REVIEW: ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,’ Episode 5 – ”Trust”

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The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode 5 - ”Trust”

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier pulls out all the stops for its penultimate episode, entitled “Trust.” Following the cliffhanger ending of “The Whole World Is Watching,” The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode 5 has Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) confront John Walker (Wyatt Russell). Bucky also finally faces down Zemo (Daniel Bruhl) and Sam has a discussion with Isaiah Bradley (Carl Lumbly) about the dark history behind the legacy of Captain America.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode 5 draws its name from the 2003 Marvel miniseries Truth: Red, White & Black by Robert Morales and Kyle Baker, which chronicled Isaiah’s journey as Captain America. That history is retold over the course of Sam’s conversation with Isiah, and Mackie and Lumbly pour their hearts into this scene. Isaiah has every right to be angry as the country he served locked him up and imprisoned him, and Sam is even more conflicted about picking up Captain America’s shield given this additional history. As a Black man watching this scene, I felt so many emotions watching this scene, which writer Dalan Musson and director Kari Skogland handled with immense grace.

In fact, every conversation in this episode is given some form of weight, including Bucky’s confrontation with Zemo and Bucky and Sam discussing what the future holds for them. The former is laced with tension, thanks to Stan’s stoic performance and Bruhl’s viper-like charisma-but ultimately ends with Bucky reaching some kind of closure. The latter features a new wrinkle in the chemistry between Mackie and Stan, as both Bucky and Sam have a heartfelt discussion about their respective issues and decide to tackle life on their terms. In the Marvel method of emphasizing the “human” in superhuman, both of them toss around the Captain America shield while talking about their problems-which is a neat touch.

Sam and Bucky also bond over fixing up Sam’s parents’ boat, which sees Sam reconnect with his sister Sarah (Adepero Oduye). Sarah and Sam have another heart to heart about their family’s legacy which leads to Sam making his final decision concerning the shield, and I have to give props to Oduye and Mackie for selling that sibling connection. Skogland also works in a pair of montages featuring Sam and Bucky fixing up Sarah’s boat and Sam training with the shield; both made me surprisingly emotional.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how Russell continues to portray Walker as growing steadily unhinged. From his meltdown during a government testimonial to his actions in the mid-credits scene, it’s clear that Walker is slowly becoming the cracked mirror image of Steve Rogers. Nowhere is that made more clear than in the opening fight scene between Walker, Sam and Bucky. Skogland films it with a growing sense of intensity, as Walker’s moves become more sloppy and lethal and Sam is forced to pull off every trick that he can to win. The episode’s ending also hints at a rematch between Walker and Sam, which the series has been building to over its run. 

Finally, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode 5 features the appearance of a new character who showrunner Malcolm Spellman hinted would be a major surprise. Spellman was right: the character in question is portrayed by a surprising choice of actress, and her character has deep ties to the Captain America mythos. Hopefully, we will see more of this character down the road, whether it’s in the Falcon/Winter Soldier finale or future Marvel Studios projects.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode 5 is an emotional rollercoaster of an episode, building upon past events and giving its leads the chance to flex their chops. Next week brings the series finale, and I hope that it either matches or excels in this episode in terms of emotion and/or action.

The finale of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will air next Friday on Disney+.

 

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode 5 - ”Trust”
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    Rating - 10/10
10/10

TL;DR

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode 5 is an emotional rollercoaster of an episode, building upon past events and giving its leads the chance to flex their chops. Next week brings the series finale, and I hope that it either matches or excels in this episode in terms of emotion and/or action.