Connor Macgregor Reviews...Marvel Television

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Yep....Another thread.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) television series are American superhero television shows based on characters that appear in publications by Marvel Comics. They are set in, or inspired by, the shared universe of the MCU film franchise.

The MCU first expanded to television after the creation of Marvel Television in 2010, with that studio producing 12 series with ABC Studios and its production division ABC Signature Studios from September 2013 to October 2020. These premiered across broadcast, streaming, and cable respectively on ABC, Netflix and Hulu, and Freeform. The main ABC series were inspired by the films and featured film characters, and were referred to as the "Marvel Heroes" series. A connected group of series for Netflix were called the "Marvel Knights" series, and crossed over with each other. Young adult-focused series were produced for Freeform and Hulu, while the latter also had a group of series called "Adventure into Fear" planned before Marvel Television was shut down in December 2019.

Marvel Studios—the production studio behind the films—began producing their own series in 2018 for the streaming service Disney+, the first of which premiered in January 2021. At least twelve series and one special are in development from Marvel Studios. These are focused on supporting characters from the films, have much larger budgets than Marvel Television series, and interconnect with the films in a way that the Marvel Television series did not.

It is a better time than ever to start a thread for Marvel Television, what with the exploding success of WandaVision and now as of writing, the debut of The Falcon & Winter Soldier. So with that, I have set this up with the intention of reviewing every Marvel TV Series within the canon. So not just Disney+ shows, but also the ABC selection and Netflix also (and I guess the ones on other networks that count also.). Its a massive maze, but one I am going to enjoy watching.



Other than a few cartoons, I forgot that there were any Marvel TV shows before the Disney+ shows started recently. Are these shows all animated shows, or were there live action shows too?
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I mean, you have Agents Of Shield which is the big one, along with Agent Carter and a few others. Will be fun to look at them and see what they did as I only watched the first 2 or 3 episodes and tuned out.

Will make up my mind on the animated shows later on as they aren't in canon as much.





Connor Macgregor Reviews...WandaVision
Filmed Before A Live Studio Audience


INTRO: WandaVision is the first official TV series in Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and one of the first major Marvel shows on Disney+. So, time to settle back into MCU life and shennigins.

SUMMARY:
WARNING: "Summary" spoilers below
Newlywed couple Wanda and Vision move into the town of Westview in a black-and-white 1950s setting. They attempt to blend in despite Vision being an android and Wanda having telekinesis and reality-warping abilities. One day they notice a heart drawn on their calendar, but neither can remember what the occasion is. While Vision goes to his job at Computational Services Inc., Wanda decides that the heart represents their anniversary. Their neighbor Agnes introduces herself to Wanda and helps her prepare to celebrate that night. Vision amazes his co-workers with his speed but is unsure what his company actually does. He is reminded that the heart represents plans for him and Wanda to host his boss, Mr. Hart, and his wife for dinner. Wanda and Vision struggle to hide their abilities while making a last-minute dinner for the Harts. While interrogating Wanda and Vision, Mr. Hart chokes on his food, and Vision uses his abilities to save him. All of this takes place in the fictional sitcom WandaVision which someone is watching on a television.


THOUGHTS: WandaVision begins in the 1950s with Vision and Wanda arriving at their home in their wedding clothes. It cements the new life that Wanda & Vision seek to establish with WestView being established as neat, perfect, surburban and tranquil. There is also a lack of willingness to reveal their backstory with just a simple sitcom plot of cooking dinner for Vision's new boss. That being said there are little visual and dialogue nods to the past of the MCU. Regarding the plot with the boss, the story itself feels like a trope which unfortunately lacked excitement for me. The episode overall felt too short and I was eager for more time and worldbuilding and a longer runtime. That being said, a mystery has been established for the rest of the series and I am eager to explore on, what with the sitcom tributes and nostalgia nods to television overall.

RATING: 75% - B+



I mean, you have Agents Of Shield which is the big one, along with Agent Carter and a few others. Will be fun to look at them and see what they did as I only watched the first 2 or 3 episodes and tuned out.

Will make up my mind on the animated shows later on as they aren't in canon as much.

I watched the complete series of "Agents Of Shield". I should have remembered that show.





Connor Macgregor Reviews...WandaVision
Don't Touch That Dial


INTRO: Time to enter the swining sixties as WandaVision continues to get more weird and fun to delve into.

