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To Infinity and Beyond: The Marvel Cinematic Universe

I expected Madame Hydra, didn’t expect it to be Elaine .

I can’t see this show wrapping everything up that it needs to in just one more episode, which seems like they’re going to use this show as setup for a lot of sequel hooks.

Also, there’s a short mid-credits sequence this episode so keep watching until then at least.
 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
I expected Madame Hydra, didn’t expect it to be Elaine .

Oh, is that who it was? I'm not familiar with the Captain America mythos/rogues gallery, so I didn't recognize the name and was left wondering. Kind of a genius casting choice there, too!

But yeah, amazing how this went from a so-so episode 1, a... bad episode 2, to holy shit this is the best spy action and social commentary the MCU has offered so far. I'm really glad the writers included Isaiah because if even one person is inspired to look him up, and learn about the Tuskegee experiments, and if even one person stops to consider his point of view and why he feels the way he does, then the themes of the show will have worked.

I also really like the depth Sam, Bucky, and Zemo have gained. I want to know what the deal with Sharon is, and whether the "power broker" is affiliated with her or Val.
 

Jeanie

(Fem or Gender Neutral)
Oh, is that who it was? I'm not familiar with the Captain America mythos/rogues gallery, so I didn't recognize the name and was left wondering. Kind of a genius casting choice there, too!
That's actually a Nick Fury supporting member. I was surprised they introduced her since I think of her more with the Hasslehoff style Fury and not at all with the Sam Jackson Fury.

Like she was literally in the Hasslehoff Nick Fury movie that no one saw, played by Lisa Rinna.
 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
That's actually a Nick Fury supporting member. I was surprised they introduced her since I think of her more with the Hasslehoff style Fury and not at all with the Sam Jackson Fury.

🤔

Wikipedia said:
In an article published in Vanity Fair, it was revealed Louis-Dreyfus was supposed to make her first appearance as de Fontaine in Black Widow

I wonder if the latter's delay forced any kind of rewrites or reshoots in either the show, the movie, or both. But yeah, the MCU is definitely setting them up as a major player for the future of the franchise so I won't worry if the final episode doesn't do all that much with them.
 

Patrick

Magic-User
(He/Him)
That was a great episode! I've liked the show overall, but I feel like it's gone back and forth between wanting to dig in to some thorny issues, and wanting to being a fast moving action show. Both modes are fine, but I was a bit worried that the thorny issues were going to be steamrolled by the fast moving stuff. Fortunately, this episode slammed on the brakes and gave the main characters the space they needed to deal with things. Sam talked to Isaiah, he helped his sister, he bonded with Bucky, and he spent time thinking about what he needs to do. That's exactly what the show needed, and they pulled it all of really well. They had a few parts with Walker, Karli, and Sharon just to keep those plates spinning, but clearly they're just holding out for next episode.

And I was really happy to see Julia Louis Dreyfus. What a great addition to the MCU!
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
This is the third time Madame Hydra has been cast; it’s like it’s a whole organization based around replacing members or something!
 
Enjoyed this episode a lot, but cringed really hard through almost all of the fight in the beginning. The more I think about it, the more unsettling that entire scenario was. It's clear to me that the show just really wants Sam to be the new Cap, but all parties involved are venerating and outright worshiping this object, and it's actually pretty gross when you really think about it. Carly has the right idea, it should be smashed.
 

Vaeran

perfect world
(he/him)
Loved it! I'm sad that we only have one left! WandaVision felt like just the right length at nine, but I feel like I could do with a couple more episodes of this before we wrap up. Maybe we're heading for a second season.

The fight at the beginning was brutal and reminded me heavily of Cap and Bucky vs. Tony in Civil War. Walker's a piece of shit and I'm really enjoying his nosedive from grace.

...Elaine??? He's not shieldworthy!

Kind of surprised that all the Dora Milaje wanted to do with Zemo was put him on the Raft; I figured they were going to disappear him to Wakanda. But I guess that wouldn't really be in the spirit of Wakanda's new policy of cooperation with the rest of the world. I'm a little sad that this is apparently the end of his story for now; I was hoping he had something really sinister planned. Oh well.

More Cap echoes: Isaiah's story of saving his brothers against orders feels like a mirror of Steve's unauthorized rescue mission in The First Avenger. Of course, the repercussions for each were extremely different -- Steve proved his worth and became a hero and an icon, and Isaiah was imprisoned for decades. That whole scene was incredibly powerful.

What precisely the hell is Sharon up to?

Dug all the Sam/Bucky bonding, and Sam's gradual acceptance of the Cap mantle. I can't wait to see him in his full gear next episode.

Walker making his own shield at the end was cute. He knows that's not vibranium, right? I can't wait to see it clash with the genuine article and immediately crumple into junk.
 

