The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

*sighs in long-suffering Marvel fan*

Hello, fellow kids.

We need to talk about The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. I have Thoughts, and I’m afraid most of them aren’t positive.

I didn’t want to write this post. (*voice from the peanut gallery* “No one said you HAD to write it!”) But seriously. I didn’t want to critique The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. I wanted the show to be good! I hate it when people trash a show because it’s “cool” to hate on popular stuff, or because they can gain followers by stirring up controversy. That’s just clickbait, not honest, thoughtful commentary.

But The Falcon and the Winter Soldier–henceforth referred to as FatWS for the sake of brevity–was, honestly, not very good. As a Marvel fan, I’m disappointed. As a writer, I’m surprised, given how skillfully WandaVision was handled. You’d think the creative team would have taken a similar approach and displayed a similar skill. But alas, they did not.

Let’s talk about it.


Like Wandavision, FatWS tells the story of a world thrown into chaos by the Blip. (Thanos made half the globe’s population disappear; five years later, the Avengers brought them back.) The people who survived the Blip are now treated as illegal aliens, forced out of their homes to make room for those returning. Meanwhile, a terrorist organization called the Flag Smashers protests these injustices through acts of violence and murder. Heavy political themes, for sure.

On a more personal level, Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes are both missing their best friend, Steve Rogers. Sam doesn’t feel ready to take up the Captain America mantle Steve left him. He turns Cap’s shield over to the government, assuming (naively) they’ll keep it in a museum. They don’t. They anoint a “new Cap,” some white boy from Texas with PTSD and a boatload of aggression issues. Not exactly the guy you want handling one of the world’s most powerful objects.

Who Is John Walker? 5 Things About The New Captain America โ€“ Hollywood Life

So, the stage is set for some spicy drama. But FatWS doesn’t live up to the spiciness of its premise. Much of it ultimately feels messy, confusing, and above all, boring. How do you make a show about JAMES BUCHANAN BARNES boring????? I SHALL NOT FORGIVE THIS INJURY, MARVEL. I shall lie in wait and extract my revenge. ๐Ÿ˜›

How do you make Bucky Barnes boring? You lose him in an alphabet soup of antagonists, secondary antagonists, and potential antagonists so thick that your audience has no idea what’s going on.

This show has no villain. It has a bunch of villainous candidates whom the writers are flirting with, but they’re afraid to commit to any one. They’re afraid to make any of these characters truly “evil.” I don’t mean they’re not making them violent enough (on the contrary, there’s some pretty graphic violence in FatWS). But every time one of our antagonists does something cruel or violent, the writers rush to reassure us “they’re not really bad, they’re just misunderstood.” Without fail. Every time.

It gets old, y’all. It gets old.

For example, let’s talk about Karli Morgenthau, the leader of the Flag Smashers. I cannot believe how much time and energy the writers wasted trying to make this girl sympathetic. They tried everything! They gave her a ridiculous number of POV scenes. They played sad music whenever she talked. They gave her a cute boyfriend making puppy dog eyes at her or whatever. They gave her a Kind Mentor Figure tragically dying of cancer. They let her grab the spotlight whenever she wanted to spout vague platitudes about “one world, one people” and “today’s heroes can’t afford to keep their hands clean.” (yes, really. that was an actual line in this show. do you understand why I am angry. :P) And yet NONE of it, absolutely NONE of it, cancels out the fact that she CHAINED A BUNCH OF INNOCENT PEOPLE TO THE FLOOR AND THEN BLEW UP THE BUILDING THEY WERE IN.


So you’ll forgive me if Karli’s Tragic Death Scene, where she whispers “I’m so sorry” before Sam Wilson bridal-carries her dead body into the streets for the populace to Mourn over, failed to invoke any emotional response except “huh?”

If I had a nickel for every time this show told me (note: telling, not showing) that I was supposed to feel sorry for Karli Morgenthau, I’d be rich. We were also told, not shown, that Karli is a powerful leader with thousands of followers across the globe willing to carry out her lightest order. This was never explained, and never seems plausible. She’s a teenager! And it’s only been six months since the Blip ended! Are you telling me this eighteen-year-old built a powerhouse organization from the ground up in six months???

Baron Zemo and Agent 13 join The Falcon and the Winter Soldier! -
(I don’t buy it.)