SUMMARY:
WARNING: "Summary" spoilers below
In a 1960s setting, Wanda and Vision hear strange noises outside their house. They prepare their magic act for a neighborhood talent show. Wanda and Agnes spend the day with the show's planning committee, led by Dottie, and Vision attends a neighborhood watch meeting, where he accidentally swallows some chewing gum. Wanda befriends another neighbor, Geraldine, and notices more strange things: a yellow and red toy helicopter in their black-and-white world; a voice on the radio that seems to be speaking to her; and a red bloodstain. Thanks to the gum caught in his internal mechanisms, Vision appears to be intoxicated at the talent show and publicly reveals his abilities. Wanda uses her own abilities to make this look like simple magic tricks and fixes Vision by removing the gum. They return home, and Wanda becomes visibly pregnant. When they see a strange beekeeper emerging from a manhole on their street, Wanda resets their reality to before the figure appears. The setting changes to full color as it moves to the 1970s.


THOUGHTS: Episode two sees us move into the 1960s where the sitcom entered its first boom period. The animated open is good, and very sweet to the relationship. In here, there are two plots that combine very well, with the plot of the week going on with the talent show, as well as the underlings of the overall arc of the series. There is a great scene with Wanda and the other wives, in particular with the odd radio frequency which sets Wanda off. You have the character of Geraldine which is fun in this episode and will have more strong moments going forward. There is also a weird subplot with Vision getting drunk on chewing gum which whilst entertaining, is still slightly bizzare to watch. These plots culminate in a magic trick sequence which ends up going awry but in quite a fun way which does benefit them. With this episode, the mystery continues to build with further easter eggs and clues being planted.

RATING: 85% - A-





Connor Macgregor Reviews...WandaVision
Now In Colour


INTRO: Much like Dorothy, Wanda & Vision step into the world of colour and continue their TV adventure with the latest version of WandaVision.

SUMMARY:
WARNING: "Summary" spoilers below
In the 1970s setting, Dr. Nielson says Wanda is four months pregnant and everything is fine before leaving for an intended holiday with his wife. While Vision sees Nielson out, he sees his neighbor Herb unknowingly cut through their wall. Wanda and Vision paint a nursery while debating what to name their child before Wanda's pregnancy elevates to six months. When she begins contractions, her abilities begin to move things in the house and eventually shut down the entire town's power. Geraldine arrives and helps Wanda deliver twins Billy and Tommy. Vision catches Agnes and Herb gossiping outside. They talk about Geraldine, who has just arrived in town and does not have a home or family. Inside, Wanda interrogates Geraldine after the latter reveals that she knows Ultron killed Wanda's twin brother Pietro.[a] Wanda notices that Geraldine is wearing a pendant with a sword emblem on it. When Vision returns, Geraldine is gone. Outside of Westview, Geraldine is cast out from a wall of static and is surrounded by S.W.O.R.D. agents.


REVIEW: This episode sees Vision & Wanda in the 1970s in which Black and White yesteryear is swapped for funky colour which makes the episode more nice to watch. The Opening intro is more groovy than the others and absolutely again fits the tone of the episode's timeline once again. Wanda is pregnant this time, and it raises suspicion from throughout the neighbourhood especially from the character of Geraldine. The end result is twin babies after a whole load of shenanigans throughout the labour. We then get some reference to Wanda's past at the end which then descends into an explosive conclusion which opens up more of what is going on, with a real sense of mystery in the episode's ending and with a reluctance of who to trust anymore.

RATING: 86% - A-





Connor Macgregor Reviews...WandaVision
We Interrupt This Program


INTRO: Taking a pause on the TV tributes, WandaVision does some nessacarly MCU story work in order to establish new characters, and bridge the gap between this show and Avengers EndGame.

SUMMARY:
WARNING: "Summary" spoilers below
Captain Monica Rambeau, an agent of S.W.O.R.D., returns to life following the Blip to find her mother Maria has died of cancer. Three weeks later, Monica returns to work and is sent by Acting Director Tyler Hayward to help FBI agent Jimmy Woo with a missing persons case in Westview, New Jersey. They discover a hexagonal static CMBR field surrounding the town, which Monica is pulled into. Within 24 hours, S.W.O.R.D. establishes a base around the town and sends drones and an agent in to investigate. Dr. Darcy Lewis studies the phenomena and discovers broadcast signals for the sitcom WandaVision. They use these to observe events inside the town, learning that real residents have been "cast" in the sitcom and seeing Monica appear as "Geraldine". Darcy and Jimmy unsuccessfully attempt to use the radio to contact Wanda. When Monica mentions Ultron, Wanda casts her out of the town. Wanda then temporarily sees Vision appear as he did when he died, before settling back into her sitcom life with him.


