*WARNING* THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER EPISODE FIVE
John Walker would be really mad if someone spoiled the episode for you, so make sure you watch episode four before you read this review!
In just above 50 minutes, the people at Disney and Marvel gave us one of the most powerful moments in their history.
That might sound like hyperbole, but it’s true. The scenes at the mid-point of this episode with Isaiah Bradley were enough to bring me to tears. His story is one that deserves an entire show by itself. For now, we just have his influence on Sam and his choice coming up about the title of “Captain America”. Also in this episode, we got one of the most brutally realistic fights between Sam, Bucky, and John Walker.
Walker was only defeated because Sam and Bucky teamed up, but it was some of the most brutal fighting this side of Avengers: Endgame. In a sea of powerful moments, there were also small character moments. This felt very much like a wrap-up of sorts with the final episode of the season being all action. We got Baron Zemo resolved, John Walker’s story, for now, resolved, and finally Bucky is on the path to closure.
It only took him and Sam butting heads, but their relationship built out of the friendship with Steve Rogers is getting stronger by the day.
It Wasn’t All Action And Heft
Thankfully, interspersed between our action, we got some nice character work. Sam showed exactly how persistent he can be. Bucky successfully charmed Sarah, and we finally got to see what Karli is made of. She’s gone from freedom fighter that can be reasoned with, to full blown psychotic. Her line at the end tells it all. “Haven’t you heard, we are criminals”.
Enter George St. Pierre’s, George.
That throws a wrinkle into the final episode, now Karli has a seasoned enemy of Sam’s on her side.
Oh also, and Julia Louie-Dreyfus. In a real moment of levity, her character was brash, confident, and seems like someone you really don’t want to piss off. Contessa Valentina as she’s called, in the comics is a member of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Her performance in the scene was a real heat check on Dreyfus’s part. Who knows what part she’ll have to play in the final episode.
We didn’t get a big reveal of who the Power Broker is, but Sharon was on the phone with someone who sounded very angry.
Let’s use this as an exercise and not do what we all did with WandaVision. Just let the show breath. Let it play out, and don’t get mad when it’s not Kingpin or someone huge.
I Keep Saying It, But This Was The Best Episode Yet
If you want brutal combat, heart wrenching feelings, and buddy cop dialogue, this was the episode for you. And it did it all in less than an hour. This format for Marvel is proving itself to be grand at giving us way more time with our favorite lesser used characters. If the whole Infinity Saga wasn’t the focus for Bucky and Sam, now we can get our time as an audience with them.
This episode and series has outdone and raised the bar so high for anything that’s going to come after it. WandaVision did the same thing in an even stranger way. For now, we can enjoy our last episode with Sam and Bucky, and look forward to the future.
For more on Marvel or The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, make sure to check back to That Hashtag Show.