John Walker: New Captain America Is A Villain

John Walker (Wyatt Russell) in Marvel Studios' THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Julie Vrabelová. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

The newest episode of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier showed what we all knew coming in: John Walker (Wyatt Russell) is the real villain of the series.

You don’t have to like John Walker. I know for a fact that I don’t. He’ll never be my Captain America. So far, nothing he’s done during the first four episodes is worthy of taking a mantle that doesn’t belong to him. That we even saw this coming a mile away isn’t surprising. But my feelings on Walker put aside, it’s no excuse to take it out on Wyatt Russell. He’s just an actor in it for the paycheck.

Walker was created by Mark Gruenwald as the supervillain Super-Patriot. Funny enough, he is the anti-Captain America! A few issues later, Gruenwald makes Walker the new Captain America to boost sales. I get it. This happens frequently in comics. Also, the Power Broker actually gives him his powers in the comics. It may happen differently in the series but this is not to anyone’s surprise, of course.

“The Whole World Is Watching” will prove to be a pivotal episode of the series. It is the episode where we got to really know Flag Smashers leader Karli Morgenthau (Erin Kellyman). Walker, as Captain America, chose not to have any patience while Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) spoke with Karli after a funeral. Suffice it to say, this lack of patience is why Walker cannot be trusted with the shield. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) would be ashamed if he saw what was happening. We still have two episodes to see how things play out but Walker is well on the way to becoming U.S. Agent.

The episode, penned by Derek Kolstad, starts off right after the cliffhanger in the previous episode where Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) meets with Ayo (Florence Kasumba). What follows is a flashback to his time in Wakanda. the episode doesn’t specify if this is pre-Black Panther or after the post-credits scene. Regardless, we learn more about the deprogramming while in Wakanda.

Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl) is a bad guy. He has no love for Hydra and super soldiers, there’s so much grey area that it’s really hard to say. That being said, he takes advantage of a fight when Ayo and two other members of the Dora Milaje (Janeshia Adams-Ginyard and Zola Williams) come for him. That’s what happens when this new Captain America refuses to cooperate with the Dora Milaje. Another strike against John Walker. Anyone familiar with the comics knew that John Walker was going to become U.S. Agent.

After Lemar Hoskins/Battlestar (Clé Bennett) is accidentally killed by Karli, we see Walker’s dark side. This is a PG-13 series so they are careful in how they frame the final scenes. It’s a scene that’s played out so many times over the years but probably not with as many cell phone cameras on hand. Walker uses Steve Rogers shield not so much as a defensive weapon but as one for offense. One of the Flag Smashers, Nico, ends up dead at the hands of a very bloody shield.

Gender-swapping Morgenthau and making her character younger will prove to be a genius idea. You cannot blame Morgenthau for her actions in a post-Blip world. You could be living in one place and then people would go on to lose their homes when everyone came back in Avengers: Endgame. In fact, what Karli is doing is a cause that that Sam Wilson agrees with but he believes the fight could be less violent. This episode makes Karli and her gang look like good people. Who could ever see this coming with what we know of the Flag Smashers in the comics?

One thing becoming unclear by each episode is the identity of The Power Broker. I would not be surprised if it is indeed Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) but this theory is probably incorrect. She could very well be the Power Broker but we still have two more episodes to find out. VanCamp gets some screen time in this episode but not much. I would love to see a series devoted to her character though.

Two episodes remain and we’ll see what happens.

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier streams exclusively on Disney+.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.