The Falcon and The Winter Soldier: Episode 5 Intel Report
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I can’t tell you what you wanna hear, my brother. I can only tell you the truth. – Isaiah Bradley
Things move into place in the penultimate episode of Marvel Studios’ The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.
In Episode 5, “Truth,” John Walker must face the consequences of his action in the final scenes of Episode 4, “The World Is Watching;” Sam Wilson (Falcon) and Bucky Barnes (Winter Soldier) see to it that he does. Unfortunately for our two heroes, Walker’s actions have put the unsuccessful mission in the global spotlight, forcing the Global Repatriation Act (GRC) to move forward with a vote on the Patch Act, and consequently pushing Karli and the Flag Smashers deeper into their cause.
Stream Episode 5 “Truth” of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier now on Disney+, and read on to discover some notable highlights from our Intel Report below!
Where are we off to? Who are the latest key players? What do we know so far? Read the latest Intel Report and find out!
• Riga, Latvia
• Washington, D.C.
• Baltimore, Maryland
• Delacroix, Louisiana
• New York City, NY
We Could Have Been A Team
Following the brutal killing of a Flag Smasher, John Walker is haunted by flashbacks of the execution as well as memories of his best friend Lemar Hoskins telling him he consistently makes the right decision.
Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes approach Walker cautiously in an abandoned building. Dismissing their concerns, John tells the pair to go see a medic since they don’t look so good. He pleads he had to do what he did—he had to kill him since the Flag Smasher killed Lemar, but Bucky firmly replies that the Flag Smasher was not the one who killed Lemar. Sam reasons that it was the heat of the battle, and that the government may consider his past exemplary record, but he needs to give up the shield so no one else gets hurt. This revitalizes John in a bad way as he believes Sam and Bucky are now his enemy. John states they could have been a team, and reminds them that he is Captain America. With the Super Soldier Serum surging through him, John unleashes on Sam and Bucky in an all-out brutish brawl blaming the duo for Lemar’s death; “If you had let me do things my way, Lemar would still be here!” Blinded by his fury and determined to not let anyone get in his way, Walker momentarily knocks out Bucky, tears the wings off of Sam’s Falcon suit, and nearly executes Sam the way he did the Flag Smasher.
In a three-way grip for the shield, Sam uses his repulsors to rip the shield from John. All exhausted and battered from the battle, Bucky grabs the shield from the ground, tosses it to Sam, and walks off. Emotional, Sam looks at the still bloody and battered shield as he tries to wipe off the blood.
I Am Captain America
At one of the resettlement camps, Sam learns that the GRC is conducting raids to try to find Karli, but they’re only finding her followers instead. First Lieutenant Joaquin Torres tells Sam that Captain America killing a foreign national in public has triggered an international incident, and as expected, folks higher up in the payroll have now taken jurisdiction. Besides, Karli is laying extra low; she’s a ghost thanks to people helping her from all over the world, on all platforms. Imparting some wisdom, Torres tells Sam to sit tight for the time being — “Sometimes there’s nothing to do until there’s something to do.”
Meanwhile, back in Washington D.C., the council decrees that John Walker will no longer act in any capacity as a representative of the United States government or its military, stripping John of his Captain America title, effective immediately.
Walker attempts to appeal the order; the council refutes that it’s due to his previous exemplary service that he hasn’t been court martialed. Furious, John yells that he has lived his whole life by their mandates, always doing what they asked of him and trained him to do; “You built me. Senator, I am Captain America,” before storming off while they demand he returns the shield.
Kind of Legal Gray Area
In the hallway of the portico, downtrodden, Walker tells his wife Olivia that no one understands what it takes to be Captain America and he’s not going to disappear. Olivia helps him remain focused, telling him to visit Lemar’s parents, and then they can build his case for an appeal.
Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine approaches, interrupting the couple, to introduce herself. Situating herself between them on the bench, Val appeals to John, “Look, I would have killed [him] too. Nobody in there is mad at you about that.”
