It’s a breather between action scenes as Sam helps his sister while trying to decide whether or not to take up the shield, Walker has Captain America taken from him, and he’s not happy, and Bucky tries to figure out what his next step is, there’s a final confrontation with Zemo, and the Flag Smashers make their big play. Plus a provocative cameo by a famous person playing a venerable Marvel character and the triumphant return of Carl Lumbly’s Isaiah Bradley. My review of “Truth,” the penultimate episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier‘s inaugural season.
Back in July of 2019, when Marvel Studios announced their Phase 4 plans, I wrote the following on this very web site: “Why is The Falcon and the Winter Soldier still being called that when Sam Wilson is Captain America now? Seriously, calling it that when you first announced it is necessary due to not wanting to spoil Endgame, but now we know that the Falcon is the new Cap. So why isn’t this being called Captain America and the Winter Soldier? Particularly now, it’s important to acknowledge that the symbol of the U.S. is currently an African American.”
My opinion in the last sentence of that quote hasn’t changed—in fact, I feel even more strongly about it given the appalling number of incidents involving African-American citizens being targeted and killed by law-enforcement that keep fucking happening (not to mention increased vitriol directed at Asian Americans)—but I also get what they’re doing here. The history of people who aren’t white in this country is awful, and while things are better now than they were in the past, they’re still not by any stretch of the imagination good. The question for Sam is whether or not he will embody the ideals of America, which are often at odds with the reality of America—or will he be seen as capitulating to that reality in defiance of those ideals?