‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’: ‘The Whole World is Watching’ is an intense commentary on the state of America

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(L-R): John Walker (Wyatt Russell), Lemar Hoskins (Cle Bennett), Zemo (Daniel Bruhl) and Falcon/Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) in Marvel Studios’ THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Julie Vrabelova. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved. Photo credit: Marvel Studios, Julie Vrabelova , Kianna Znika & Walt Disney Company

Rafael Magana, Co-Arts & Entertainment Editor

“The Whole World is Watching” is the fourth episode in the series, and it feels as if Disney and Marvel Studios have reached their peak with the series.

It’s clear where the series is going. Four episodes into its six-episode run, the stakes are set and we (presumably) know who our villains and antiheroes for the series are going to be.

The episode follows up on and answers a good majority of the questions that we had at the conclusion of episode three and raises new ones as well.

The standout moment in the episode was the conversation between Sam Wilson and Karli Morgenthau. In a scene that echoes many of the emotions that run rampant in modern-day America, Morgenthau and Wilson have a dialogue on the events that have motivated the Flag Smashers.

Episode one of the series made it clear that the series was going to touch upon some darker themes that have traditionally not been seen in the MCU.

The theme that is essential to the series is the representation of minorities and oppressed people in the United States, and how it feels to be a citizen of a country that does not have your best interest at heart.

Morgenthau cites this oppression as her driving force, painting her as a more sympathetic villain. Wilson doesn’t disagree with her fight but does cite that the deaths that she’s causing in pursuit of her cause is an absolute detriment to it.

The most important part of the episode, and likely the question that will lead the conflict in the next two episodes, was when the new Captain America, John Walker, takes the last dose of the Super Soldier Serum.

John Walker meets up with the trio of Wilson, Barnes and Zemo right before they track down Morgenthau. In an act of hubris, he ends up inadvertently ruining the meeting between Wilson and Morgenthau, entering the room in a hostile fashion.

Following a fight, Morgenthau accidentally causes the death of Lemar Hoskins, Walker’s right-hand man and friend. Enraged, Walker chases after a member of the Flag Smashers and brutally beats him to death with his shield.

Thematically speaking, it’s fascinating to see how much of an opposite Walker is compared to his predecessor, Steve Rogers. He perfectly encapsulates the division that is felt in America, while also having his own motivations and faults that make him more than a two-dimensional villain.

Although the episode is great and handles many of these themes well, it does feel rushed. The series could have likely benefited from an extra episode or two, as it feels as if it jumps between scenes too often.

Regardless of the pacing, the content that is being presented is outstanding. It’s an absolute delight to watch every week, and director Kari Skogland and producer Malcolm Spellman are continuing to make the series one that will be remembered fondly.

Episode four, “The Whole World Is Watching”, gets four and a half stars out of five. Things are ramping up!