REVIEW: Following the previous episode, the shows takes us back prior to the events of the series to give us the backstory of Monica, which shows us some of the aftermath of Endgame as well as the fate of a previous character in the MCU with Monica's mother Maria. We also see the return of Darcy Lewis from the Thor films, who as always brings her unique sarcastic wit and sass which is adorable to watch on screen again. All of what we see in this episode is build up to the first episode. The episode makes it clear on the absolute focus on the team, with Agent Woo also joining from the Ant Man films. Together, they watch the sitcoms to try and decifer what exactly is happening. The episode's ending ties into Episode Three's ending as well as revealing who is behind the TV version of the town, which then ultimately changes the stakes.

RATING: 87% - A-





Connor Macgregor Reviews...WandaVision
On A Very Special Episode


INTRO: We now move into the comedies of the 80s/90s with a lot more surprises and twists for Wanda & Vision as the mystery continues to unravel.

SUMMARY:
WARNING: "Summary" spoilers below
In a 1980s/early 1990s setting, Wanda and Vision struggle to stop Billy and Tommy from crying. Agnes offers to help look after the boys, but Vision questions her behavior. He and Wanda are interrupted when Billy and Tommy suddenly age-up to 5 years old. When a dog appears at their house, the boys ask to keep it and Agnes suggests the name Sparky. Wanda almost reveals her abilities to Agnes, concerning Vision, while the boys age-up again to 10 years old. At work, Vision reads an email from S.W.O.R.D. that reveals the situation in Westview. He breaks through to a real Westview resident and learns that Wanda is controlling the town. S.W.O.R.D. sends a drone from the 1980s into Westview which causes Sparky to run off. Hayward orders the drone be used to kill Wanda, but she emerges from the barrier with it and warns Hayward to leave her alone. Agnes finds Sparky dead. Vision confronts Wanda about her actions, but they are interrupted when "Pietro" arrives. Watching the broadcast, Darcy notes that Pietro has been "recast".


REVIEW: The boys have aged up for this episode, with the older additions looking rather charming on screen. The episode's plot centers around a dog entering the house and becoming a temporary pet to the family and at the end of the episode, sets upon an interesting saying that Wanda gives to her children. Elsewhere, Vision is slowly becoming more aware that something is amiss outside WestView via investigating. A confration occurs with Wanda at the ending regarding this, however it is interrupted by something unexpected. The twist at the end of the episode is a good one, and plays into prior knowledge of the Marvel world outside of Disney, as well as setting up what will be an intriguing next episode.

RATING: 86% - A-





Connor Macgregor Reviews...WandaVision
All New Halloween Spooktacular!


INTRO: Once again, the timeline accelerates forward into the 90s and 00s as Vision continues to dig further on the truth of Westview.

SUMMARY:
WARNING: "Summary" spoilers below
In a late 1990s/early 2000s setting, Wanda wants to spend Tommy and Billy's first Halloween together as a family, but Vision tells her that he is going to patrol the streets with the neighborhood watch. "Pietro" offers to step in as a father figure and takes the boys trick-or-treating, causing mischief with his super speed, which Tommy is revealed to have inherited. Meanwhile, Vision explores further away from their house and finds residents of Westview standing frozen in their positions, including Agnes. Vision speaks to Agnes' real self and she tells him that he is dead. Outside Westview, Hayward orders Monica, Darcy, and Jimmy to leave the base for disagreeing with his decision to attack Wanda, but they sneak inside and hack into his computer to discover that he has been tracking Vision's vibranium signature. Vision tries to push through the static wall, but he begins to disintegrate. Billy senses this and tells Wanda, who expands the hexagonal static wall. Vision, Darcy, and several S.W.O.R.D. agents are enveloped by the new boundary.