Val understands his position, but “these guys in ties” in the government have a “whole thing to protect.” She assures John that he did the right thing—in his extreme measure to eliminate the Flag Smasher and in taking the Super Soldier Serum. She tells him that these actions have made him very valuable to certain people. She tells him to pick up the phone when she calls, and not to worry about the shield since it doesn’t belong to the government. It’s kind of a legal gray area.
Karli and the remaining Flag Smashers survey a raided GRC camp that had been shut down for helping them. Revitalized in their cause, and heartbroken by the losses they’ve suffered, Karli states their movement is ready—they will no longer pay with their lives just to be considered citizens of this planet.
Elsewhere, Bucky approaches Zemo at the Sokovian memorial site. The Baron warns Bucky that Karli has been radicalized beyond salvation and that Sam is too stubborn, like Steve Rogers, to listen to him. Bucky meanwhile, is “programmed to kill” and needs to make sure she can’t continue her mission. Zemo expresses disappointment when Bucky states they are going to do things their own way.
Before being taken into custody by the Dora Milaje, Zemo tells Bucky, “I took the liberty of crossing off my name in your book. I held no grudges for what you thought you had to do.”
Ayo tells Bucky that they will be transporting Zemo to the Raft maximum security prison, and advises him, “It would be prudent to make yourself scarce from Wakanda for the time being, White Wolf.” Bucky understands, but before they leave, he has one more favor to ask of the Wakandans.
Leave Me Dead
In Baltimore, Sam visits the Bradley home with the Captain America shield. Isaiah Bradley tells Sam to leave the shield in its case, “Those Stars and Stripes don’t mean nothing good to me.” Sam just wants to understand what went wrong, which Isaiah promptly states that Sam does understand, “Every Black man does, whether you want to deny it or not.”
Isaiah tells Sam that he was just like him until he opened his eyes. The men in the all-Black 332d squadron, the Red Tails, returned home from war to find crosses burned on their lawn. He and his men were all shot up with different versions of the serum and sent on missions, but they were never told the true nature of the experiments. Worse than those with unstable versions of the serum started dying, when soldiers who were experimented on were captured, the government talked about blowing up the POW camp to “hide the evidence.”
Sam pleads that Isaiah was a super soldier like Steve Rogers, and he could have been the next…but Isaiah shuts down the idea that he would have never been accepted; he didn’t have blond hair and blue eyes. Instead, he was incarcerated and the love of his life died while he was in jail. The government never delivered a single letter from her, telling her he was dead. For the next 30 years, he was experimented on as they tried to figure out why the serum worked on him, before he was saved by a nurse who took pity on him and faked documents declaring him dead.
Sam believes the world is different now and that he knows people who can do something. Realizing why Sam really is there visiting, he tells Sam to leave him dead; he would be “dead in a day” if people knew of his existence. They erased him, his history, and others like him for the past 500 years. Isaiah pointedly states, “They will never let a Black man be Captain America, and even if they did, no self-respecting Black man would ever want to be.”
The Wilson Family Needs Help
Back home with his sister Sarah, Sam is determined to fix the family boat. Sarah prods Sam that he should be off saving the world instead of here bothering her. He reminds her that Sarah and her kids’ well-being are part of the world, and that the government stepped in, and he’s momentarily benched.
Realizing that Sarah has been taking care of the community just like their parents, Sam decides to make some calls and see how many people still owe their parents a few favors. At the boat docks, the community came and delivered on those favors with donations of parts needed to fix the Wilson family boat.
Bucky arrives to lend a helping hand, as well as deliver a Wakandan briefcase to Sam. After a long day, fixing the boat together, Sam tells Bucky he’s welcome to crash at his place as long as he doesn’t flirt with his sister, or else “I’ll have Carlos cut you up and feed you to the fish.”
