DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode “Truth” is riddled with spoilers. You’ve been warned. Proceed at your own peril.
Welcome back, Marvel fans! We’ve reached penultimate episode territory with this week’s outing of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. “Truth” really catapulted the narrative forward and brought us one step closer to the endgame. Well, for this series, anyway. John Walker was finally indicted for committing that horrendous, cold-blooded murder in Latvia while sporting the Captain America shield. Sam finally took up that same shield and appears to be assuming the Cap mantle. Zemo was finally brought to justice courtesy of the Dora Milaje.
But one massive surprise, for me, was the appearance of Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, portrayed by the wonderful Julia Louis-Dreyfus. In the comics, “Val” takes on the persona of “Madame Hydra.” Let it be known that the Marvel Powers That Be are wholly adept at keeping casting secrets. Thankfully, Tom Holland didn’t spoil this one.
Ready to delve into “Truth”? Let’s get to it.
Now, we open with John Walker (Wyatt Russell) running from his recorded crime. He seeks shelter in an abandoned factory. We see that his mind is racing. Undoubtedly, Lemar’s killing coupled with the super-soldier serum coursing through his veins is contributing to his volatile downward spiral. Sam (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky (Sebastian Stan) find him hunched over in mental turmoil.
Next, the trio launch into one of my favorite fight sequences in Marvel history. Very much reminiscent of Cap, Tony and Bucky’s brawl in Captain America: Civil War. It’s so well done. Walker refuses to hand over the shield, but Sam and Bucky don’t want more innocent people to serve as collateral (or intentional) damage. Walker is finally incapacitated when our titular pair breaks his arm. Bucky hands the shield over to Sam. We see him attempt to wipe away the blood with teary eyes. God, what an emotional moment.
Later, Joaquin Torres (Danny Ramirez) arrives on the scene. He reveals that Walker has already been implicated for the murder from, you know, the rest of the world. The Higher Ups won’t take this lightly. Walker will be indicted. Bucky scampers off to fetch Zemo.
Torres notices that Sam’s wings have been utterly decimated from his fight against Walker. That bit featuring a white man, Walker, tearing off a Black man’s wings is haunting. Sam scoops up the shield but leaves the battered wings behind, citing that he doesn’t need them. Again, the symbolism is strong here. Marvel’s laying the groundwork for Sam to become the next Cap.
Meanwhile, Walker and his wife Olivia (Gabrielle Byndloss) arrive at the former’s governmental hearing. Walker will be stripped of his Cap title and sent off into military retirement bereft of his rank and benefits. It’s as if his time in the service never existed. However, the government is going easy on him. He won’t be court-martialed.
Walker loses it. He claims that they “made” him and he was only following their orders. They don’t realize how “bad” it is. Walker is ordered to return the shield with expedience. He storms out with Olivia in tow.
Then, a woman by the name of Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Louis-Dreyfus) approaches the couple. Olivia asserts that Walker’s next move is to visit Lemar’s family. Give them closure. Valentina or “Val” (but you can only call her that in your head) reveals that she has friends in high places. She knows he doesn’t have the shield.
Additionally, Val believes that the government’s not chastising him for killing that Flag-Smasher out of vengeance. Not to mention, the shield technically isn’t government property. Val urges him to respond when she calls him because she will call him. Vague foreshadowing at its finest, folks!
Meanwhile, Karli (Erin Kellyman), Dovich (Desmond Chiam) and their crew return to their headquarters to find it empty. The GRC has been rounding up refugees left and right. Karli, catalyzed by the death of her friend and empowered by the GRC’s latest move, believes it’s time for them to act.
Later, we see Zemo (Daniel Brühl) is in Sokovia. An ornate memorial looms before him. Bucky appears. Just when it looks like he’s going to shoot the baron, Bucky’s gun clicks. He procures a cache of bullets that would’ve been locked and loaded in his weapon. Ayo (Florence Kasumba) and the Dora Milaje escort Zemo away. He’ll spend the rest of his days imprisoned in The Raft. Bye-bye, Zemo! I’ll miss your dancing.
Next, Sam makes a pit stop in Baltimore. He pays Isaiah Bradley (Carl Lumbly) a visit. Sam has the shield stowed away in a shield-shaped bag. For some inexplicable reason, the sight of that bag made me chuckle. It’s the shape. Sam wants answers. What went wrong? Why was Isaiah imprisoned immediately upon return to America? Isaiah reveals that he was injected with an unknown substance. He was one of a handful of soldiers that received different serums. They weren’t given a clear answer as to what they were besides “tetanus.” Isaiah was the only one to survive.
Of course, the government withheld more secrets from him in the form of his wife. They kept all correspondence from her that was addressed to him. They told his wife that he was dead. Then, they proceeded to experiment extensively on him. One person took pity on Isaiah and set him free. However, he was subsequently jailed after that.
