Falcon And The Winter Soldier: Easter Eggs And Important Moments From Episode 2, 'The Star-Spangled Man'
Things heat up.
Falcon And The Winter Soldier's second episode quickly dives into the action, reuniting Sam and Bucky following the reveal of the new Captain America. Unfortunately, Bucky is not left with much time to voice his displeasure with the situation before he is drawn into Sam's conflict with the Flag-Smashers, which also sets the pair up for a confrontation with the new Cap, John Walker.
Here are some Easter Eggs and important moments from Falcon And The Winter Soldier Episode 2, 'The Star-Spangled Man'.
The New Captain America
After a brief glimpse at the end of episode 1, episode 2 opens with an official introduction to the new Captain America, John Walker, played by Wyatt Russel. A highly decorated soldier, Walker arrives at an interview to a new version of 'Star-Spangled Man', a song regularly used to introduce Steve Rogers at events in Captain America: The First Avenger. Walker claims to respect and be inspired by Steve's legacy.
This is very different from the comics version of the character. In the comics, John Walker first appears as a villain, Super Patriot. Working with his followers, the Bold Urban Commandos, or 'BUCkies', Walker believes he is a better representation of American values than Captain America, and challenges Steve Rogers to a fight in the hope of replacing him as America's symbol of patriotism. Later, after Steve resigns as Captain America, hoping to avoid having the symbol of Cap be tied to a political agenda, the Government chooses Walker as his replacement. Through his own missions as Captain America, Walker discovers the role is tougher than he ever expected, and willingly returns the mantle to Rogers, eventually taking the codename U.S Agent for himself.
While Falcon And The Winter Soldier's version of Walker seems to have begun with the best of intentions, Bucky and Sam's rejection of him may push the character into a more antagonistic role.
Along with the Captain America mantle, John Walker has also gained his own sidekick in friend and fellow soldier Lemar Hoskins. When in the field with Walker, Hoskins works under the codename Battlestar.
In the comics, Hoskins first appears as one of the BUCkies, hired by Walker as Super Patriot. Following his appointment as Captain America, Hoskins is the only BUCky he is allowed to keep in his employ, as the others fail to pass government background checks. Initially going by the codename 'Bucky' in honour of the originalof the original Captain America's sidekick (Bucky Barnes, who was believed dead at the time), he changes his codename to Battlestar after he is told that 'Bucky' holds racist connotations when used in reference to a black man.
Hoskins never held the same disdain for Captain America that Walker did, and notably sides with Steve's anti-registration movement during the 'Civil War' event.
The Flag-Smashers Are Super-Soldiers
Early in the episode, Bucky joins Sam on a mission to go after the Flag-Smashers. As mentioned in episode 1, the Flag-Smashers goal is to erase world borders.
"One world, one people."
During the mission, Bucky is led to believe the group has taken a hostage. However, this was a trap, and he ends up confronting the Flag-Smashers' leader, Karli Morgenthau. During the ensuing fight, it is revealed that the Flag-Smashers have gained super-soldier level strength. This means that someone, somewhere, has super-soldier serum lying around. Often, in the comics, versions of the serum other than the original lead to unpleasant side efeects, so the Flag-Smashers may eventually find themselves in trouble.
Also, one comic storyline has John Walker captured by a villain known as Flag-Smasher during his tenure as Cap. This doesn't bode well for Walker's current campaign against the Flag-Smashers in the series.
During the mission, Bucky is left embarrassed when, after being forced to jump from a plane without a parachute, Sam informs him that he has captured the whole embarrassing fall on tape via a camera feed from his drone, Redwing.
This scene is likely an Easter egg relating to the comics. In the comics, Redwing is a real falcon. Sam shares a telepathic connection to the bird, and often uses this connection to see through Redwing's eyes, similar to how he uses the drone Redwing's cameras in the MCU.
Sharon Carter was named an enemy of the State
Upset after their confrontation with Walker and Hoskins, Bucky tries to convince Sam that they should steal Steve's shield back and continue the mission on their own. Sam refuses, reminding him that after stealing the shield back for them during Civil War, Sharon Carter was named an enemy of the state, and the rest of team Cap were forced to go on the run for two years.
We already knew that Sharon, set to appear at some point during Falcon And The Winter Soldier, has been on the run since Civil War. Now, we know exactly why.
Later in the episode, in search of information on where the new serum may have come from, Bucky takes Sam to see Isaiah Bradley, a man whom he had once fought during his time as the Winter Soldier. Isaiah was injected with serum sometime after Steve, and after the war, was imprisoned and studied.
In the comics, after the original serum was lost, the U.S Army forced a group of African-American soldiers to test a new, more dangerous version of the serum. Isaiah Bradley was among the few test subjects to survive. After wearing a Captain America outfit to motivate his team on a mission, Isaiah is arrested for stealing the outfit, and imprisoned for nearly thirty years, until he was eventually pardoned by JFK.
Isaiah's inferior serum causes his mind and body to slowly break down, leaving him confined to a wheelchair, and a brain condition similar to Alzheimers. To honour Isaiah's sacrifices, his grandson, Eli, becomes the hero Patriot, a member of the Young Avengers. Eli is briefly seen in Falcon And The Winter Soldier, letting Sam and Bucky into Isaiah's home.
A visit to Zemo
After the visit to Isaiah fails to get them any information, Bucky comes to the conclusion that they have to visit Zemo. Sam is reluctant, until Bucky points out that Zemo's knowledge of Hydra, and the super-soldiers he killed in Civil War, mean he is the best lead they've got. However, the fact that Zemo's name appeared on Bucky's 'making amends' list in episode 1 hints that Bucky may have an ulterior motive.
The highly intelligent Zemo remains one of the few villains to have actually beaten the Avengers, and in Falcon And The Winter Soldier's trailers, he is seen outside prison, with a new comic accurate costume.
We'll have to wait until next week's episode to be certain, but it's safe to say that Sam and Bucky's visit to Zemo will probably not go well.