REVIEW: Quicksilver is back in Marvel, or is he? The show plays up a clever idea in how to bring him back, building upon knowledge from previous Marvel properties. Episode Six moves into the 1990s & 2000s decades in which the show moves into that tone and that sitcom style, with a fair amount of fourth wall breaking scattered throughout the episode. With that, Vision's subplot continues to bubble out as he uncovers more and more of Westview and the mysteries surrounding it. Outside the bubble, the trio of agents are discareded for their troubles, as they continue to uncover the truth further about the town. The conclusion of the episode is quite exciting with Wanda doing something very drastic and dangerous to keep Vision alive and from finding out the truth. It adds to a very thrilling development in the story.

RATING: 89% - A-





Connor Macgregor Reviews...WandaVision
Breaking The Fourth Wall


INTRO: Continuing from Episode Six, WandaVision begins to round up to its finale, by revealing huge twists and unveiling the secrets of WestView.

SUMMARY:
WARNING: "Summary" spoilers below
In a mid-to-late 2000s setting, Wanda decides to have a day to herself and Agnes agrees to babysit Tommy and Billy. Wanda sees various parts of her house constantly changing and is unable to control them. Vision wakes up to find the S.W.O.R.D. agents inside the boundary are now members of a circus. He releases Darcy from the spell and she tells Vision about his death and the events that led to the current situation. Outside of Westview, Monica and Jimmy meet with loyal S.W.O.R.D. personnel and obtain a vehicle designed to cross the barrier. When the tactic proves unsuccessful, Monica decides to enter herself. She passes through the static wall and emerges with seemingly heightened vision. Monica confronts Wanda, but Agnes tells Monica to leave and takes Wanda to her house. Wanda looks for the boys in the basement and discovers a strange lair. Agnes introduces herself as a witch named Agatha Harkness and reveals that she has been disrupting Wanda's life, including sending an imposter as "Pietro" and killing Sparky.


REVIEW: I found the beginning of the episode very funny, and continues from what has occured in Episode Six. The thing is, with Vision, he remembers, and therefore begins working with Darcy to continue to uncover the mystery. They make a good pairing as a result, combined with good comic timing and juice. We also see a bit more of Monica and her new powers following a confrontation with Wanda which is a little intense to watch. Then there are The Twins, who disappear in this episode which invokes more mystery as a result. However, the final scene reveals the true culprit behind everything which is Agnes, revealing her real name of Agatha. This ends with a fun little outro theme, with a funny line at the end.

RATING: 87% - A-





Connor Macgregor Reviews...WandaVision
Previously On


INTRO: Wanda's past is finally unveiled in this episode of WandaVision, as the finale looms closer.

SUMMARY:
WARNING: "Summary" spoilers below
In Salem in 1693, a coven of witches led by Agatha's mother Evanora attempt to execute Agatha for practicing dark magic, but she drains their life forces. In the present, Agatha demands to know how Wanda is controlling Westview and forces her to relive key moments of her life. Agatha learns that Wanda has had magical abilities since she was a child, which were later amplified by the Mind Stone, and that she has always enjoyed watching various sitcoms. After the Blip, Wanda visited S.W.O.R.D. to recover Vision's body, but Hayward refused to let her bury him. Unable to feel any life in Vision, she drove to a lot in Westview that he had bought for her before his death so they could live there together. In a fit of grief, she manifested a house on the lot and a new version of Vision and extended the Hex across the entire town. Agatha concludes that Wanda possesses a legendary form of magic called chaos magic, and dubs her the "Scarlet Witch". In a mid-credits scene, Hayward reactivates "The Vision", the now all-white, reassembled original body.


REVIEW: What makes this episode so good and unique is the flashbacks, and how they build Wanda's history and backstory. Some of the shots are gorgeous and the camerawork really strong here. Agatha exposes herself as the villain here with such a delicious performance in this episode, with acting that could very well be award-worthy. This episode here is a softer episode to the previous seven, with more character building overall and having some big significant moments at the end for both Vision and Wanda, who is finally unveiled as The Scarlet Witch, which will set up a spectacular finale to follow.

RATING: 87% - A-





Connor Macgregor Reviews...WandaVision
The Series Finale


INTRO: We reach the Finale of WandaVision, even if it has been a few months since I last posted.

