The Falcon & The Winter Soldier Episode 2: Recap
The second episode of ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ - titled “The Star-Spangled Man”, directed by Kari Skogland, and written by Michael Kastelein, aired this Friday and opened up with introducing new Captain America, whose real name is John Russell and he is back at his high school where he's reflecting on his past, when in walks his wife Olivia Walker. John is nervous but Olivia thinks he'll be great. Her name was mentioned in the end credits scene so it’s clear they indeed are married. As she leaves, we see a new character Lemar Bennett, who is best friend of John. John notes that his stint as Cap has been great, but it's been a lot of “suits, handshakes, speeches, and Senators”. Lemar reminds him that’s supposedly the job. John then appears on Good Morning America as Captain America, revealing his desire to live up to Steve Rogers' mantle. He also mentions that he is not Tony Stark, neither Bruce Banner; but just like Steve Rogers what he does have is guts.
On the other hand, Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes struggle to work together as Bucky shows disapproval in Sam's decision to surrender Steve's shield. After small bickering, they plan to work together to find the Flag Smashers, who have been smuggling medicines. There, Sam identifies a possible hostage, who is then soon revealed to be the group's leader, Karli Morgenthau. The Flag Smashers, as it turns out has been enhanced with the Super Soldier serum, due to which they quickly overpower Sam and Bucky, until John and Lemar arrives to the location. After a brief showdown among them with the super-soldiers, the Flag Smashers eventually escape. John and Lemar come up with a proposal to Sam and Bucky to join the Global Repatriation Council (GRC), so they can work together to get rid of the Flag Smashers, but are turned down by Sam and Bucky. John further insists by saying that he understands the frustration they have with John and he basically implies that he is just trying to be his best version of Captain America and then refers to Sam as ‘Captain America’s wingman’; which makes Sam even more angry (rightfully so) and he leaves with Bucky. Meanwhile, Karli Morgenthau receives a threatening text from an unknown number.
Later we see Bucky and Sam traveling to Baltimore, where Bucky introduces Sam to Isaiah Bradley, a veteran super soldier who fought Bucky in the Korean War. Isaiah refuses to help them uncover information about additional Super Soldier serums due to being imprisoned and experimented on by the US government and Hydra for 30 years. As Sam and Bucky leaves his house, they argue over Bucky keeping the existence of an African-American super-soldier a secret. Two cops then show up to the scene and think that Sam is trying to hurt Bucky. This scene is a reference to real life happenings in the world where black people’s existence is always made to be seem threatening. The cops were just about to arrest Sam but then remember that he is an Avenger, and leave him be; but arrest Bucky as he missed a government mandated therapy session.
Bucky is released on bail as John and Lemar intervene the situatuin, but as they are about to leave, Bucky’s therapist tells Sam and Bucky to have a session with her first. In the session, the two of them are made to talk to each other, even though first there are bits where you might throw some fits of laughter; but then the conversation quickly becomes a heated one as Bucky says that he shouldn’t have given up Steve’s shield. Sam defends his case but Bucky further says in anger that maybe Steve wasn’t right about choosing Sam, maybe Sam isn’t capable to be responsible and he is scared that if Steve was wrong about Sam, he can be wrong about Bucky too as he always encouraged Bucky to live and told him that as a human being, he can be redeemed. When they leave the police station, they find John and Lemar outside again, and are asked to work with them, but they refuse once again. In anger, John warns the duo to stay out of their way. The Flag Smashers later escape by airplane while one member buys them time, fighting the Power Broker's minions.