I’m starting to have a recurrence of Deja Vu. I sit on my couch viewing what is to be the third of the last two episodes of a Disney show where I’m viewing an otherwise bland story up until the very end when a cliffhanger is presented. The overall plot of The World is Watching attempts to seize the flag smashers from spreading the super-soldier serum across the globe. Towards the end, things go south, leading to another week where I have to wait to see what happens.
The time spent between John Walker’s (Wyatt Russell) brutal turn was inconsistent in gauging my interest. The episode contains scenes that provide some more details on a character’s background. We learn through Ayo (Florence Kasumba) how Bucky (Sebastian Stan) was ultimately healed of the spell Zemo (Daniel Brühl) cast upon him. A plot point from last week this episode wastes no time in covering. That made me think everything was set up; let’s rock and roll with some drama.
A large portion of The Wold’s middle is Watching feels like it’s regurgitating information that we already know—my empathy for Karli Morgenthau (Erin Kellyman) dissipates when we’re still talking about her weepy backstory for the third time. Her theories on who the real bad guys are is something Zemo pointed out far more effectively in just a few seconds last week. If Sam’s (Anthony Mackie) side is using him and Bucky, then let’s see the consequences for their naivety. Show, not tell. Erin Kellyman executes an excellent enough performance where I engaged with her characters in ways perhaps I would not have been as receptive towards a lesser performance considering the amount of repetitious exposition her character provides.
Deja Vu’s head comes rearing back to The Mandalorian. In season two, on the second to the last episode, I was given a filler chapter. It wasn’t mainly a bad episode, just one that spewed philosophies of good vs. evil I’ve heard before from the mouth of Migs Mayfeld (Bill Bur). By the end of the final episode, despite desperately needing Sebastian Stan to play Luke Skywalker instead of a CGI monstrosity, I was in tears watching its stunning homage to E.T. Perhaps by the end of this season, I’ll probably not be in tears but feel sadness for John Walker.
I was hoping last week that we’ll see a sympathetic yet complicated side to John Walker. It looks as if my wishes are being fulfilled. Derek Kolstad’s script is meant to evoke our continual disapproval for John as the new Cap. His hot-headed attitude gets uglier with each passing episode replicating him into the image that we all perceived. Look back on what John said to Lemar (Clé Bennett) about if someone theoretically took the serum, what would happen to them in the long term. Whomever the puppet master, is, the strings being pulled on John are heartbreaking. I still believe he’s a good man trapped in the middle of a scheme way beyond him. Where Steve Rogers put people’s lives in danger to reconnect with an old WWII buddy, John is high on the supply given to him.
I’m relieved to see The Falcon and the Winter Soldier ditches the buddy cop movie persona for something a little deeper. The relationship between Sam and Bucky is evolving but very subtly. They’re both calm, and they’re starting to argue less. They even share a bit of that Marvel humor I usually don’t like into something productive this time around when watching John lose his cool on Ayo only to get humiliated. As a filmmaking method, I don’t see much of a rewatchability value in this show beyond its spot the clues momentum. With only two episodes to go, I wouldn’t be surprised if I feel just as bored until the last minute with the next entry. By the final chapter in all of these, Disney shows from The Mandalorian to Wandavision the fireworks go off. Speaking of which, much of the fight coordination has some frantic blocking and cutting that takes me out of the action. I like to see who’s hitting who instead of panicky jump cuts hiding all the awkward bits where you could tell the performers were play fighting. Only two to go, so please, get right into it; I could watch the last five minutes of this episode to get the information I care about, then trim up the remainder of the story.
Do you agree with me? Let me know your thoughts.