‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’: Who Wants to Be a Super-Soldier? (RECAP)

falcon and the winter soldier sam wilson bucky barnes
Spoiler Alert

[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Season 1 Episode 4, “The World is Watching.”]

While “The World Is Watching” is a slower episode for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, it does raise some important questions regarding super-soldiers in the MCU. When asked by Zemo, Sam (Anthony Mackie) says he wouldn’t take the serum that would make him one; Battlestar (Cle Bennett), Walker’s (Wyatt Russell) partner, says he would, but his reasoning is solid: If they’d had serum in Afghanistan, they could’ve saved a ton of lives.

Surprisingly, a main character winds up in a position to become a new super-soldier by the end of the episode, and given the turn things take for him, it’s pretty safe to say that serum will end up running through his veins. Here’s how it happens.

Tracking Down Karli

At the refugee camp, Sam, Bucky (Sebastian Stan), and Zemo (Daniel Bruhl) decide to stick around for Donya’s (Veronica Falcón) funeral so they can find Karli (Erin Kellyman), but because of Donya’s connection to the Flag-Smashers, none of the adults will talk about her. Zemo solves the problem by asking the kids, then telling them not to tell Sam or Bucky, which gives him leverage. Smart! The Wakandans are still around, too, although Bucky managed to talk Ayo (Florence Kasumba) out of killing Zemo immediately because he and Sam need him. (We also get a quick flashback of Ayo helping Bucky break free of his Winter Soldier mind-control, which gives us some tremendous acting from Stan).

Zemo learns the funeral is that afternoon, so the trio makes plans to be there and find Karli. That’s not all the information Zemo has, but it’s all he’s willing to say, so Sam gives Sharon (Emily VanCamp) a call to ask for her help — she may or may not “have access to a satellite or two.” She also tells him the Power Broker “went apeshit” when he heard about Nagel’s death, and that they “killed the golden goose.” So the Power Broker very well could be after them now, too…

Walker’s Big Discovery

And, unsurprisingly, they run into Walker and Hoskins (Battlestar) on the way to the funeral. Obviously, they’re not pleased Zemo was broken out of prison, but Walker’s done doing things anyone else’s way but his own. He wants to storm the funeral and take Karli by force, but Sam says he can go in and talk her down. Hoskins sides with Sam, and the decision is made: He’ll talk to her, and if he doesn’t make progress in 10 minutes, they “do things my way!” or so the new Cap shouts as he handcuffs Zemo to a pipe.

wyatt russell john walker falcon and the winter soldier

Sam talks to Karli alone, and they seem to make real progress. He gets her to realize that her actions have been extreme, and while she doesn’t consider herself a supremacist, others might. “I am not your enemy,” Sam says. “I agree with your fight. I just can’t get with the way you’re fighting it.” They seem on the verge of a breakthrough when Walker storms in and says Karli is under arrest. Angered and betrayed, she runs; Bucky pursues her.

While Bucky loses her, Zemo, who’s broken free, doesn’t. He chases her, and as he does, she loses all the vials of super-soldier serum in a pile. Zemo destroys them, but he misses one…which Walker pockets.

Mysterious Meetings

Zemo, Bucky, and Sam head back to the place they’ve been staying, and Walker pursues them, demanding they turn over Zemo. He’s not the only one — the Dora Milaje storm in and demand Zemo, too. For a while, Bucky and Sam just let Hoskins and Walker battle with them (obviously, they’re losing horribly), but they eventually step in, and Zemo, unnoticed by anyone, sneaks out.

Meanwhile, Karli gives Sarah (Adepero Oduye) a call and says she needs her to pass along coordinates to Sam, so they can meet again. Why Sarah? Karli needs Sam to know “she’s serious,” and she ends the conversation by threatening Sarah and her children. Sarah calls Sam, panicked, and he advises her to get somewhere safe. She passes along the directions, and Sam and Bucky head there.

A New Super-Soldier?

When they arrive, Karli makes them an offer: She wants them to join her. Just then, Sharon calls to let Sam know Walker is on the move — either the Flag-Smashers found him, or he found them. Walker, as usual, is having a tough time. The Flag-Smashers took Hoskins, and he’s determined to get his partner back. Sam and Bucky join him in fighting the group, but things take a dark turn when Karli inadvertently kills Hoskins by punching him into a stone column before taking off.

In a rage, Walker pursues a running Flag-Smasher and pins him down on the street, demanding to know where Karli is. The man cries, “It wasn’t me!”, meaning he wasn’t responsible for Hoskins’ death, but Walker’s past the point of listening. He uses Cap’s shield and brings it down on the man’s chest repeatedly, killing him as a crowd of civilians watches. So… he probably shouldn’t take the serum, which he still has in his pocket, that amplifies “what’s already there.” Right?

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