“But Katie,” you may be thinking, “maybe this girl was never intended to be the real villain of the story. Maybe you should be looking at a different antagonist.” That’s the problem, though. Which one? There’s no single antagonist who can plausibly replace her. The majority of Sam and Bucky’s time is spent fighting Karli. The biggest threat in the series finale comes from Karli. If she’s not a villain, why are we fighting her?

(Also, Karli, uhhhhhhhhhhhh, called Sam’s sister and threatened to murder her two children, so jot THAT fun fact down.)

I said there was no single antagonist who could plausibly challenge Karli, and there isn’t. That’s because there are MULTIPLE antagonists competing for scattered narrative attention. John Walker, the Captain America wannabe I mentioned earlier, has a surprisingly strong character arc where he loses his best friend, injects himself with super-soldier serum and goes on a murderous rampage, literally decapitating a helpless man with Cap’s shield. When I saw that, I thought for sure Walker would be the series’ ultimate villain, and I would’ve applauded that choice. Who hasn’t wondered what an “evil Cap” would look like, after all?

But … Walker “turns good” again in the finale after listening to Sam Wilson talk about Humanity and Brotherhood for two minutes, so pour one out for another dropped story thread, lads.

Oh, and we mustn’t forget: Baron Zemo from Captain America: Civil War makes an appearance in FatWS! I don’t really have any complaints about Zemo’s character: he was entertaining to watch, and the writers didn’t force us to sympathize with him. But Zemo adds yet another face to an already crowded story, and he doesn’t have much reason for being here except by leading us to another shadowy villain … the Power Broker.

The Power Broker runs a crime city in Indonesia (I think it was Indonesia?? don’t quote me on that, there’s a ton of location-hopping in this show and it’s confusing). Until the last episode, we never see the Power Broker, and know nothing about them except they paid for the development of the super-soldier serum which Karli Morgenthau stole. They’re quite ticked about this theft, by the way. They’re so ticked, they send TWO WHOLE TEXT MESSAGES to our dear Karli, threatening to do something bad to her. Much scary. Such intimidate. Wow.

(I told you this show’s villain game is weak.)

Anywayyyyyyyyyy, in the last episode, the Power Broker is revealed to be–drumroll, please!–Peggy Carter’s niece Sharon.

Remember her? The nice, inoffensive, never-particularly-well-fleshed-out love interest from the Captain America movies?

Yeah, she’s a supervillain now.

13) Tumblr | School quotes funny, Short funny quotes, John mulaney
(thank you, John.)

“But maybe it’s a misunderstanding,” you think. “Maybe Sharon isn’t the BAD kind of power-broker-criminal-mastermind. Maybe she’s just trying to right some wrongs and get some stuff done without worrying about the red tape for once–”

Nope. She tries to kill Sam. Sharon literally pays a guy to murder Sam Wilson. Sam Wilson, our hero … and her former friend.

Even worse? We never get a true exploration of Sharon’s motives for her newfound villainy. We get one (1) scene where she talks about her motivations, but this scene doesn’t explain why Sharon is the Power Broker, because it comes well before the audience suspects her of being the Power Broker. Instead, Sharon is posing as a small-time art thief, and when Sam and Bucky ask her for help, she’s like, “nah, fam, the last time I helped you guys (ie, in Civil War), I was branded an outlaw by the U.S. government and I’ve never been given a pardon. So I steal paintings now.” Which is all fine and dandy, as an explanation for why this character might be cynical and apathetic and not interested in saving the world. It emphatically does NOT explain why she’s actively aiming for world domination and ruthlessly targeting anybody who stands in her way, INCLUDING HER OWN FRIENDS.

Small-time criminal? Sure. Supervillain? Nope. It’s too jarring a change with too little character work to support it.

Nevertheless, the writers seem to believe they can sell Sharon Carter as one of the “next big baddies” of the MCU. Since they killed Karli and let John Walker’s arc peter out, Sharon is the last villain left standing at the end of FatWS. She’s the only real development to come out of this show. She’s the only major change to the status quo. If she’s supposed to be so important, the writing team should have focused on her. Scratch Karli and John Walker, and let Sharon Carter be the sole antagonist. Establish the Power Broker as a genuine threat, not just a shadowy figure sending vague text messages. Establish Sharon herself as a character who could believably make such dark, cruel choices. Put in the work, guys.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: We need to talk about Sharon Carter
(her outfits were on point, I’ll give her that.)

