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The Falcon And The Winter Soldier Episode 3 – Review

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Baron Zemo Falcon and Winter Soldier Episode Three image
Marvel Studios

Episode three 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.

When you watch a TV show or film, the producers want you to empathise with the characters and feel some sort of emotional connection with them. Watching The Falcon and The Winter Soldier has allowed me to absolutely empathise with Bucky Barnes. Not because he’s been injected with a super-serum or been brainwashed to fight for an evil cause against his will. But because I feel like I’ve been in cryostasis watching the first three episodes of this series. The plot feels frozen in time introducing and re-introducing more characters into the show.

The Zemo factor

This episode picks up with the showdown between Bucky and Zemo in the latter’s maximum-security prison. Zemo tries to use the Hydra keywords to get Bucky to revert to his old ways but this fails as Barnes was deprogrammed in Wakanda.

Against Sam Wilson’s better judgment, Bucky helps Zemo break out of prison to help them in their search for The Flag-Smashers and The Powerbroker. Zemo reveals all the trappings of his Sokovian aristocratic background. He does this to help The Falcon and The Winter Soldier try to discover the identity of The Powerbroker.

Madripoor

Their search leads them to Madripoor, a Marvel haven for criminals and pirates in South East Asia. Praise must go to the Marvel production designers here. They’ve managed to make Madripoor look like a cross between Hong Kong and Ridley Scott’s vision of Los Angeles in Bladerunner. It looked absolutely stunning and I hope we’ll get to see it on the big screen in the next phase of the MCU.

Zemo, Bucky and Wilson pose as criminals and Hydra operatives to access one of the key criminal hangouts in Madripoor. The Falcon drinks some very questionable looking alcohol with snake guts. Meanwhile, Bucky poses as his Hydra self and gets into a major bar brawl as an initiation. After this, they are allowed to meet Selby. She is a criminal with a cockney accent so unconvincing that even Dick Van Dyke would facepalm in embarrassment. She informs them that former Hydra scientist Dr Wilfred Nagel has been recreating the Super Soldier serum.

A familiar face

When their true identities are revealed thanks to a badly timed phone call from Sam’s sister, a huge shootout ensues. Selby is killed and the guys are saved by Sharon Carter, Agent Peggy Carter’s great-niece. She is hiding out on Madripoor as a fugitive after assisting Steve Rogers with CIA intelligence during Captain America: Civil War.

The Falcon makes a vow to her that he will clear her name and in return, she helps them find Dr Nagel. After he reveals what he has been doing, Zemo decides to kill him and then blows up his lab to enable the team to escape a group of bounty hunters. But they still wouldn’t have been able to escape without Sharon almost single-handedly neutralising the criminals.

Closing the net

Meanwhile, the new Captain America and Battlestar are on the hunt for The Flag-Smashers. But, John Walker’s mask is literally starting to slip and he’s now threatening to break the rules to succeed in his mission. US Agent is clearly struggling to live up to his predecessor. Also, he certainly isn’t instilling the same amount of fear in the criminal fraternity as Steve Rogers did. He suffered what to many is the ultimate insult when one of those protecting Karli Morgenthau spat in his face.

She and her group are helping at a repatriation camp in Latvia created after The Snap at the end of Endgame. The Flag-Smashers raid a food depot in Lithuania set up by the Global Repatriation Council. That assault alerts Barnes, Zemo and Wilson to their location and they arrive in search of her. When they land, Bucky discovers Wakandan tracking devices on the street. He is then confronted by Ayo from the Dora Milaje. She demands he hand over Zemo, in order that he pay for his crimes including the assassination of Wakandan King T’Chaka.

Any good?

We’re now halfway through the six-episode run and yet it still feels like we’re setting up the story. Although we’ve seen some stunning action sequences and lovely cinematography, I’m still trying to work out the point of this series. This has all the elements you could possibly want to create a brilliant viewing experience, but it’s just not quite landing for some reason. It may be by the end of the series I’m saying the complete opposite. Right now, however, I’m feeling more than a bit let down by The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.

Also, I think Marvel need to look at who this show is aimed at. There’s a fair amount of adult content and swearing in this series. While I’m not bothered about that for myself, I am concerned about the impact that may have on the large young fan base the MCU has. Being asked by my 11 year old what a pimp is while The Falcon et al stroll across the bridge into Madripoor wasn’t quite what I was expecting. I absolutely believe the ultimate responsibility for what children watch lies with their parents. However, a heads up from the programme-makers about any adult material at the start of an episode would be really useful.


CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 6/10


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

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

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Loki Episode 6 – Review

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Loki episode 6 image
Marvel Studios

Episode six of Loki from Marvel is here, streaming now on Disney Plus. It’s time for the series finale. Here’s our review.

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

More to come

The post-credit scene showed that a second series has already been ordered, meaning this finale is essentially the end of Part One. Thank goodness it is. Because if this was the denouement of the entire Loki story then there’s a good chance it would go down in television infamy as one of the more unusual series endings.

Introducing the big bad

We pick up from Sylvie and Loki’s defeat of The Alioth as they look at the citadel upon the rock at the end of time. They make their way to the entrance, and upon being invited in they’re met by Miss Minutes. It’s been widely predicted that ‘she’ would be an agitator in this series. And at last her role has been revealed. She is an emissary of Kang The Conquerer, embedded within the TVA.

She offers Loki the earth, almost literally, as she tries to coax him to betray Sylvie. Her offers of infinity stones, defeating Thanos etc. Happily, Loki rejects all the trinkets that she offers. Instead, he and Sylvie head into the lift where they meet ‘He Who Remains’ aka Kang The Conquerer. A 31st-century scientist and the true timekeeper.

Loki fight

Sylvie attempts to kill him but he quickly demonstrates some of his powers by dodging and weaving her before she gives in and the three of them sit down for a very long discussion. To sum up what was a lengthy and occasionally fairly tedious scene. He Who Remains (HWR) asks Loki and Sylvie to kill him and take over the role of controlling the timeline. Loki is extremely reticent but Sylvie, angry at what HWR’s meddling has done to her life, is desperate to do so.

Meanwhile, back at TVA HQ, Renslayer is informed by Miss Minutes of HWR’s plan. Showing her dual role and playing on Renslayer’s desperation to keep the TVA active and relevant.

Loki and Sylvie get into a physical fight over what to do with HWR. With Loki recognising how the timeline will fragment with branches springing up all over the place. But Sylvie is consumed by her rage and eventually overpowers Loki, sending him back to the TVA and then kills He Who Remains.

Setting up season two

Loki finds Mobius and tries to explain what has happened. But then discovers the terrible effects of what Sylvie has done by apparently killing HWR. Mobius has no idea who Loki is. This situation is then made worse when Loki looks out to see a statue of He Who Remains adorning TVA HQ. Loki realises that he is in a different timeline branch. One where HWR or Kang is in control of everything. Sylvie has been manipulated into apparently killing him which has enabled him to increase his power further.

Jonathan Majors was masterful as He Who Remains. Which is what you’d expect from someone with a Masters in acting from Yale. He was flamboyant, powerful and mesmerising, which is exactly what you want from a major villain. He will be back in AntMan 3 as Kang The Conquerer and is set to be the key villain in the next phase of the MCU post-Endgame and Thanos.

I have been extremely positive about this series, as I think it has been the strongest and most cohesive of the Marvel series so far this year. But I can’t disagree with anyone who felt short-changed by this finale. My 11-year-old son was pretty vocal in his disappointment the moment the credits rolled, and he was absolutely right. He is one of the most obsessive Marvel fans around and if he was underwhelmed, I feel pretty sure he was reflecting the majority view. Nothing I’ve seen online since has dissuaded me from that either.

Phase 4 groundwork

It seemed that the finale was essentially an exercise in introducing He Who Remains or Kang to our screens ahead of AntMan 3. While this isn’t necessarily a problem, it meant that the focus shifted away from being the climax of this series. Instead of being a prologue for the next phase of the MCU, which does seem a peculiar decision.

There are those who feel that the series original premise of Loki and Mobius teaming up to find Variants dotted around time and space was dropped after the first two episodes. Instead, it was replaced with a love story between Sylvie and Loki and a voyage of discovery with Mobius reduced to a bit part for the rest of the series.

But, the cliffhanger at the end of the series as Loki returns to the TVA does give me hope that Series Two will be an even better follow up.


CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 6/10


Thank you for reading our review of Loki episode six. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.


Read our Loki episode five review HERE.

Read IMDB information about Loki HERE.

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