Tag: Falcon and the Winter Soldier

The Whole World Is Watching

14th April 2021

By Gavriel

“The whole world is watching”. At least, that’s what the guy with the 14th Century plague mask said to me at the end of his bedtime story. I was wearing my Mickey Mouse pyjamas under my Superman covers so this did not scare me. Yet this, in part, is true. I do have a fairly large proportion of the world’s population reading my blog and I have no doubt my fanbase will only increase with this post. Feel free to comment below an apt name for my loyal fans (e.g. the Swifties for Taylor Swift, Firebreathers for Imagine Dragons).

Alas, I digress, the true reason for my title is not my enormous ego – for once – but the title of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 4. I have watched this episode multiple times so far. Why, I hear you ask? Because I have no life. And because of this, my hours spent watching a singular TV episode means that my lovely readers can digest all I have learnt in a matter of minutes; I know y’all have lives so this will help you carry on with them.

I had many takeaways, most ended up in my stomach, but the voice in my head demanded that I talk about the marvellous acting in the fourth episode. I did a one-week acting camp coming away with a distinction in drama many years back so I am hence qualified.

(For anyone who has not noted my excruciating sarcasm so far, get used to it)

For starters, Sebastian Stan is amazing in every single way. That’s it. That’s the blog. Nay, I shall carry on and mention Seb’s (we are on nickname terms) acting during the flashback to Wakanda. When Ayo speaks the activation code accompanied by the Winter Soldier theme, Bucky’s face goes from fear to anger to bewilderment to relief. When Ayo first says, “you are free”, Bucky looks up at her, tears in his eyes, to check if she really did just say that. Stan’s face in the picture below really epitomises his superhuman ability to express all these emotions at once.

Our introduction to Wyatt Russell’s John Walker comes with two people filming him in the background. Walker began the series clean-shaven but by episode 4 he has a bit of scruff. Personally, I think my brew of bum fluff and straggly ginger hairs amidst a swarm of poorly placed darker spikes looks better, but each to their own. Walker is clearly tilting over the edge (I mean who grows their beard like that?!) and Russell exemplifies this through various subtle tics throughout the episode. I too have subtle twitches and a better beard than Walker… the shield should really be mine. Subtle touches of his forehead throughout the episode indicate that he has a migraine or something else messing with his head. Additionally, when the girl whom Zemo bribed with Swedish Delight (which seems to be a common theme in popular culture yet is quite frankly disgusting) leads them to Karli, right before the cut to a different shot Walker’s head jerks down to the right. Even in the background, Russell displays excellent acting skills. Tom Holland, please take note.

By contrast, in the funeral scene, there are loads of child actors. Cue this child looking creepily into the camera lens:

Walker’s face after his defeat at the hands of the Dora Milaje really shows his distress, setting up his actions later in the episode. “They weren’t even super soldiers” was a perfectly delivered line to end the scene.

During his fight with the Flagsmashers Walker constantly twitches. After throwing his shield into the wall he involuntarily shrugs his shoulders. Walker watches over a dead Hoskins with a bit of blood trickling from his ear suggesting a concussion, another injury to the brain. And lastly, to finish the episode off, Walker’s now-iconic pose with the bloody shield in his hand has all the world watching. What is more discrete to the eye, however, is Walker’s twitching right hand. His inner demons are now in control.

If there is one thing to take away from this it is that I deserve a change.com petition to make me the new Captain America. I am a master blogger, a semi-athletic person with just below average facial hair. I also have the costume within arms reach of my bed already, right next to my hulk gloves (one has to be safe). I also have a lot of homework to do, but if I can find time to write a blog I’m sure I can find the time to travel in luxury and do battle of course. My Battle of Hastings re-enactment on the first Sunday of every month takes precedence though of course. Have a moderately good week and don’t talk to any people walking around with below-par facial hair. They might kill you with a shield.

Who is the beloved Baron Helmut Zemo?

7th April 2021

Warning: Spoilers

By Laird Gavriel

Baron Helmut Zemo, the new “Jimmy Woo” of the Falcon and the Winter Soldier series, is a character which for some reason not many know much about. Perhaps it was the distraction of Tom Holland and RDJ (there are others too) squaring off with Team Cap during Captain America: Civil War, but now the character is getting the recognition he deserves. Having masterminded the collapse of the Avengers, Zemo was held up in jail until Bucky orchestrated his escape pulling Zemo to the centre of our screens.

Zemo and I share one thing in common – two if you include the massive fanbase – and that is our aristocratic titles. Yes, I am a Laird. No, I am not Scottish. I also decline to admit that I spent £50 buying my title off of the internet. Zemo was born into an aristocratic family in Sokovia from which he inherited his title. Their death following the events of Age of Ultron – another Marvel movie people seem to forget – motivated his vengeance against the Avengers. His private jet and glorious collection of cars echoes his undeniable affluence though it is a shame that the Red Skull Car did not make an appearance.

At the start of the episode, Bucky asks Zemo what book he is reading. The answer? Machiavelli: author of The Prince and the father of manipulative and deceptive political ideology who popularised the idea of “the ends justify the means”. Zemo uses this to justify framing Bucky for the murder of King T’Chaka and the ensuing events of Civil War. Zemo is an expert on Hydra and the Super Soldier Programme, having destroyed the latter during Civil War, so his importance is recognised by Bucky. Who better to help fight Freedom Fighter Super Soldiers than a manipulative villain with a hatred for all things Avengers? 

Zemo is the former leader of Sokovian secret military elite unit EKO Scorpion. This military background is the source of his expert conniving and fighting skills. He acquired knowledge about Hydra from Vasily Karpov at the beginning of Civil War. Want anything done? Try robbery and torture. The acquisition of the Winter Soldier Book gave him control over Bucky, and after framing him for murder, Zemo gained access to the Winter Soldier by posing as psychiatrist Theo Broussard. After Zemo spoke the command words, Barnes broke out and gave Zemo information about the deaths of Howard and Maria Stark.

During the ensuing conflict over Bucky and the Sokovia Accords between the Avengers, Zemo travelled to Siberia to the base of the Winter Soldier Programme. He allowed a maid in Berlin to find the real Broussard’s corpse, allowing the Avengers to learn his identity and follow him to Siberia. Zemo killed the Super Soldiers in Siberia whilst waiting in a bunker for Iron Man, Cap and Bucky. Upon their arrival, protected by his bunker, Zemo revealed the dead soldiers and the video of Bucky killing Tony’s parents.

Zemo was then arrested by T’Challa before he could commit suicide and incarcerated. Everett Ross asked: “so, how does it feel? To spend all that time, all that effort and to see it fail so spectacularly?”. Zemo’s response: “Did it?”

This leaves us with a Zemo motivated by the destruction of the Super Solider and (maybe) willing to help Sam and Bucky. His dance moves bedazzled us all but are those enough? What is his new “ends” and how will he change the MCU? The book he reads is actually about the friendship between Machiavelli and Leonardo Da Vinci – is there a chance that Zemo has a hidden Da Vinci? Arnim Zola is a definite possibility given the insofar digital nature of The Powerbroker. Perhaps Zemo could orchestrate a Zola cameo. Zola’s obsession with the Super Soldier Serum and the perfect human form echoes Da Vinci definitely sets him up for an appearance in the series.

PS: If you want to buy yourself a title and be cool like me follow this link – https://www.highlandtitles.com

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