Instant reaction post: “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” S1, E5 ‘Truth’

Sam, Bucky and Sarah in 'Truth'
Sam, Bucky and Sarah in ‘Truth’

Awww, we have to wait till next week to see the spiffy new Falcon outfit that the Wakandans made for Sam!

Also, JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS made a surprise cameo as the newly-introduced Contessa Valentina de la Fontaine, aka Madame Hydra! Her comic book origins are very convoluted though, so I’m not sure what role she’ll be playing in future. She was lovers with Nick Fury, and also flirted with Captain America in the comics, who was Sharon Carter’s boyfriend, so there were tensions among everyone involved. But she was also part of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Femme Force, which was led by Sharon, while being a sleeper Russian agent or something? It’s all a muddle. And the Vanity Fair article that I linked to above says that Julia Louis-Dreyfus was supposed to appear first in Black Widow last year, if COVID hadn’t delayed its release plans.

As a reminder, Black Widow was supposed to open in end April last year, with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier premiering in August 2020. So by the time we see her in ep 5, it would have been just a few months after we first got an introduction to her in Black Widow. I don’t know how big a role she has in Black Widow — it could be just an end-credits tag — so maybe the sequencing doesn’t matter very much.

Whatever it is, we’ll see more of her! Her MCU journey is just getting started, and it already seems likely that she’s the Power Broker, since she’s the only major character left to be introduced in the series, unless Marvel has another surprise cameo in store for episode 6.

John Walker has truly gone mad with power and status. 🙁 It was a brutal fight to reclaim the shield, and he broke Sam’s wings! To be honest, I had no idea what he was trying to do when he was on top of Sam, and I was so afraid that he was actually trying to twist Sam’s head off or something. :S That is too dark, even with the depths that he has sunk to with the public killing in the previous episode. :S Also, I didn’t realise that Bucky’s vibranium arm could be rendered useless with a bit of electrocution. I thought Shuri would have factored that in when building the arm.

Sam, Bucky and John Walker in 'Truth'
Sam, Bucky and John Walker in ‘Truth’

He even lied to Lemar’s family that he had killed the guy that was responsible for Lemar’s death, and while Lemar’s parents accepted it tearfully, his sister seems suspicious of Walker. Perhaps she can tell that he’s crazy. It was touching to hear of their friendship though. As I’ve seen some people on Twitter point out, Lemar didn’t deserve to die like that, because he actually tried to work with Sam and Bucky. ? He was the cool head in their friendship, and now he’s gone, leaving Walker to go bonkers without limits.

And since Walker lost the shield, he decided to build his own. Really? Why not pick a new weapon to work with? The shield looks like a very clunky and kind of impractical weapon, based on Sam’s training montage (though he certainly looked good training). If I were going into a fight, I would pick Sam’s wings over the shield any day.

Speaking of Sam’s wings, he leaves his broken wings with Lieutenant Torres, whose first name we find out is Joaquin in this episode, which is significant because Joaquin Torres in the comics becomes the new Falcon and sidekick to Sam Wilson’s Captain America! (In the comics, Joaquin Torres is also a falcon/human hybrid, but I doubt we’ll get to see it here. ?)

Bucky spares Zemo at the Sokovia memorial, and returns him to the custody of the Dora Milaje. Is Zemo a reformed guy now? An anti-hero? He accepted his death at Bucky’s hands when he thought Bucky was going to kill him, and he’s been pretty likeable this entire series, so it’s hard to wish him ill, even with all the terrible things he did in Civil War. In the entire MCU, only Loki has succeeded in being more well-liked as a villain. (Erik Killmonger was a fantastic villain with truth behind his motives, even though his means were too destructive to be supported. I wish that he didn’t have to fight to the death. But he wasn’t “likeable” in the way that Loki and Zemo are.)

By the way, I’ve seen debates online about how Wakanda has betrayed Bucky by including a failsafe in his arm, and I would like to STRONGLY disagree. Bucky owes Wakanda for a lot — removing his triggers, giving him his new arm — and it makes every sense for Wakanda to build a failsafe in his arm so that if they ever needed to disarm him, they could.

In fact, Ayo didn’t even need to disarm him in the last episode! She just wanted to make a point that “Hey, we can disarm you if you ever work against us again”. The fact that she left the arm there instead of taking it with them says a lot. And also, in this episode, Bucky not only has no hard feelings, they are even on friendly enough terms for him to ask for another favour to build Sam a new set of wings, despite Ayo telling him to stay away from Wakanda for the time being, because they’re still not too pleased with him for helping Zemo escape.

Ayo and Bucky in 'Truth'
Ayo and Bucky in ‘Truth’

Sam goes to see Isaiah Bradley, and I tell you, though we’re watching the fictional story of a Black man who was oppressed and unjustly treated by his country, when juxtaposed against the real-life injustices happening right now of Black people being treated like shit and killed by state-sanctioned forces in America, it was so hard to watch. Isaiah Bradley doesn’t believe that any self-respecting Black man would want to carry a shield with stars and stripes that mean nothing for them, which gives Sam something to think about.

Sam goes home to his sister and nephews, and sets about repairing the family boat with the help of many owed favours. Bucky shows up, and they have a nice bonding moment repairing the boat, with the help of Bucky’s trusty strong arm. And then they have a nice bonding moment throwing around the shield while Sam counsels Bucky on his demons. And after a long period of consideration, Sam decides to pick up the shield.

Sam training with the shield in 'Truth'
Sam training with the shield in ‘Truth’

Sharon is the one who helped Georges Batroc escape! And now she’s sending him after Sam and Bucky! ? Does she trust that they can hold their own against these people, or does she really not care about them anymore? :S

Why does Karli want to kill Sam? Seriously, he has been nothing but patient with her and her gang of insurgents. ? Whatever, we’ll see what happens to them in the final showdown next week! (And Sam’s spiffy new wings!)

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