The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode 3 ” Power Broker” Review

Sam and Bucky go to a German Prison to meet Sokovian terrorist Baron Helmut Zemo about the super-soldier serum.

Spoilers Below

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode Three,” Power Broker,” directed by Kari Skogland, features Zemo taking Bucky and Sam to Madripoor to track down high-ranking criminal Shelby. “Power Broker” is heavily influenced by Captain America: Civil War. Especially with the introduction of Ex- Shield Agent Sharon Carter (Agent 13) and Zemo. Zemo is a former Colonel with the Sokovian Military who lost his family in the Age of Ultron. He tried to take down the Avengers by framing the Winter Soldier for the death of T’Chaka, leading Captain America to need to defend Bucky from the world. Sharon was branded a traitor after helping Steve (Captain America) and Sam keep Bucky out of jail by stealing their superhero equipment. She has been on the run ever since. Bucky and Sam are forced to reckon with their past.

Zemo and Bucky have a complicated relationship that may cause the former Winter Soldier to “relapse.” In earlier MCU canon, Zemo used old Hydra manuals to re-activate the “Winter Soldier program” within Bucky. He controlled Bucky through trigger phrases. Thankfully the Black Panther stopped him from killing the Avengers. He handed the terrorist to the German officials. Bucky visits Zemo alone in his prison cell because he knows they have a connection. Since the baron is obsessed with eradicating all traces of the super-soldier serum, he is their best lead in tracking Karli and the rest of the Flag-Smashers. Bucky will do anything to bring down his target. He blindly helps orchestrate Zemo’s escape. Bucky doesn’t tell Sam that he is about to spring one of the most dangerous terrorists in the world. When Bucky explains the plan to Falcon after the escape had already begun, he has no emotion making it clear that he has compartmentalized his feelings.

Zemo’s obsession with destroying the serum means he is well connected in the criminal world. During their joint mission to Madripoor, it’s clear that Bucky is still struggling with his time under Zemo’s control. Hydra’s brainwashing remnants are still embedded in his brain, along with all of his guilt. When Zemo looks through Captain America’s old notebook, he stumbles onto Bucky’s list of victims that he needs to atone to. When he asks about one of the names, Bucky almost strangles him to death. The Winter Solder says he will murder Zemo if he mentions the list ever again. But when they have to go undercover in Madripoor, Bucky has no trouble following all of Zemo’s commands and hurting gangsters at a bar. Zemo whispers to Sam that Bucky has no problem reconnecting with his “programming.” I hope The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will further explore Bucky’s P.T.S.D. since he struggles to form his new identity and leave the past behind. He is in danger of returning to a life of destruction without real help.

Sharon Carter is one of the untold casualties of Captain America: Civil War. While the government forgave Sam and Steve for keeping the Captain America shield away from them, Sharon was marked a traitor. As she voiced in this episode, the former Agent Carter did not have the Avengers’ protection. Sharon not having their protection is a little puzzling since Steve Rogers would do anything to honor Peggy’s memory. Agent 13 is her great-niece. Why didn’t Steve try to clear Sharon’s name, or why did the government unfairly punish one of their own? I mean, she did join the C.I.A. after S.H.I.E.L.D. fell.  But anyway, Sharon fled to Madripoor because it had no extradition treaty with the U.S. She has become an art thief and lives the high life in a penthouse apartment. Sharon is disillusioned with the superhero world, voicing to Sam how it’s all hypocrisy and they should stay out of the Flag-Smasher’s way. The Avengers forgot about the little guys like Sharon when they saved the day. There are probably many good former S.H.I.E.L.D. agents who were left out in the cold even though they knew nothing about Hydra’s infestation. All of her well-earned cynicism does not stop the former agent from standing up for her friends. Sam does promise to find a way to pardon Sharon if she helps them, but she seems to be in no rush to come home.

Anyway, Sharon saves them even before he makes that promise. Sharon tracks down Dr. Wilfred Nagel, who cracked the super-soldier -serum code. Nagel is protected by the big boss, the Power Broker. Karli and her friends stole the serum from Nagel, making them targets. Sharon even risks her life beating up the bounty hunters sent out after her friends killed Shelby. However, there seems to be something else going on. After the three men drive off, Sharon meets up with a Black woman in a fancy car who tells her there is a problem. Sharon tells her that they have several issues. Some of these problems must be Sam and Bucky.  Is Sharon still working for S.H.I.E.L.D. or the C.I.A.? Might she be undercover? Maybe even tracking the Flag-Smashers herself?

The episode ends with a major cliffhanger that brings Wakanda into this story. A member of the  Dora Milaje (Wakanda women warriors) tracks down Bucky. The Dora Milaje protects the king. She tells Bucky that she is there for Zemo, who killed their former king T’Chaka. Perhaps the Wakanda government wants him to face charges in their homeland or return Zemo to his prison cell. Bucky seems to recognize the warrior, which makes sense since he lived in the palace for years. The Dora Milaje fit perfectly in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier since the miniseries tackles systematic racism.

” Power Broker” introduces more intrigue into The Falcon and the Winter Soldier but does not seem to do anything new yet.

Post Author: Paloma Bennett

Paloma Bennett is a film and television reviewer based out of Los Angeles. As a member of the LGBTQ+ Community, a feminist, a voracious reader, and a super fan, she’s tapped into today’s mercurial identity-based culture. She brings this engaged understanding of contemporary culture to her film and television reviews. Her work can be found on Whedonopolis, Fandomopolis, Women at Warp, FanBolt, and her blog Decoding the Daemoverse. Paloma has also produced and co-hosted the monthly film podcast “Jump Start Cinema” sponsored by New Filmmakers Los Angeles. She holds a B.A. in Film and Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz and a Masters in Cinema Critical Studies from San Francisco State University. Paloma has a passion for everything pop culture, including TV shows, movies, comic books, and podcasts. The first significant fandom she was geeky about was Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She’s a proud member of the Star Trek LA Away Team.

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