I’m focusing on the antagonists in this post because the show itself focuses so heavily on them, flitting between its various villain candidates to the point of exhaustion … and leaving relatively little time to develop our heroes, Sam and Bucky. Karli Morgenthau and John Walker eat up enormous amounts of screentime between them. Their protracted angst casts a pall over the whole story. The fact that much of it is shot under cloudy skies with a weird greenish filter doesn’t help, either. (Seriously, Marvel? We all know green filters are DC’s thing!)

Was it too much to ask for a simple buddy-cop show starring Sam and Bucky, with witty banter and fast-paced adventures every week, plus an unapologetically evil, properly intimidating villain to be quashed in satisfying fashion in the series finale?

That’s the thing. Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie thrive on banter. They thrive on fun, jaunty action sequences. You cannot throw them into a Deep (TM) political drama stuffed to the gills with murky angst and expect them to shine.

(two Good Boys who deserved better)

I’m not going to get into the political themes here, because I don’t feel up to a lengthy discussion of them. I will say that Isaiah Bradley’s story, as a Black supersoldier from the Korean War who endured unjust imprisonment and medical experimentation at the hands of the U.S. government, was deeply important, and I’m glad it was included. However, I was uncomfortable with the way the narrative treated Isaiah, especially in Episode Five, as an “obstacle” to be “proven wrong.” (Based on his own experiences, Isaiah thinks the United States is too deeply and systemically racist to accept a Black man as Captain America … but his testimony is included for the sole purpose of being knocked down by Sam, and just … yeah. It felt problematic to me.)

There were good moments in FatWS, to be sure. Bucky’s flashback to his de-programming in Wakanda tops that list. A truly memorable performance. And of course, the “couples therapy” in Episode Two was iconic. But ultimately, this story mired itself in messy writing, heavy-handed preachiness, and weak villains, to the degree that I just found it depressing overall.

Here’s hoping Loki (out June 11) will be better.

What did you think of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier?

Chat with me!

20 thoughts on “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

Add yours

  1. *weeps at the wasted potential for great villains because awesome villains are my jam*

    Seriously. I loooooove a good villain, and this show could have had a great one if they’d focused on just, um, ONE. My vote would’ve been Sharon. ๐Ÿ˜‰ (Though John Walker wouldn’t have been bad either.) An impeccably-dressed evil business lady who has history with the two mains (particularly the MAIN main, Sam)? Sign me up!!!

    But no.

    I don’t regret my decision to quit this show after the first episode. ๐Ÿ˜›

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, right? I’ve never considered myself a villain connoisseur, somebody who appreciates great villains for their own sake, but I’m learning to recognize those instances where the villains are BADLY WRITTEN enough to drag down the entire story with them. This was unquestionably one of those times!!!

      I definitely think Sharon as the villain could have been really intriguing, given she’s smart, talented, formidable, and has history with the heroes, like you said. They just refused to give her the necessary development to make the twist believable. And that Makes Me Mad.

      Yeah, you didn’t miss much ๐Ÿ˜›


  2. After Wanda Vision was so incredible, I hoped this one could live up to it… but each week, I found myself, lost, confused, angry about them trying to force me to care about an unrepentant terrorist, annoyed by the blatant Woke themes and preachiness (everything from white people are racists to “y’all gotta have open borders” — like, do 99% of people care that Sam is black and the new Captain America? I doubt it, they will just accept him as the “new” Cap and show up to the movies), and unable to generate a damn to give about the next episode. And shall we talk about the second-to-last episode? Traditionally, your story should be building momentum throughout and leaving you on a cliffhanger for the final powerhouse of a season finale, and instead this one… spent a lot of time talking and cleaning up a boat. A BOAT, folks. Like you said, much wow. That gave me a great reason to tune in next week to see the end.

    What also bothered me is it accomplished absolutely nothing. Sam received the shield at the end of the last movie, and now he’s Captain America, but one could easily skip this show and assume he went home, put it on, tried out some moves, and shows up in the next movie with his brand spanking new uniform. I don’t even think they established enough of a buddy duo between him and Bucky to contribute to a “friendship” should the next movie “show one.”

