know that, yet they’re adapting the same philosophy as this great, huge arch-villain of the entire universe.

Alex:                 Yeah. They just got to get their hands on that Infinity Gauntlet, and then they’ll be G2G. Let’s talk about Isaiah Bradley, because I know that’s what you want to talk about, Pete. I am so surprised they did this in the second episode.

Justin:              Me too.

Alex:                 This is something that we speculated about, but this is a huge deal in the comics. To give you guys a little bit of the background, if you don’t know the comics, Isaiah Bradley is played by Carl Lumbly here, who has been on so many things.

Pete:                Yeah. Love that guy.

Alex:                 He’s great. The character was created by Robert Morales and Kyle Baker, who Pete wore a weird hat with and got high with once in 2003.

Pete:                Come on.

Alex:                 It was a great-

Pete:                I got baked with Baker. I mean, you can’t pass that up.

Alex:                 I loved that night. That was one of my favorite nights.

Justin:              Yeah. One of my favorite nights.

Alex:                 I did not get high with Kyle Baker, but passing by Pete doing it was one of my life’s rare joys.

Justin:              This was at San Diego Comic Con. I think Alex and I were standing with each other drinking and talking to someone, and we look over, and Pete is posing for some large group picture wearing Kyle Baker’s hat on the other side of the lobby or whatever. I was like “Yo. Look at this.”

Alex:                 Fun stuff.

Pete:                Yeah. This was the night where you guy then had the fun with Mr. Lee, who is the king of San Diego.

Alex:                 Now we’re just dropping names. So this is from Truth: Red, White & Black, which, again, was released in 2003, and the deal with it is we got the detail a little bit wrong. This is not the first Captain America. This is after Captain America in … At least in this point, it was World War II, though it sounds like they’ve retconned it to being the Korean War or something like that-

Justin:              Korean War. Yep. In the ’50s.

Alex:                 … here on the show. This is based on the Tuskegee experiments where, and this is a real-life thing, where … I believe it was syphilis treatment. Is that right?

Justin:              Syphilis.

Alex:                 Yeah. The United States government experimented on African American soldiers. Most of them died. It’s horrific, and-

Pete:                Horrible.

Justin:              It’s a horrifying story.

Alex:                 … Truth was playing off that, where they were trying to reproduce the super soldier formula, experimented on 300 African American soldiers. Most of them died. Whoever didn’t die were horribly distorted or mangled, except for Isaiah Bradley, who got the same powers of Captain America. As soon as he put on the Captain America costume, he was arrested and court-martialed and thrown in prison for 17 years. So that’s what’s going on with him. We get a riff on that here, and I’m very curious. Carl Lumbly, great in the scene. They played this surprisingly suddenly. I feel like they held back a lot of the information, and I’m curious if they’re going to follow up on him and the character-

Pete:                They have to.

Alex:                 … at some other point in the series

Pete:                You have to. You can just bring that up and walk away.

Justin:              Definitely. I think it’s going to be, I would guess. Introducing him at this point in the series, I think it’s going to be a large portion of it, and I know we’re sort of moving maybe quickly to another topic. It reinforces our young Avengers theory that we were talking about, because-

Alex:                 So that’s the other character who appears in the scene is Isaiah’s grandson, Eli Bradley, who in this show is played by Elijah Richardson. That came up much later. He was created by Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung in Young Avengers #1, which is 2005, and his deal, though I guess we’ll see how they do this on the show, is all of the Young Avengers, if you never read the comic book, seem to be one thing, but they’re actually another thing, like Iron Man is actually one of the worst Avenger villains ever, just not yet. In his case, Eli Bradley dresses up as a character named Patriot. He’s supposed to look like Bucky. He’s wearing basically the same costume, and he said he got a blood transfusion from his grandfather that gave him super soldier powers. He doesn’t actually have them. He has no powers. He’s just very athletic, and he’s faking it really, really well.

Justin:              Well, he was also taking mutant growth hormone-

Alex:                 That’s right. Yeah.

Justin:              … at one point, and it was taxing his body and all that, but then eventually, I think, he did get a transfusion from Isaiah. They almost internally retconned it. So he did get super soldier powers in the comic. So I have a feeling they’re going to go more that route, if they do develop all these characters and form the Young Avengers.

Alex:                 I’m really looking forward to the articles that are probably coming out later today about “Is this teeing up the X-Men?” because it always never is.

