Ok, so Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode 5 is probably the best entry in the series so far, and throughout this video we’re going to be breaking down the story, Easter eggs, things you missed, and giving our theories on where things could be going for the finale next week.
We’re also going to be discussing whether we think the big, super-hyped-up cameo worked or not, our review of the show so far, and behind-the-scenes stuff over where things could be going in the future.
Now Episode 4 is called The Whole World Is Watching, and huge shoutouts to Emma Louise on Twitter for pointing out that this is something that was chanted during the trial of the Chicago Seven. We followed Sam, Bucky, and Zemo as they tried to track down the Flagsmashers, and along the way they met up with America’s asshole and his best buddy, Battlestar.
Bucky was given a deadline to hand Zemo over to Dora Milaje so they could nail him, but after he palmed the deal off, they disarmed him.
Zemo was able to escape, and the episode culminated with someone who’d looked up to Captain America his entire life, looking up to him in his death.
This moment was very much a parallel to the ending of the Civil War. In that moment, Cap smashed the shield down on Tony as an act of mercy, and rather than killing him, he decided to walk away. Juxtaposing this, John let his anger get the best of him, and this led to the shield getting blood on it.
The legacy of Captain America is now tarnished, and episode 5 heavily tackles the fallout and aftermath of this action.
We’re going to break it all down, but if you enjoy the video, then please smash the thumbs up button like John Walker smashed that flag smasher, and make sure you subscribe to the channel for videos like this each and every day.
With that out of the way, welcome to the Heavy Spoilers show.
THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER EPISODE 5 BREAKDOWN
Ok, so Episode 5 is called The Truth, and it certainly brings a lot of light to the surrounding, not only the super-soldier but America’s actions. John sees the truth of what he must become, and Sam learns of what really happened to Isaac Bradley, making him wrestle over whether to become Cap or not. Racking in at 61 minutes, it’s the longest Disney Plus show we’ve ever had.
In the beginning, Walker flees the scene of the crime, and he gets flashes of Hoskins, which I think calms him down. Lemar was the one who was always keeping his head above water, and even in death, the memory of him does too.
His family later sent Walker off in a certain direction, and it’s clear that he very much holds onto him as a guiding force.
As we learned from Erskin, the Super Soldier serum simply amplifies what’s within, so good becomes great and bad becomes worse.
The Civil War parallels continue when we join Bucky and Sam, who show up. This heavily mirrors the scene in the aforementioned movie when Bucky, Sam, and Steve met in a garage, hoping to snap the former out of the hypnotic rage he’d induced. Both scenes are somewhat dealing with a public outburst by a super soldier, and on top of this, I think that the stance too mirrors the final battle of that movie. This is namely the way things are shot and how it’s pretty much a two-on-one situation involving Bucky and Captain America as well as a normal person who uses machines to give them enhanced abilities.
The fight scene is awesome, and the fact that John is able to handle both of them is a testament to how dangerous he is. Even before the Super Soldier Serum, this guy had been awarded the Medal of Honour three times, and with the enhancements on top of this, he’s pretty unstoppable.
George Lucas pops up to say it’s like poetry; they rhyme because we end the fight with Walker on top of Sam again, calling back to the final fight in the Civil War in which Cap bested Tony. Walker says, ‘I am Captain America, a line he repeats throughout the episode, and he goes to do the shield slam once more. This shows that he doesn’t really regret doing what he did to the flagsmasher and will continue to get worse and worse if they don’t stop him. The trio manages to break his arm, and Sam takes the shield, using it for the first time to bring a bad guy down.
Bucky drops the shield for Sam and walks off, further calling back to what Steve and he did with Tony. Even the music cues are the same, bringing everything full circle.
Sam clearly realises the responsibilities that he now has and knows that if he doesn’t bear the shield, then someone else likely will.
Torres returns, and this character has been pretty absent in the series so far; he actually becomes the Falcon in the comics when Sam becomes Captain America. Thus, his taking a shine to the wings and Sam saying ‘keep em’ do foreshadow his eventual arc.