    I think the bad writing ticked me off the most. If you want me to sit and watch your show for 7 hours, it better be worth it. But I also think this is really the result of postmodern beliefs in the writer’s room: there is no good and evil, just a side to the story you haven’t heard. Which is a great philosophy in real life, where you can withhold judgment until you know someone else’s truths, but it sucks as a narrative; a good story needs a villain you hate enough, you want to see them defeated.

    Or, you know, a villain hot and charming and funny enough to be someone to root for and add to your villain harem. I mean… some people do that sort of thing. I’ve heard. ๐Ÿ˜‰


    1. Yes. I think with the political themes especially, the writers bit off more than they could chew, and weren’t willing to do their homework or prevent a nuanced view of things. It was very on-the-nose and just … meh.

      I COULDN’T BELIEVE IT!!! It was just “the big final battle? nah. don’t worry about it. we are Building a Boat. the Boat Trumps All.” Agh, it was so boring!

      Yepppp. The only lasting change was Sharon Carter’s new villain status, and even that was pretty badly handled, so I do hope they don’t plan on leaning on her to make their next movies scary. ๐Ÿ˜› She’s gonna have to do a lot more than send a few text messages, let’s put it that way.

      If there’s no villain, then why, pray tell, ARE we fighting? Why can’t we just stay home and … y’know … build a boat? ๐Ÿ˜‰

      *cue 9000 hours of fluff fanfiction*

      And like, fluff has its place, but fluff isn’t //exciting.//

      Oh, do people do that sort of thing? I wouldn’t know. *smiles angelically*


      1. I don’t even like opinions I agree with being shoved down my throat, much less dubious ones that have problems. ๐Ÿ˜›

        By the time they revealed the Power Broker, I’d forgotten what this mysterious person was doing wrong — but then I assume I was so bored during that episode, I was also scrolling through websites on my phone. Which… that is not a good sign. Keep me engaged, writers!


  3. Regardless of how the story was written I only wanted to see Falcon and Winter Soldier only for Sam and Bucky. As long as they got those two right, I really didn’t care about the rest of the story.

    I do agree with you about Karli. The end where Sam carries her body down making her look like a martyr was completely ridiculous.


  4. Honestly, I THOROUGHLY enjoyed this show and would literally watch and love anything my bois Sam and Bucky are in. BUT I do absolutely agree that they wasted sooooo much potential. We did not get NEARLY enough Sam and Bucky bantering scenes. Like, we got “couples therapy” and the discussion about wizards near the beginning (which were both LIFE GIVING) but then that was…it???? I mean WUT?! THIS IS WHAT WE CAME FOR, PEOPLE.

    And I also think the themes were a little too heavy handed AND they just couldn’t seem to decide what to do with all these antagonists. To be truthful, I was all for John Walker being the Big Bad. I wanted him to be smashed to a pulp. XDD But his arc was just WAY too easy. And Karli, though a really interesting villain that I liked a lot, was, ya know A VILLAIN and, like you said, the writers seemed to determined to make us not see her that way??? While also making her do some seriously horrid things???? It was all very confusing.

    Though the thing that confused me and made me doubt these writers the MOST was Sharon. I 100% agree with everything you said there. Her becoming the supervillain does not in any form or fashion fit her character. Like at all. I mean, seriously, the Sharon who we saw in the Winter Soldier who so determinedly stood up to HYDRA wouldn’t just suddenly become evil. If they make a season 2, they’re gonna have to do some seeeerious work to convince me her total 180 flip is believable. It was SO out of the blue.

    I think they seriously needed to make this much longer than 6 episodes if they wanted to fit in this many plots and villains and whatnot. As it was, somehow Sam and Bucky got put on the backburner in favor of all these antagonists because there just wasn’t enough screentime to fit it all.

    BUT. Despite my complaints, I still kind of totally loved it because I’m Marvel trash. XD I just question a lot of their decisions and will forever feel cheated that we basically didn’t just get 6 hours straight of Sam-Bucky banter.


    1. I feel that! Sometimes I watch something that I have a lot of quibbles with just because I really love a certain character, and as long as I get some good moments with that character, I’m satisfied.

      But yeah! I actually really loved Ep 2 because they seemed to be really properly focusing on Sam and Bucky and fleshing out their relationship in ways we’ve never seen before … letting them be FUNNY … but then they dropped that, got all dark and serious and confusingly twisty-turny, and it frustrated me so much.

