This week’s episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier turned everything up a notch. While the show hasn’t shied back from its action-packed scenes and exhilarating events, the latest episode, The Whole World is Watching, took things to a new level.
Many brief scenes throughout the episode gave the audience a deeper look into Sam Wilson’s (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes’ (Sebastian Stan) lives. They are no longer the World’s Coolest Sidekicks; they are now something much, much more.
Thus far, fans have been able to dive deep into these two characters’ psyches and personal lives throughout the series. In the past few episodes, the audience has been privy to Sam’s battle with institutional racism.
At the same time, he fights to keep his family business operating and is a victim of police discrimination.
On the other side, Bucky is having some serious issues with his PTSD.
Fans have seen Bucky’s well-kept but empty Brooklyn apartment and his sleepless nights, often waking up at inappropriate hours while suffering through nightmares about his time spent as the Winter Soldier.
This series is working hard to give the MCU the context to carry these two characters well into Phase 4.
Ignoring the terrible, maniacal, and incredibly frustrating moment from the end of the episode, here are 10 top moments from The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode 4, The Whole World is Watching.
These moments were standouts in the episode, pushing the general knowledge of these MCU baddies to a whole new level, whether through emotional impact or super-cool fighting sequences.
Bucky Barnes’ Wakanda flashback
The episode opens up with Bucky’s tearful deprogramming in Wakanda.
Previously, the MCU has shown the character being dropped off in the careful hands of T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and the tech-savvy Shuri (Letitia Wright). They worked on healing Bucky from his dangerous stint as a HYDRA pawn, the Winter Soldier.
Brief scenes of the character’s time in Wakanda played out in Captain America: Civil War, the end credits of Black Panther, and Avengers: Infinity War. T’Challa recruited Bucky and gifted his new prosthetic arm to help the Wakandians fight against Thanos.
Until now, details of his rehabilitation was never seen.
However, in this week’s episode, fans are given a more detailed look. Wakandan warrior Ayo (Florence Kasumba) is seen reassuring Bucky, telling him “it is time” and that she won’t let him do any harm.
Long-haired Bucky is seen looking tearfully at the blazing fire in front of him as Ayo chants his Winter Soldier’s trigger words. To Bucky’s astonishment, they are no longer active.
Hearts broke as the character suffers through a series of deadly flashbacks and is shown physically struggling to relive these moments. However, eventually, Ayo whispers, “You are free,” and Bucky smiles through his sobs, off into the distance.
“Who is your TT?”
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has aced intertwining its dry, comedic humor with the show’s sensitive topics.
While the infamous trio, Bucky, Sam, and Zemo (Daniel Brühl), work to devise a plan to peacefully stop the anarchist leader Karli Morgenthau (Erin Kellyman), Sam mentions his “TT.” Trying to understand Karlie and the Flagsmashers motives.
He says, “So when I was a kid, my TT passed away—”
Bucky interrupts him and questions Sam’s colloquial language, and asks, “Your TT?” When Sam doesn’t catch on, he pushes further and says, “Who is your TT?”
Hilariously enough, Sam rolls his eyes and exasperatingly restarts, saying, “Fine, when I was a kid, my aunt passed away.”
Zemo singing “Ba Ba Black Sheep” and bribing children with candy
Total creeper moment!
In any other context, a casually dressed man approaching a group of unsupervised children with a bag of candy while darkly singing a nursery rhyme would be a major red flag — and honestly speaking, it kind of was in this episode.
But, during this scene, it was reassuring to know that Zemo has shown no adversity towards children and was supervised by the two Avengers — Sam and Bucky.
Zemo uses Turkish delight candies — his late son’s favorite — to bribe the community’s children and convince them to tell him details about the upcoming funeral for Karli’s adoptive mother, Donya Madani (Veronica Falcon).
He’s a man of strategy, even if the strategy is a bit suss.
“It was the world coming together…”
At this point in the episode, the trio has suffered some damage and disconnect. Sam steals the scene and goes on a Captain America-worthy speech about how the world’s response to displaced people has devolved.
He says, “For five years, people have been welcomed into countries that have kept them out using barbed wire.”
Speaking about the Blip times, Sam said, “There were houses, jobs… folks were happy to have people around to help them rebuild.”
