The latest episode of the MCU series The Falcon and the Winter is titled, suitably enough, The Whole World is Watching, echoing the iconic anti-Vietnam War slogan of protestors in the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
Everything from here is located in the spoiler territory, so if you have not seen the episode, and intend to, here is your warning to stop reading. Watch it, and then come back.
The episode begins with a flashback. Bucky, sporting long hair, is with Ayo, the Dora Milaje soldier who confronted him in the last episode, in Wakanda. The flashback Bucky is being helped by Ayo, who enunciates the words that earlier would have turned him into a stone-cold killer. He does not, well, turn into a stone-cold killer, indicating that his mind is free from Hydra’s influence. Shuri is to be thanked.
Back in present, Ayo gives Bucky 8 hours before she comes to apprehend Zemo for his murder of King T’Chaka, the previous Black Panther. Sam and Bucky ask people about where Donya Madani’s funeral will be, hoping this will lead them to Karli Morgenthau, the leader of the Flag-Smashers, but in vain. Zemo offers kids some Turkish Delight, and this convince a little girl in revealing the location of the funeral to him.
We see Karli with several vials of the Super Soldier serum, as she discusses with her lieutenant whether it is right to create more Super Soldiers.
The (new) Captain America and his partner are here too and they confront Sam and Bucky. Zemo leads all of them to the funeral’s location. Sam requests Cap to give him 10 minutes alone with Karli, likely thinking of common causes he has with her. They talk until Cap gets impatient and crashes the tête-à-tête.
Karli escapes, and Zemo, who was handcuffed to a machine, makes his exit too and shoots her. She drops her Super Soldier serum vials, though the bullet has not struck any important organ. Zemo stomps upon the vials angrily. Later, Cap sees the smashed vials and spots one lone vial. He pockets it for later use.
Cap later accosts Sam and Bucky and asks them to hand Zemo over. Sam says Zemo has proven useful and they need him. He, however, is not in the mood to talk. He says he will make it fair for Sam and puts down the shield.
Out of the blue, a spear arrives and Cap ducks it just in time. It’s Dora Milaje, who want Zemo back. Cap says the Dora Milaje have no jurisdiction here. They reply they have jurisdiction wherever they are at present. They proceed to beat him to a pulp.
Walker is utterly humiliated.
Sam and Karli meet again, prompted by latter’s call to his sister. Sam arrives in his Falcon suit with Bucky following. Sharon Carter, who had been tasked to track Walker, informs Sam that the new Cap is closing in on to the location.
Fighting ensues and Lemar, Cap’s friend, is captured. Sam, Bucky and Cap fight the Flag-Smashers and Sam realises Walker has consumed the Super Soldier serum and can hold his own against the Flag-Smashers.
Lemar, who had escaped, is killed by Karli in the battle. Sam and Bucky leave to pursue the escaping Flag-Smashers as Walker loses it. He goes outside in pursuit and comes across one of Karli’s men. He proceeds him to kill by repeatedly slamming the vibranium shield on his chest on the wide street as people watch and record the video. We are shown the blood-stained shield. Now, nobody can in good conscience say that John Walker deserved Cap’s shield.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier streams on Disney+ Hotstar Premium.