Back in Washington, Walker is stripped of his title and authority as Captain America. Due to his service to his country, he’s not recommended for court martial, but his life in the army is clearly over. This is a man who gave everything he could, and the second he made a mistake, he was thrown out faster than James Charles at a nursery.
He and his wife have a conversation that very much mirrors the first one we saw in Episode 2, but instead of her being there for him as he starts his career, she’s now there after it’s over.
Outside, they’re approached by Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, whom you may know by her villain Monika, Madame Hydra.
In the comics, she’s a pretty big antagonist who started her career working with SHIELD before moving onto bigger and badder things. I’m guessing that in the MCU it will be revealed that she was part of Shield, and then when Hydra rose up through them, they sunk their claws in.
Though this wasn’t one of the big names that a lot of people were theorising, I think that comic fans will go crazy over it as she’s such a cool character in the source material.
This definitely shines through with her personality, and though I know a lot of you wanted Wolverine, I thought it was going to be a Goldie Hawn, so it looks like we’re out here taking more L’s than Shane Dawson. She definitely has a big personality, and the actress Julia Louis Dreyfus is someone that you may recognise from Seinfeld, Arrested Development, and Curb your enthusiasm.
According to the Black Widow Wiki, she’s in that film too, so expect to see her again.
Another interesting thing is that her business card has nothing on it, further hinting at how hidden away Hydra is at this point. The last time we saw them was in Ant-Man when they stole Cross’s Pym particles, so they are definitely out there and ready to make a comeback.
JOHN WALKER IN THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER, EXPLAINED
Now the comic version of John Walker has some similarities to what we’ve seen in the show so far, but also some big deviations that I’m going to be discussing.
Johnathan Walker, to give him his full name, was born in Custers Grove, Georgia, where he grew up idolising his older brother Mike because of his service in the US Army.
At this young age, John only saw the good in war, and because of heroes like Captain America, he didn’t really consider the down sides. However, it was revealed that Mike suffered from PTSD, and one night he burned the house down by accident, which racked him with guilt. Mike took his own life not long after, but John’s parents lied to him and told him that he died in combat.
John wanted to live up to his brother’s memory, and he enlisted. Sadly, because his brother was put on a pedestal in his own mind, John didn’t believe that he lived up to it, and thus he ended up undergoing the Power Broker Process, which gave him super strength.
Walker became Super Patriot, which is something that’s been skipped over in the show, and he would publicly discredit Captain America. He staged attacks and was genuinely a bad dude who wanted to terrorise the public into believing that Cap wasn’t doing a good job.
However, things changed, and after Cap put down the shield, Walker picked it up and became a more violent and vengeful Captain America. Alongside Battlestar, he brutally beat people up and badly burned the characters Left Winger and Right Winger, showing he was far more aggressive than Steve ever was.
Now, an important thing in the arc is that it was actually the death of his parents that sent him off the deep end, not Battlestar.
Eventually, Steve ended up coming back as a character called Captain. He took back the shield, and Walker’s death was faked.
He re-emerged as a US agent in a black and red variation on the costume.
Now, whether intentional or not, huge shoutouts to Bynd Epic, who pointed out that Walker’s uniform was missing the white that we typically saw in Steves. Which is a colour of innocence, hinting to us that he’s not a good guy.
The episode ends with him creating his own shield, likely symbolising that he’s going to become a US agent and end up working for Madame Hydra at some point. Potentially, they could even fake his death after the show, but that remains to be seen. It’s very interesting and does line up with certain things, but obviously, let me know your thoughts below.
The flag-smasheders return to the refugee camp they were hiding out at and find that the place has been cleared out by the GRC. A flyer states that they had accused them of harbouring terrorists, which Carly takes personally. Even though it was kind of the truth,
At this point, though, much like Walker, she sees herself as being beyond and above the law, and rather than seeing how her actions simply lead to more loss, she decides to enact her plan.