Pete:                What’s nice is there was talk about how they’re going to lean into the race issue, how it’s going to be portrayed in this show, and it … First off, Isaiah character, amazing. So cool. The way that Falcon was treated versus Bucky said so much, and then that interaction with the kid, like “Hey. It’s black Falcon.” He’s like “Are you black kid?” Just awesome, talking about it, dealing with it, showing it to us. It was really great.

Justin:              But showing and not telling.

Pete:                Exactly.

Justin:              These characters are in space living their lives, and we encounter these issues just like in people’s lives you encounter these issues. You don’t go out and be like “I want to talk about race this morning.” No. It’s not how it works.

Pete:                But also-

Alex:                 I do want to call out about that, before we move on from it, the black Falcon convo also interestingly parallels the scene earlier in the episode where Sam says “Hey. You’re moving so stealthy. You’re moving like Black Panther. They should call you White Panther,”-

Pete:                White Panther.

Alex:                 … and he makes a joke saying “Actually, they call me White Wolf,” which confuses Sam. He was called White Wolf very briefly in the movies around his time in Wakanda. It’s very funny, but it is the sort of thing where those two jokes work hand in hand to point out where it’s kind of not okay to call Bucky White Panther in the same way it’s definitely not okay to call Falcon black Falcon.

Justin:              I also like in the moment, the White Panther moment, it speaks to Bucky’s experience. He takes his time in Wakanda very seriously. It felt like a very transformative time for him, and so the fact that Same makes light of it, he’s like “You don’t understand my lived experience,” and I think that’s sort of an ongoing thing we’re going to encounter across race and every other political line we’ll see in this show.

Pete:                Also, what’s nice is that whole point of “You people meant something more.” He looked at Bucky, was like “You people?” But then later Bucky reveals he meant Hydra, which is also like … When it happened, you’re like “Oh, wow,” and then it kind of got explained later. So again, just dealing with things in a smart way that doesn’t feel insulting to anybody’s intelligence, but being like “Hey. These are truths that people deal with, and these characters, especially.” So I tip my hat to it.

Alex:                 Yeah. You were going to say something, Justin?

Justin:              Yeah. Just one thing across the board. I think it’s-

Alex:                 [crosstalk 00:21:44].

Justin:              Yeah. Gasp. Group gasp. I think this show, the way that Falcon and Winter Soldier are both sort of little brothers, they have big little brother energy beneath Cap, feels like that’s what’s happening for also new Cap, and then you put Battlestar in there, which I think is an interesting addition, because he’s new Cap’s sort of Bucky, but how does that relate to Bucky and everyone else?

Alex:                 It’s like four Buckys. That’s what it is.

Justin:              Yeah, and I think it’s so funny because that sort of infuses every scene with this energy of “I’m trying really hard. I’m trying really hard to do this,” and I think that’s really funny and very much like “Everything you can do, I can do better,” as opposed to … What we usually get is someone’s the mentor and someone’s the mentee. Someone’s the hero, someone’s the sidekick. Someone’s the Cap, someone’s the Bucky. Instead, we have like nine Buckys all being like “I’m the man,” or “I’m the hero.” It’s really funny.

Alex:                 I do like the sense here … This is something that we also speculated about a little bit, and I don’t think it necessarily plays out this way, but there are hints it could go in this direction, where Bucky does ultimately have this confession to Sam of “If you don’t accept the shield, what does that say about me, and does Cap not believe in me as well? Am I the murderer that I’m afraid I am?” But I also think there’s a sense of him kind of eyeing that shield as well and kind of eyeing that and-

Pete:                Oh, interesting.

Alex:                 … being like “If you’re not going to take it, I’m going to go in there and I’m going to take it, because this guy doesn’t deserve it.”

Justin:              Yeah. Yeah.

Pete:                Yeah. I mean, now that you say that, yes, but I really enjoy the back and forth between Bucky and Falcon and especially when they first see each other. You know what I mean? It’s not this “Oh, man. Two people running at each other from either side of a field and feeling great to see each other.” It’s this like “I’m taking care of business. What’s up? Great to see you. What’s going on?” I really love that kind of whole interaction and the back and forth, and the whole staring bit was hysterical. It really played well in this episode. Both characters and both actors are killing it, and every time they’re together, it’s really great on screen, and the whole fake therapy … Or not fake, but forced therapy thing was just hysterical.

Alex:                 Well, just to be clear, you think all therapy is fake, right?

Pete:                That is not-

Alex:                 You have that-

Pete:                No.