SUMMARY:
WARNING: "Spoilers" spoilers below
Agatha attempts to take Maximoff's chaos magic, but is interrupted by The Vision, who tries to kill Maximoff. Vision intervenes and fights The Vision throughout Westview. Agatha frees the town's residents from Maximoff's control, and they convince her to open the barrier. She stops when Vision and the twins begin to disintegrate, but not before Hayward and S.W.O.R.D. enter. Rambeau learns that "Pietro" is actually an actor named Ralph Bohner and frees him from Agatha's control, before helping the twins stop S.W.O.R.D. Vision restores The Vision's memories and causes him to flee. Maximoff places magical runes around the barrier, preventing Agatha from using her magic, and traps her in the "Agnes" persona. Maximoff says goodbye to Vision and the twins before collapsing the Hex and going into hiding. In a mid-credits scene, Hayward is arrested while Rambeau is informed by a Skrull that a friend of her mother's wants to meet. In a post-credits scene, Maximoff is studying the Darkhold in her astral form when she hears the twins cry for her help.


REVIEW: The finale continues right where the last episode left off, with Agatha holding Wanda's children hostage. From there a big battle emerges with the two witches going against each other in epic fashion. Vision all goes against White Vision which surpringsly ends in a stalemate which may also then provide a clue to the future of Vision's character. For Wanda, this episode and story overall is a decisive victory against Agatha and a further clue to her true identity. Taylor Hayward also meets an approriate end also in this series. There is also a poignant goodbye from Wanda & Vision which is a sweet and elegant scene and wonderfully performed. But with that, Wanda then goes on the run as a result of her actions in this series. The post credits scene is also interesting. One is very much a set up to Dr Strange 2, where as another will set up further story arcs outside of Earth which is also intriguing.

The series overall has been a fun one to watch, with some quirky and deep moments throughout, as well as key character development for Wanda & Vision respectively, as well as of course setting up major future stories whilst having a rich one themselves.

RATING: 89% - A-

SERIES RATING: 86% - A-





Connor Macgregor Reviews...The Falcon and The Winter Soldier

Episode One

INTRO: Kicking off the next series in Phase 4 of the MCU, and we're heading back down to reality with the continuation of the stories of Captain America's sidekicks.

SUMMARY: Sam Wilson deals with life after returning from the Blip, while James "Bucky" Barnes deals with life for the first time after his battles are over. Meanwhile, an international militia calling themselves the Flag Smashers are trying to eliminate all national borders, and will do anything to accomplish their goals.

REVIEW: The story begins with life after the blip, focussing on the lives specifically on The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. Both Sam & Bucky are in very emotional places. Both are lost, and trying to find their own stake in this changed world. Sam Wilson is with his family, as we're introduced to his sister and nephews. Their relationship is typical siblingesque, with a lot of snappy back and forths, and tension sometimes popping up between them. There is a scene at a local bank which takes Sam back down to earth and shows the audience a great deal of how lost he is as a person. We then have Bucky, even more in turmoil, yet he does try to move on by securing a date with a bartender. It's a tad bit awkward yet cute at the same time as he tries to bond with someone his own age. Bucky is also attending therapy at the same time as he comes to terms with his past actions. There's also a friend that is in senior age that he befriends, which turns out to be a figure that triggers past trauma. The episode is itself a good setup, and clever and well done character development, with a significant end sequence that sets up the emotional conflict to come. The new Captain America is introduced after Sam rejects the signature shield, with the stage and conflict set to come through the rest of the story.

RATING: 84% - A-





Connor Macgregor Reviews...The Falcon and The Winter Soldier

Episode Two

INTRO: Sam and Bucky's story continues with a new Captain America in the mix.

SUMMARY: The new Captain America and his sidekick Battlestar cross paths with Falcon and Winter Soldier when they all track down a group of Flag Smashers that are transporting stolen vaccine from country to country. Meanwhile, Dr. Raynor involves Sam in her therapy sessions with Bucky

REVIEW: The episode begins by establishing John Walker. He comes across very likable, with a sweet wife that supports him, and a very charismatic and likable sidekick also. From there, we see Sam & Bucky reunite, with usual bickering carried from previous films. As much as the therapy scene had significant moments for their relationship, I felt comedically it was a little bit of a letdown and never made me howl as much as it wanted me to. There was also a cool fight scene along the motorway involving the freedom fighters, and that of Sam, Bucky, and Captain America. It's rare that the villains get a victory, but it allowed the stakes to be raised higher as a result, with the knowledge of more Super soldiers out in the world. Props also to the performance of Erin Kellyman who I really liked here in this episode, and happy to see her get more work following Solo and Les Miserables. There is also a great sequence with Sam and an older super soldier which really highlights the historic racism that America is still trying to come to terms with. There also followed a very eerie police scene which was very typical of what is going on in the US and the world today. I also really enjoyed the ending, with a good build into Episode Three.

