The third episode of “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” is an adrenaline-filled thriller that provides some relief from the thematically heavy pair of debut episodes.
Sam Wilson (played by Anthony Mackie) along with Bucky Barnes (played by Sebastian Stan) go to ask Helmut Zemo (played by Daniel Bruhl) a few questions regarding the super-soldier serum that the Flag Smashers are using, but also want him to join their effort.
For a quick refresher: Zemo was last seen in “Captain America: Civil War,” where he divided the Avengers by framing Barnes for a terrorist attack. And since then he’s been serving time in a max-security prison.
His family was also killed back in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” from the Avenger’s actions. So, it is quite ironic that Wilson and Barnes are now coming to Zemo for his help.
Despite this hatred, Zemo agrees to help by introducing them to a criminal friend of his because he wants to rid the world of these super-soldiers.
Wilson and Barnes later bust Zemo out of prison and make their way to a criminal hideout.
And this fragile alliance makes this episode especially intense. Sure Zemo might share a common goal with Wilson and Barnes at the moment, but the two of them are still superheroes and there is always the possibility that he might double-cross them at any moment.
Now things take a downward turn when they reach a fictional tiny independent island in Indonesia named, Madrepore. The trio goes undercover in a criminal hideout in the neon-lit city Madripoor with Wilson disguised as a crime lord, Barnes acts as if HYDRA’s brainwashing is still active and Zemo plays the part of Branes handler.
They eventually meet Zemo’s contact and figure out who is making the serums however, things get out of hand when their cover is blown.
Soon every bounty hunter in Madrepore is after the trio and what makes this scene extra exhilarating is the fact that none of them have any of their superhero tech on hand and they’re forced to fight their way out of this mess without its help.
The ex-SHIELD agent Sharon Carter (played by Emily Vancamp), however, who was last seen five years ago in “Civil War,” helps the trio get away from the bounty hunters.
Carter is currently branded an enemy of the U.S. for when she helped Steven Rogers (played by Chris Evans) and Sam Wilson steal their equipment in his fight to prove Barnes’ innocence.
Since fleeing the U.S. Carter has been living a lavish life in Madrepore as a dealer handling priceless stolen art.
Upon their meeting, Wilson offers her a pardon in exchange for her help in finding the serum manufacturer which she accepts.
And something to be noted is Sharon Carter truly shines in her return to the MCU in “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.” Especially in one scene where she’s confronted with six enemies at once. Carter skillfully isolates them to take them out one-by-one. She didn’t do much in the movies, so this change for her is refreshing.
Now while Wilson’s party basks in the spotlight this week there’s still time to check in with the rest of the cast.
John Walker (played by Wyatt Russell) is in hot pursuit of the Flag Smashers, but he’s not exactly going about it legally. We see him conduct an authoritarian-style raid on a business in Munich and he later physically assaults a civilian for intel.
Coming up short, he decides to side-step the law and take his mission off the books and claims that it doesn’t matter how he completes his mission, only that he does.
And Walker’s actions along with Wilson’s mirrors Roger’s back in “Civil War.”
In “Civil War,” Rogers broke the law to uncover a conspiracy, and in this series, both are doing the same to stop the Flag Smashers.
However, their ways of going about doing so differ. Wilson wants to figure out the underlying cause of this super soldier secret meanwhile Walker simply wants to destroy them.
Now despite the Flag-Smasher being an underlying reason for conflict in this episode they are the calmest part of this action-packed episode.
Fans are given more insight into its leader Karli’s (played by Erin Kellyman) motivations for forming the group. You get to see her be vulnerable and get an insight into her mind. Karli discusses her hopes and dreams before the Blip as well as about making the world the best it can be for the future generation.
Through this episode, it’s made clear that she’s not in this fight for herself, but for the sake of others. However, much of this character development is undone by the episode’s big twist.
The group raids a government supply surplus for food to give to people negatively impacted by the Blip. Seems noble enough so far, right?
Things take an absurd twist though when Karli detonates a bomb that ends up killing dozens of people trapped inside the building.
This type, of action, is way out of character for the Flag Smashers
If you look back at ep.1 they didn’t kill anyone during the bank robbery. So, another member Dovich (played by Desmond Chiam) reprimands Karli following the explosion, but she just shrugs it off when questioned.
And this sudden switch in demeanor from freedom fighter to mass murderer happens too fast for it to be believable which blows up what is otherwise a well-written character.
Overall despite its villains’ misstep, this week’s episode “Power Broker” is still an action-packed fun time. It ties back to “Civil War” in some neat ways, gives Sharon Carter a long-overdue spotlight, forces our heroes to be creative and has to be the best-looking episode of the series thus far.
Click Here to watch “the Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” on Disney+.