Updated: Apr 6, 2021
With the second episode, the action intensifies as the namesakes of the series finally come together as well as the story.
The direction of the series begins to take shape as we learn more about The Flag Smashers and the new Captain America John Walker, as well as the introduction of even more characters. The episode is also sprinkled with numerous MCU references making it both hilarious and action-packed.
The beginning of the episode focuses on John Walker as he is still coming to terms with his new role. His wife Olivia and his best friend Lemar Hoskins aid him in believing in himself and his abilities. Then an interview on Good Morning America occurs, and we learn more about the process of Walker being picked as the new Cap. During the interview, we see Bucky watching in pure disgust and frustration. Soon after this is when Bucky and Sam are united. Bucky ambushes Sam at an airbase as he is about to go on a recon mission involving The Flag Smashers. Bucky is extremely upset with Sam giving up the shield because, as we learn later, he believes if Steve was wrong about Sam, then he was wrong about Bucky too. The buddy cop relationship we saw in Civil War is back in full force as Bucky forces his way into the mission, much to Sam's chagrin. One-liners and quips galore endure referencing other movies, my favorite being a reference to Buckys time in Wakanda as the White Wolf. The big action sequence of this episode happens as Bucky goes after the Flag Smashers.
Bucky first goes into combat with a woman who he first believes to be a hostage. Sam soon flies in to help as the woman we find out to be Karli Morgenthau, the Flag Smashers leader, soon gets help from her loyal goons. Sam and Bucky are quickly overwhelmed and outnumbered by the super-soldier Flag Smashers. Even the unwanted service of Walker and Hoskins now suited up as Battlestar isn't enough, and the terrorist group gets away. The dynamic between the two heroic couples of Captain America & Battlestar and Falcon & Winter Soldier is established as it is gathered they will be working against each other moving forward. This episode also dives into the political issue of black lives matter as Bucky takes Sam to Isaiah and Eli Bradly's house.
Hardcore fans will recognize these characters from the comics as Isiah was a variation of Captain America, and his grandson becomes Patriot in The Young Avengers comics. This iration of Isiah doesn't seem far off as he does indeed have super-soldier capacities and was employed by the government. Apparently, Isiah and Bucky crossed paths in the Korean War, which Isiah still holds resentment towards, simply put, he hates Bucky. Though they don't get any help from Isiah, it is implied he will be a looming factor as Sam is furious at not have being aware of him. He becomes so mad that police officers come to make sure Bucky is okay, obviously stereotyping as they don't recognize Sam. They soon come to the realization and embarrassingly move on with the whole neighborhood watching. The episode comes to a close with Bucky and Sam going to speak with Zemo, who they hope can help them. I give this episode a 9/10 rating because I thoroughly enjoyed the action and surprises and the fact that this is the first instance of the MCU dealing with actual life circumstances.