The Beginning of Marvel’s Phase 4: The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Be aware this contains SPOILERS. Do not read unless you have seen the show.

AJ Rotkis, Staff Writer

With the Avenger’s being triumphant at the end of Avenger’s Endgame, Steve Rogers, Captain America, gives his trusty shield to one of his best friends, Sam Wilson, the Falcon. He tells Sam that it is his now, and he is the new Captain America. Now flash forward a couple of months and the new show The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, opens with Sam giving up the shield to put it in a museum. This is seen by everyone including him and Steve’s other best friend, Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier. Bucky sees this as he is dealing with PTSD after being brainwashed into being an assassin for Hydra, and he is working on making amends with the people he has wronged. He is hurt by Sam’s decision as he believes it means that Steve was wrong about Sam, meaning that he would also be wrong about Bucky being a changed person. At the end of the first episode it is revealed that the US Government has chosen a new Captain America, John Walker, and have completely disregarded Sam’s choice.

Many of the episode’s deal with the group of Sam and Bucky, and John and his friend Lemar, trying to stop the Flag Smasher, a group of people who believe that life was better before the Blip. The Blip was the snap that brought everyone back in Endgame, and it displaced many people. They are led by Karli Morgenthau, a teenage girl who has taken the super soldier serum. All of the Flag Smashers took this serum, posing a major threat to the heroes. They can’t seem to track them down so the heroes enlist someone that tried to destroy them before: Baron Zemo. Zemo was the villain in Captain America Civil War, and he has somewhat of a vendetta against super soldiers and wants them all destroyed so he agrees to help them track the Flag Smashers down. In the process of this the heroes reconnect with and old friend, Sharon Carter, who acts very suspicious. She says she works for the power broker, a criminal boss of sorts, and she agrees to help them.

The show then takes a turn, and Bucky introduces Sam, to an old “friend.” This friend is Isaiah Bradley, an African American super soldier who had been wronged by the US government. This show dives into racial issues in America, as when Sam is in the neighborhood that Isaiah lives in, he is stopped by cops who try to use unnecessary force until Bucky intervenes and tells them that Sam is and Avenger. We also learn of Isaiah’s backstory as he was a test subject of a new super soldier serum, and he became one of the government’s strongest assets during previous wars. When the other super soldiers are captured and put in a POW camp by enemy forces Isaiah did what Steve did, and went and saved them. Unlike Steve, however, Isaiah is not praised, he is put in jail for 30 years, and wasn’t able to communicate with his wife who diead while he was in prison. The public never knew about this black Captain America, as the government hid him and his accomplishments. The other issues in this show is how the government just automatically gave the shield to a white man, instead of asking Sam to become the new Captain America, and Isaiah tells him that any self-loving black man would never wield the shield. Sam proves him wrong at the end of the series though and takes up the mantle of Captain America.

After all of the stuff with Isaiah Bradley the show goes back to the pursuit of the Flag Smashers, and in this process John Walker takes the super soldier serum. It is shown that he is already a loose canon of sorts, losing his temper, and the serum only amplifies this. During a fight with the Flag Smashers, his best friend Lemar is killed by one of them and he loses all control and chases one into a public square and mercilessly kills him in front of many onlookers. Following these actions he is stripped of his status of Captain America, and he goes on to give a great monologue about how the government made him into what he was. Sam and Bucky get the shield and they have a heart to heart. Sam tells Bucky how to try and ease his PTSD and Bucky helps Sam train with the shield. There is a training sequence in which Sam learns how to use the shield without super soldier powers, and he masters it. Bucky then gives him a gift from Wakanda, which is revealed in the last episode.

The last episode is an awesome mix of fight scenes and tear jerking emotional scenes. It begins with the Flag Smashers trying to stop a vote that will send many refugees back to their home countries. They begin by taking the people making the vote as hostages, and Sam, Bucky and Sharon attempt to stop them. As they are trying to escape they get stopped by Flag Smashers, and Sam comes from the sky to stop them, dawning his new suit and the shield. He stops the Flag Smasher and then flies to the roof to help people being taken on a helicopter. Meanwhile Bucky is in pursuit of two armored trucks that have hostages, and is joined by John Walker, who redeems himself in this episode. He has his own shield that he made and helps Sam and Bucky rescue the hostages and capture the Flag Smashers. After the fight Sam tells the world that he is Captain America, and that the Flag Smashers weren’t really bad guys because they were trying to help people, they were just doing it in the wrong ways. He tells the people making the vote to stop treating them as terrorists, and instead look at what they as government leaders can do to help make sure that it never happens again. Sam then takes Isaiah Bradley to the Captain America exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum. Isaiah has a statue and plaque telling his story so that everyone will know what he sacrificed for the country. This scene is very emotional because Isaiah is finally getting his recognition, and he breaks down in tears because they will now know about him. The show ends with Sharon getting a full pardon, then making a call as it is revealed that she was the power broker the entire time, and the world is about to get weird. The end credits change the title from The Falcon and the Winter Soldier to Captain America and the Winter Soldier.