Outside of the building that the GRC vote is being held, police are surrounding the area.
Bucky arrives on the ground while Sam flies in. Police allow Bucky in and Sharon arrives in a mask to help. Karli sees Sam flying above and gives her men inside the go-ahead. The undercover flag smashers inside put on their masks then toss gas bombs inside the room, forcing the GRC voters to leave the room and be met by more smashers. Sam tosses the shield in through a window then flies in, decked out in a new red, white, and blue suit!
Sam gives Sharon and Bucky orders then introduces himself as Captain America to a security guard. Just as he is giving orders, Bartoc attacks Sam. Once inside, Karli makes a call to one of her agents and the phone is given to Bucky. Karli does her best to convince him that he is on the wrong side but Bucky doesn’t budge. The GRC members are evacuated to police vans that have been unknowingly taken over by the flag smashers. As the vans are closed, a lock is put on them before they leave. Bucky tells Karli that this path is one she will remember forever; Karli thanks him for being a big help. Bucky, realizing that he was distracted, finds a bike to follow them on. Sharon takes out one of the flag smashers that is to follow the vans then leaves the building, informing Sam that a helicopter is about to leave. Sam, realizing that he doesn’t have anyone else to handle it, leaves Bartoc and goes after the helicopter. The pilot shoots at Sam whenever he gets near. Sam utilizes redwing to check if any of the hostages have pilot experience.
Karli and the rest of her flash smashers discuss their next plan. Karli informs them that the worst case scenario is to kill the hostages, their message is to get out to the world, and even if they die, their movement is strong enough to go on without them. They are hesitant to respond to her “one world, one people” statement. The police attempt to follow the helicopter with hostages and immediately find themselves in trouble. Sam gets the two pilots out before the helicopter goes down and on a bridge safely. Many onlookers cheer when they see him. The hostages in the vans make it to Karli’s location. She and the flag smashers take over the vans but are quickly joined by Bucky. Bucky and Dovich get into a fighting match. Karli tells another one of her followers to light up a van so that they can divert Bucky’s attention. While Bucky struggles to open the door on the inflamed van, Karli is surprised to hear John Walker call her name. John arrives with his own version of the shield and tells Karli “let’s finish this”. Karli states that she didn’t mean to kill his friend and doesn’t want to hurt people who don’t matter to her fight. Angrily, John throws his shield at her then engages in a fight with the smashers. Bucky punches the lock multiple times then uses the vibranium arm to pull the door open then safely gets the hostages out. He is surprised to be thanked by one. He goes to engage in a fight with the smashers. He gets kicked off the street into ground zero of a building site.
Sam flies up next to the hostage helicopter but is shot at again. He sends a message to hostage Ayla (Jane Rumbaua) to put on her earphones. Through the earphones, he tells her he knows that she can fly a helicopter but is distracted by the pilot who flies near him so the blades hit him, causing Sam to crash into the river. Sam gets out quickly then tells her to countdown to five then grab the control. He unleashes redwing to fly ahead of the helicopter as a distraction then, once they reach one, tosses the shield at the door, swoops through and takes the pilot, leaving Ayla to take over the wheels successfully. Sam praises her for the good work. John is still fighting the smashers and Karli, not holding back any punches against her. Karli gets the upper hand, knocking him out, then gets to the other van with hostages. She drives the van to the edge of the construction, jumps out, leaving the van to hang over the building rebars. John gets up and sees Karli and the van, fighting between saving the van or fighting Karli. He tosses his now mangled shield down then tries to pull the van but is attacked by the smashers and Karli, resulting in them falling to the bottom of the structure. The van nearly tips over the edge but luckily, Sam uses his wings and redwing to power up and push it back up. Bucky looks on, proud, while onlookers cheer him on. One man cheers the Black Falcon but another corrects him, saying it’s Captain America. Redwing uses a laser to cut through the lock, allowing the hostages to get out.
On the ground, Karli throws a pipe at Bucky’s head, who was looking at Sam, but Bucky catches it. Just when she is about to run at him, Sam hits her and the rest of the smashers with the shield. Karli can’t believe Sam’s new look and being the new captain. Bartoc surprises everyone by shooting smoke gas into the area, allowing Karli and the smashers to make a run for it and to hand Karli a weapon. Sharon, from the top, leaves with the rest of the crowd watching. Sam uses his toys to see where the group ran to and tells John and Bucky to follow. Bucky tells Sharon which route they are going. When Sam notices that they split up, John immediately goes one way, Bucky not far behind after telling Sam he got it. Karli hears the signal whistle, that she and the smashers have used, as she walks through a room and Sam walks about slowly.
