Falcon and Winter Soldier episode 2 recap: New Captain America turns up the tension

Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes are super best frienemies.

Marvel Studios

After catching up with our two best Captain America boys last week, the second episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier — The Star-Spangled Man — hit Disney Plus Friday. The Marvel Cinematic Universe show is set around six months after the events of Avengers: Endgame, as the world deals with the sudden reappearance of billions of vanished people after a five-year absence.

Sam Wilson, aka Falcon (Anthony Mackie), the wingsuit-wearing Air Force vet was chosen to be the next Captain America by Steve Rogers. However, he decided no one should take up the mantle and handed the iconic shield over to the US government. The politicians clearly saw this as an opportunity, so they quickly chose a new Cap — likely one they could control.

Our other hero, Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), is struggling to make amends for his many murders as brainwashed assassin the Winter Soldier. Sam and Bucky didn’t cross paths in the first episode, but they’re done plenty of verbal jousting in the past.

We’ve also got antinationalist group the Flag-Smashers running around causing trouble. Let’s leap into SPOILER town for episode the second.

Marvel Studios

Even in prison, Zemo looks he’s hatching an evil plan.

Marvel Studios/Screenshot by Sean Keane/CNET

Going to see Zemo

At the end of the episode, lacking any leads on the Super Soldier formula-empowered Flag-Smashers and at odds with new Captain America John Walker, Sam agrees to Bucky’s plan to go and see an imprisoned Helmut Zemo (Daniel Brühl) for intel.

We last saw Zemo in Captain America: Civil War, when he reactivated Bucky’s programming and used him to drive the Avengers apart. The former head of a paramilitary group in Sokovia, Zemo lost his family when Ultron attacked his country’s capital city. He blamed the Avengers for this, and became obsessed with destroying the group.

Black Panther stopped Zemo from taking his own life after his plan was complete, and he was last seen in CIA custody. This episode reveals that he’s in prison in Berlin.

This article will be updated shortly.

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