The Falcon and The Winter Soldier season 1, episode 2 recap – “The Star-Spangled Man”

March 26, 2021
M.N. Miller 0
Disney+, TV Recaps, Weekly TV


“The Star-Spangled Man” adds some much-needed buddy chemistry that was missing in the pilot episode.

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“The Star-Spangled Man” adds some much-needed buddy chemistry that was missing in the pilot episode.

This recap of Disney Plus’s The Falcon and The Winter Soldier season 1, episode 2, “The Star-Spangled Man”, contains spoilers.

Last week, we saw the new Captain America, or as we like to call him around the Ready Steady Cut offices, CA: Light (Wyatt Russell). Don’t get me wrong, I love Wyatt’s Dad Kurt and I’m hoping his son gets to do the shield proud and ride off into a Tequila Sunrise. He just doesn’t feel like the Captain we have come to know and love. He may have the skills to fight, but does he have the virtue that Thor saw in the original? The good people of Disney and Marvel give us a healthy dose of the new version, which leaves John Walker trying to prove himself just like the original legend did in Age of Ultron.

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier season 1, episode 2 recap: Captain America: Light

John Walker, like most great heroes, doesn’t know if he deserves to wear the shield of Captain America. He has all the training. He has all the skills. Oh, he’s also tall and looks the part, so that helps. “Everyone in the world expects me to be something… and I don’t want to fail them.” His friends tell him to just be himself, which seems like bad advice — or is it? If he is as morally heroic as the original, shouldn’t he? And if he is not, then he wasn’t worthy to carry the shield to begin with. Being “The Star-Spangled Man” is in the job description. He does an interview. He is honest, humble, and knows he has the guts to do the job.

Bosom Buddies

Sam/The Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky/The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) still can’t believe that the U.S. Government has resurrected a fallen hero (apparently they haven’t caught the inaugural episode of WandaVision). Their trademark bitter banter is back in heavy doses this episode, thank goodness. It was missed in the pilot. They argue that these Flag Smashers have to be aliens, androids, or wizards. You know, the big three. Bucky tells him that is crazy, he read Lord of the Rings, brand new back in 1937, and there is no such thing as a wizard. They hop on a plane based on Redwing’s intel, they these smashers, who are too strong and too fast to be your average criminal.

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier season 1, episode 2 recap: Munich

Bucky joins Sam over his objections. He jumps out of the plane without a parachute because, you know, Sam has wings. But Bucky doesn’t. He doesn’t need it anyway is what he says. He falls through some trees, with his titanium arm. They jump in the bad guy’s trucks because they are probably smuggling weapons, but they find out it’s a lot, I mean, A LOT, of vaccines. They think they found a hostage on board, a young girl played by Erin Kellyman, but she smiles wickedly and kicks Bucky out of the truck and into a windshield.

John Walker shows up with his right-hand man, Lemar Hoskins/Battlestar, and they more than hold his own. Poor Redwing was destroyed, and the boys get their asses handed to them. All four hitch a ride back into town and Walker makes a plea to Sam that he is, “Trying to be the best Captain America I can be and it will be a whole lot easier with Cap’s wingmen by my side.” Sam, smiles turns away and laughs. He says, “It’s always that last line.”

The Flag Smashers

The boys and girls who are trying to unify society are on the run and don’t want the same assholes in power before the blip kicked in. These super soldiers hop on a plane, escaping the government by one of them sacrificing themselves for the greater cause. They take off in a plane full of vaccines, to a destination unknown.

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier season 1, episode 2 recap: Old Friends

Sam calls upon an old friend who Bucky just happens to know from the Korean War. Isiah (Carl Lumbly of Alias fame) doesn’t like Bucky very much (I love the cliche of an old friend who hates their guts). He doesn’t like Bucky because they used to be old Hydra buddies. The difference is Bucky stayed “free” for decades while Isiah went to prison for 30 years for being a super-soldier. “You think you can wake up one day and decide to be someone different?”

Bucky is then arrested, but not before the Caucasian cops show up to tell Sam to stop bothering him. They apologize after realizing it’s just their favorite Falcon. But, they get a call. Bucky is detained for missing his weekly therapy session. That can mean only one thing! Amy Aquino is back as Bucky’s psychiatrist. She has an emergency one-on-on at the precinct. It’s a couples therapy session! In the episode’s best and most revealing scene, they have a good old-fashioned staring contest. Bucky wins and shortly after reveals why he is so mad at Sam. He gave up the shield that Steve so generously bestowed upon him. If Cap was wrong about Sam being the one to carry-on Captain America’s legacy, could his best friend be wrong about Bucky being worth saving?

Finally, with the Flag Smashers in the wind and no resolution in sight, Bucky suggests the only thing they can do to stop their evil (but is it really?) plan– they visit Zemo (Daniel Brühl) in a secret SWORD prison.

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