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To Infinity and Beyond: The Marvel Cinematic Universe

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
One wonders if Not!Cap is one of those people who is perfectly nice and 'good' in public while being a complete monster in private; a sociopath who knows exactly what the public wants in a 'Captain America' and can emulate that expression without actually embodying any of those virtues.
Really does seem like they’re running down that road already.

Anyway, the shield should go to Danni Cage, but I don’t think she’s been conceived yet, and also I don’t know if her parents’ respective series are fully canon
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
I spent a LOT of my attention and energy this entire episode looking intensely throughout the crowds trying to spot anyone even vaguely Indonesian looking, and came up almost completely empty except for one goon who you see half of his face for a split second during the cargo container fight. I'd be disappointed if it weren't so utterly predictable coming from Marvel/Disney. They kinda can't help themselves! I try to bring this up as a point of emphasis from time to time where applicable, but don't want to sound like a broken record. This is just how it is for Asians in this country, we are invisible.
I can see why they have have thought the optics of an East Asian country where everyone is a hardcore criminal may not be great, but just make up a different fake place. Madripoor's an interesting city and "vaguely disguised Atlanta" wasn't what I wanted at all, and did the Asian erasure thing again.
 
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Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
I can see why they have have thought the optics of an East Asian country where everyone is a hardcore criminal may not be great, but just make up a different fake place. Madripoor's an interesting city and "vaguely disguised Atlanta" wasn't what I wanted at all, and did the Asian erasure thing again.
Yeah that echoes all my sentiments
 

Vaeran

perfect world
(he/him)
I'm here for this.

I do wonder how Loki having the Tesseract is supposed to "break reality," though. This isn't like the Avengers plucking it out of the timeline entirely, which is what the Ancient One was warning Bruce about. It's still in the alt-2012 timeline, just in a different place. Shouldn't be a problem.
 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
I'm here for this.

I do wonder how Loki having the Tesseract is supposed to "break reality," though. This isn't like the Avengers plucking it out of the timeline entirely, which is what the Ancient One was warning Bruce about. It's still in the alt-2012 timeline, just in a different place. Shouldn't be a problem.

Depends on how this changes the events of Dark World, Ragnarok, and the Infinity War opening, natch.

I think there's also the implication that, after skipping town with the Tesseract (instead of Thor turning it in for storage until Ragnarok), Loki likely used it to evade Thanos however he could, leading to a much more chaotic "alternate 2012" timeline.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Plus, honestly, you give Loki free reign with the Space Stone, he’s going to break things with it.

It’s just up in the air whether it’s intentional or not, and which phase of a plan it’s going to wind up being.
 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
Well.

Well.

Going by pattern, Episode 4 of Loki will be the one where the audience is well and truly hooked.

Seriously, though, I just want Bucky to be back in Wakanda's good graces he had a good support network and he deserves it again ;_; (not to mention, Ayo cursing him was kinda out of line. He kept his end of the deal and stayed out of it when the DM came knocking. They were the ones who let Zemo escape because they were too busy making a big deal of a relatively low-priority offense. All Bucky did was stop them from killing Walker and Hoskins over it.)

Non-spoiler, since it relates to some muddled bit of worldbuilding: I was very confused about what the Global Repatriation Council actually did, as in, why would snapped people need repatriating upon coming back? From what I understood in this episode, it's not the snapped people, but the other half, that has the issue : during the Blip, global society and economy were in such disarray that countries basically allowed free travel in order to help stabilize and rebuild? But since everyone's come back, those same workers who were welcomed across borders and built lives and communities for five years, are now being unceremoniously kicked out, therefore, global refugee crisis that the world is treating like any other refugee crisis (that is, sweeping it under the rug). Did I get that right?
 

Patrick

Magic-User
(He/Him)
I think that’s basically it. Now that the other half of people have returned, they want their jobs & homes back. So, people who had been given access to nicer living conditions during the blip are being forced back out. It sounds like the GRC is supposed to be helping people settle back in the countries where they came from, but obviously they're more concerned with getting them out of the countries where they are and then not really doing much to help afterward. It would have been nice if the show had done a bit more to explain that early on, though I'm not sure what else I would have taken out to make room for that.
 
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Patrick

Magic-User
(He/Him)
Anyway, that was a great episode. I was very happy to see Sam use his background in helping soldiers to talk to Karli, and that he sympathized with her cause. Early on he had the motivation to stop the Flag Smashers, but for the last couple of episodes he was mostly along for the ride. There hasn't really been time to get his take on them or see what that relationship would be like. My main concern was that they were going to villainize Karli and come down too strongly against her. So, that part of the episode was great.

But also, it had a lot of great action scenes. The fight with the Dora Milaje was a ton of fun (I cracked up when Bucky's arm came off), and the fight with a bunch of supersoldiers was great. I'm glad that they gave Walker and Battlestar the moment where they talked about Afghanistan. I had guessed that things would end up they way they are now with Walker's character, but they did a good job getting there.
 

Jeanie

(Fem or Gender Neutral)
Nothing creepier than a man in a coat singing children songs and offering candy to kids.
 

karzac

(he/him)
I thought it was funny how bad at recon Sam and Bucky were. They just walked straight into enemy territory and started asking people if they knew the person they were looking for. Zemo's the only one here who's actually competent at this, except maybe the Dora.
 

Vaeran

perfect world
(he/him)
This was a really strong episode! Feels like the show's found its footing. Hope they can keep it up.

Loved the flashback to Bucky and Ayo in Wakanda, and Bucky's tears of relief at realizing he's been successfully deprogrammed. Really powerful scene.

