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To Infinity and Beyond: The Marvel Cinematic Universe

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
I've been at work!

I liked that the combat action was short and snappy, and that although Bucky got his licks in, it was focused primarily on Sam being clever, skilled and more focused on helping people than beating up bad guys. The costume stands out--REALLY stands out-- with its bright colors and super-white motifs (a phrase that sounds even weirder as I type it than as I thought of it) but I can get used to it. And Sam's speech was just the right amount of sappy and soapboxy to be Captain America but also carry some bite for both the in-universe characters and real-life social commentary, but I'm not qualified to speak of those experiences so I'll leave it there. Ditto for what I thought was a good denouement with Isaiah, but again, not qualified to comment.

Also liked that, because the action was short and snappy, we got a whole half hour of character work afterwards.


I don't like that Walker thinks himself "redeemed" or that we're all fine with him being a barely-controlled bundle of super-soldier rage, or that he even got to quip with Bucky after a Lincoln quote. But I assume that will surface again and again as U S Agent.

Of course, really liked that the title drop at the beginning emphasized "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" while the bookend was "Captain America and the Winter Soldier".

Is Sharon the first major departure the MCU has taken from pre-existing characterization?

ALSO:
They just need a shared tragedy to bring them together. A deep, personal loss they can both mourn, relate to, and connect over. And we've already seen hints of that happening in this episode.

Soon, Bucky will give Sam another Redwing.
CALLED IT
 
No Falcon commentary? Man, was it that bad?
Haha, literally in the middle of typing something up when ninja'd. It's barely noon on the West Coast!

The last episode of Birdo & Bucky was fine. Very routine, vanilla Marvel thing. Fun, but nothing incredible. Very predictable, and almost gratuitously cheesy. Uncle Sam's new costume is pretty hokey, but he plays the role of Cap well. This show should go a long way to helping anyone on the fence worrying about replacing Chris Evans as Cap. (Well, anyone who is not a racist asshole.)
They make a minor deal in the episode how Sam doesn't have powers but will do his best anyways, but honestly getting a Wakandan Vibranium-upgrade on his flight gear makes him go from budget-Iron Man to Neigh-invincible Iron Man, so the fact he doesn't have powers is pretty much moot.

Sam's big speech at the end was a lot of the right sentiments, but felt rather empty when he 1) doesn't have any good answers for real problems, and 2) is in the meta picture, a mouthpiece for commoditizing vague liberalism for the sake of making a lot of amoral rich old white guys even richer. Disney cashing in on diversity would feel a lot more genuine if they did real, appreciable things like say, put the clamps down on Republican legislators instead of turning a blind eye to them/continuing to give them campaign donations, or proactively used their media outlets to combat the Fox Newsificiation of media/public discourse instead of all of the incredibly scuzzy shit ESPN has done with throwing its talent under the bus and pandering to the 'shut up and dribble' crowd. Disney has a lot of skeletons in their closet, and covering the closet door with a metaphorical blm flag doesn't actually make up for much.

I did not like the ending to Bucky's whole storyline with Old Japanese-American Guy. The camera basically cut away as soon as Bucky finally gave him the news and didn't even give him any opportunity to express any sort of reaction or range of emotion to this news. So the only Asian guy in the show is basically just an accessory for Bucky's character development and is almost immediately disposed of when the story is done w/ him. Not surprising, but still annoying.

Agent Carter as the Power Broker was very obvious. And I really don't understand or buy why she did this heel turn to begin with, or why now her getting her old job back as a Shield jobber suddenly is going to get her access to all the top secret secrets.

The USAgent stuff was great. But in the meta sense, it's pretty disappointing that Generic White Guy ended up being the most nuanced and well developed character in a show that is ostensibly about elevating Sam to being the new Cap. He should make for a fun antagonist/rival going forward.

The montage of Sam & Bucky doing family fun stuff at the end was fun. I could have stood to see that teased out into an actual scene instead of a montage. I like happy Sam & Bucky!

Carly was uh. That was a hot mess I am not well equipped or qualified to decompress.
That's all I got! I'd like to see what comes of a real movie with the new Cap and well-adjusted Bucky someday. Hope that day isn't too far off. Solid D+ show. Probably not worth a subscription, but you could do worse with buying a month or using a free trial to poopsock it. Also, I could watch Sam do cartwheels all day.
 

Nich

stuck in baby prison
(he/him)
Yeah, Walker was the only thing I didn't like about the finale, which generally covered a lot of ground I was happily surprised to see in an MCU thing. Nobody--not Sam, not Bucky, not the media, nobody--seemed to bat at an eye at him being around during the battle with the Flag Smashers? Bucky grouses about his choice of quote but doesn't seem upset that he's there at all after the last episode? Julia Louis-Drefyus seemed to have literally wandered in from another series; it seems like she's sponsoring him, but we never learned why or to do what.
Is Sharon the first major departure the MCU has taken from pre-existing characterization?
Nah. Even within this series, going from Karl Morgenthau to Karli has been a pretty big departure in terms of motivations and portrayal, and before that, the swerve with the Skrulls in Captain Marvel was pretty effective.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Man, you try to lift up one bus and apparently everyone forgets about the very public Murder you did, and what a punchqble jabroni you were even before that.

You can tell Sam was born for being Cap; he didn’t even prep that speech before launching into it

Rest in Power, Batroc. You’re kicking angels out of the sky now
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
It was good overall. I'm still not sure how I feel about Sharon's villainous turn but I guess we'll see if they do something interesting with it in the future. Actually, awhile back I mentioned I wanted a series that looked at what happened during the 5 years of the Blip, and while that was primarily to see how Banner reconciled with Hulk to become SmartHulk I'd also like to see how Sharon ultimately became the Power Broker.

Also it took me a minute to realize that random old man who killed the remaining Flag Smashers was Zemo's butler that we saw one time.

The episode's big moment was more or less pretty good. Sam is damn good at speechifying. Though it's a bummer he basically ended it with centrist 'meet them halfway' to the people who were about to use an army to force people out of their homes on a worldwide scale.
 
If Captain America slammed into a bridge I was driving over for some superhero bullshit that could’ve just as easily missed me, I would not immediately start clapping. That’s so inconvenient!

Batroc RIP but like I don’t get how dangerous the shield is supposed to be. Seems like it should’ve broken his arm (at the very least) when it hit him. The sound design is doing a lot.

I don’t think this was very good but I enjoy Sharon Carter stealthily explaining her schemes out in the open with zero discretion.
 
Though it's a bummer he basically ended it with centrist 'meet them halfway' to the people who were about to use an army to force people out of their homes on a worldwide scale.
Disney seriously can't help themselves

I don’t think this was very good but I enjoy Sharon Carter stealthily explaining her schemes out in the open with zero discretion.
And then inconspicuously murdering your witnesses in front of other witnesses! And also leaving lots of obvious evidence like that one guy she melted with chemicals in a van. I would say that I would have liked to have more exposition on why she became a baddie, but we already know it's basically because she was sad that she was burned and on the run. Which is literally no different than half the Avengers who all came out the other side as good people still. So now that I think about it no, I don't really wanna know the details of why and how because it's bound to be dumb and frustrating.
 

YangusKhan

does the Underpants Dance
(He/Him/His)
I really really want to like Sam's speech and the museum exhibit thing, but I can't help but feel vaguely cynical about the whole thing despite not really being able to vocalize why, nor have I read any critical pieces on the show yet either. So that's kind of weird and a bummer.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
I think it succeeded in what it set out to do; I now care about Sam as a character. It was clunky as hell about everything else. The spycraft was hilariously bad. "Hey, anyone know who the Powerbroker is" and declarations of EVIL in a public place.
 

madhair60

Video games
Isaiah: I would like to be left alone and stay off the grid.

Sam: I have placed a permanent monument to you in the Smithsonian against your wishes.

Isaiah: Thank you Captain America.
 
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karzac

(he/him)
Yeah I had the same reaction madhair. Honestly, did not like the episode very much. The action was good, but I thought the politics were pretty gross. Don't have the energy to write up my thoughts just now though.
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)
That speech was so embarrassing. Overall I enjoyed my time with Falco and Winty but it was a letdown in comparison to my general affection for the Cap movies and comics.

SHIELD is still gone I think but based on Civil War Sharon probably has a pretty high security clearance.
 
Re Sharon:

After the fall of SHIELD she was CIA for Civil War, this is the position they reinstate her to at the end of F&WS.
 

Patrick

Magic-User
(He/Him)
Isaiah: I would like to be left alone and stay off the grid.

Sam: I have placed a permanent monument to you in the Smithsonian against your wishes.

Isaiah: Thank you Captain America.

My impression is that the exhibit recognized his contributions without revealing that he is still alive. I did think that the line about what he did for the country should have been followed by something about what the country did to him. Even in the best interpretation, this part was reaching too hard for a positive ending.

That speech was so embarrassing.

I felt this way when I first watched it, but after letting it sit for a bit, I think it works within the context of the universe. At first, it seemed to me like the show was trying to say that issues that exist in the real world could be solved by just talking to the people in charge and convincing them to do the right thing. From that perspective, the speech is downright silly. But, the context is 1) that he's giving this speech to a live camera, so he's putting the GRC heads in an impossible position, rather than actually appealing to them, and 2) that it's Captain America giving the speech. Resolving situations by giving an idealistic speech is exactly the kind of thing that Sam saw Cap do (he even comments on the speech at the end of The Winter Soldier). The show's thesis is that the mantle of Captain America represents more than just being a great soldier, and Sam resolving things with a speech is supposed to support that.