      I do think John Walker could’ve been a great villain if they had followed through with his character arc, instead of letting it fizzle out. I, too, wanted to see him Squished. xD

      THAT’S WHAT I’M SAYIN!!! Ugh!!! So far, the Sharon we know has always been so staunch about standing up for justice, her suddenly becoming a supervillain is just laughable to me. The writers can’t expect us to take that seriously! Especially after refusing to develop her character or explore her motives.

      “6 hours straight of Sam/Bucky banter” Girl, sign me UP. That’s what I wanted to see!


  5. Very well-written and there is so much I agree with, especially on the crowded room of villains, and the Sharon-arc as supervillain.

    Here is my take: This was never supposed to be a buddy movie, per se. This was two and a half, maybe three origin stories. This was first and foremost about Sam coming to terms with that shield, and becoming Captain America. I feel that the moment he gave the shield up, this was always about something happening to make him accept it back. This was also an origin story for U.S. Agent, an anti-hero with a messy past. It is a semi-origin story of Sharon as the Power Broker, and a potential evil in her own right, and I thought that was not handled well at all, just too little information and believability, and I have no idea where they can go with it. Finally, this was about Bucky coming to terms with his past, in a way he had struggled with up to now. As such, they had to work with a lot of pieces, many of them solo. This would have been better served by a 2 to 2.5 hour movie, rather than stretched out into a six episode series.

    I have no problem with the conception. But their execution was problematic. I actually found the first three episodes boring as can be; they used up half the show in set up. I thought the last three episodes were excellent and strongly developed for all the main characters other than Sharon. This is why I say it would have been better as a movie. It would have forced them to be tighter in their development and execution.

    I agree that both John and Karli had gone beyond redemption. How much are we to accept? She needed to die. I half-expected him to die, but I also knew he would probably end up as U.S. Agent. To that end, I’m reminded of a favorite fictional character, Angel. A vampire who does horrific things, gets his soul back, and uses that to do good and try to make up for centuries of death and destruction. John is Angel. And like Angel, that doesn’t always mean being a good guy. It does mean being a savior, so I’m willing to see where they go with it. And to that end, John was not a villain; this was an origin story. Back to Karli, she couldn’t become something like that; she was too young. Real redemption and acceptance is a product of maturity. Karli could do nothing else except die.

    I don’t see Karli as an 18-year old who has a world following at the snap of a finger. I see her as a pawn for Sharon. Sharon may have started off as resentful of what the government did to her, and needed to survive. So she began doing what she needed to do, and then realized the underworld provided ample opportunity for her intelligence and yes, maybe ambition too. So she is well-positioned before the snap and grows her power over those five years. It seems to me any power that Karli had was created by Sharon behind the scenes, until Sharon no longer needed her and destroyed her.

    As for Isiah, I had mixed feelings about that. On the one hand, Sam ignoring Isiah had the effect of almost wasting the character. On the other, I felt it was important that Sam be able to fully realize the terrible history, but still be able to forge his own path, fighting that racism from within, and I think it will be interesting watching this unfold.

    Where I had my biggest problem was with the idea of Sharon as supervillain. She was half-raised by Peggy, and in a timey-wimey way, probably by Cap himself. I don’t know that I buy her being fired and disgraced in Civil War, or her becoming a thief based on that. But even if I allow myself suspension of disbelief for that, the sudden (yet not unexpected) springing on us that she’s the Power Broker was just poorly written and executed. All the red herrings and she is way in the background and then, HEY guess what? I didn’t buy it and I still don’t. Oh well.

    It is so true that this show was littered with characters. I do not feel, however, that there was needed equal character development. For Zemo, it was more wrapping up his storyline; a man still embittered at the death of his family. For John, it was origin, as well as for Sam. For Karli and John, they were both there to help Sam reach his decision. For Sharon, it was an underdeveloped origin story. And for Bucky, under-utilized here, he is like Zemo, it was more an end to a storyline. That doesn’t mean they can’t use him anymore, but he will be an intrinsically different character, phase four.


