'The Falcon and the Winter Soldier' Episode 3: Easter eggs, seven talking points and a Wakanda twist

·7-min read
(L-R): Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) and Falcon/Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and in Marvel Studios' THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Julie Vrabelová. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.
Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) and Falcon/Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (Marvel)

It is Easter, so it's only appropriate that episode 3 of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was packed full of eggs.

Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) were reunited with a lot of old faces in the third instalment of Marvel's latest Disney+ show.

The faces may have been familiar, but the same cannot be said of a key location that is integral to our heroes' pursuit of those behind a new batch of super-soldier serum.

Read more: 'The Falcon and the Winter Soldier' Episode 2 recap

Read more: 'The Falcon and the Winter Soldier' episode 1 recap

Here are the major Easter eggs and talking points from episode 3 of the Disney+ show.

*WARNING: This article contains spoilers for episode 3 of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier*

1. Zemo

(L-R): Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) and Zemo (Daniel Brühl) in Marvel Studios' THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.
Zemo (Daniel Brühl) plays a big part in episode 3. (Marvel)

We knew Sam and Bucky were going to hook up with Zemo (Daniel Brühl) at the end of last week's episode, but I don't think anyone foresaw how easy it would be to spring him from his laxity security prison in Berlin.

Not that we're complaining - Zemo is a unique character (not everyone worships at the altar of the Avengers) and a perfect foil for Sam and Bucky, happy to stir the pot when they've gone 30 seconds without arguing.

Zemo claims he has a lead that will help uncover how the mysterious Flag-Smashers (terrorists or eco-warriors?) have obtained their super-strength.

Luckily for the trio, none of Zemo's multiple assets - don't forget he's a baron - appear to have been seized during his imprisonment, giving them free licence to take a private jet to...

2. Madripoor

A view of Madripoor from Marvel Studios' THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.
Zemo takes Sam and Bucky to the mysterious Madripoor. (Marvel)

Isn't it wonderful when a comic book TV series feels, well, comic booky?

One of the recurring - but rare - criticisms of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, particularly the Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War movies, was that everything looked a little flat and grey.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was trailed as following in the vein of those films, but in episode 3 it looks vibrant and pops with colour, thanks to a visit to Madripoor, a gorgeous neon nightmare that is Marvel's own extension of the Mos Eisley spaceport.

Read more: The Falcon And The Winter Soldier sets new streaming record on Disney+

This island nation in Southeast Asia is crucial to the show's unfolding events - it is the home of the mysterious Power Broker (who came up in last week's episode) and the production site for a new batch of super-soldier serum.

It was also a haven for those displaced by the Blip, the return of half the population five years after Thanos snapped his fingers.

3. The Brass Monkey

A view of Madripoor from Marvel Studios' THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.
Madripoor provides a new location for the Disney+ TV show. (Marvel)

Like Mos Eisley, Madripoor has its own rowdy cantina, the Brass Monkey (also known as the Bronze Monkey), where Zemo takes Bucky and Sam for some argy-bargy and snake cocktails. You know, your typical Thursday night.

"No matter what happens, we have to stay in character," says Zemo, which is easier for Bucky than Sam, the former sliding a little too easily and worryingly into his former guise as the Winter Soldier killing machine, the latter into an ostentatious red and yellow suit as he goes undercover as...

4. Conrad Mack

"I'm the only one who looks like a pimp," moans Sam, as he itches under that suit.

He is pretending to be Conrad Mack, also known as the Smiling Tiger ("He even has a bad nickname"), who is heavily linked to Madripoor.

Read more: Everything new coming to Disney+ UK in April 2021

In the comics, Mack is the son of a Vietnam veteran and a Cambodian dragon cult bride, and is a member of the Folding Circle crime gang in Madripoor. He speaks only in growls and wears a suit with razor sharp claws.

No wonder Sam has a hard time pretending to be him - he can't even do the smiling part - and it isn't long before his cover is blown. Always switch your phone to silent, Sam.

5. Sharon Carter

(L-R): Falcon/Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Sharon Carter/Agent 13 (Emily VanCamp) in Marvel Studios' THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.
Sam and Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) team up again. (Marvel)

Thankfully for Sam, Bucky and Zemo, they have a "guardian angel", former SHIELD agent Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp), who's been living off-grid in extraditionless Madripoor selling stolen Monet paintings since the events of Captain America: Civil War.

"Wow, she's kind of awful now," says Bucky, but Carter is a more interesting character than ever with her new cynical edge.

"You know the whole hero thing is a joke, right?" she tells Sam, as they argue about the new Captain America, John Walker (Wyatt Russell), who isn't exactly filling Steve Rogers's boots.

Later in the episode, Carter proves you don't need a shield or a mask to kick ass, taking out bountiful bounty hunters while Bucky and Sam are having a chat.

6. Dr Wilfred Nagel

(L-R): Dovich (Desmond Chiam) and Karli Morgenthau (Erin Kellyman) in Marvel Studios' THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Julie Vrabelová. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.
Flag-Smashers Dovich (Desmond Chiam) and Karli Morgenthau (Erin Kellyman) in episode 3. (Marvel)

To be fair to the guys, they are having a chat with Dr Wilfred Nagel, a former HYDRA and CIA scientist who is now cooking up super-serum for the Power Broker. And what a nasty little piece of work the bad doctor is.

'I was a god," he spits, boasting about how he used a blood sample from Isaiah Bradley (Carl Lumbly), who chased Sam and Bucky out of his home in episode 2. 

Bradley, known as the "Black Captain America" in the comics, revealed last week how he had been kept imprisoned for 30 years and subjected to blood tests.

Read more: Everything you need to know about ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’

Nagel also claims: "I did what no other scientist since Erskine was able to do."

In the comics, Nagel was a successor to Dr Abraham Erskine, played by Stanley Tucci in Captain America: The First Avenger, responsible for Project Rebirth that transformed Steve Rogers into Captain America. 

Nagel reveals that Flag-Smashers leader Karli Morgenthau (Erin Kellyman) - who comes over all murderous in this episode as she ditches her remaining traces of morality - stole 20 vials of the serum from the Power Broker.

Before Zemo shoots him dead, Nagel points out something he shares with Sam and Bucky - he too was turned to dust in the Snap before returning in the Blip.

7. Ayo

Zemo (Daniel Brühl) in Marvel Studios' THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.
Zemo is a wanted man in Wakanda. (Marvel)

At the beginning of this episode, Sam tries to (quite rightly) warn Bucky about Zemo.

"He blew up the UN, he killed King T'Chaka and framed you for it, did you forget that? You think the Wakandans forgot about it? It’s a rhetorical question, they didn’t!"

And sure enough, who turns up at the end of this episode but Ayo (Florence Kasumba), the second-in-command of Wakanda’s Dora Milaje female bodyguards.

Seems like Bucky heeded Sam's words after all.

"I was wondering when you were gonna show up," he tells her on the streets of Riga, Latvia.

She replies: "I’m here for Zemo."

And for most of this episode.. so were we.

Verdict: This last-second intervention from Wakanda expands the world of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier even further.

This episode is a lot of fun, elevated by dropping Sam and Bucky in Madripoor far from their comfort zone and welcome returns for Zemo and Carter.

Sign up here

Watch: The characters who appeared in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting