Hey y'all! We made it to the final episode and I have to say, for the most part, it did not disappoint. I think this probably could have been stretched out for one more episode because it did feel a tad rushed, but still, in terms of complete endings, this definitely worked hard to get there.
So, first up for me has to be the new suit. Sam's new Cap suit is fucking comic book perfection. I mean, holy shit, I was impressed. Yeah, the ear bits are weird but they're weird in the comic too. Sam Wilson as Captain America looked damn good. And he handled the shield so fucking well.
From the first moment he launched that badboy through the window and flew in after it, it was flippin perfect. All that practice definitely paid off. In fact, his practicing with the shield made his fight with Batroc that much cooler. I kinda loved when he kicked it into his face, not gonna lie. And then tossed it out a different window and dove out after it to leave the fight? Sheeeee... at this point he's just showing off.
And Sam's not the only one showing off. I loved seeing Bucky on the ground, suited up, being treated respectfully. The cop addressed him as 'Sergeant Barnes' and that was fucking everything to me. John Walker would never (oh y'all, we will get there in a minute, because I have **things** to say about that man).
Even Sharon made an appearance, called as backup by Sam. I loved her using the digital face mask thing. Very cool, not-so-subtle callback to CA:TWS, and I'm good with it. And in a reveal which is a surprise to no one, she's actually the Power Broker.
Go with me on this. I didn't think it was her because fucking hell, they made it obvious right out of the gate. I mean, it seemed like it was too easy a mark to take at face value. Though, there is a lot to be said for her using her gender as cover. No one's looking for the Power Broker to be a woman, certainly not one who looks like her. I wonder though... has she always been the Power Broker? For some reason, I'm pretty sure the timelines don't line up from when Zemo said he knew of them and her actually being the PB. That led me to a thought:
What if being the PB is like being the Dread Pirate Roberts? The name is the important thing, the branding. So long as you're maintaining the branding as a ruthless, cunning, vicious killer, no one's going to look too hard at you and you could make a pile of money before handing the title off to your successor ("You reminded me of me," she said to Karli about when she'd first turned up in Madripoor, and now I'm wondering if she was grooming the Flag Smasher) and sailing off into the sunset.
Additional questions with regards to Sharon: what was she going to do with the serum? Had she already taken it? I mean, she seemed to shake off that gut-shot pretty ably, so now I'm wondering. And what in the fuck was Batroc thinking trying to blackmail her? You can take the girl outta Madripoor, but you cannot take the Madripoor outta the girl.
And yeah, Sharon killed Karli right before she could shoot Sam, but it was as much about protecting him as it was protecting her secret. There's no way Karli was walking out of there alive. Killing her was something Sharon promised the first episode in, and you don't get to be a ruthless leader of a lawless country by breaking those types of promises.
Karli was disappointing. I mean, she fell into the classic villain trope of 'die a hero or live long enough to become a villain'. For all her 'one world, one people' exhortations, she was really fucking quick to talk about how she only wanted to kill people who mattered and Lemar's death wasn't on that list. I mean, I don't know that wasn't expected to trigger the already twitchy John Walker.
Where to start with Walker. Might wanna pack a lunch, I could be here a minute. Okay, so I'm gonna start off by saying that he suffered no fucking repercussions for his war crime. He just straight up merc'd someone in broad daylight and they just said, hey, you're not Cap anymore and you're not getting your benefits. I'm still fucking galled by that. Then there's the part where he lied to Lemar's parents. We don't learn why, or what would come of that, or anything. That he would confront Karli was a given. As was getting his ass handed to him.
That boy needs to beef up his damn fighting style. Laying down and taking a whooping is not a winning strategy.
All that fucking up and he gets a damn redemption arc? I mean, it's tepid at best, super rushed and what have you, but still. Him trying to save that truck was objectively the right thing to do. Of course, by the end, he gets a new suit, a new designation, not a lick of therapy, and literally no consequences for his previous actions, but hey, I guess them's the breaks. (cue my unimpressed face here.)
I would like to point out that Bucky and Walker's stilted and janky-ass banter was not natural and should not be repeated. Because, as always, FUCK THAT GUY.
