THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER EP.4: The serum, the shield and the shocking finale

The 4th episode of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier ia an episode that the fans won’t forget easly. In particular, the last images of the episode will be impressed for a long time.

Shocking is probably the best way to describe this episode, especially the finale. It is titled “The whole world is watching” and it is full of events, emotions and action. The 4th episode offers a view on the hard journey to rehabilitation of Bucky but above all it offers the proof of what fans have always claimed and thought. No one better than Sam can replace Steve as the symbol of hope and justice.

In this article, we are going to talk analyze the best moments of this emotional and full of actions 4th episode of the The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, the second Marvel series of Phase 4.


The 4th episode of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier starts with a flashback. We’re in Wakanda with a long haired and bearded Bucky who fights against the Hydra mental conditioning. Ayo, one of the Dor Milaje, is with him and she believes he is ready. The warrior slowly repeats the word to activate the Winter Soldier, every word reminds painfully an event of Bucky’s past but they don’t work. Bucky is free, finally after years of violence he is free from the Hydra’s mind control.

The ex assassin smiles through tears and it’s unuseful to say how much those big blue eyes and that smile hits deeply.

big blue eyes The Falcon and The Winter Soldier

Bucky’s path to rehabilitation was really hard. Ayo says it clearly when she comes to Latvia to take Zemo. Bucky’s rehabilitation took time and resources for Wakanda. It’s clear that she feels betrayed by the soldier who has freed the man in charge of her king’s death. After what Wakanda has done for the White Wolf, Ayo feels his action like a betrayal of the trust that the nation and above all she had in him. However, we can say that Ayo still trusts Bucky. Indeed during a battle at Zemo’s house, Ayo tears out Bucky’s metal arm but doesn’t take it away. Surely, this surprises the soldier who looks the warrior going away with wide eyes.


Bucky arm The Falcon and The Winter Soldier

Trust is one of Bucky’s problematic question, he explains it to the psychologist in the first episodes. The Super Soldier can’t trust others but above all can’t trust himself. Despite being de-programmed, Bucky is afraid and this fear stops him to create new relations or simply to come closer to the others. He is afraid not only to still hurt people but also to lose the people who cares about.

It’s probably this fear to keep him distant from Sam. Bucky says that he is not his partner in the 4th episode like he does not care about him. However, when Walker talks about Sam’s safety and makes him question about it, his mask of displayed coldness and indifference crumbles. His fear is written in his eyes, he can’t lose other people. For this reason, he can’t leave Sam go alone to talk with Karli. “I’m with you ’till the end of the line” is what he has always said to Steve and these words are worth for everyone he cares about.

Once again Sebastian Stan gives us a great interpretation and his eyes are very good at acting.


Besides of a view on Bucky’s wakandian past and on his trust issues and fears, the 4th episode of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier offers the proof of what th fans have always known and claimed: Sam is the only one that can take Captain America’s shield. Actually, the proofs are more than one.

The first proof comes out from a onversation between Sam and Zemo. For the sokovian baron, “super soldiers cannot be allowed to exist”. Karli has cuased the death of many people and for Zemo she should be killed. The baron explains that the young super soldier believes in supremacy, an ideal that every super soldier comes to believe. In other words, being a super soldier leads to prevail violently on people and to submit them. So, for Zemo the only way possible is to kill Karli and her acolytes before she establishes another violent and distorted regim like the nazist one.

Sam perhaps believes that there is another way, blood isn’y the only solution because the super soldier, unlike Zemo thinks, are not all the same. Bucky is an example.

The winged hero agrees with Karli’s fight but not with the way she is fighting. He says it clearly when they talk after Mama Donia’s funeral. She was the head of Karli’s comunity and helped many people after the blip. The avenger understand the young girl frustration and her helplessness. She says that violence is the only way to change the world that is unfair. This is not true for Sam, violence is not the right way to change the world.


Sam is understanding, he understands Karli’s reasons and he doesn’t judge her only a threat just like Steve didn’t judge Wanda only as a danger. “She is just a kid” Sam says, talking about Karli, the same thing that Steve said about Wanda in Captain America: Civil War.

she is just a kid The Falcon and The Winter Soldier

This is the first proof that Sam is worthy to not only take the shield but also of how much he is similar to Steve in his way of thinking. Compassion, understanding and listening skill is what makes Sam a good man. Being a good man is, like Doctor Erskine said to Steve before the experiment, is what is necessary for being a hero.

Another proof that Sam is the only one able to take on Cap’s symbol is what we can call as the serum test. After Karli escapes and Zemo destroys almost all the super soldier serum vials, the sokovian baron asks Sam a question. He asks the winged hero if he would take the serum if he had the possibility. Sam answers with no esitation, he would’t take it. This shows once again that Sam is worthy because what makes you an hero is not superpowers but the capacity to do the right thing.

