Sam (Anthony Mackie) puts on a suit then places the Captain America shield in a bag. We hear the last conversation he had with Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) in Avengers: Endgame. On a flight, Sam is given orders for a mission but must be subtle once he has contact with Torres (Danny Ramirez) on the ground. His mission is a plane that has been hijacked by French-speaking men. Inside the military plane, they have a hostage. Sam resorts to plan B, which includes his toy Redwing, which assists him to open a plane door, allowing Sam to fly in and engage in a fight with the hijackers. The men paraglide out with their hostage, Colonel Vasant (Miles Brew). Sam’s wings are bulletproof, so that is helpful. While in pursuit, a couple of helicopters shoot at Sam.
Redwing is about to be my new favorite toy. The hijackers are close to the Libyan border/airspace and are certain that Sam won’t be able to cross over. Torres and his crew on ground watch as Sam is outnumbered, then inform him that they need to fall back and find another way. However, Sam reroutes the missiles and is able to get Captain Vasant safely. Torres cheers him on.
In Tunisia, Torres and Sam enjoy food and drinks as Sam attempts to fix Redwing. Torres informs Sam about a group of people called The Flag Smashers who think that the blimp was a good way to live; a life without borders. Sam asks Torres to keep him updated on them. Torres brings up Steve Rogers’ conspiracy theories that include him being on a secret base on the moon. While in Washington DC, Sam gives a speech at the Smithsonian about Steve Rogers’ legacy and the new heroes needed. He also gives the shield to the museum, thanking Steve for it. Rhodey (Don Cheadle), present during the speech, asks Sam to walk and talk with him after. Rhodey asks Sam why he didn’t take up the mantle. Sam states that he feels it still belongs to Steve. Very heavy-handed considering they are walking through Captain America’s section of the museum. Rhodey tells him right now they need a hero, months after people returned from the blip, things are not the same. He promises to keep in touch with Sam.
Bucky (Sebastian Stan) turns up at the hotel in full Winter Soldier gear, killing a few men in suits then says, “Hail Hydra” before killing a man who witnessed it all. He wakes up from the gunshot. In therapy with Dr. Raynor (Amy Aquino), he is questioned if he is still having nightmares, which Bucky denies. Dr. Raynor points out that the therapy is a part of the pardon and the government needs to know if he will ever snap and kill people again. Eventually, Bucky informs her that he crossed off one of the names on his list of amends, that are within the three rules he was given. Senator Atwood (Rebecca Lines) was a Hydra pawn who is still abusing her power after HYDRA disbanded.
Bucky placed a bug on her car so he could listen in. Rule number one: Bucky can’t do anything illegal, rule two: no one can get hurt, and rule three: say “I am no longer the Winter Soldier, I am James Bucky Barnes and you are a part of my efforts to make amends” then smile. While Bucky did all of these things to an extent, he also broke the rules. However, Senator Atwood was apprehended by the proper authorities without a scratch on her. His fake smile is scary. Bucky still denies that he has any nightmares. Dr. Raynor points out that he needs to trust people, which he states that he does, but she points out that he doesn’t have ten contacts on his phone, ignores messages from Sam, and has only contacted her in the past week. Bucky points out that for 90 years he has gone from one fight to another and the only calm he has ever had was while he was in Wakanda, so this is new to him. Dr. Raynor asks him what he wants now that he is no longer fighting but doesn’t believe that peace is what he wants then tells him that he is free. Bucky questions what he is free to do.
While walking the streets of Brooklyn, Bucky finds Mr. Yori Nakajima chastising a neighbor about putting their trash in his trash. Bucky stops Yori from fighting further. The two men enjoy lunch together when Yori sets Bucky up on a date with a waitress for the next night. Yori has a moment while looking at mochi, informing Bucky that his son was killed abroad but the police told him he was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Yori never thought that was the truth. The look on Bucky’s face tells me he got something in mind.