Sam saving the folks in the truck with the shield and his two Redwings was fucking boss. I have to say, Sam's aerial stunts and fights were just perfect. He's so fucking brave and more needs to be said about that. The helicopter bit alone was both a callback to the first episode and ridiculously cool as well.
His fight with Karli was one big 'Winter Soldier' callback. "I'm not gonna fight you" is what he tells her when she's trying to kill him. Even to the end he was trying to reason with her and get through to her. Him lowering her down to the ground had him looking like a literal angel and giving me crazy 'Pieta' vibes.
Now we get to the part that was clunky, moderately problematic, but done well because Anthony Mackie is a fucking beast. After he landed, he took those senators and GRC members to church in a substantive way. I really wanted to senator to catch some hands and I completely expected him to demand the shield back from Sam because that's the kind of fuckstick this dude is. Anyway.
This was a 'come down off the cross, we need the wood' moment that Steve was known for. He could do a speech, y'all and he was a helluva motivational speaker. Still, this felt like a massive info dump and overly expository, but also completely necessary given the way certain segments of the fandom were clinging to their delusions regarding the overarching theme of the fucking show. Good. Lord. Take. The. Hint. Already. That said, in someone's hands who was not Anthony Mackie, I would have turned it off. Mackie makes Sam watchable and I'm here for it. Plus the shit needed to be said, so there's that,too. As a bonus, We got this:
So of course the world was watching the debut of the new Cap, and two of those watching were the Bradleys, Isaiah and Elijah. Goddamn, I love Sam. He honored Isaiah and did so publically and in a way that makes it impossible for anyone to hurt him to keep the truth from coming out. What's done in the dark has been brought to the light and that's awesome. Of course, the government should do the same things for Isaiah as it did for Steve (pardon, backpay, restoration of rank, what have you). that's just right and proper, considering the level of malevolence involved.
Then we have the rest of Karli's crew. Bucky and Walker managed to snatch up the remaining Flag Smashers without incident. They were arrested, cuffed with what I assume to be adamantium, and loaded onto a prisoner transport to be taken to the Raft. You know, the place where Zemo lives now?
Imagine my surprise to see that badboy blow sky high and then the camera pans back to reveal Baron Zemo's faithful butler watching with a smile on his face. I mean, damn. And not to put too fine a point on it, Zemo, upon hearing on the radio about the explosion and their deaths, climbs back into his prison cot grinning. I mean, really.
Question one: can you imagine the Flag Smashers and Zemo housed together? I mean, that's a recipe for disaster.
Question two: how in the fuck did Val know about Zemo's involvement in the bombing?
Bucky's arc was more of a ring. He finally confessed to Yori the role he had in his son's death, it was one of the parts that could have definitely been longer and with a bit more depth. Just because we've been waiting for a minute for this.
Additionally, he left a gift back for his garbage therapist with the little book that had been Steve's with all the names crossed out. he's made amends his own way and fuck do I like the idea of that. He's his own person now and that's glorious.
The last bit before the credits was uplifting as hell. Low country boil, hanging out with the folks who live and work around the Wilsons' boat. Bucky bringing an oreo cake to the cookout and playing with the kids while chatting up Sarah. I mean, that shit is soul-restoring.
And, last, but not least, Sam came through for Sharon and got her a full pardon and reinstated to SHIELD/SWORD/CIA, whatever the fuck clandestine service she was working for and now she's going to use that to fund more of her shit in Madripoor.
And, for the record, she's back on my shitlist. I hope it was a nice vacation for her.
As rushed as it felt in places, Marvel managed to pull off a feat where everyone won. Karli's goal was realized, even though she died, Sam became Cap, Walker became relevant, Bucky got healed, Sharon got both pardoned &moved up in the criminal world, and Sarah kept the boat. I mean, that's pretty damn impressive.
I'm gonna watch it again tomorrow when the hubby gets home from his business trip, and if I see anything else I'll be back with more thoughts. Plus!!! We got the announcement that they're already working on writing Captain America 4, which means Sam and Bucky will be back, and I'm beyond excited. Alright, that's it for me. Hope the rest of your weekend is amazing. Be Easy.