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The Falcon And The Winter Soldier Episode 4 – Review

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Marvel Studios

Episode four 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.

Episode four was a much more engaging watch than the previous instalment. We finally seem to have stopped with introducing characters and instead seem to be focused on the story.

We’re presented with a much more sympathetic view of the Flag-Smashers. We are now really getting to understand their motives and Karli Morgenthau’s character. The events of the episode will certainly have changed people’s opinions of them and have probably given us a new antagonist in John Walker. Karli now has a bond with Sam Wilson and that looks likely to grow in the remainder of this series and possibly beyond.

Zemo shines

The star of this episode undoubtedly was Zemo. Jacob Bruhl steals every scene he is in and just reinforces the notion of how much viewers love an antihero or bad guy turning good. His dancing in Madripoor was absolutely hysterical and has become an instant meme. He’s followed that with his almost sinister coolness and calm no matter what is going on around him. The way he effortlessly slipped away as Walker, Bucky and The Falcon fought the Dora Milaje in their apartment was bordering on genius.

He’s smart enough to realise his best option to stay out of prison and alive is to work with The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. But he also doesn’t trust them completely, so he keeps a little bit of leverage over them to ensure they still need him. His decision to destroy all the vials of the super soldier serum was really interesting. He knows the power that it has but also the danger that it brings. Ultimately he feels that the pragmatic decision is to destroy it rather than it fall into the wrong hands.

Paranoia sets in

We get to see that play out in a brutal fashion at the end of the episode as John Walker’s paranoia over his inferiority reaches its climax. Walker is a really interesting character study. He clearly feels the pressure of taking on the role of Captain America very deeply. He is desperately attempting to live up to the example of Steve Rogers but deep down knows he is on a hiding to nothing. His methods of intimidation and trying to assert his authority have consistently fallen short or been ignored. He was physically humiliated in the altercation with the Dora Milaje from Wakanda.

The embarrassment to him of not being able to free his shield from the table when it was pinned to it by a spear appeared to be the final straw. His frustration and anger by now had grown to a desperate point. Consequently, he felt the only option was to use the last remaining vial of the super-soldier serum to give him power that he can wield over people. But his lack of understanding of how the serum works will ultimately be his downfall.

Making the good great and the bad worse

John Walker believes he will now be the same as Steve Rogers as he has taken the same serum. But as well as giving super strength, the serum accentuates qualities in someone’s personality that already exist. Red Skull was already a thoroughly bad egg before he took the serum, and taking it brought that out physically as well. The same thing has happened with Walker.

The anger and resentment already brewing inside him were exacerbated by the death of Battlestar in the fight with The Flag-Smashers. It sent him into a full-blown serum-induced rage where he brutally murdered the innocent Nico with Captain America’s shield. Nico had talked passionately with Karli that Captain America’s shield had been an inspiration to him. He did this in full view of the public, all of whom seemed to be recording the incident on their phones. The fall out from this is understandably going to be seismic in Episode 5.

Step up Sam

We’re expecting Sam Wilson to finally become Captain America by the end of this series. It now seems a pretty safe bet that this incident will be the catalyst for that chain of events to occur. I actually think that not being Captain America will make John Walker a far more watchable character. So far he has been a pretty run of the mill action hero and I want something more from him.

Hopefully, episode five will also see The Powerbroker’s identity revealed at last. Although the theorising on the internet about who it is has been a lot of fun.


CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 8/10


Thank you for reading our review of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier episode four. 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 three 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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