Sharon comes out from behind stacked boxes, with her gun up and Karli puts her up her gun as well. Sharon tells Karli that she is disappointed in her, Karli says she was just about to say the same. Sharon lowers her gun then begins to tell Karli that she reminded her of a young her but Karli betrayed her. Karli states that she doesn’t care about power, she has bigger dreams. Sharon tries to convince Karli to work for her again but Karli doesn’t want to be the muscle for the Power Broker.
I KNEW IT.
Sharon responds that she has more power than Karli. The two are joined by Bartoc who is surprised that Sharon is the Power Broker. Karli realizes that Bartoc was sent to spy on her. Bartoc states that he is tired of the games and he wants to get paid four times more than he was promised or else he will tell the world who she is. Sharon shoots him, stating she doesn’t do blackmail but is shot by Karli. Sam, just around the corner, hears the shots and arrives at the scene to find Karli is standing over a wounded Sharon. Karli tells him to stand back but he wants this end, wants to help Karli. When she moves to shoot Sharon, he swoops her out the way. Karli engages in a fight with Sam but Sam doesn’t want to fight her at all. The new vibranium suit comes in handy when it comes to taking punches and kicks. The rest of the flag smashers make it out of the construction but are cut off by Bucky and John then later the police, tracked by their own app. The two men walk away as the smashers are getting apprehended, Bucky questioning why John used a Lincoln quote to state to the smashers.
Karli continues to punch and hit Sam, yelling at him to fight back. When he finally hits the ground, she picks up the gun but before she can pull the trigger Sharon shoots her several times. Sam holds Karli until she takes her last breath. He carries her out of the building then flies her to the main street where Bucky, John, GRC, emergency services, and reporters are waiting. Once Karli is on a stretcher, Sam is bombarded with questions from the reports on what happened and what to call him. Ayla thanks him for what he did but the rest of the GRC leaders state that they will handle the rest of the terrorists and that the resetting the borders. Sam wants them to stop calling them terrorists, pointing out that the GRC’s “peacekeeping troops” are carrying weapons and forcing millions of people into settlements around the, what they gonna call them. He goes on to say the labels such as terrorists and thugs goes around the question as to why there are settlements. Lacont questions him if he thinks that the government should support the settlements and what about the people who reappeared from the snap to find someone else in the family home. Sam states that the government should support the people within the settlements but doesn’t have an answer for the second question. He does admit that he doesn’t know how complicated the situation is, but thinks that the senator now has a common struggle with the people who have been begging for him to feel how hard every day, he now knows. Sam asks the senator how it feels to be helpless, face a force so powerful it could erase half the planet, he would know he is about to make the same impact. The Senator states that Sam just doesn’t understand.
Sam points out that he is a Black man carrying the stars and stripes, what doesn’t he understand. He goes on to say that every time he picks up the shield, millions of people are going to hate him for it, even where they are currently, he can feel the stares, judgment, and hate. There’s nothing he can do to change it, no super serum, no blond hair or blue eyes but he is still here. The only power he has is to believe they can do things better. As Sam is talking, Isaiah and his grandson, Eli, Sarah, and Torres are watching Sam on the news. Sam continues to say they can’t demand people to step up but not meet them halfway. He points out all the things that GRC can do but questions who is in the room when they are making those decisions: people they’re gonna impact or people like them. Sam states that they need to do better because the next Karli will. People believed in her cause so much that they helped defy the strongest governments in the world. They have just as much power as an insane god or a misguided teenager. He tells them they will have to ask themselves how they are gonna use it.
When Sam walks away, he acknowledges John, and Bucky teases him for a second before saying, “nice job, cap”. Aww. The two reach Sharon and try to convince her to get some help. She apologizes for how things ended and compliment him on the suit. Sam is called back by a person in a suit asking for him to help find another flag smasher that fell in the Hudson. Sam flies off but not before telling Sharon he didn’t forget his promise. The arrested flag smashers are put into a van. The man who closes the door says “one world, one people”. Dovich acknowledges him but when the van drives off it is blown up. An older man in a car is watching and puts away a controller.