As predicted, Zemo escaped and fled to the Sokovian memorial, a location he mentioned at the end of episode 3. I love the scene between him and Bucky; it’s so chilling, and it’s clear that Zemo tries to impart his beliefs to Bucky.
His mission the entire time has been to wipe out super soldiers from the face of the earth, and though many suspect he might be involved with the power broker, he’s definitely not.
Zemo believes that because of Bucky’s past, he will always resort to killing, which makes him think that’s the right way to handle Karli. However, he shows that he won’t even kill Zemo and instead hands him over to Dora Milaje, highlighting that he truly is no longer the killer that he was made to be. Zemo is taken to the raft, which we know is overseen by General Ross.
In the comics, Ross actually recruits Zemo to join his group of anti-heroes, The Thunderbolts, and thus, by selecting this location, he sets up the team.
Sam returns to Isaac Bradley, and we see his grandson Eli again, who becomes a Young Avenger in the comic books known as Patriot. Bradley may have passed his abilities onto him genetically, and thus it could set up his appearance in the Young Avengers.
Isiah and Sam talk about the history of the shield with one another, and if you check out our video on episode two, you’ll know how we discussed that his creation was a metaphor for the Tuskegee Syphilis study. This took place between the 1930s and the 1970s, and it centred around the US government wanting to study the long-term effects of the disease. Thus, they pretended to treat black people, but they simply injected them with placebos and allowed them to slowly die, all the while letting them believe that they were cured.
Isiah actually mentions the 332 and the fight for this country. This could be a reference to the 332nd Fighter Group, which is a name that belonged to the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of black fighter pilots.
I know there’s a number of people that will shout out how woke this stuff is, but if you look back on the history of Captain America, he’s always been someone who’s discussed things like this. Hell, even the famous cover of him punching Hitler was released before America joined the war, and even back then, people were angered by it. Captain America is not an apolitical character, and off the top of my head, I can’t actually think of anyone in comics who is more based on politics than he is.
The legacy he left has clearly destroyed several lives, including that of Isaac, who was jailed and kept from speaking to his wife, who died while he was in prison.
We discover that he and his unit were injected with what he believed was a Tetanus shot. This lines up a lot with the comics, and it was actually Nagel that did this, though we know from the timeline that this wasn’t the case in the show.
Isiah saved his squadron, similar to what Steve did in The First Avenger, but whereas he came home as a hero, Isiah was experimented on for 3 decades.
It’s a heartbreaking and harrowing tale that discusses why we’ve only heard about Isaac now that he was declared dead. He discusses the erasure of black history over the last 500 years and states that no self-respecting black man would ever be Captain America because of this. This is a talking point that has often been brought up with black soldiers, most famously Muhammed Ali, who refused to fight in Vietnam because he didn’t want to put his life on the line for a country that didn’t view him as an equal citizen.
Sam would very much become a tool rather than simply a person, and if they were willing to cast out Walker after he served his purpose, you can likely bet that the same thing would happen to him.
It’s a tough conversation for Sam to hear, and he returns home to his sister and nephews. The show really scales back, and he focuses on fixing his family’s boat. After calling together the neighbourhood and admitting that they need help, the community comes together to return the favour that the Wilsons have given them over the years.
Bucky, aka Mr. Steal Yo’s sister, arrives with a package from Wakanda in a suitcase that is similar in aesthetic to the one that Tony had in Iron Man 2 and the one that the Tesseract was carried in.
The pair fix up the boat, and Sam reluctantly lets Bucky stay the night. Just be careful with your sister, mate. These quoute unquoute fixing scenes tend to only happen in Iron Man movies, but whenever they’re used, they’re very much put in place to strengthen a character and symbolise their rebuilding. I very much get this idea from these moments, and it’s all building towards Sam opening up that case.
Elsewhere Walker visits the battlestars parents, and huge shoutouts to Wyatt Russell for completely knocking it out of the park throughout this episode. Whereas the government has shunned Walker because he avenged his friend, it’s clear that others, including the Hoskins family, appreciate that he was willing to step over the line to get what they see as justice.