Alex:                 You have that YouTube vlog where you talk about it for hours.

Pete:                Nope.

Justin:              But Pete, you’ve been arrested for missing therapy before, just like Bucky, right?

Pete:                Yeah. Yeah. That’s neither here nor there. I mean, who hasn’t been arrested for missing therapy? You know what I mean?

Alex:                 It’s a regular occurrence here in these United States of America, which is why I’m Flag-Smashers all the way.

Justin:              Alex, wildly aligning himself with some potentially villainous folks.

Alex:                 We’ll see what happens. Now, there was an interesting twist here that we should talk about with the Flag-Smashers while we’re touching on them that they seem to have gotten their powers from the Power Broker, or the Power Brokers, depending on how you look at it. Potentially, they stole some Super Soldier Serum or something like that. They get chased down at the end of the episode. In the comics, the Power Broker has had different names. It’s been different characters, but that’s the person who gave powers to John Walker, to Battlestar, I believe to Flag-Smasher as well. So that’s a very natural tie-in there, but two theories to throw out at you guys, and I’m curious to hear what you think. One, the Power Brokers are not actually the Power Broker. It’s the US government, and that’s how the Flag-Smashers are referring to them. The other way, and this still could be the US government, but I think then it’s Hydra, like we get teased at the end of the episode, where the Russian government were basically mining the super soldier formula from Bucky and then selling it on the black market.

Justin:              Interesting. I’m curious what Zemo is going to do here, because I would find it strange to make him some supervillain. He feels like another player on the board, and everyone’s just going to sort of mix it up. To throw him in here in the third episode and be like “There’s our villain. He’s organization all of this,” feels odd to me. So I sort of feel like your first theory makes a little bit more sense to me, where it’s the government.

Alex:                 I kind of think now Zemo’s going to team up with them. I think he’s-

Pete:                Yeah.

Justin:              Me too.

Alex:                 Yeah, which-

Justin:              He’s pissed because he feels like Hydra used to be this organization … Now all the governments have taken Hydra’s work and are doing the evil things, and he’s like “I do evil things. How come they are?”

Alex:                 So I’ll throw out there this is a wild out-there theory that I don’t think is true at all and is just working off of one tiny little Easter egg, but at the end of the episode, we do get them saying “Hey. We’re going to sit down and talk to Zemo and find out what he knows about Hydra and the Super Soldier Serum and all this stuff,” and we cut to his cell, and we see Zemo’s cell is number 2187, which is the same number as Princes Leia’s cell in Star Wars.

Pete:                Wow.

Alex:                 First of all-

Justin:              Get out of here.

Alex:                 Hold on. That’s purposeful, obviously. There’s Star Wars Easter eggs throughout the MCU. Kevin Feige is a huge Star Wars fan. He’s even working on his own Star Wars movie at this point. So I think that’s on purpose. That’s a cute little thing. Also, Finn, FN-2187 is another reference to that. So it is the Star Wars thing, but I’ll throw it out there.

Pete:                Or it’s two people. Bucky and Captain want to run a 187 on that guy.

Alex:                 What if Bucky’s plan is not to sit down with him. What if Bucky’s plan is to break him out of prison and that’s what they’re teasing up with that tiny little Easter egg? Which, to take it even one step further, I don’t think this is purposeful, but back on the Mandalorian, everybody was speculating and wanted Sebastian Stan to be playing Luke Skywalker. So if you actually had Sebastian Stan as Bucky basically being the Luke Skywalker breaking Zemo out of Leia’s cell number, that’s pretty funny. That’s it.

Justin:              Oh, nice, and they’re going to kiss-

Pete:                Close second.

Justin:              … and later reveal that they’re twins?

Pete:                Yep.

Alex:                 Yeah. Zemo says “You’re awfully short for a stormtrooper.”

Pete:                Oh, god. What is that voice?

Justin:              All building toward Alex’s Werner Herzog impression. That’s a pretty wild theory. I would check your evidence. It feels like you picked up a crumb and were like “Here’s my birthday cake.”

Pete:                All right. So anyways, let’s move on-

Justin:              Put a candle in it.

Pete:                … to the fun stuff. The use of The Big Three here, hilarious. Hilarious how that was a fun bit throughout the whole show.

Alex:                 Is that accurate though? Is that accurate to The Big Three? He says … What is it? Androids, aliens, and wizards?

Pete:                Yep. Yeah.