Down in Delacroix, Louisiana, Sam visits his nephews and sister, Sarah (Adepero Oduye). The two argue about selling a boat that the two grew up on. Sarah wants to sell the boat and business and refuses to have Sam help in any way or financial way but gives in when Sam persuades her into allowing him to set up a meeting with the banks so she can get better loan deals. Bucky arrives with flowers for his date then sits down as she finishes up cleaning up the restaurant. He admits to trying online dating and being 106 which she can’t believe. The two talk, drink, as they play a game of battleship. When she mentions Yori and how the worst thing that could happen is someone losing their child. At this statement, Bucky leaves his date then shows up at Mr. Yori’s door. Instead of saying what is on his mind, he gives Yori money for lunch then later looks at his amends list. Nakajima happens to be a name on the list. That must be a struggle.
Sam and his sister pack up food for a meeting at the bank as he informs her all that he has in mind for the family business. Torres goes undercover in Switzerland, to a gathering led by The Flag Smashers. The group are given masks and instructed to run about when two bags are thrown out a window from the Gasel Bank and a man jumps out, then casually hands the bag to others. Torres follows and attempts to arrest the man but the man is extremely powerful and smashes Torres on the ground, possibly breaking some bones, then follows it with a swift kick to the head. Leaving Torres unconscious in the street. The meeting with the bank starts off fun at first, once the loan officer (Vince Pisani) recognizes Sam as Falcon. However, when the finances are brought up, the blip is brought up but Sarah points out that Sam can’t have any finances because he was gone for five years. The loan officer states that things have tightened up since millions of people returned. Despite his government contracts and their family banking history, the two are not approved for a loan. Outside, Sarah states that she doesn’t want to deal with this anymore. Sam wasn’t around to see what their parents went through and that the bank doesn’t know who their dad was. Sarah had a hard time during the blip, survived, and kept the boat from sinking. Despite knowing she is right, Sam refuses to sell their family’s legacy.
Back on the boat, Sam attempts to fix the boat’s engine but with no luck. As he looks at family pictures, he receives a text from Torres stating that he is going to send something. Sam views the video and video calls Torres about what happened. Shortly after, Sarah comes into the room and turns on the news where the Department of Defense and President announce a new Captain America (Wyatt Russell). A man in a different suit walks out to the crowd, shield and all in hand. They did Sam wrong.
Not gonna lie here. That last scene pissed me off!! Obviously, I knew they were going to bring in this new Cap but the fact that Sam gave a whole speech/tribute to Steve Rogers, aka the original Captain America, then giving the shield to be placed in the Smithsonian where Sam was thanked for bringing it back because “it was the right thing to do”, only for it to be given to a whole white man is just plain WRONG! So, the Department of Defense and the President never considered that Steve Rogers pick was good enough to be the hero the country needs? Hmm, okay. That just makes me wonder what this new Captain has that Sam does not. Is this new Captain super strong from government testing and is he controlled by the Department of Defense? Lord knows that before Avengers: Infinity War occurred, the Avengers were fighting amongst themselves over the Sokovia Accords which were created to establish a UN panel to oversee and control the Avengers, and Steve’s team was not for it. Could this be a way for the government to get around that issue? Also, is the world experimenting with super soldiers again? The man that fought with Torres had superhuman strength and the last time we saw someone like that was Bucky and Steve.
Months after the blip, we see how Sam and Bucky are handling things. Sam is doing his best to work while also helping his sister, Sarah with the family business. However, being gone for five years does take a toll on everyone involved. He may have the celebrity status of an Avenger, but he does not have the money of one either. Bucky deals with being alone in a new world. Pretty obvious that the U.S. Government is keeping tabs on him but the biggest thing to remember is that he is a veteran and a previously brainwashed man. His PTSD is affecting him but he is struggling to open up to others. I think he only felt safe with Steve or in Wakanda. Honestly, I can’t wait to see these two partner up. This episode certainly shows the weight and realism of what the two Avengers are dealing with alone. Who knows when the Avengers will be brought back together. Especially after losing Tony and Steve or even Thor as he is busy in space.
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Lebo Malatse is a content creator and writer. She’s an avid reader, tv and film lover, and traveler. To read more of her work, check out her site: lbmalatse.wixsite.com/website and journey into the worlds that she creates.