Sam and Bucky team up – but it’s not all smooth-sailing (Picture: Marvel Studios/Disney)
Warning: spoilers ahead for episode two of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.
Episode two of Marvel’s The Falcon and The Winter Soldier on Disney Plus sees Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and James ‘Bucky’ Barnes (Sebastian Stan) finally team up, facing off against the menacing Flag-Smashers and the anti-patriotism group’s leader Karli Morgenthau (Erin Kellyman).
With the pair still reeling over the introduction of John Walker (Wyatt Russell) as the ‘new’ Captain America, Sam is also in for a shock when Bucky introduces him to Isaiah Bradley (Carl Lumbly), a super soldier he encountered back in the 1950s.
Sam is astounded that he was never told that there was a Black super soldier who was hidden from history, learning that Isaiah was incarcerated for 30 years ‘for being a hero’.
Meanwhile, at the end of the episode, Bucky and Sam decide to pay the imprisoned Helmut Zemo (Daniel Brühl) a visit to see if they can find out whether the super-powered Flag-Smashers have connections to Hydra.
So who is Isaiah, will Karli turn out to be one of Marvel’s most formidable villains and when will we see the Falcon and the Winter Soldier back in couples’ therapy?
Who is super soldier Isaiah Bradley?
Following a stand-off against the Flag-Smashers in Munich, where the group overpower Sam, Bucky, the ‘new’ Captain America and his wingman Lemar Hoskins (Cle Bennett), the titular characters realise that their new enemies are super soldiers with augmented strength.
Fans aren’t quite taken with the ‘new’ Captain America (Picture: Marvel Studios/Disney)
In an effort to uncover more about the organisation, Bucky tells Sam that he knows someone who could shed further light on the Flag-Smashers’ superhuman abilities.
After travelling to Baltimore, Maryland, they turn up at Isaiah’s front door, greeted and let in by his grandson Eli (Elijah Richardson), who fans believe could become Patriot in the Young Avengers.
Having met Isaiah in Goyang, South Korea in 1951, Bucky tells Sam that his old acquaintance ‘was a hero’, stating that he was ‘one of the ones that Hydra feared the most. Like Steve’.
When several soldiers failed to defeat Bucky, who was then still the murderous, brainwashed Winter Soldier, the US military sent Isaiah in, who managed to break off half of his metal arm, he recalled.
When Bucky tells Isaiah that ‘there’s more of you and me out there’, in reference to the superpowered Flag-Smashers, the elderly man becomes enraged, throwing a tin box at the wall and demonstrating his super soldier strength.
‘You know what they did to me for being a hero? They put my a** in jail for 30 years,’ Isaiah says angrily.
‘People running tests, taking my blood, coming into my cell. Even your people weren’t done with me,’ he adds, with Bucky later explaining to Sam that ‘your people’ was a reference to Hydra.
After Isaiah orders Bucky and Sam to leave his home, Sam furiously asks his companion why he never told him about the super soldier.
‘So you’re telling me that there was a Black super soldier decades ago and nobody knew about it?’ Sam asks, after Bucky informs him that Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) never knew of his existence either.
‘I didn’t tell anybody because he’d already been through enough,’ Bucky replies.
In the comic books, Isaiah Bradley is enrolled in America’s super soldier programme, going on to take on the title of Captain America.
The character was first introduced in the 2003 comic book series Truth: Red, White and Black, in which the US military attempted to recreate the serum that had been used on Steve.
Could Flag-Smashers leader Karli Morgenthau be one of Marvel’s best villains?
In episode one of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, lieutenant Joaquin Torres (Danny Ramirez) mistakenly believes that a man is the leader of Flag-Smashers, having been beaten by him as the group carried out a bank robbery.
However, in the latest instalment we learn that it’s actually Karli running the show.
Karli holds off Sam and Bucky with her followers (Picture: Marvel Studios/Disney)
In the comics, Karl Morgenthau is an enemy of Captain America’s, carrying out terrorist acts to spread his message of anti-nationalism.
Despite only meeting her briefly, many fans are excited to see what else Karli has in store as the series progresses.
Could she turn out to be one of Marvel’s greatest villains, of the same ilk as Zemo or even Thanos? That remains to be seen.
When are we finally going to see Helmut Zemo in action?
Speaking of Zemo, we finally catch a glimpse of him at the end of the episode, when Sam agrees with Bucky that they’re going to pay the imprisoned villain a visit.
We’re yet to see Zemo mask up (Picture: Marvel Studios/Disney)
Zemo, a Sokovian colonel-turned-terrorist, was last seen in Captain America: Civil War, when he did everything in his power to break up the Avengers.
This included using Hydra’s techniques to brainwash Bucky again. So we can imagine Bucky may have to restrain himself when they come face to face.
As we’ve seen from various trailers and clips, we know that at some point Zemo gets out of prison, donning his comic book character’s signature purple mask and wreaking havoc once again.
We’d hasten a bet that next week’s episode is going to be pretty Zemo heavy.
Will we see Sam and Bucky in couples’ therapy again?
One of the most highly-anticipated scenes of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier leading up to its launch was the moment that Sam and Bucky would take part in therapy together, which occurs in episode two.
Bucky’s no-nonsense therapist Dr Raynor (Amy Aquino) instructs them to participate in traditional couples’ therapy practises in an effort to get to the bottom of why they bother each other so much.
The main part of this is ‘soul gazing’, with Sam and Bucky having to face each other in their chairs, move closer together so their thighs are interlocked and stare into each other’s eyes.
Of course, the pair can’t help but turn the ‘soul gazing’ exercise into a staring contest… but we loved every minute of it. More of this please!
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is available to watch on Disney Plus with new episodes released on Fridays.
Credit: Original article published here.