Alex:                 I mean, I guess Loki’s a wizard, technically. He could probably lump that in, and then you got-

Justin:              But what …

Alex:                 Go ahead.

Justin:              What I like about this is it is funny and it’s sort of a nice ongoing thing. A sorcerer is a wizard without a had. Very fun.

Alex:                 Fun line.

Justin:              Doctor Strange, clearly, reference there. It also thematically points to the reductive nature of so much superhero content where it’s like “Yeah. You’re either a hero or a villain,” and this show is sort of saying that’s not what this is. Everyone is a different gradation of gray, from our heroes, Falcon, who’s all hero, inheritor of Captain America but doesn’t feel like he’s earned it, to Bucky, who’s like “I was a villain for way more years than I ever was a hero. What am I?” Everyone’s trying to find out what they are, and on the other side of it, they’re like “Aliens, androids, wizards.”

Alex:                 It’s funny.

Pete:                Yeah, I mean, there’s even a moment when they’re like “We’re not assassins.” You know what I mean? But also, Big Three, shout out to This Is Us.

Alex:                 Okay.

Justin:              What are you … Oh, so Alex’s Easter eggs are deep Star Wars sci-fi cuts, and you’re referencing This Is Us?

Pete:                Well, they have the Big Three in This Is Us. So whatever.

Alex:                 They have aliens, androids, and wizards?

Pete:                Yeah.

Alex:                 Which one is Milo Ventimiglia?

Pete:                He’s the dad. He helped create the Big Three. So he’s not-

Alex:                 Chrissy Metz?

Pete:                All right. Let’s just … Yes. She is. Yes. She is one of the Big Three.

Justin:              Oh, Pete, you don’t like to open up the This Is Us bag.

Pete:                I mean, what is this about?

Alex:                 She’s a wizard, man. I think she’s a wizard. That’s all I’m saying.

Pete:                She could be. Although, she could also be an android, because she really holds that family together, you know?

Justin:              I feel like I need to reference some esoteric content that I’m like “This show is actually about this.”

Pete:                Well, the part where-

Justin:              William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

Pete:                The part where-

Alex:                 That’s the most esoteric thing I can think of.

Pete:                The part where Bucky was like “Yeah. I read Hobbit in 1937 when it came out,” was pretty funny.

Alex:                 So I want to point out this is my favorite super stupid nerd thing that happened on the internet today in regards to this is … You’re already watching a show about Falcon and the Winter Soldier. It’s pretty nerdy already. I think we can all agree, and then he makes this reference to reading Hobbit in 1937, and so many people pointed out “Actually, that was a limited-print run of 1,500 copies in Europe. How could Bucky have picked up a copy and read it? That seems unlikely, at best.”

Pete:                What? Come on.

Justin:              Hopefully, they’ll fix that continuity.

Pete:                Of course he could have done it. He’s Bucky.

Alex:                 Yeah. He’s Bucky.

Justin:              I love that first-run Hobbit flex, because back in the first edition … I don’t know if you know this. They weren’t called Hobbits. They were still called shorties. They were called [crosstalk 00:30:59] the Shire.

Pete:                I’m going to get you shorties? Yeah.

Justin:              A hundred percent.

Pete:                Yeah.

Justin:              He had to go-

Alex:                 Couple of other little Easter eggs … Actually, I think, only one to throw out, because I think we covered every … Oh, two to throw out, because we covered pretty much everything else. They-

Justin:              Alex, surely there are some random numbers on a crate or something you can make reference to.

Alex:                 Probably.

Justin:              Don’t sell yourself short.

Alex:                 I mean, we haven’t even talked about the end credits, which are chock full of Easter eggs, but they mention the GRC, the Global Repatriation Council, which is helping people post-Blip. I thought that was interesting, not an Easter egg, but just kind of a passing mention that seems like it’s part of this post-Blip world building that’s going on. So I think, whether they mention it in this series or others, we’ll probably see more of that going forward, and we talked very briefly about Battlestar, but I wanted to mention his origin stuff in the comics. We mentioned he got his powers from the Power Broker, but the character’s name, Lemar Hoskins … He’s played by Clé Bennett. He was originally called Bucky in the comics, working with John Walker, but that was changed because it has racial connotations. In fact, they even addressed it in the comic. He was created by Mark Gruenwald and Paul Neary, and Mark Gruenwald wrote a comic where somebody was like “Hey. You should maybe not call yourself that,” and so he changed it to Battlestar, but he was first introduced in Captain America #323 in 1986. There you go. That’s all I got.