Measure of Peace
John Walker visits the Hoskins family to provide them with closure on their son Lemar. He explains to Lemar’s parents that he went after the person who killed Lemar because “[he] would never let the person who did that get away,” hoping they can find some peace that their son’s killer is gone.
Pulling out a photo of John and Lemar from their first tour, John reminisces that there is nobody like his best friend. Lemar’s mom assures John that Lemar knew the risks of the job, and that Lemar is resting easier knowing the man responsible got his justice. She tells John that Lemar was so proud when John was made Captain America, and told her every day what an honor it was to be his partner.
Elsewhere in Madripoor, Sharon Carter makes a phone call to offer someone a job, after all, they would still be rotting in an Algerian prison if it wasn’t for her. Plus, she’ll give them double this time…
A Couple of Guys with a Mutual Friend
Sam and Bucky practice with the shield; Sam still feels weird picking up the shield due to its complicated legacy. Bucky reveals that when Steve planned to hand over his shield to Sam, neither of them understood what it feels for a Black man to be handed the shield, and that he owes Sam an apology. Offering the olive branch, he tells Sam he knows John Walker being made Captain America wasn’t Sam’s fault. Bucky explains that the shield was the closest thing he got left to a family, and when Sam retired it, he felt like he had nothing left, forcing him to question everything.
Sam offers up some tough love—Bucky needs to stop looking to others to tell him who he is. Is he still having nightmares? Bucky confirms yes, worried that a part of the Winter Soldier is still in him. Sam tells Bucky to climb out of his personal hell, he needs to do the work—he’s not amending, he’s been avenging. He’s been too focused on stopping all the people he enabled when he was the Winter Soldier thinking it would bring him closure when he should be approaching those on his list and be of service to them. There are people who need closure and Bucky is the only person who can give it to them. Bucky understands.
As Bucky leaves to catch his flight, he tells Sam when he gets a lead on Karli, he will be there to back him up. The normally prickly pair have upgraded to professional partners…coworkers…a couple of guys with a mutual friend…who’s now gone.
Echoing Sam’s advice to Bucky that he shouldn’t be looking to Steve or anyone else to tell him who he is, Sarah tells Sam to not let Isaiah Bradley get in his head. She had never once in her life thought he was running away; there’s a fight out there and there’s our fight here, and she admires that he has taken them both on. Sam is resolved, despite the pain and sacrifice, to stand up and keep fighting.
They’re Everywhere and Nowhere
Karli arranges a meetup in the park to level the playing field; she partners with Georges Batroc, who lost a small fortune when Falcon intercepted one of his jobs not long ago. Providing the Flag Smashers with a case of sophisticated weapons, Dovich expresses concern that they’re now working with criminals. Karli firmly states that there were never any guarantees they’d all make it out alive, and besides, they’re already criminals in the eyes of the world. At least now, Batroc gets his payback, they get the killer John Walker, and they stop the GRC vote. Batroc makes clear he does not care to join any movement, he just wants Falcon. Using the Flag Smasher app, Karli reiterates they all will get what they want tonight…when they go to battle.
Joaquin Torres reaches out to Sam with what he has uncovered while tracking scans of Flag Smasher activities online. Those scans showed pings in areas just before the group hit those places. While the activity has been all over Europe, earlier today, they spotted one from New York. With a new lead, Sam opens the Wakandan briefcase Bucky had previously dropped off.
That evening, a handful of high-powered international GRC members convene to vote on the Patch Act, which is supposed to move upwards of 20 million refugees back to their countries of origin. The argument gets heated as the Senator and Prime Minister Lacont do not believe there are not sufficient resources in the resettlement camps. Before the vote can progress, GRC aides who sympathize with the Flag Smasher cause move in place to lockdown the GRC building, killing the lights and cutting their screen monitors.
End Credit: It’s Not Just Like He’s Going to Disappear
Deeply focused, in his workshop, John Walker creates his own shield with each of his Medals of Honors welded into the back of it.
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