Madripoor, the Den of the Power Broker
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode 3 Review
We’re now at the official halfway point to The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and I’m a little worried. The series started out strong, and it seemed to continue that trend in last week’s episode as we met John Walker, the “new” Captain America. However, I feel like the show started to peter out this week as Sam and Bucky continue to investigate how the Flag Smashers got hold of the Super Soldier Serum. Unfortunately for them, that involves meeting the guy responsible for breaking up the Avengers and heading to one of Marvel’s most notorious cesspools. Everyone, this week, we head to Madripoor.
I Love Zemo, but I Also Hate Him So Much
I will be blunt: I have a love-hate relationship with the villain known as Zemo. On the one hand, his need to avenge the death of his family at the hands of Ultron led to murder dozens of innocents and tore the Avengers apart. Were it not for him, the Avengers may not have disbanded, and could have stopped Thanos the first time around. On the other hand, I can’t help but be impressed by what he did. He had no powers, no armies, no resources beyond his own mind. Yet he was able to turn the Avengers on each other so easily. And then he got to sit back in a jail cell like Hannibal Lector and watch he wrought.
That is, until Bucky’s forced to free him to help him and Sam find who’s making the Super-Soldier Serum.
Zemo more or less carries this episode on his shoulders, and he knows it. The entire time they’re in Madripoor, he’s acting calm, confident, and like he’s in control of things; which he is. He knows that without him, Sam and Bucky wouldn’t make it far in Madripoor, so he keeps subtly rubbing it in their faces. If it were anyone else, he would come off as an arrogant jerk, but Zemo’s just got this charisma to him that makes him such a great character. We know we’re supposed to hate him, but when he see him don the purple mask from the comics, we can’t help but squeal in joy.
Return of the Super Soldier Serum
Since the miniseries’ start, we keep hearing about this person called the Power Broker. We don’t know who they are, but they’re hunting the Flag Smashers and seemed to have a lot of power. And as we learn in Madripoor, they funded the recreation of the Super Soldier Serum using Isaiah Bradley’s blood. The Flag Smashers stole it, and now they’re doing everything they can to get it back.
We’ve seen just how powerful people can become using the Serum. In the hands of someone like Steve Rogers, it becomes a force for good. But in the hands of the Flag Smashers, it could bring untold chaos to the world. So, yeah, it’s pretty important to the heroes and villains that they get their hands on it.
Steve Rogers’ Legacy
In keeping with the show’s theme about Steve Rogers’ legacy, the cast can’t help but continue to talk about whether it was right for Sam to give up the Shield. Sam keeps trying to justify it, saying he’s not good enough to be Captain America. Zemo actually agrees, saying that when you put people on a pedestal, you lose sight of their flaws. And on the other end, we have Bucky, who says that he’s going to take the Shield from Walker before this is over.
I feel like both sides have a point in this episode. As much as I hate to admit it, Zemo’s right about the pedestal thing. When we look up to symbols like Captain America for too long, we tend to lose sight of the fact that there’s a person underneath the mask; and people are flawed. Steve was a noble person, but he could also be very stubborn. However, I understand why Bucky’s also right about the Shield. It’s a symbol of hope for people to be better than they are. That we can be the best versions of ourselves. And with the way the world is now, they need people like that.
Also, it’s clear that John Walker’s not the man who can wield the Shield. While everyone’s in Madripoor, we see him being overwhlemed by the expectations people have for him and trying to be something he’s not. Bottom line, John Walker’s not fit to be the new Cap.
Wakanda Joins the Story
In the midst of all the chaos that was the Avengers Civil War, it’s easy to forget one of the key events that kickstarted it. Zemo bombed the UN and killed King T’Chaka of Wakanda. His death led T’Challa to seek vengeance on Bucky, only for him to bring Zemo to justice. We don’t know what the situation is like in Wakanda post-Endgame (and post Chadwick), but one thing is clear: they want Zemo to face justice. In the final moments of the show, Bucky comes face to face with Ayo of the Dora Milaje, who wants Zemo to be turned over to face Wakandan justice.
I don’t want to see Sam and Bucky to come to blows with Wakanda, and I want Zemo to face justice for his crimes. But I doubt that Ayo will be willing to hold off on getting Zemo until this is over. However, Wakanda may be willing to help the heroes with their investigation, and with their resources, it’s pretty much a done deal.
The bottom line is, this episode, while repetitive at times, added a lot to the MCU. It gave us our introduction to the rathole that is Madripoor, we saw more of the fallout from the Blip, and Zemo’s back in the game. This wasn’t my favorite episode of the series, but it leaves me eager to see where things will go.
I Give “Power Broker” a 3/5
- I loved seeing Sam drink alcohol mixed with snake guts.
- Sam’s sister calling him at the worst possible time is classic!
- Sharon Carter made her first appearance since Civil War
- ZEMO DANCE
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Zemo is a really good villain- and important, considering what he did. You’re right; if not for him pitting the Avengers against each other- they may have been able to stop Thanos and save the Universe. That said; Dr Strange said there was only 1 timeline in which they won. As such; the one with them together might have ended up with Tony’s vision in “Age Of Ultron.” Wow……I like how interwoven the MCU is with itself.
I like the idea that Zemo presented- the flawed nature of a Heroes. Despite what they may seem; they are not Gods- They’re human beings with limitations and flaws. To see them as such is setting yourself up for disappointment and crushing them under the weight of it all…….
Someone on the show has been watching “My Hero Academia,” haven’t they? Crushed under expectations is Bakugo’s thing, and the current manga stuff(you DID say you were a manga reader, right?) feels like the point Zemo was trying to make.