The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode 4 ” The Whole World is Watching” Review

Sam Wilson (Falcon) has the opportunity to reason with Karli Morgenthau, but the rash new Captain America John Walker destroys any chance of a peaceful resolution.

Spoilers Below

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode Four, ” The Whole World is Watching,” directed by Kari Skogland, demonstrates why John is the wrong person to take over Steve Roger’s shield. Bucky and Sam buck heads with John. John wants to take down the Flag Smashers with brute force. In comparison, Bucky and Sam want “peace talks” with Karli. ” The Whole World is Watching” ends with the new Captain America revealing his true colors in the Latvian streets.

John is not the perfect U.S. Army soldier that everybody paints him as. After finding the one super-soldier vial that Zemo didn’t smash, the new Captain America has a drink with his best friend, Lemar Hoskins (Battlestar). John asks hypothetically if had the super soldier serum should inject himself with it. Lemar points out that his friend is a company man who proved himself worthy of the shield by risking his life in Afghanistan, earning three Silver Stars. He argues that all the super-soldier serum does is elevate what’s already in you, which is precisely what Dr. Abraham Eriskne told Steve in Captain America: First Avenger. Though, of course, the scientist did not pick Steve because he was the perfect soldier. Eriskne selected him because of his heart and his self-sacrificing nature. However, John’s problem is not that he is the ideal soldier, but rather that his ethic are compromised. John argues with Lemar that their horrible actions in Afghanistan did not deserve a single Silver Star. What did the two new superheroes do that makes John think he doesn’t deserve the serum? Lemar punches back, saying that they could have saved many more lives with super strength. The new Captain America doesn’t listen to his conscience. John injects himself with the super-soldier serum just in time to kill a Flag-Smasher named Nico in front of the world. The blood on the Captain America shield represents cracks in the military’s symbol of hope.

The way that John treats the Wakanda women warriors in “The Whole World is Watching” further demonstrates that he is not the right person to carry the shield. When Ayo and other Dora Milaje warriors burst into Zemo’s apartment to arrest the terrorist, the new Captain America misreads the situation. John sees the United States as superior to Africa and any other country. The new Captain America thinks that he can take on these women warriors because U.S. Army training makes an ideal fighting machine. He condescendingly tells Ayo that she doesn’t have jurisdiction. Sam laughs. He points out that John would do better fighting a super-soldier.  Dora Mila has jurisdiction wherever they go. John puts a hand on Ayo’s shoulder to try to appease her. Wrong move. Ayo and the other Dora Milaje easily beat up John and Lemar. One of the warriors even steals John’s shield, proving that being a man with a gun doesn’t mean your automatically the best fighter in the room. Instead of realizing that he should treat others as equals, John feels sorry for himself because he couldn’t defeat ordinary women.

Karli is a “grey” supervillain, something that is unique in the MCU. While other villains in the MCU have reasons for their immoral missions, there’s never been a character who’s relatable like Karli. She and her community have been displaced from their homes. They live in these shelters to make room for those who were gone despite how much they helped rebuild society. During the five years of the blip, erased borders meant everybody got what they needed, and anybody who wanted to reconstruct these cities was welcomed. Now the world leaders and corporations want everything to return to how it was before. The original borders made them wealthy and powerful, but that wasn’t the case for impoverished people like Karli.

Zemo’s warnings that super soldiers are dangerous is warranted. Both Karli and John are examples of the negative consequences of the serum. Back in the apartment, Zemo asks Sam if he ever considered taking the super-soldier serum. The Falcon quickly answers no. Zemo is impressed. He tells Sam that Karli and the other Flag-Smashers are beyond help now. They have become like “gods among men”. Super-soldiers can’t be allowed to exist because they see themselves to be superior beings. Sam says the terrorist sounds like a god himself and asks about Bucky, who’s a Super Soldier. While Zemo should not be allowed to go around killing people, he has a point that other than present-day Bucky and Steve, almost all other Super Soldiers act like gods. They mercilessly kill people who get in their way. During World War Two, The Red Skull tried to invade the whole world. Even Nazi Germany, which funded his organization Hydra. John kills a man with his shield in the middle street as an act of blind revenge. Nico didn’t even kill Lemar; Karli did. The Captain America shield represents protection, not violence. The blood on the shield mares that symbol of hope that Captain America used to represent. Last episode, Karli and the rest of the Flag-Smashers blew up a building with people inside. She believes that she can choose who lives or dies because her cause is just. The super-soldier serum enhances whatever is inside you, but that doesn’t mean it’s always good. For Steve, the serum made him just more courageous and compassionate. For men like John, it makes them more egoistical and bloodthirsty.

” The Whole World is Watching” reminds us to keep an eye on people with immense power, like police, since the badge doesn’t automatically make them decent.

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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