Patrick

Magic-User
(He/Him)
The Power Broker wanted the serum back from Karli. But Sharon led Sam & co. to the scientist who could make more serum & let them kill him. So what’s her angle there? I feel like we’re supposed to think that she’s the Power Broker, but we’ll find out that she’s actually helping the Flag Smashers or the Skrulls or something.
 

Vaeran

perfect world
(he/him)
Yeah, Sharon being the Power Broker wouldn't make a ton of sense at this point, unless Batroc's a plant who's meant to turn on the Flag-Smashers or something. It's still possible, I guess, but it would require a lot of explanation. Honestly I'd be more likely to believe Elaine's the Power Broker.
 
Could it also be a metacommentary on the "Uncle Tom" character, I wonder
I very much doubt it when the vehicles for saying that are little kids who idolize him. The scene where the kids get caught playing with the shield is supposed to be the counter to all the things Isaiah Bradley was saying with regards to America's dark past. They're innocents in this all, and they deserve to grow up in a better world with role models that look like them.
 

YangusKhan

does the Underpants Dance
(He/Him/His)
Not knowing anything about comic characters, I'm assuming Elaine is the Power Broker after this episode (or works for them).
 

Vaeran

perfect world
(he/him)
One thing I forgot to mention in my post above:

Sam and Bucky repeatedly say in one scene that Steve is "gone," and Bucky says the shield is like the only family he has left. So is Steve actually dead? There was some humorous speculation in the first episode from Torres that he's on the moon or something, so it seems the general public doesn't know what actually happened to him. (I imagine the official cover story is that he died in the final battle in Endgame, but conspiracy theorists gonna conspiracy theorize.) While I never expected Chris Evans to reprise the role after Endgame, and therefore the character is effectively "gone" from the audience's viewpoint, my assumption was that he was just quietly retired and living out his remaining days out of the public view, and probably getting occasional visits from his friends. That doesn't now appear to be the case. Seems like a heck of a thing to leave ambiguous.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
I had assumed he was just living out his life out of the public eye, but he was in his 90s when we last saw him in Endgame, and we don't know how much time passed since then, so he may have simply died in the meantime
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
That was a genuinely good episode. John Walker's big sin in the US Government's eyes compared to what it's implied he did in the Army is that he got caught doing it, which is interesting enough, but made more so by the fact that he's lying to himself about his victim's culpability and further showing why he's unfit.

Then you have the discussion about the Black US experience and it makes yet another great case for why Captain America is a great story telling concept. As an English man with a huge distrust of patriotism who sat through the crap (90s?) film I'd always rolled my eyes at the concept of Captain [insert country here], but the comic Winter Soldier run and the MCU have dissolved my huge cynicism. Well, until somebody screws it up, anyway.
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)
The Contessa is an interesting character to bring in since her affiliation can go a few different ways. Looking forward to more of that character.

I'm not 100% sure Zemo is done but there's a lot that has to happen in the finale (I don't expect this to get a second season since it probably would have been announced already like Loki's).
 

WildcatJF

Valdez Museum of Video Game Box Art Intern
(he / his / him)

Looks like Shang-Chi is coming out this year! Thought it shifted to 2022.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Since we’ve got Contessa, The Flag Smashers, Batroc, Power Broker and especially Zemo all at large, I’m kind of wondering if we’ve got ourselves a Masters of Evil now.

Granted, I think only two of them have ever been affiliated with the MoE, but, well, one of them is Zemo.
 

Vaeran

perfect world
(he/him)
The fights in Shang-Chi look like they're going to be bananas. This is what Iron Fist should have been, instead of, you know... nothing.
 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
I'm not familiar, not even one bit, with the source character, but I like that the MCU habit of "middle-aged or at least grown adult protags" extends to whom I would've expected to be the stereotypical "teenage martial artist" archetype.
 
I will watch Chang-Chi. I am hoping for the best, but I am expecting a garbage fire. The people making decisions at Disney don't understand Asian people or Asian culture. Hopefully they've elevated enough people with creative control who actually do, and didn't shackle them. But I'm expecting a bunch of stereotypical regressive orientalism. Time will tell I suppose.
 

Jeanie

(Fem or Gender Neutral)
Oh wow, are they replacing the Mandarin as Shang-Chi's father? For anyone not familiar with the comic version, his father was Fu Manchu.

Yeah, Marvel back in the 70's was weird.
 

Positronic Brain

Out Of Warranty
(He/him)
No Falcon commentary? Man, was it that bad?

I liked it. It's flawed, but as a fun movie I enjoyed it. Even if they did dirty on Sharon and offed Batroc.

Calling it now - Sharon is a skrull.
 
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