Picking up immediately after where we left off last week—with John Walker straight up killing a man with the shield—we open the episode with an intense bit of an altercation between Sam, Bucky, and John, which is reminiscent of the two-on-one beat down that concludes the Civil War film. It is quite clear that John Walker has lost the plot here, and Bucky and Sam need to get that shield out of his hands before more damage can be done.
After that rad opening fight sequence, the episode loses a lot of steam as we return to the worst storyline in the show—that being whether Sam’s sister can fix the family boat. These scenes were hard not to just treat as filler, they did little to add to the events, and they also bring a lot of the story to a screeching halt.
Outside of the boat repairs, we also see John Walker’s trial, where is he discharged from the military and basically named and shamed—alongside being stripped of the title of Captain America. John doesn’t take this well, but then he meets Elaine from Seinfeld who basically says he is a good boy and she wants to work with him. John seems to like this.
On the other side of things, it looks like Karli and the other Flag Smashers are more resolute than ever in their goals, and we get a bit of a hint at their ultimate plan: which is set to unfold in the finale episode. I still feel like there was a lot of missed opportunities with these characters and, overall, they just don’t feel like that much of a threat. I feel like they would have been better served as a film antagonist instead of having their barely concocted plot dragged out slowly over the course of a series.
Ultimately, I do question if there was enough substantial story here that this had to be a Disney Plus series. I feel it could have been movie length and accomplished the same things overall. Anyways, with Sam spending a good portion of the episode training with the shield in preparation of the final confrontation with the Flag Smashers and Walker—as well as Bucky and Zemo putting a nice bow on their storyline—it certainly seems we are heading quickly into the series’ conclusion, for better or for worse. I’ve found this series to have a lot of great moments but the connective tissue between them has been lacking, to say the least. One more week to go; take up your shields, everybody. We may be in for a bumpy ride.