RATING: 85% - A-





Connor Macgregor Reviews…The Falcon & The Winter Soldier

Episode Three

INTRO: Sharon Carter returns as does Baron Zemo as The Falcon & The Winter Soldier’s adventure continues.

SUMMARY:
WARNING: "Summary" spoilers below
Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson travel to Berlin to talk to an imprisoned Helmut Zemo about the emergence of a terrorist group of Super Soldiers, the Flag Smashers. Behind Wilson's back, Barnes orchestrates a prison riot to help Zemo escape after the latter agrees to help the pair. Barnes, Zemo, and Wilson travel to Madripoor, a criminal sanctuary city-state run by the mysterious Power Broker. Zemo asks Barnes to act as the Winter Soldier while Wilson poses as a gangster who frequents Madripoor.

After Zemo uses Barnes to get the attention of high-ranking criminal Selby, the group meet with her and reveals that Hydra scientist Dr. Wilfred Nagel was hired by the Power Broker to recreate the Super Soldier Serum. Wilson's identity is exposed after his sister Sarah calls him in the middle of their meeting. In the ensuing firefight, Selby is killed and all of the bounty hunters in the city target the group. Sharon Carter, who has been living as a fugitive since the Sokovia Accords conflict,[a] saves them from the bounty hunters.

Carter uses her connections in Madripoor to find Nagel's lab and takes Wilson, Barnes, and Zemo there. Nagel explains that he recreated twenty doses of the serum and they were stolen by the Flag Smashers' leader Karli Morgenthau. Zemo unexpectedly kills Nagel, and the lab is destroyed when bounty hunters attack. Zemo finds a getaway vehicle, but Carter decides to stay behind in Madripoor and Wilson agrees to obtain a pardon for her so she can return to the U.S. Meanwhile, John Walker and Lemar Hoskins arrive in Berlin and deduce that Barnes and Wilson helped Zemo escape. The Flag Smashers raid a Global Repatriation Council (GRC) storage facility in Lithuania for supplies, and Morgenthau blows up the building with personnel inside to send a message.

Zemo, Barnes, and Wilson travel to Latvia in search of Morgenthau. Recognizing Wakandan tracking devices in the street, Barnes breaks off and confronts Ayo of the Dora Milaje, who demands that Barnes hand Zemo to her.


REVIEW: We see the return of Baron Zemo from Civil War, who immediately sets up his own escape from prison in an excellent little scene. From there, a reluctant alliance is formed between The Falcon, The Winter Soldier and Zemo. From there, we go to Mariboor, a fictional city within the MCU. It comes across as a very cool and edgy type of place, somewhere that is not entirely safe, a place where individuals will need to have their wits about them. And one of those is Sharon Carter, who comes across here as a much more cynical and cold character, something to watch out for in the rest of this series. From there, several action sequences manifest in the episode, one of which takes place within a port harbour which has a lot of death and a lot of explosions added. The stunt work involved is solid, very visceral, and hard. The episode culminates in Lithuania, with a cliffhanger which sees Wakanda getting involved. We also see more of the flag smashers, with Erin Kellyman giving more great performances here, and building her character up rather nicely.

RATING: 86% - A-





Connor Macgregor Reviews...The Falcon & The Winter Soldier

Episode Four

INTRO: Arguably the most thrilling and best episode in the series.

SUMMARY:
WARNING: "Summary" spoilers below
Bucky Barnes is confronted by Ayo of the Dora Milaje, who has come for Helmut Zemo, the terrorist that killed their king T'Chaka.[a] As Barnes broke Zemo out of prison to help him find the terrorist group, the Flag Smashers, Ayo gives Barnes eight hours to use Zemo before the Wakandans come for him. Barnes, Zemo, and Sam Wilson investigate a camp in Latvia where Flag Smasher sympathizers are housing and teaching people that were displaced when half of all life returned from the Blip.[b]

Zemo discovers where a memorial service is being held for Donya Madani, the adoptive mother of the Flag Smashers' leader Karli Morgenthau. He, Wilson, and Barnes are confronted by John Walker / Captain America and his partner Lemar Hoskins, who Wilson convinces to let him speak to Morgenthau alone. Wilson attempts to persuade her to change her violent methods, but is interrupted by an impatient Walker, leading to a fight. Zemo shoots Morgenthau, causing her to drop vials of Super Soldier Serum, which he begins to smash. Walker stops Zemo and retrieves a single remaining vial while Morgenthau escapes.

