I'm mad, y'all. sincerely. There is only one episode left and I am fucking LIVING for this show. Jeez Marie. This show is like my reward for making it through the hard week at work. Friday's ep was so very worth it, though. So very.
As always, opinions are mine, spoilers abound. You know where the door is if that's not your jam. And be warned, we have a SHIT TON of things to talk about this week.
And so we begin.
"You don't wanna do this."
"Yeah, we do."
Truer words have never been spoken. Bucky's been waiting to beat John's ass since the initial press conference. One thing I found interesting, though, was the way Walker fought. Like once he'd discovered the shield could be a weapon, that was all he was using it for. He's obsessed with the shield, the title, all of it.
John had am honest-to-the-goddess Gollum moment. We're talking goddamn 'My Precious' on steroids. Bucky was gonna kill him, like straight up dent the floor with his ass a la Hulk and Loki in the original Avengers movie. The way he was holding Walker's legs, that man was getting ready to get beat like a dusty rug on a line in the sun. Shit was serious. Bless Sam for keeping him from it, but whew.
That fight was fucking crazy. So damn tense the whole time. Even though I knew that Sam would end up with the shield, it was still harrowing. Bucky's arm getting electrified was just upsetting as shit, but my real issue came from John doing the whole 'abusive spouse' thing. "Why are you making me do this?" Shit sent chills straight up my spine. There's a whole lot wrong with that boy, and it doesn't start, or stop, at his homicidal tendencies.
Sam cleaning the blood from the shield was a pitch-perfect visual.
And I'm kinda shitty because I actually feel bad for the asshole. His whole 'I did what you told me, what you trained me to do,' speech in front of Congress was straight up the rest of his cry for help. PTSD writ large.
As if that wasn't bad enough, he lied to Lemar's parents about who killed him, and is now eyeball deep in some kind of psychosis-fueled cosplay. We leave him assembling a new shield out of some sort of metal and welding his Medals of Honor to it as well. I can only see that ending badly.
Countessa Valentina whatsherfuck just rolling through was interesting and straight outta left field. I love JLD and I'm curious to see where all this goes. Is she the Power Broker? Is she his/her emissary? Who knows, all I know is I could smell the brimstone in her wake from my living room and that is some hellified juju.
Bucky and Zemo's confrontation at the monument was fucking tense. The blink when Bucky thumbs off the safety, minute as it was, was the movement of a man at peace with his choices. Zemo knows exactly why Bucky is there and is prepared to meet his fate. The smirk on Bucky's face when he pulls the trigger is unnerving but a fitting peaceful ending. Turning him over to Ayo seemed to bring him back in her good graces though, since she referred to him as White Wolf again. Sad that he can't go home to Wakanda, but at least bad blood is resolved between them.
Sam and Isaiah... whew... my heart. they kept her letters, she died while he was in jail... It's heartbreaking, rage-inducing. I just want to break shit. You know, they really glossed over the story earlier in the series, hit the high points, but hearing the details made it that much more wrenching. I cannot fault him for his rage and his bone-deep sadness. He lost his wife, and for all intents and purposes his life, behind bars.
One facet that sticks out to me is how John Walker is treated after committing a war crime, on camera, in front of god and everybody, and he gets to walk out of his hearing while not under arrest, and Isaiah saved the lives of his men, only to be imprisoned and tortured for 30 years.
Sam's absolutely right, his story deserves to be told, but at the same time, Isaiah deserves to have peace. It's the fucking very LEAST he deserves, actually.
I love the juxtaposition of the Isaiah's situation and Sam's situation with his sister. He's an amazing uncle and brother and I love that we're getting to see a much closer view of this side of him. I love him rallying the folks to help fix the boat. He's just that kind of man.
Bucky lifting the engine off the flatbed about ended me. I was not prepared for my ovaries to faint. They revived only long enough to faint again when he was being all flirty with Sarah. Seeing him smile, like legitimately smile, not grimace or just attempt to smile, was gorgeous and perfect. He deserves to be happy. I hope this ends with him realizing that too.
The look on Sam's face when Bucky and Sarah were all grinning was, "Sir. Do not." And it was perfect.
I love the scenes at the Wilson family home so damn much. He and Bucky messing around with the water pump on the boat, playing 'catch' with the shield as it ricochets off the trees... all of their interactions were so wonderful.