At the Raft, Zemo is listening to the news about the flag smashers being killed and the GRC changed their policies on resettlement. Valentina gets a notification about Zemo and tells John to check his phone. She jokes with Olivia about how she couldn’t or could have planned this better and how this saves people paperwork and redacting. She impatiently urges Walker to get out. John walks out in a black version of the suit he was given. Valentia points out that things are about to get weird. They won’t need a Captain America (she shakes her head and John does the same), they will need a U.S. Agent. She tells John to keep his phone. He says he will and thanks her as she leaves. John and Olivia celebrate with John exclaiming that he is back. (Wow).
Bucky visits Mr. Yori Nakajima who invites him in because it is late. Bucky explains to him that his son was murdered by the Winter Soldier and that he was the Winter SOldier. When questioned as to why, Bucky states, shakily, that he didn’t have a choice. He leaves as quietly as he arrived. Dr. Raynor finds a present in her office. Inside is the book with the names crossed out and a card stating he finished it and thanks her for the help. Bucky goes to the restaurant and watches Mr. Naya get a drink then walks away.
Sam knocks on Isaiah’s door but is greeted by Eli who asks what does the black falcon want. Isaiah, behind Sam, points out that he isn’t the Falcon anymore. In the back, Isaiah tells Sam that he saw what Sam did, heard that the GRC changed policies so Sam must’ve done something right. Eli joins them as they talk. He surprises Sam by stating Sam is special even though he isn’t like the great leaders. Isaiah points out that the fight that Sam is taking on won’t be easy. Sam states that he might fail, might die, but they built this country and bled for it, and he won’t allow anyone to tell him that he can’t fight for it. Not after everyone before him, including Isaiah, went through for it. Isaiah jokes that he almost bought it. Sam tells Isaiah to clean up, he got something to show him. Sam takes Isaiah and Eli to the Smithsonian. Isaiah is surprised to find a statue with a plaque of information on him with photos of him around. Sam states that they will never forget what Isaiah did for their country. Isaiah hugs him, tears in his eyes.
The Wilson family have a bit of a cook out on the dock. Bucky joins in on the fun with the group of people and kids. The two men look out at the sunset before walking away together, smiling. (That feels so natural and good.)
Post credit scene: Sharon is at the capitol where she is given an apology and full pardon with an opening at her old division. She is welcomed home as Agent Carter. Outside she gets on the phone and tells someone to line up buyers, they are about to have full access to government secrets, prototype weapons, etc. I told y’all not to trust her.
You can’t tell me that you weren’t just as excited to see Sam in a new suit. That was definitely a nice gift from the Wakandans. Seeing Sam take on the stars and stripes is absolutely magnificent. He may not have all the super serum but that vibranium is perfect. Sam has always been shown as more as a strategic mover and saver than a fighter, which is probably what the world needs now. People need that more than a man with muscle, telling people what they can or can’t do. Watching him have a plan with Bucky backing him up is a complete opposite to what we got in the second episode. Bucky has recognized Sam as the Captain from the get go and he is proud to see Sam be the Captain that Sam is comfortable being. Sam knows not everyone will accept him as it is but no one asked for the shield back and the world saw him not only save people but also show compassion to those who are suffering. You can see exactly why Steve Rogers chose him. I’m absolutely loving the relationship that he has with Isaiah and Eli. I just want to see more of them. Seeing Isaiah honored in the Smithsonian had me teary eyed. I just loved it all!
Bucky is just a happier man in this episode. Yes, there are bad guys to catch but he is gladly being Sam’s partner and encouraging him. Seeing him finally finish his book and do right to Mr. Yori Nakajima just completes everything to me. I’m sad that he lost a friend in him. Of course he shows up to the cookout. I just have no words but I am truly relieved for him.
Not surprised about John Walker arriving but I was surprised that he didn’t keep going after Karli or try to kill the rest of the flag smashers. Him being the U.S agent after Sam’s speech is on-brand with him. He genuinely thinks that he deserves to be that guy over Sam’s Captain America. He still was ticking in a way so we know he’s gonna mess up. Olivia needs to cut her losses. I don’t care.
Sharon is the Power Broker. Who didn’t see that coming? I’m upset that Sam didn’t hear the conversation between her and Karli but I guess we still need a villain. I’m not impressed by her. Her whole story is just whatever but go off… I guess. The flag smashers really tried to get things changed and they did but Karli’s death was absolutely preventable. Who had them killed off? Not exactly sure but it will be fun to see who was involved in their deaths. Could be the government I bet.
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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.