What stops Sam from taking Cap’s place is not his lack off superpowers. It’s more complicated than that, taking the shield and Cap’s place would mean becoming a symbol of a nation that Sam is not sure to be able to represent.


It’s clear that something is not right with John Walker in this 4th episode of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. Since his first appearence, the soldier appears nervous and frustrated. He’s rude and grumpy when he approaches Sam, Bucky and Zemo in Latvia. The reasons of his behavior are multiple, the first one is the weight of the expectations.

John has on his shoulder a huge weight, carrying Captain America’s shield implies many expectations from the government of the USA, the citizens and the whole world. Another reason of his behavior is the non-recognition. The whole world sees John as the new Captain America but those were close to Steve don’t recognize him, they don’t recognize his authority and his role. To notice that John always introduces himself as Captain America while Steve never did that, introducing himself with his real name.

Moreover, another reason is the sense of inferiority. In “The whole world is watching”, Walker, for the fans joy, is beated up from the Dora Milaje. The wakandian worriors attack him, showing their incredible strenght and above all Walker’s weakness. “They weren’t even Super Soldier” Walker says to his partner Lamar when he helps him to stand up. Walker’s inferiority is evident but it’s not only a fisical or super powers matter.

The threats that heroes like Sam or Bucky have to deal with are different of those Walker is used to deal with. Often the enemies are not even human, the past is full of examples, Thanos is one of them. To fight against such kind of threats, strenght but above all a specific mindset is needed, a way of thinking that born from experience. Walke is human like many other heroes, like Sam, Tony or Scott Lang but he has never dealt with enemies like them.

Anyway, all these reasons makes John Walker really unstable and Bucky notices it.

Bucky: Something’s not right about Walker.

Sam: You don’t say.

Bucky: Well, I know a crazy when I see one. Because I am crazy.

Walker reaches the climax of the instability when he takes the serum.


walker serum The FAlcon and The Winter Soldier

During the fisrt fight with Karli, Zemo destroy almost all the serum vials. Walker stops him before he can destroy all of them and he takes the last one. After he takes the serum, the soldier appears out of his mind, he can defeat Karli’s super soldiers, he breaks a door, bends a tube without fatigue and throw the shield, sticking it in the wall. It seems he is almost intoxicated by the serum while he fights, his look and his way to move change like if he is changing and indeed he is.

“The serum amplifies everything that is inside, so good becomes great; bad becomes worse. This is why you were chosen. Because the strong man who has known power all his life, may lose respect for that power, but a weak man knows the value of strength, and knows… compassion.”

– Dottor Abrahm Erskine in Captain America: The First Avenger

Like Doctor Erskin says in Captain America: The First Avengers, the serum amplifies what is inside the person who takes it. Good becomes better, bad becomes worse. We can say that Walker is evil but taht he was not ready to take the serum. Steve didn’t take the seerum to get power or strenght, to fullfill some exptations or some lack. He took it to do his part in the world, to change it and make it a better place. On the other hand, John took it to be strong, to be recognized and to fullfill the expactations.

The serum has amplified Walker’s fisical abilities but also his frustrations, his aggressiveness and above all his anger for the death of his partner. During the last fight, Lamar is killed from one of Karli’s soldiers. They run away and Walker starts immediately to follow them. He reaches one of them, the soldier that early in the episode has revealed to Karli thatwhan he was a child he was a Captain America’s fan.

Here we are at the moment that has shocked all the fans in the world. Walker, blinded by anger, in the middle of a square, decapitates the Karli’s soldier with the shield. Everything happens under the eyes of Sam, Bucky, Karli and a a crowd of people who record the event. No one will forget the image of Captain America‘s bloody shield.

The serum amplied the worst in Smith who for Erskine wasn’t ready to take the serum. Maybe Walker won’t get a red skull but the serum has had the same effect on him.

Maybe, at the moment, John Walker is one of the most hated character of the MCU but we have to says that Wyatt Russell who plays him is really telented.


To conclude, the 4th episode of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier has been an episode full of emotional events. Besides the issues about Bucky, Sam and John Walker that we have just analyzed, we have also Zemo who becomes always more iconic and escapes in El Chapo style while the hell happens in his house and Sharon Carter who is always more ambiguous. The ex S.H.I.E.L.D agent seems to have a lot of information and resources. However, no one won’t forget Zemo’s turkish delights and his cherry blossom tea.

Furthermore, there is the mysterious Power Broker who wants the serum stolen by Kali or he will kill her, we don’t know who he is yet but he seems obsessed by super soldiers. Someone has theorized that he could be Thaddeus Ross who has always been really interested in the serum.

So, two more episodes left of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier and so many things to know. One thing is sure, someone has to take away the shield from John Walker.

Follow & Share:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *