It was the end, but also a new beginning.
The season finale featured the climax against the Flag Smashers, as Karli is determined to change the world, but it also hints that maybe she should have taken a different path
For the others, there will be a future, but not one everyone will like.
It’s official. Sam Wilson is Captain America.
Some will not like the idea, but the way he takes on the mantle, people will have to give it a try.
The first half is the battle he has against the Flag Smashers, led by Karli (Erin Kellyman) and Batroc (Geroges St. Pierre). He’s joined by Sharon Carter (Emily Van Camp) and Bucky, and the fight is a bit confusing but action packed. People have to be impressed about how Sam combines his new suit with his familiar wings.
While Batroc is only interested in getting Sam, Karli seems to be trapped by her rhetoric. She started the Flag Smashers to give a voice to those who were forgotten after the Blip. Now, she thinks the only road to progress is death, even if has to be her own.
She fights everyone here, Sam, Bucky, even John Walker with a shield of his own. She can’t turn back, yet some fans wish she could.
It’s also revealed that Karli had a mentor…Sharon, aka the Power Broker. That explains the text Karli got about the super serum she “stole”.
Some people called this, while others were a bit afraid because Peggy’s philosophy wouldn’t survive a more complicated world. We knew Sharon was getting cynical about the “hero” idea, but she’s now in the Dark Side? Sure, she does help out Sam and Bucky, but she saw the Flag Smashers as her new army. That’s an offer Karli didn’t want, and she winds up shooting Karen.
Sam tries to get Karli to consider another way, but she tries to kill Sam. Sharon stops her by killing her. It’s a messy way to end this battle.
As for the other Flag Smashers, they get killed by a bomb, courtesy of the jailed Baron Zemo.
So what now?
This is where Sam Wilson truly shines, He tells the GRC that just defining their enemies as terrorists, and not trying to understand their grievances, isn’t enough. They may have powers and influence Thanos would envy, but what’s important is what they do with it. It’s an obvious point, but it’s always important to remind people of that. He even points out he’s a Black man wearing the Stars and Stripes, which might upset some people who like the idea of John Walker as Captain America. Sam will take his new role and use it to the best of his ability, just like Steve Rogers did. That’s a start, and he gets the GRC thinking.
It’s a nice successor to the famous “No, You Move” speech.
He also does right by Isaiah Bradley (Carl Lumbly). He finally gets the recognition he deserved at the the Captain America exhibit. He looks very proud, and of Sam of proving anyone can be Captain America if that person has what it takes. It would have been nice if Old Man Rogers (Steve at the end of Endgame) saw it, and said “well, glad they finally admitted it”.
As for Bucky, he decides to make amends, especially with his friend Nakajima. He confesses he killed Nakajima’s son. It’s hard but it was necessary to leave the dark side of the Winter Soldier behind. As Sam said last week, Bucky should let people know he’s here to serve others, and it’s safe to say that is next.
What about Walker? It looks like he’s got a relationship with the Contessa, and will be known as US Agent. He’s probably hoping he’ll be bigger than Captain America, but if she’s behind his future he may face a different future. Some may even accept him as Captain America, no matter what.
Then there’s Sharon. She gets pardoned and is back with the CIA.
She’s also the Power Broker, apparently ready to sell government secrets to anyone with the money.
Some see this as a good thing because it’s about time the MCU gets good female villains. Others….are covering the eyes of their pictures of Peggy Carter while watching the episode.
Of course, maybe Sharon can double-cross both good and bad, and claim she’s better than any hero.
Peggy still wouldn’t like this. Neither would Dottie Underwood, if she were around, maybe because of the competition.
Or maybe Sharon is a Skrull, and it’s the first stage of Secret Invasion. That’s been proposed, too. We shall see.
Still, the show was a great traditional Marvel super-hero mini-series. There are plans to have a fourth Captain America movie, and it should pick up where this left off.
Until then, fans will wonder if a bad guy can be good, or at least try to seem that way.
We’ll find out June 11th.