And can we talk for a minute about Bucky sleeping on the couch? With a pillow? He's the walking personification of this meme.
My heart broke with Bucky's apology to Sam. He gets it. He truly appreciates and understands Sam's point of view and doesn't try to minimize what he did or didn't do in relation to it.
His explanation about the shield being the last bit of family he has besides Steve's book sends me into Endgame rage again. You can go back and check out previous posts in the tag where I outline my beefs with the characterization of Steve in EG, but know I'm shitty and let's keep moving.
The TRULY IMPORTANT thing about the scene in the back yard of the Wilson house was Sam blanketing the earth in truth-bombs where Buck is concerned. "It doesn't matter what Steve thought."
"You gotta stop looking to other people to tell you who you are." So much of Bucky's life since Azzano has been chasing after Steve and his legacy. It's like he needed to hear the permission to go out and be his own person now.
And it seems to be what he needed, since he readily copped to having nightmares when Sam asking him (a stark difference between the initial therapy session we find him in, in Ep 1). And Sam's take on him having nightmares is a stark departure from his 'therapist's approach. Her demand of 'making amends' was really just further victimizing him and keeping him locked in his trauma and guilt instead of providing him a concrete way to move forward.
"You weren't amending, you were avenging." That was a truth that was clearly what Buck's soul needed to hear. Closure isn't an island, and isn't just something he needs. I love that Sam is able to turn his desire to heal and to release the guilt weighing on his soul to something constructive. He did more in that ten minute conversation than the therapist did however many months they'd been getting together.
And then Sam's training montage broke me all the way down to the frame. Good. Gaaaaawd. Anthony Mackie wrecks me. He's such an incredible actor, it's easy to overlook the pretty sometimes, but then there are moments, like that whole running/flipping/flinging the shield while shirtless and/or sweaty and alas... I am fucking WEAK.
Speaking of weak, Bucky's walk on the dock at dawn came for my very soul. Needless to say, I gave it up willingly. I'm a hoe for the murder-strut, even if he's not hunting Captain America.
Did Sharon call in a hit on Sam? That was Batroc on the phone, and him showing up in NYC for the GRC conference vote strapped and loaded for bear is no coincidence. The thing is, Karli's reasoning makes sense. These displaced people are little more than pawns or cattle to the GRC, maybe even less consequential than that. I would be up in arms, too.
Plus, the GRC conversation is being led by the same asshat senator who assured Sam he was doing the right thing, handed the shield off and paraded John Walker about like a show pony, only to publicly castigate him when that power play failed so spectacularly. Fuck that senator guy and I hope he dies both last and slowly.
"The right people will go along with this. They always do." Which right people are those?
"The optics are what we show them." That is some straight up Faux Noise bullshit right there. Bloviating asshole talking over women of color and trying to ram his agenda through is a lot closer to home than I really appreciate but I love the realism it brings to the story.
Now that I think about it, Senator Asshole has been manipulating all the pieces for some time now. You can't tell me he didn't know about Walker's PTSD and how him becoming Cap would ultimately end. 'The optics are what we show them' is exactly how we end up with a blond-haired, blue-eyed wunderkind and his Black sidekick. And Walker's PTSD works in the Senator's favor, because it tarnishes America's overseas rep, making it easier to lobby for full-on repatriation of the displaced, for reasons that are still unclear at this point. I think I could make a case for him being the Power Broker.
If Valentina were his emissary, that would explain how she knows about Walker and the serum as well as the legal grey area of the shield's ownership.
It doesn't explain Sharon's involvement yet, but I'm sure we'll get to that.
One thing I noted was Sam leaving the wings in Joaquin's custody. I really hope this is setting the kid up to be the new Falcon? Of course, that's not without its pitfalls. When Batroc said he's not in NYC to join Karli's movement, solely to kill the Falcon, I'm now worried for Sam's battle buddy.
All the pieces are in place for the final act of TFATWS and I am fucking LIVING for it!! I can't wait to see Sam's new suit! I can't wait to see how the Power Broker (who I bet money is financing this push to relocate the refugees) fits into all this. Next week I am going to be on fire and am half-tempted to watch it at 3AM EST when it premieres. Make me sad that I have a grown up day job, but it's a nice thought.
And that is it for me this week. Join me next week as I have my cosmic meltdown over the finale. You can join me on twitter at 8PM Eastern and I'd love to talk about it. So until then, peeps, be easy.