Ayo and the Dora Milaje come for Zemo, but Walker refuses to hand him over. In the ensuing fight, Walker is humiliated while Zemo escapes. Walker later discusses the Super Soldier Serum with Hoskins, who suggests that Walker will always make the right decision and would be able to save lives if he had taken it. Morgenthau plans to divide the group and threatens Wilson's sister Sarah and her family to lure him and Barnes to a meeting. Meanwhile, Walker and Hoskins attack other Flag Smashers. Wilson and Barnes rush to find them, leading to another fight wherein Wilson realizes that Walker has taken the serum.

Morgenthau follows Wilson and Barnes and joins the fight, accidentally killing Hoskins. Enraged by his friend's death, Walker chases one of the Flag Smashers, Nico, and uses Captain America's shield to kill him. With Nico's blood on the shield, Walker realizes that he is surrounded by horrified bystanders who have filmed his actions.


REVIEW: We are straight off the back of Episode three, with Wakanda soldiers now getting involved following the release of Baron Zemo. It leads to an intense fight scene between Wakanda soldiers, Baron Zemo, and The Falcon and Winter Soldier. Lithuania is still the central location for this episode, and with this The Falcon slightly takes highlight, with a great scene involving Karli. He attempts to use solace to have her end her chaos with the serum. It fails, and all the serums are destroyed with the exception of one. John Walker ultimately comes across it and seizes it to further his abilities going forward. Unfortunately, things go out of control and a death causes John Walker to lose control and take extreme action as a result. This in turn sets the tone for the rest of the story, and is by far the strongest episode of the series. A thrilling and intense episode, with an eagerness to see what is to come next.

RATING: 92% - A





Connor Macgregor Reviews...The Falcon and The Winter Soldier

Episode Five

INTRO: Following an intense episode four, episode five reacts, reflects and rebuilds.

SUMMARY:
WARNING: "Summary" spoilers below
After using Captain America's shield to kill one of the Flag Smashers in public, John Walker flees, but is pursued by Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes. Wilson demands that Walker hand over the shield, but he refuses. In the ensuing fight, Walker destroys Wilson's wingsuit, but Wilson and Barnes take the shield from him, breaking his arm in the process. Wilson then leaves his damaged wingsuit with Joaquin Torres and asks him to continue looking for the Flag Smashers.

Barnes finds Helmut Zemo at a memorial in Sokovia and hands him over to the Dora Milaje. While Ayo advises him not to return to Wakanda for some time, he asks her to forward a favor to the country. Meanwhile, Walker receives an other than honorable discharge and is stripped of his role as Captain America. Afterward, he is approached by Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, who tells him that taking the serum and killing the Flag Smasher was the right thing to do and says she will contact him in the future. Walker later visits his late partner, Lemar Hoskins', family and claims that the man he killed is the one who killed Hoskins.

Wilson returns to Baltimore to visit Isaiah Bradley, who discusses his past as a Black super soldier and how he was imprisoned after rescuing fellow soldiers who had also been experimented on before stating that a Black man would never be allowed to become Captain America nor should one want to. Wilson then returns home to Louisiana and helps his sister Sarah fix the family boat, with assistance from several locals as well as Barnes, who delivers a briefcase from the Wakandans to Wilson. Wilson and Barnes train with the shield and agree to move on from their pasts and work together.

Meanwhile, the Flag Smashers plan an attack on a Global Repatriation Council (GRC) conference in New York City. They are joined by Georges Batroc, who wants to kill Wilson and was released from prison by Sharon Carter. When Torres contacts Wilson and tells him the Flag Smashers have been detected in New York City, Wilson decides to intervene and opens the briefcase.

In a mid-credits scene, Walker builds a new shield from scrap metal and his Medal of Honor.