    1. Thanks, Holly! Glad you enjoyed this post!

      Yep. I think these writers were so caught up in the need to set up future storylines, that they forgot the measure of any story is not how many future storylines it can set up, but whether it can stand alone as a compelling piece of art, RIGHT NOW. This show really doesn’t. And even the characters they intend to set up for the future–John Walker and Sharon Carter/The Power Broker–are ultimately weak, because they didn’t focus on them or establish them clearly.

      Take John Walker, for example. I can’t say I’m looking forward to seeing him in any future Marvel stuff. ๐Ÿ˜› I’m not rooting for him, and I’m not heavily invested in rooting against him. He just feels like a nonentity by the final episode. He’s very “meh.”

      Sharon Carter as the Power Broker was the worst villain reveal I have ever seen. I can’t believe these writers made me watch that with my own two Catholic eyes. xD


  6. Glad I’m not the only Marvel fan (*and* person of color) who absolutely despised this show. The same heavy-handed preachiness in FatWS is exactly what I facedesk at Christian films for. I don’t want to be preached at and told how to feel. I should just be shown what you want me to see without you having to say anything.

    Not to mention Bucky became non-existent. What was up with him just telling Yori about his son’s death at the end and then the camera cutting away and showing him leaving? LIKE WHAT HAPPENED AFTER BUCKY TOLD HIM??? Bucky got thrown away, and I was so mad.

    Also yeah Karli was ridiculous. ๐Ÿ˜ฉ๐Ÿ˜ฉ๐Ÿ˜ฉ. That finale.


    1. NOPE!! You’re definitely not the only one! This show bored the heck out of me, and as both a Marvel fan and a major Bucky stan … that should never have happened! I WAS READY TO BE ENTERTAINED, and they did not entertain me. *shakes head solemnly*

      Mmhhhmmmmmmmmmm. There are great books and movies with strong moral and/or political themes–hello, Black Panther!–but the difference with those stories is they weave the themes into the plot and character arcs, so the audience absorbs them effortlessly. Instead of being beaten over the head with a two-by-four. ๐Ÿ˜›

      I KNOWWWWWWWWWWW! They were like “oh it’s fine, we don’t have to fully show Bucky’s journey of healing, we have more important things to focus on, like FRICKIN’ KARLI …” ughhhh.

      *makes frustrated noises*

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, it was definitely too obviously political. Black Panther is a film I point to very often in that regard! Like, look at Black Panther!! That film unpacked more than FatWS did in my opinion, and it was far more effective in its method!

        โ€œMore important things like Frickinโ€™ Karliโ€ HAHAHA true true. Also John Walker being all buddy buddy with Bucky at the end was sO wEiRd like Bucky hated this guy and now theyโ€™re friends?!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. LOOK *claps* AT *claps* BLACK *claps* PANTHER *claps*

        I knowwwww. I saw something where one of the head writers said, “I think audiences like John Walker, I think they sympathize with him” NO, SIR. NO I DO NOT.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I quit around episode 3? I was so disappointed (serves me right, this is one of the shows I was looking forward to, should have known what would happen whereas Wandavision was a huge surprise). I think it was badly written and this was shown in stark relief against the well-written Wandavision.

    Bucky’s moodiness is SO overplayed, they made him too one-dimensional. Sam is just so out of place, he’s the grounded one among the chaos and they just made it weird here by taking that away from him, at least sort of (“sort of” seems to describe the whole series from what I saw and what you described).

    I was so looking forward to their comraderie/rivalry. But I felt like the filmmakers made it cheap.
    Also, it was SO out of character of both of them to let the super villain out to serve their own ends.

    And I pretty much loathed every other rando character on sight. Nothing fit. They were trying for waay too many things in too short a time and tons of characters, but we had only a connection with two of the characters previously. And heaven forbid the show named for them be about them or be about them showing some leadership/independence. I felt like they were trying to play damage control.

    Wow, a lot of feelings for the small bit of it I saw.


    1. *solemn low five* You hated it too, huh??

      Oh gosh. It was just … so bad. For all the reasons you said, and many more. We barely had any time to focus on Bucky and Sam, because we were chasing this wild, far-flung plot with WAY too many antagonists, and spending all this energy trying to make the ANTAGONISTS sympathetic instead of the protagonists …

      … and then whenever we //do// focus on Bucky and Sam, Bucky is emo & brooding, while Sam is jawing about how noble Karli Morgenthau is. The girl who threatened to kill his nephews. Uh, no.


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