This thought process started back in the preview stage for Falcon and the Winter Soldier. At that point I was speculating purely based on what I saw from previews and what I could glean from internet snoops. Obviously Steve Rogers' shadow will loom large over a show that centers around Sam and Bucky with Zemo, Sharon Carter, and US Agent thrown into the mix. Now that we have all six episodes behind us, let's take a moment to assess the role of symbols in the MCU and in the stories we tell. In the interest of space I am going to skip the recap and assume you have seen the episode, otherwise we will be here all day.
This week's episode is the calm before the storm. We get a look at Karli Morenthau's plan for the Flag Smashers, John Walker faces consequences, and the heroes spend some quality time. With the exception of the fight over the shield, there was less action in this episode than in most of the others. But we still got plenty of important character development once the shield was wrested from the arm of US Agent.
The hunt for Karli Morgenthau continues, especially now that she has murdered GRC workers. It turns out all of this could have been avoided if Hulk had thought through restoring everyone's homes, bank accounts, credit scores, and legal documents when he brought them back from the dead in Endgame, but that's what happens when you trust a scientist to use godlike powers to restore half the universe instead of a bureaucrat. Sam reminds us in this episode that Karli's fight is not unreasonable. After the SnapTM, countries opened their borders and welcomed new workers into vacant homes and jobs. Now, those same countries are returning to old ethnic tensions and hard borders. That leads all those displaced persons look to Karli for help as they eke out a living in GRC camps. Into this mess we drop our heroes (and a few villains).
The third episode of "Falcon and the Winter Soldier" brings a few familiar faces from the Captain America franchise back into the story. Bucky and Sam enlist Baron Zemo to help them track down the Super Soldier Serum, and Sharon Carter resurfaces after not being seen since "Civil War". This episode is the right mix of character development and action, let's see if we can peel back some layers and understand exactly what happened.
Episode 1 of "Falcon and the Winter Soldier" started with Captain America. Steve Rogers' voice could be heard telling Sam Wilson that the iconic vibranium shield belonged to him. Episode 2 of FAWS started with Captain America too, but this time it was not Steve Rogers. John Walker, whom comic fans recognize as US Agent, continued his press tour by returning to his old high school for a live taping of Good Morning America. But Walker is doing more than posing for the cameras - he is also tracking the Flag Smashers. This will bring him into conflict with Sam and Bucky.