Maybe that’s my personal bias (and relative lack of Marvel knowledge) speaking, but becoming US Agent felt more like establishing a new antagonist to me? His new sponsor is shady af, at best I predict him becoming the kind of “hero” that the protagonists strongly disagree with.
Sure, but I’m talking more from an in-universe perspective. To us viewers, Contessa Valentina Allegra “Val” de Fontaine is obviously shady, probably neo-Hydra, and John Walker is being sold a convenient line about getting to be “the hero really needs” as “USAgent”, which he really wants to believe and so isn’t questioning… but in universe, John Walker, days after being “less than honourably” discharged from the US Army, and having all his stuff - including that Captain America kit - confiscated, and reduced to civilian status… is apparently allowed to turn up and help the “good guys” against the Flag Smashers, with barely a comment from either Sam or Bucky, and leave at the end without anyone asking any questions. . It’s not even a Sharon Carter pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes as Power Broker situation - he’s legit supposed to be persona-non-grata, the guy who messily killed a guy on foreign soil and still has anger management issues that he only just manages to control even when he’s “being redeemed”… and yet he mostly just gets a pass
This was one of my big issues with the finale: John Walker as Captain America violently murdered a dude in front of the entire world and we’re just letting him quip it up with Bucky? Meanwhile the not-explicitly-left-but-definitely-left-coded faction gets blown up just because they need something for rando Zemo to have done? I…had some problems with this one. Anthony Mackie is great and this wouldn’t have worked at all without him but I think WandaVision >>>>> F&WS
I feel like Falcon and Winter Soldier is three different three-hour film scripts cut down to make a six-hour TV show. None of them feel complete, but you can see elements of how each of them would be good.
There’s a film where Sam deals with Steve’s legacy, including the ones who get away like Batroc or whoever, the people he fucked over like Sharon, the way his image is continued by Walker. There’s a film that deals with the issues Isaiah Bradley brings up, with War Machine in a bigger role and with Karli having a more defined ideology and the Wakandans and Sam interacting. And there’s a buddy comedy where Sam, Bucky, and Zemo are getting into shenanigans keeping the Super Soldier serum from becoming a problem.
The series continued to be politically rancid to the very end. There’s a reason that John Walker gets to be a fun anti hero and the Flag Smashers get to die. Violent US imperialism is unsightly, sure, But that act is far more palatable and reasonable than left coded violence perpetuated by the flag smashers, and it really shows. Turns out libs much more amendable to fash than the left, hm funny that.
And that perfectly also dovetails with the also awfully done plot of Isaiah talking about race. Because Isaiah was never wrong about anything, no America wouldn’t accept a black captain America, to then have that whole plot wrapped up in a do better speech and a museum exhibit, man what a fucking west wing ass resolution. The fact that the show running explicity bring up America’s racist core explicitly so that the fucking Walt Disney Corp can yes but America’s systemic racism with “but we are making captain America black, Isaiah isn’t right” as customary paltry representation is a cure all. Absolute shit
Show sucks, deeply deeply sucks. It was also just boring. There was a good series in there, but it was never going to be made
This is also why I just can’t get over the fact that Zemo is a Nazi in the comics, and this show ends with ‘oh that Zemo, killing a bunch of anarchists, that wily son of a gun’. Like… I get he’s not a Nazi in the MCU, but at the end of the day, Disney took a Nazi and made him a sympathetic, comic relief guy who murders what’s left of the anarchist-in-the-comics movement. It’s honestly evil.
I’m a big ol’ softy. I cried. Despite all of my issues with the MCU, this trailer made me realize that it’s been part of what I like to do with my free time for so long that new MCU movies are bound up tightly with my definition of what “normal” looks like.
Sorry for the double-post; I just saw this on Twitter and it neatly encapsulated everything we’ve been talking about in this thread re: F&WS so I thought I’d share