While viewers have yet to see an in-depth flashback of this time period, Sam’s words rang true and gave meaning to some of Karli and the Flagsmasher’s frustration.
Sam finished off by saying, “People weren’t just coming together; it was the entire world coming together. And then boom, just like that, it goes right back to the way it used to be.”
Bucky’s dramatic teacup slam
Immediately after Sam’s speech, Bucky grows worrisome about Zemo’s secrecy. He transitions the conversation by comparing Karli to Zemo, saying, “You really think her ends justify her means?”
Throughout this, Zemo is seen passively making an intricate serving of tea. When he walks into the room, Bucky questions him on his previous interaction with the community children.
When Zemo wants to keep the funeral details to himself, needing the leverage in case the two turn on him, Bucky snaps.
In a fit of anger, he reaches for his teacup and dramatically smashes it against the wall, getting in Zemo’s face. The constant tension between the two is addictive and comes in waves, slowly fading once they realize that they need each other to complete their mission.
Sam talking to Karli during the memorial
Another shining moment for Sam!
Once they are joined by fake Captain America John Walker and his ego-stroking sidekick Lemar, the OG3 convinces them to give Sam a moment (ten minutes) to pull Karli aside and talk her down at her mother’s funeral.
Sam tries to resonate and connect with her on an emotional level, relating their struggles and forcing her to realize that she’s “killing innocent people.” He tells her, “you’re a supremacist,” and makes her admit that she’s no better than the people she’s fighting against.
He tells her, “I’m not your enemy. I agree with your fight; I just can’t do it the way you’re fighting it.”
Sam saying he wouldn’t have taken the serum
At the halfway point of The World is Watching, Zemo asks Sam if he would take the Super Soldier serum if given a chance. Sam’s answer is very telling of his morals; without hesitation, he tells Zemo “no.”
Even Zemo recognizes his answer as noble as he responds, “No hesitation, that’s impressive.” This leads the two to discuss the logistics of Super Soldiers and whether or not they should “be allowed to exist.”
It also draws a distinct line difference between the morals of Sam and John — if that line wasn’t already obvious before.
Moments prior, John is shown sneaking away with a vial of Karli’s serum, and it later revealed that his buddy Lemar would also take the serum if offered.
Dora Milaje kicking John’s butt
No list could be complete without this. Led by Ayo, the Dora Milaje arrives to obtain Zemo and assumingly bring him back to prison. John immediately patronizes Ayo, along with her fierce team of women warriors, and they don’t hesitate to put him back in his place.
While Baron, Sam, and Bucky stand back and watch the fight occur — Bucky teases John, yelling out, “Looking strong, John!” — but they eventually join in, resulting in a full-fledged action sequence.
To the relief of all, John goes down surprisingly easily and is disarmed by a fighter launching a spear through the shield arm-holder, leaving John stuck to a wooden table.
Showing once again, he’s rendered absolutely useless.
This scene reveals his lack of qualifications to be in this field as he disappointedly announces that “they weren’t even Super Soldiers.” Repeatedly, the new Captain America has shown that he has no idea what he’s actually up against.
Karli threatening Sam’s sister
In an intense moment, Karli calls Sam’s sister Sarah (Adepero Oduye) and threatens her and her sons’ safety. She tells Sarah, “I need to meet with Sam alone,” and says that she’ll give her the coordinates to “pass along.”
When Sarah asks, “Why me?” Karli says that she needs this leverage to trust Sam. She expresses that the alternate option would be killing Sarah and her two boys, “AJ and little Cass.”
However, later in the episode, Karli tells Sam that she would’ve never actually hurt Sarah.
Bucky’s highly-anticipated knife flip
In the final epic fight sequence of the episode, between the Flagsmashers and the OG3, plus “New Cap” and his team, Bucky’s high-anticipated knife flip finally happened.
This movement was teased in the series’ trailers.
Engaging in hand-to-hand combat with a few Flagsmasher Super Soldiers, Bucky catches a knife in mid-flight and turns to face the closest fighter in his proximity.
As the fighter closes in, they block and dodge each other’s moves for a minute before Bucky flips his component onto their back. Tossing his knife in the air, he grabs it and expertly throws it mere inches away from his component’s face.
In evaluating the action’s actual damage, it seemed rather useless; however, it was an impressive show of technique. And fans are always happy to see Bucky show off.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is currently streaming on Disney Plus.