by Abby Koch-The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has reached the halfway point of its run, with the third episode called “Power Broker.” The narrative finally feels like there is slight progress being made and is very entertaining. Despite being the episode that flips the switch with the story, the show is still setting up more characters and not going in depth with the established ones.
The episode opens up with the new Captain America aka John Walker, played by Wyatt Russell, beginning to look a desperate as he hunts down the Flag Smashers. He is pulling the “Do you know who I am?” move when he is being disrespected. Walker is clearly not showing the kind of demeanor or approach that the predecessor had in the role of Captain America.
Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes, played by Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan, are bickering about seeing Zemo since he holds their next step behind bars. Helmut Zemo, played by Daniel Bruhl, was first introduced as the enemy that tore the Avengers apart and caused chaos in Captain America: Civil War. After being captured, Zemo has remained in prison and unseen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Before Sam and Bucky can make a decision, Zemo has an unexciting prison escape. Zemo promises the two that he will only make a move when they allow it and help them stop the recent super soldiers. Sam and Bucky are skeptical, but they have no other option but taking Zemo’s help.
Zemo says he has a lead in Madripoor, a Southeast Asian metropolis which is split into Hightown and Lowtown. They go undercover but talks with their lead go sour and they have to run away. Sharon Carter, played by Emily VanCamp, saves the three and helps them get to a scientist who is creating these new super soldiers. The crew doesn’t get a lot of information out of the scientist and entire situation turns into a gunfight.
Viewers hear more about a character called the Power Broker this episode, mention briefly in the second episode. The Power Broker is behind the creation super soldier serum and is going after the Flag Smashers. Karli Morgenthau, played by Erin Kellyman, is now killing people because of the Power Broker.
This episode had much of the same feeling as the previous, good but it didn’t amaze you.
It feels awkward that we are at the halfway point of the show and new characters are still being introduced to the narrative. I feel like the constant introductions is causing little progress with the story overall.
The constant introductions are also causing roadblocks from exploring the depth of the characters. For example, Sam has been constantly been asked about why he didn’t keep the shield. I feel like there should have been some development or hint at this point about why that decision was made.
Another thing that I wish the show would explore just a bit more than just a mention is the themes that they are developing. Race came up again during this episode, but it felt like a narrative moving point. The development of their themes would help with understanding the characters more.
Fight sequences felt a little bit sloppy, especially when watching this episode a second time. The fight sequence in the Mandripoor bar felt choppy and the choreography did not feel as smooth. I am not sure if it is the editing or how the fight was shot, but it didn’t feel Marvel level.
Mandripoor was underwhelming than what the characters and narrative hyped it up to be. It felt like a sterilized version of Mos Eisley, less scum and treachery than expected. Part of this is due that we were in this environment for a short time and that it wasn’t explored, which is a bummer.
Both Sam and Bucky have some really good dialogue this episode. Some of it continues with the humorous bickering between the duo. The best moments were when a serious subject would come up and that humorous feeling dropped immediately. It also shows that these characters are not close friends at all.
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier’s third episode is around the same quality as the last episode. It really showed all the loose strings that the show has to tie up and how much development that needs to happen before the last episode. For a halfway point, it doesn’t feel like the show is at a point that it should be.
Next episode will premiere Fri. April 9 on Disney Plus.
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier episode three gets 7.5/10 snake shots.