BUT... this show had a major issue throughout in that the writing was clunky. It had a lot of great scenes (overall I really liked the show), and everything unfolded in a theoretically satisfying way, but a lot of the supporting scenes rushed things and it depended too much on the viewer being on board without doing the work to earn that. Also, Sharon being the Power Broker didn't make any sense. It seems like it's something they threw in as a twist on something from the comics, but it was super awkward & didn't fit her character/the actress.


I really liked it overall, but it was a step down from the three Markus & McFeely Cap movies (granted, those are my favorite movies in the MCU). Which is why I'm a bit nervous that the showrunner is writing a 4th Captain America movie. Maybe the 6 episode show format was just awkward for them and a movie would be a better fit? I am glad that Sam is getting his own movie though. I'm hoping it turns out well.
 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
My impression is that the exhibit recognized his contributions without revealing that he is still alive. I did think that the line about what he did for the country should have been followed by something about what the country did to him. Even in the best interpretation, this part was reaching too hard for a positive ending.

Yeah, but in order to "be remembered", his name would have to be included there. Any journalist, or sufficiently motivated person, can still look him up and go, hey, there's a home address here.

I haven't rewatched the show to see if any of the Power Broker stuff makes sense for Sharon, in particular, but even just from memory, episode 3 (IIRC? the one where she drives them to Nagel) makes zero sense to me. Whoever the PB actually were--Sharon, Zola, Mephisto--why would they ever put their most valuable asset in jeopardy by revealing his location to two basically-black-ops agents and a known kill-squad villain, let alone drive them to him? What did she think was gonna happen?

(Insert comic about guy in bicycle jamming his own spokes here.)
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Hated the politics of this, felt the two main characters and the Flag Smashers were underwritten and underserved by the material, everything involving the Power Broker made no sense, and the whole thing was just very dull. Wandavision was unique and interesting, but The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was orders of magnitude worse than Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Daredevil, all of which had major issues, frankly, at least in their later seasons.
 

Super Megaman X

dead eyes
(He/Him)
Yeah, but in order to "be remembered", his name would have to be included there. Any journalist, or sufficiently motivated person, can still look him up and go, hey, there's a home address here.
Isaiah said that in order to escape, his nurse helped him fake his death. I just assumed that he's living under a fake identity.
 

Vaeran

perfect world
(he/him)
As they did with WandaVision, there's a new episode of Assembled on the making of Captain Falcon and the Buckaroo. WV's Assembled contained a few cute anecdotes, so I'll be checking this out.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Looks like the Black Panther sequel is going to be subtitled “Wakanda Forever”, and the Captain Marvel sequel is going to be called “Marvels”.

Which I feel pretty confident is not a reference to the Kurt Busiek comic
 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)

While it's most likely just a "Phase 4" thing, that shiny "4" towards the end has got to be a deliberate tease, now. All the clickbait media sites are going to blow up at it.


Which I feel pretty confident is not a reference to the Kurt Busiek comic

Their, loss, honestly. At this point in the franchise, I think they could afford to do a "person on the street" story that looks up at the goings on around them.
 

Patrick

Magic-User
(He/Him)
While it's most likely just a "Phase 4" thing, that shiny "4" towards the end has got to be a deliberate tease, now.
I don’t think they’re trying to be sneaky. It’s very clear that they’re going to make a Fantastic 4 movie.
 

Super Megaman X

dead eyes
(He/Him)
While it's most likely just a "Phase 4" thing, that shiny "4" towards the end has got to be a deliberate tease, now. All the clickbait media sites are going to blow up at it.
That's actually the exact image they used when they announced Fantastic Four. While then it was more "yeah, we're making it.....someday", I think it's now "yeah we're making it......sooner".
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
My guess would be in addition to Rambeau, we might get Kamala, too.

That’s been confirmed
Not only that, but there were some set photos leaked earlier of Ms. Marvel in costume for her upcoming Disney+ series!

 

Vaeran

perfect world
(he/him)
Loki has been moved up! Uh... two days? Alright.


I guess since Black Widow's coming out on a Friday in the middle of Loki's run, Disney/Marvel don't want to compete with themselves? Remains to be seen if Wednesday will continue to be the day for new Marvel D+ episodes.
 

Vaeran

perfect world
(he/him)
also worth noting is that the origin of "Wednesday" is "(W)Odin's Day"

so, you know, Anthony Hopkins confirmed
 
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