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The Falcon And The Winter Soldier Episode 5 – Review

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Marvel Studios

Episode five of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier series from Marvel is here, streaming now on Disney Plus, how does it move their story forward, here’s our review.

SPOILERS: If you’re reading this then you’ve probably seen the show, but if not there are spoilers ahead.

Walker in trouble

This episode picks up after John Walker’s brutal murder of a Flag-Smasher. A murder in full view of the public with Captain America’s shield at the end of episode four. We’re watching a man fully breaking down as he tries to understand who he is and what his purpose is. This is brought into even sharper relief as he faces the US Government’s punishment for his crimes. He is a broken man. He’s desperately searching for answers after taking the super-serum. That decision exacerbated his already pent up rage at the death of Lamar Hoskins. He loses the shield physically in an epic fight with The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. This coming after already losing it metaphorically as a result of his actions. I thought the fight scene was beautifully choreographed and resembled a Kung-Fu film with the level of physical activity.

Julia Louis Dreyfus

Walker visits Battlestar’s family to try and bring them and himself some comfort after the awful events in Riga. But his solace appears in the form of the ever wonderful Julia Louis Dreyfus aka Madam Hydra. She sets in motion the plan to recruit Walker, leaves her blank business card and tells him to answer the phone when she calls. He is still convinced he is Captain America. In the post-credit scene, we see him fashioning his own shield, including his Medal of Honour. This is all done to continue in the role he believes is rightfully his.

Visiting Isaiah

The scene with Isaiah Bradley and Sam Wilson was the high point of the episode. It had a wonderful performance from Carl Lumbly. The whole scene was especially poignant given it is set against the backdrop of the George Floyd trial and the death last week of Daunte Wright. The back story of Bradley was lifted verbatim from the Marvel graphic novel Red, White and Black which explains its power. With Anthony Mackie having previously portrayed Martin Luther King in All The Way, this was an incredibly powerful moment. There will certainly be some sort of recognition for his service and sacrifice alongside that of Steve Rogers.

Who is the Power-Broker?

The mystery around Sharon Carter continues as well. Although she doesn’t feature much in this episode, her moment in it has got everyone talking and raises more questions than answers. Is she the mysterious Power-Broker? Is she working against The Falcon and The Winter Soldier by arming Batroc to assist Karli Morgenthau and The Flag-Smashers? Or is she playing a very dangerous game of 3D chess to enable her to return to the US from her enforced exile in Madripoor? How many of these questions will Marvel leave unanswered at the end of the series to pick up at some other time? Some, none or all these will be answered in the finale.

Batroc has teamed up with Karli Morgenthau to stage an attack on the GRC’s meeting in New York. That meeting is where the great and good are meeting to enact The Patch Act. That act will enforce repatriation for millions displaced as a result of the events in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. The Flag-Smashers have found their own Endgame with this attack. Meanwhile, Batroc is simply seeking revenge against The Falcon for the events on the plane in episode one of this series.

Buddy montage

We had a classic montage as Sam Wilson became Captain America. Refusing to take any super-soldier serum, he embarked on a Rocky Balboa-esque training regime to improve his fitness and ability to handle Captain America’s shield. He did have a little help from the Wakandans as they fashioned him a new suit after his previous one was destroyed in the fight with John Walker. We’re all set up for a climactic battle between Sam, Bucky, Walker and The Flag-Smashers.

The Wakandans also finally got their hands on Zemo as Bucky handed him over after finding him at the memorial of the Sokovian bombing in Age of Ultron. Zemo made one final attempt to manipulate Bucky but he once again demonstrated he had truly broken Hydra’s power over him. Zemo accepted his fate but I can’t help feeling this isn’t the end of his story. He will be held on The Raft, the floating prison looked after by Thunderbolt Ross. But you can’t help thinking that he’ll reappear in the upcoming Thunderbolt series. He’s too good a character not to return at some point in the future.

Pacing

I’ve been critical of some elements of this series. Although I enjoyed this episode, I found the pacing of it very peculiar. It felt like an epilogue or a prologue rather than the penultimate episode where you expect tension to be building towards an epic climax. The reappearance of relatively minor characters we’ve not seen since episode one was odd. I expect we will see more of this in the final episode as Bucky attempts to right some of his past wrongs, particularly the killing of Yori’s son. Those characters needed to have appeared more through the series. Otherwise, they appear to be nothing more than an afterthought or misused plot device. In spite of my frustrations with this series at times, you know Marvel will produce a fabulous finale.


CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 8/10


Thank you for reading our review of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier episode five. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.


Read our The Falcon and The Winter Soldier episode four review HERE.

Read IMDB information about The Falcon and The Winter Soldier HERE.

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Cobra Kai Season 4 – Review

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Netflix

Cobra Kai season four is out now on Netflix and the All Valley is back and better than ever. Here’s our review.

SPOILERS: If you’re reading this then you’ve probably seen the show, but if not there are spoilers ahead.

It’s January, and new shows are popping up everywhere. This brings us to the show that I and my friends have been holding our breaths for: the fourth season of the hit Netflix series Cobra Kai! After three seasons, I wondered if there was anything left to mine from the Karate Kid lore or the Johnny/Daniel dynamic. I am happy to report that this might be my favourite season yet! It manages to not only expand upon the universe it has created, but to bring in a new villain, who is so bad that he threatens to outdo even John Kreese!

Alliance

Season four sets us off where the third left off, with Johnny and Daniel having joined forces to fight Cobra Kai. Their friendship arc is the glue that holds this season together. The story focuses largely on whether they will be able to pull it together and make their partnership work. As in previous seasons, their relationship has its ups and downs. The stakes are heightened, however, as the season leads up to the All-Valley Tournament. A bet between the three senseis – Kreese, Daniel, and Johnny – means that losing the All Valley is losing the title of sensei.

This season explores the ways that both Johnny and Daniel work with the kids. It also examines the kids’ struggles as they prepare for the All Valley while dealing with conflict within the ever-changing network of friends and enemies in the dojos. Robbie has left juvenile hall and decided to join up with Cobra Kai as a means of inflicting revenge on both his dad and Daniel. Tori and Sam continue their rivalry. And John Reese’s old friend Terry Silver (of Karate Kid 3 fame) shows up to kick Cobra Kai into high gear.

Daniel’s son, Anthony, who has largely been absent until now, faces his own dilemma when his friends begin bullying Kenny, the new kid in town. This soft-spoken middle school character brings us into the world of the younger kids, setting up yet another storyline. Kenny becomes the victim of a gang of kids (including Anthony), enduring round after round of bullying before Robbie takes him under his wing. After his induction into Cobra Kai, the formerly shy middle-schooler becomes a bully himself.

Shades of grey

This brings me to one of my favourite things about the show. The constant back and forth dynamic between characters makes us feel that anything is possible. There is no black and white in the world of Cobra Kai. Where the Karate Kid told us that Daniel was good, and Johnny was bad, this show gives us a very different point of view. It’s a world where we’re never sure who to root for. In this season, we even see Hawk make a return to the “good guys” side after giving up his spot at Cobra Kai.

With Eagle Fang (Johnny’s new dojo) and Miyagi-Do teaming up, the kids – and the adults – have to learn to work together. Of course, complications ensue. Johnny becomes jealous of what he perceives as Miguel’s preference for Daniel over him. Sam wants to learn both her dad’s karate style and Johnny’s, despite her father’s discouragement. Meanwhile, at Cobra Kai, Kreese is losing his grip on the dojo. His former war buddy, Terry Silver, puts off a rather benign appearance in episode one, growing more and more evil with each episode.

This season is lacking in many of the big fight scenes of the previous seasons, instead choosing to focus their energy on the characters. The All Valley Tournament features several great karate matches and offers a satisfying conclusion to Johnny and Daniel’s arc. In the end, Cobra Kai takes the tournament win, but Johnny and Daniel have reached an understanding.

New champions

Tori defeats Sam to take the women’s All Valley trophy but later overhears her sensei paying off one of the referees. It’s clear that Cobra Kai has pulled yet another fast one. But the season ends on an even more ominous – and unexpected – note. Terry Silver assaults the over-aged former Cobra Kai member, Stingray, sending him to the hospital. He then makes a deal with Stingray to blame the crime on Kreese. We end the season with Kreese in handcuffs, Terry Silver set to take over Cobra Kai, and the future of Eagle Fang and Miyagi-Do uncertain. In a last shocking twist, Miguel leaves town in search of his biological father.

Although some may miss the school hallway throw downs, I found this one satisfying in a different way. It just goes to show that the ever-expanding Cobra Kai universe can keep bringing surprises season after season.


CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 9/10


Thank you for reading our review of Cobra Kai season four. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.


Check out our Hawkeye episode one and two review HERE.

Read IMDB information about Spider-Man: No Way Home HERE.

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