During the "supremacist" discussion, Sam points out that power never corrupted Steve Rogers and Zemo immediately concedes the point. Would he really, though? Zemo blames the Avengers (and superpowered people in general) for everything wrong in the world and in his life, and Steve was their leader. Given how Zemo sees the Avengers, would he really agree that being the head of a group of inhumanly powerful vigilantes, answerable to no one and responsible for leveling a country, wasn't corruption? Maybe he was just playing nice so as not to give Bucky and Sam another reason to be upset with him.

Agreed with Patrick that they used Sam's background well here, and I'm pleased to see the Flag-Smashers portrayed sympathetically.

By dramatic convention, the longer we go without seeing the Power Broker's face, the more likely it is that it's someone we already know, and I'm starting to worry about exactly how Sharon's making her living...

The Dora Milaje fight was suh-weet. Got a kick out of Bucky's brief turn as Arm-Fall-Off Boy. Also glad Zemo's finally free to act without supervision now; I hope he's got something really good planned.

The restaurant where Walker and Hoskins reminisce about Afghanistan was called Gastronauts. Cute.

I noticed a couple of shots of Walker echoed previous Captain America scenes in composition (like him opening the door with shield and gun raised like that iconic image of Steve and the Howling Commandos from the montage in The First Avenger), and his dispatching that Flag-Smasher at the end brought to mind the final blow of Civil War, where both Tony and much of the audience were briefly afraid Cap was going to go too far. And here's exactly what that would have looked like. The final shot of Walker standing with the bloodied shield was quite the image.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Did Bucky ever get the Super Soldier Serum? I assumed that all his ro-bits were doing the heavy lifting for him being as tough as he is, but this episode implied he had both.

Also; Walker was already completely defined by being the biggest twerp on the planet, the Serum really has nowhere to go on that front
 

Vaeran

perfect world
(he/him)
They neglected to mention it at all in CA:TWS and never really did a good job of explaining when he got the serum or who made it, but it's been (more or less) apparent since Civil War that he's got superhuman strength in more than just the one arm. He apparently received some bootleg variant that is separate from the batch that Howard Stark cooked up.
 

Patrick

Magic-User
(He/Him)
He was captured by Hydra and experimented on during The First Avenger. That’s why he survived the fall from the train.
 

Vaeran

perfect world
(he/him)
Sure, but Hydra shouldn't have had more of the serum than what Erskine already put in Red Skull, plus Bucky went on all manner of missions between his rescue and the train, so he'd have noticed if he suddenly had super soldier strength. It's all a little hazy, is what I'm saying.
 

YangusKhan

does the Underpants Dance
(He/Him/His)
The dude survived a crash landing situation from a helicarrier during The Winter Soldier, so he's obviously got something in him.
 

Nich

stuck in baby prison
(he/him)
I've assumed since Civil War that Bucky had gotten a dose of whatever Hydra cooked up and gave to those sleeper agents that Zemo killed at the Siberia base.
 

Patrick

Magic-User
(He/Him)
I think the other Winter Soldiers were made with the serum that Bucky took after killing Howard. He was already The Winter Soldier at that point.

In The First Avenger, Steve can’t find Bucky with the rest of the prisoners because he was taken to a wing where people don’t come back from. Then, he finds him strapped to a table there. It seems like Zola was experimenting on captives to try to replicate the Cap / Red Skull serum. He later survives a massive fall off a cliff from a speeding train. Maybe his serum was more subtle, but I think that was it.
 

Nich

stuck in baby prison
(he/him)
I think the other Winter Soldiers were made with the serum that Bucky took after killing Howard. He was already The Winter Soldier at that point.
This is true, but given that we barely know anything about his career prior to CA:TWS apart from flashbacks here and there, I think it's reasonable for him to have been the Winter Soldier both before and after receiving some of the serum stolen from Howard.
 

Vaeran

perfect world
(he/him)
The one problem with that is that when Bucky opens the case we see there are five bags of serum inside, and five new Winter Soldiers were created. It's possible Hydra could have diluted the batch and made six doses out of five, but it doesn't seem like that was the intention. The other Winter Soldiers are also extremely aggressive and difficult to control as we see in the flashback, which is not an issue with Buck. (Though maybe that's a result of his conditioning.)

The fact that we can't all agree on when and how this happened means the films didn't do a great job of explaining it, although maybe Bucky's past was meant to be left mysterious. Still, there doesn't seem to be a theory that doesn't conflict at least a little with what we see and know, which suggests to me that this was an element that was decided on relatively late in the game. I think it's possible the writers couldn't decide whether they wanted Bucky to have powers or not as of CA:TWS, so they left it purposely vague and kicked the can down the road. By the time of Civil War, enough of Bucky's history has been sketched in that there's no longer a clean, elegant explanation left for it.

It ultimately doesn't really matter, I guess -- Bucky spent decades in Hydra's custody so clearly Something happened at Some Point, but it's a bit of an unusual narrative gap in a film series that doesn't often leave much up to the audience's guesswork.
 

Patrick

Magic-User
(He/Him)
I agree, it’s not super clear in the films. We do know that Zola experimented on him, he survived a huge fall, and Hydra thought it was worth keeping him alive as an assassin. To me, that’s enough proof that he got his powers in the first movie. I don’t have any evidence that he wasn’t further experimented on or that he didn’t get serum at some other time.
 

Nich

stuck in baby prison
(he/him)
Yeah, that’s all fair enough. I guess the answer to Octo’s original question of when Bucky got enhanced is just a vague At Some Point.
 
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