Justin:              There it is.

Alex:                 What else do you guys want to call out from the episode, if anything?

Pete:                I definitely want to call out the conversation with Falcon and fake Cap where they had that fun line where it was like “It’s always the last line that gets you.” That was a real fun moment there. Yeah, because he wanted him to be the wing man, and then Freaky Magoo in the therapy scene. I hope that sticks around. That was fun, calling Bucky Freaky Magoo.

Alex:                 Great.

Pete:                Yeah. Let’s see. I’m trying to think here.

Justin:              More Freaky Magoo-

Pete:                Yeah. More Freaky Magoo references.

Justin:              … says MarvelVision.

Pete:                Yeah. I-

Alex:                 How about you, Justin? Let’s go over to you while Pete is just heading down some sort of hole.

Justin:              Yeah. He’s just digging out the bottom of the barrel notes.

Pete:                The bits I liked. There’s usually a lot of nice bits.

Justin:              I think we covered most of what I was thinking. I love the sort of very rare double buddy action movie stuff we got in here. I definitely didn’t see a team up coming so quickly, and just the fact that … I said that earlier. The big little brother energy we’re seeing on the show, and even in all the looks. Everyone looks like “We’re losing again.” Everyone’s always losing so far in this series. So I’m curious to see how that’s going to turn into some wins.

Pete:                What’s interesting is in … I think it was early mid 2000s. This saying, one, as a all encompassing people, is now used by Flag-Smashers as this one world, one people thing, which sounds exclusive, which is interesting to kind of take something and flipping it like that. It’s supposed to be inclusive. Now it’s exclusive, which I thought was an interesting choice.

Alex:                 Before we wrap up, what is on your Vision Board for the next episode? Justin, you want to go first?

Justin:              Sure. I mean, the introduction of Zemo, I think, is going to play a huge factor here. We don’t know. He’s being set up like a villain, and I think I sort of like the idea that he is going to be un unlikely ally of Falcon and Winter Soldier, but what I’m looking forward to seeing is sort of the next step for new Cap, for John Walker. Is he going to take a step into darkness? Since he seems to be very much treated like he is a good hero soldier type in this episode, what are we going to see next? Is he going to sort of start to adopt … Is he an ends-justifies-the-means kind of guy, where he’s going to find out about these bad things that maybe the US government’s doing and still support the government and not fight for what’s right? Which is maybe where there’ll be a line between he and Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

Alex:                 Pete, what about you? What’s on your Vision Board?

Pete:                I didn’t get to talk about Isaiah enough. That whole thing of him being like “I didn’t know if he’d come back to kill me or show off his new arm,” was a pretty cool-ass thing, because he did come back to show off his new arm. I’m hoping for more Isaiah moments and getting to hear more about that story as well as kind of how Falcon’s going to kind of deal with this new information.

Alex:                 I’m looking forward to more from Flag-Smashers, specifically Erin Kellyman’s character, Karli Morgenthau, I think it is.

Justin:              Yep.

Pete:                Yeah.

Alex:                 My absolute favorite moment of the episode is the moment in the back of the truck when Bucky comes in, says “Hey. I found the hostage,”-

Pete:                Oh, yeah, and she smiles.

Alex:                 … and she just turns and smiles-

Justin:              Yeah. That was great.

Alex:                 … and you just see him fly out of the truck. Amazing, but she got to play so many different levels throughout the episode. That was the character that really thrilled me. I want to know more about that. I know they’re the villains, but she seems to engaging and interesting in the right way. I’m excited to see how that plays in, like we’ve been talking about with Zemo, with all of these elements they threw on the table here. That should be really fascinating in the third episode.

Pete:                Also, what’s great about her is having such range where she can look so small and fragile and then so badass. Really impressive to kind of see her fight. Those fight sequences are really badass, and they’re doing a great job with her. So I’m excited.

Alex:                 All right. That is it. If you’d like to support our podcast, patreon.com/comicbookclub. Also, we do a live show every Tuesday night at 7:00 PM to Crowdcast and YouTube. Come hang out. We would love to chat with you about the Falcon and the Winter Soldier, both of them at the same time. iTunes, Android, Spotify, Stitcher, or the app of your choice to subscribe and listen to the show. On iTunes in particular, leave us a comment, rate us. We love to see that. That is always awesome. MarvelVisionPod on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Comicbookclublive.com for this podcast and more. Until next time, stay marvelous.

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