Now, Sam asserts that he can have Isaiah’s name cleared. Bring the man’s story to light and give him the respect he deserves. People should know what happened. But Isaiah wants to “stay dead.” The world isn’t ready for a Black Captain America. One of Isaiah’s quotes that really stood out to me was his remark about how “the Stars and Stripes never did anything for me.” The Falcon and the Winter Soldier doesn’t shy away from addressing racial inequality and the pervasive white supremacy that still exists today. It’s utterly refreshing. Lumbly’s performance here tugs at the heartstrings.
Next, Sam decides to head back to Louisiana. He tells his sister Sarah (Adepero Oduye) that he will fix their parents’ boat. He’ll save the business. Sam’s parents did so much for their community, so he’s going to call in a few favors. Thankfully, everyone shows up to help the Wilson family out. Even Bucky! In addition, Bucky brings Sam a mysterious metal briefcase courtesy of Wakanda. Oh, and he shamelessly flirts with Sarah, which doesn’t sit well with protective brother Sam.
Later, Walker visits Lemar’s family to provide them with closure. Lemar’s mother gifts him with a photo of the duo from back in the day. Walker lies and tells them that he slaughtered the person responsible for Lemar’s murder. He vows to assist them with whatever they need. Meanwhile, Sarah boots Sam and Bucky off the “Renovate the Boat” project. They have no idea what they’re doing. I love the little moments of camaraderie between Bucky and the Wilson family. It’s so touching.
Then, our titular duo has a much-needed heart-to-heart conversation. Bucky apologizes for giving Sam grief regarding the shield. He didn’t understand the gravity of a Black man taking up the Cap mantle, especially in today’s divisive and racist world. Sam gives Bucky some tough love. He urges Bucky to make amends from an unselfish place. Not to make himself feel better, but to make those he wronged feel better. I’m hoping this means we’ll see Bucky make amends with Yori Nakajima. Our pair appears to be closer than ever. Bucky leaves Sam to the latter’s training.
Meanwhile, Sharon (Emily VanCamp) makes a call to free a certain someone from an Algerian prison. Who could that be?
After a pep talk from Sarah, Sam truly embarks on his training with the shield. It’s a montage that puts Rocky to shame. He slowly learns how to toss the shield with ease. I’m loving this. It feels right. Meanwhile, Karli and Dovich are in NYC. They meet up with Sam’s old foe, Batroc (Georges St-Pierre). He wants revenge on Sam. Karli promises that and then some. We see her send a signal to a bevy of cell phones in the area. Everyone emerges and marches in a droll, almost entranced procession. It’s all part of her plan.
Now, the GRC is in NYC voting on The Patch Act. If this legislation passes, thousands of displaced refugees will be promptly sent to their home countries. Torres calls Sam and informs him that the Flag-Smashers have started sending these signals in NYC wherein the GRC headquarters is located. Sam has a sneaking suspicion as to what will happen next.
Then, we see the GRC meeting is underway. Some representatives of their respective countries appear to be conflicted regarding The Patch Act. Suddenly, one security guard mutters “One World, One People,” the Flag-Smasher mantra, to a fellow guard. The lights within the room turn red.
Meanwhile, Sam procures the Wakandan metal briefcase. We see him open it. Unfortunately, we don’t see its contents. No! A mid-credit scene reveals John Walker is hard at work creating his own version of the Cap shield. Bro, this looks like the knockoff, poor man’s version of that shield.
Holy guacamole, Batman (Sorry, wrong franchise)! The Falcon and the Winter Soldier delivered its best episode yet. While it wasn’t as heavy on the action as its predecessors, I think that “Truth” unveiled some, well, hard truths. Everything from the racial inequality commentary to morally gray areas, this episode rang with poignancy.
I loved seeing Bucky smile! His relationship with Sam is evolving. I think Sam needed to remind Bucky that Steve Rogers is gone. There was always a dead man standing in the way of their friendship, but I think this acknowledgment opened up the floodgates for more bromance bonding.
Not to mention, that brief moment wherein Sam’s nephew traced his finger over the star on the shield. That little grin that followed made my heart grow three sizes. Sam’s becoming Captain America. A Black man will take the shield and represent the United States. That’s significant. This scene was downright inspirational.
The contrast between Walker’s fevered declaration of “I am Captain America!” and Sam quietly holding the shield isn’t lost on me. Walker just spouts rhetoric while Sam walks the walk. I’m always impressed with the nuances this show displays, especially in this arena. We can see that Walker was never fit for the job. Sam, however, harbors those empathetic and honorable traits that Cap needs to have.
Now, that Sharon scene has me nervous. Did she break Batroc out of prison? Could she really be the Power Broker? The season finale is next week and I still have a million questions!
Do you think Sharon is connected to the Flag-Smashers in any way? Who is the Power Broker? What’s in the Wakandan briefcase? How will Walker retaliate against Karli Morgenthau? What will become of this Val/Walker team-up? Join me next week as I recap The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, here on Geek Girl Authority.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier streams new episodes every Friday on Disney Plus.
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