REVIEW: Straight into the aftermath from Episode 4, with consequences for John Walker by the US government as a result. The mantle of Captain America now lies in the open. And the mood of the episode feels more like a daze if anything. A fight scene in the beginning of the episode resumes from the fight sequence from the last episode, which continues the tension and horror from Episode 4. We return also to the subplot of the black super soldier who was extremely wronged by society then, and continues to now. It's a moving tale that he tells and one that affects Sam Wilson massively. It leaves him a little directionless going forward. Following that, Sam returns to his family and community, which shows us some great wholesome scenes as Sam reconnects with them as they help rebuild his boat. By the episode's end, Sam and Bucky have a good understanding of who they are, as well as a great montage of Sam training for the role that he is destined for. And with that, the episode, while a little down from previous in terms of quality, sets the stage for the finale to come.


RATING: 79% - B+





Connor Macgregor Reviews... The Falcon & The Winter Soldier

Episode Six

INTRO: The finale of a miniseries that transitions in a new Captain America, and sets forth a new road for his sidekick.

SUMMARY:
WARNING: "Summary" spoilers below
Wearing a new Captain America uniform and flight suit from the Wakandans, Sam Wilson flies to New York to save the Global Repatriation Council (GRC) from the Flag Smashers' attack, with the help of Bucky Barnes and Sharon Carter, who had secretly traveled to New York. While Wilson fights Georges Batroc, the Flag Smashers take several GRC representatives as hostages. Wilson pursues a group of hostages taken in a helicopter, while Barnes pursues and intercepts a group in trucks. Karli Morgenthau sets one of the vehicles on fire to keep Barnes busy and escape with the other, but John Walker arrives and intervenes. Barnes succeeds in freeing the hostages from the burning truck and joins Walker in battling the Flag Smashers but is knocked into the pit of a construction site. Walker is overcome as well, and Morgenthau drives the remaining truck into the site. Walker chooses to let Morgenthau go to stop the truck from falling. Morgenthau and the remaining Flag Smashers attack him, and they all fall to the ground, but Wilson, having saved the hostages in the helicopter, arrives and catches the truck. As the hostages are freed, Batroc arrives and uses smoke grenades to allow the Flag Smashers to flee into the tunnels around the construction site.

Carter separates Morgenthau from the others and confronts Morgenthau for betraying her, revealing her identity as the Power Broker. Batroc attempts to blackmail Carter, but she kills him. Wilson comes to reason with Morgenthau, but Morgenthau refuses to listen to Wilson's pleas and fights with him once more, but when Morgenthau is about to shoot Wilson, Carter shoots her. Before dying, a tearful Morgenthau apologizes to Wilson. After the attack, Wilson convinces the GRC to postpone the vote to force the relocation of the Blip-displaced people that Morgenthau died fighting for and instead make efforts to help them.

The remaining Super Soldier Serum-enhanced Flag Smashers are captured, but they are killed by Helmut Zemo's butler Oeznik via a vehicle explosion while en-route to the Raft. Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine gives Walker a new suit and asks him to become a U.S. Agent for tasks where they cannot use Captain America. Wilson takes Isaiah Bradley and his grandson Eli to the Smithsonian's Captain America exhibit, where he had a memorial dedicated to Bradley installed. Barnes makes amends with his friend, Yori Nakajima, telling him that he killed his son while he was the Winter Soldier and crosses off every other name on his list of people who needed closure from him. Leaving New York for Louisiana, he then joins Wilson and his friends and family for a celebratory cookout.

In a mid-credits scene, Carter receives a pardon from the United States government and is reinstated to her former position in the CIA. She later makes a phone call, informing someone that the Power Broker now has full access to the government's secrets.


REVIEW: The finale for the miniseries arrives with a fair amount of anticipation building within the first minute. And very quickly, the new Captain America is unveiled with an awesome new outfit to suit Sam Wilson. The whole episode serves as a climax, with it igniting at the very start of the episode. From there, you have great set pieces littered all across the runtime, including a crucial scene with Captain America winning the crowd and authorities over with a impassioned monologue. This will no doubt become crucial to future installments going forward. We also get a proper confirmation of Sharon Carter's true deception that has taken place, which will no doubt be a fascinating arc going forward. Two shout outs regarding performances. First is Erin Kelleyman, who delivers a very emotional round off of her character. Then, of course, Anthony Mackie, who cements himself as the new Captain America in a brilliant performance also.

RATING: 88% - A-

SERIES RATING - 86% - A-