‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’: John Walker’s Emergence as MCU Villain “US Agent”

'The Falcon and the Winter Soldier': John Walker's Emergence as MCU Villain

The new Marvel and Disney+  show “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” has excited many fans. Just in the past 4 episodes, we have seen the emergence of a new Captain America, and multiple cameos from a range of Marvel characters.

A Brief Overview of Each Episode:

Episode 1- Last time we saw Sam Wilson (aka the Falcon) in Avengers Endgame, Steve had given him the Captain America shield. However, Sam rejects this position and chooses to give the shield to the Smithsonian. Rather than respecting his wishes, the government goes behind Sam’s back and hands over the shield to another soldier, John Walker, a super-patriotic character that later becomes the villain “US Agent” in the MCU comics. Also, the fact that the shield was given to a white man after a Black man gave it up, reveals the inherent racism in society and how Marvel is reflecting that truth in their entertainment. Furthermore, Steve’s other bestie, Bucky Barnes (aka the Winter Soldier), has been deprogrammed from the brainwashing that terrorist group Hydra committed for decades. He is attempting to live a normal life.  This episode also introduces a new villain group, the Flag-Smashers, whose goal is to return to a world post-blip (when half of the world was vanished due to Thanos).

Episode 2- In this episode, we learn more about John Walker and his motivation as Captain America, while also seeing Bucky and Sam together for the first time since the events of Endgame.Additionally, this episode provides funny dialogue between Bucky and Sam and reflects their relationship really well. My favorite scene was definitely the therapy session (iykyk) Although both people are not happy about the new Captain America, they keep their focus on finding the Flag-Smashers. In their first fight with the anarchist group, they learn that the rebels are also super soldiers, which reveals another significant conflict in the series. After these events, this episode provides funny dialogue between Bucky and Sam which reflects their old couple-like relationship. My favorite scene was definitely the therapy session (iykyk). The end of the episode leaves us on a cliffhanger when Bucky confronts Zemo in prison (the villain from Captain America Civil War).

Episode 3- This episode acts as a set up for the rest of the season. As John Walker is starting to lose it, Zemo breaks out of jail. Bucky, Sam, and Zemo go to Madripoor (a city popular in the MCU comics) to find where the Flag-Smasher super serum is coming from, hoping to stop the anarchist groups from creating more soldiers. While trying to find out information from the Madripoor residents, the trio run into trouble with the Powerbroker’s people. The Powerbroker is introduced as a new character who runs Madripoor, though we don’t actually see who he/she is. Later, Zemo, Sam, and Bucky run into Shield Agent Sharon Carter in the city. The episode ends with Bucky meeting a Wakandan warrior looking for Zemo as he killed the King of Wakanda in “Captain America Civil War”.

Finally! A breakdown of the latest episode

We have been waiting for John Walker to bear his villain colors and it finally happened in this episode! Before we unpack that whole situation, the episode began with a flashback scene of Bucky in Wakanda and his deprogramming training. This was an emotional moment for him and I enjoyed how it was portrayed. The storyline then leads Sam to the leader of the Flag-Smashers, Karli Morgenthau. While Sam attempts to reason with Karli, John Walker interrupts and worsens the situation. Later, the Wakandans show up to take Zemo back and a fight occurs between them and the others, the commotion allows Zemo to quietly slip away. Afterwards, Karli proceeds to threaten Sam’s family and sets up another meeting with him. This meeting turns into a full blown fight against the Flag-Smashers, resulting in the death of Walker’s partner, Lemar.  Just a few moments later, Walker turns into a super soldier, drinking the last vial of the serum that he found on the ground earlier in the episode. Finally, the US Agent murders a defenseless supersoldier in the middle of the street, surrounded by a group of civilians. Though the image was shocking and brutal, this outburst was expected from fans, as the previous moments alluded to John Walker’s increasingly deteriorating psychological state.