It further hammers home in his mind that he is the hero that the world deserves, and though he’s not the one it needs, he’s willing to still be there, setting him off on a path to become a different kind of person. Ego’s son, Ey, gets an ego, and he will be returning, which I’m excited to see.
Now we jump to Sharon Carter on the phone. Shoutouts to all my people who watch these shows with closed captions, as through this we discover it’s batroc on the other end.
She says she can pay him double this time, seemingly confirming that she was the one who paid him to kidnap the US soldiers in episode 1, and it does highly suggest that she might be the power broker.
I’m still in two minds about this, as Zemo did state he knew him before the Civil War, which, if we go back, was when Sharon was operating as Agent 13.
She also let Nagel die and was willing to kill her own men, which doesn’t make sense on a character level.
Therefore, I believe that she’s actually just working for the power broker and that she has her own plans. From the trailers, we know that they attack the US government next week and that Sharon is involved. How it pans out, we don’t know, but it’s going to be interesting to see when the arc culminates next week.
Sam starts to train with the shield, and he says it feels weird, which calls back to the end of Endgame. The pair discuss the symbolism of a black man being handed the shield, and you might even remember that it was controversial amongst some people after the end of Endgame. As always, there was the get-woke-go broke commentary by people who completely overlooked that it happened in the comics, and I appreciate that they have some sort of meta commentary here.
Steve gave Sam the shield and Bucky the book, and though his presence hangs over them, they realise they have to step out of his shadow and become their own men.
Sam gives Bucky some tough love, and though Mr. Nakajima isn’t mentioned, he’s clearly hinted at because of the closure comment. Bucky, of course, killed his son, and he doesn’t know what happened, but he decides to get people to forgive him so he can forgive himself.
Sam realises that he and his people have fought for so much, and like the boat, he refuses to let go and thus decides to become Captain America.
He picks up the shield similar to what he did at the start of episode 1 and starts training, much like we saw Walker doing in his propaganda video.
We’re going to need a montage, and Sam slowly gets adept at using the shield.
Elsewhere Batroc meets with the flagsmashers, and he has a package for them. Again, the Powerbroker has been hunting them for the entire series, and thus, I think if it were Sharon, she would simply have him take them out if she was behind it all. However, it does seem like she wants Batroc to kill the falcon, showing she can’t be trusted.
He supplies them with weapons, and Karli calls together the people’s army of the Flagsmashers to launch their attack in New York.
They plan to destroy the GRC during the patch act, and through Torres, he discovers that because they didn’t use a VPn, they know they’re in New York. Anyone else think this would have been the perfect video to have a VPN sponsorship down, or just me? Now that’s the perfect time to tell you that this video is… I’m just kidding.
Sam opens the case, likely seeing his white Captain America uniform, which was used in the comics.
Cut to the post-credits scene to see Walker building his own shield.
In the episode 5 and 6 trailers, we actually got a look at this, and though we theorised it might be the original one from Endgame, he’s made it from the ground up. This welding and hammering scene is very similar to the one at the start of Iron Man, and hey, if Tony can have a path of redemption through this, then there’s no reason that Walker can’t either.
I love this moment, and seeing him put his medal of honour into the shield itself shows that he’s now ready to bring forth a new kind of hero. I think that next week, he and Sam will actually team up with one another. Sam, of course, dealt with vets before becoming Steve’s friend, and if anyone can help him deal with what he’s going through, I think that it’s him.
Either way, it’s a great way to end the episode, and I can’t wait to see what happens next time.
THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER EPISODE 5 ENDING EXPLAINED AND REVIEW
Now, as for the episode itself, I have to say that, in my opinion, this is the best one, and according to the series writer, it’s also the one he’s most proud of. We may have peaked before the finale next week, but either way, I thought this was a really enjoyable entry.
Now, as for the season as a whole, I think this kind of highlights some of the issues that I have with it. On Tuesday, I did a big, long live stream with Josh from Den of the Nerds, in which we discussed some of the cut plot lines from the show and our general thoughts on them. Now one of the big things that came up was that we find Walker a far more interesting villain than Karli is.
On paper, I can see exactly why they chose her as a somewhat antagonistic or anti-hero, as she is very much the opposite of the US military. You have this young, meek, and almost very shy girl, who is completely on the other end of the spectrum from the might of an entire armada, who is hunting her down. It’s very much the people vs. the institution, and I can see how, when they were scripting this, they decided that is what the character should represent. However, I just don’t find her that charismatic, and because of this, it’s difficult for me to see why people might decide to follow her. She just doesn’t feel like a leader to me, and this may be because we know that several plot lines were cut from the show because of the pandemic. Apparently there was a big virus plot, which is why we had a big bit about the Flagsmashers stealing vaccines and also Mama Donya dying from a disease. According to leaks, this wasn’t actually TB, and the character had a far more fleshed-out role, which was meant to make us feel the impact of her death a lot more.
I think on rewatches you can kind of tell, but I do want to say that I still think Marvel has done a great job of crafting a coherent storyline, even with a big arc missing from it. Now though I constantly sound like I’m crapping on the show whenever I do these review bits, I still really, really like it, and I feel like it’s flying high as a flagship title on Disney Plus that lets us know these shows are going to have a high level of quality and acting within them. I think that the more I’ve seen of Wyatt Russell, the more I’ve realised how good his performance is, and though I don’t like the character, I think that’s a sign of his acting elevating the role to someone we’ve grown to love to hate.
This was an episode that added even more to that, and it’s at the point now where I think he’s going to be the most memorable thing about it when we look back on it in several years.
Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan are of course great too, and I don’t want to sound ungrateful, as this is a really good show that feels mature in its handling of certain topics and talking points.
Again, another great episode in the series, and I do like it. Yeah, I do.
Anyway, going forward, we have a lot to talk about in regards to the future of the MCU.
Firstly, there were some cool little things from an interview with Wyatt Russell from the BBC that sort of tease what could be happening next time.
Now, because of this, the internet is suspecting that Chris Evans is going to feature at the end of the series and that he might even end up coming face-to-face with Walker. I’m not sure on this, as Wyatt does say he’s not really interacted with him that much, which I think they would have if they were on set together.
A big question still remains over what exactly has happened to Cap since the ending of Endgame, and many of us want to know whether he’s going to feature in the series or not.
I think it would be great if he was, but as always, don’t get your hopes up. Yeah, don’t, or I’ll kick off.
The set of Spider-Man: No Way Home has also shown that the shield is going to become a big prop in the MCU going forward, as there was a bus stop posted that had the Statue of Liberty holding it up.
The ad says ‘Meet NYC’s newest and tallest Avenger’ with the hashtag Ny Liberty Avenger on the bottom.
Now Charles Murphy has reported that the location will be featured in the backdrop of a key scene. I’m guessing that they’ll cgi the shield onto the statue and that it could be part of a big set-piece or even just something to show that New York has rallied together.
Maybe after the events of the series, we will see how the Shield truly becomes a symbol of good once more, and this will bring the world back together. I would love to see that, and after all our heroes have been through, they deserve some time off.
Now obviously, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the episode, our review, and what you think will happen in the finale.
As a thank you for interacting with the video, you’ll be entered into a prize draw on the 30th of April in which we’re giving away three copies of Zack Snyder’s Justice League in 4K. All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is like the video. Make sure you subscribe with notifications on and drop a comment below with your thoughts on the episode. The winners of last month’s competition are on screen right now, so if that’s you, then message me on Twitter, @HeavySpoilers.
If you want something else to watch, then make sure you check out our breakdown of the What If Trailer, which will be linked on screen now. We break down the entire thing, so it’s definitely worth checking out if you want to know more.
With that out of the way, thank you for sitting through the video. I’ve been Paul, and I’ll see you next time. Take care, Peace