Main cast: Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson/Falcon), Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes/Winter Solder), Wyatt Russell (John Walker), Clé Bennett (Lemar Hoskins/Battlestar), Erin Kellyman (Karli Morgenthau), Daniel Brühl (Baron Zemo), Emily VanCamp (Sharon Carter), and Florence Kasumba (Ayo)
Director: Kari Skogland
I had been very busy these few weeks—sadly, I wasn’t too busy having fun—so that could be the main reason why, but would you believe that I completely forgot that this show exists? It is only when a regular emailed me and pointed out that the season has ended and I’ve only reviewed two episodes that I finally went, “Oh right, that show.” I reread my review of the previous episode, and it seemed like I thought it was pretty okay. Well, I couldn’t remember much of it, but hey, I trust myself to have the correct opinion at all times, so I’ll go with that.
Now, Power Broker. Things really pick up here, and many things happen. Sam and Bucky reunite with the wicked Baron Zemo to discover the person that cracked the code of the supersoldier serum and allowed some upstarts to become one themselves, and in the process reunite with Sharon Carter. Meanwhile, John is showing that he’s a bit more… Karen, shall we say, than dear old Steve, going as far as to actually yell at people, “Do you know who I am?” He’d be demanding to see the manager in the next episode, I’d imagine.
Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan really have good chemistry. I know I’ve said this in every review of this show so far, but these two are the most enjoyable aspects of this show. I also like Sharon Carter here, and if I can say it, Baron Zemo is such a doll. I love my bad boys, and he’s the evil bad boy after my heart.
There are nicely put together scenes here too, whether it’s some cool night club or a refugee outpost, but in the end, I just sit down on my couch and shrug when the credits roll. If you ask me how I find this episode, I’d just say, “Meh. It’s okay. That’s about it.”
The thing is, this episode has all the ingredients to be cool and flashy. This episode could easily be something like John Wick 3.5 or any other show that oozes style and poetic action from every second of runtime, but instead, it feels flat and lifeless. I spend a while to figure out why, even re-watching the episode in the process and thinking absently that the lead actors look increasingly dreamy with each viewing, and I think I now know why: the pacing.
Throughout the entire episode, the pace remains the same. Whether it’s a chase scene or a quieter one, the characters all speak in the same tempo and react with the same kind of urgency. There is no sense of momentum build-up or rising tension; in fact the entire episode is basically the main cast moving from one stylishly made scene to the next one, as if this had been some kind of vacation picture montage instead of an action show.
As a result, this episode is nice to look at, sure. The directing, pacing, and even editing of this episode are all mismatched for the intention of the show, however, and the whole thing ends up more like a men’s fragrance commercial pretending to be an action flick.
Oh, and it also doesn’t help that the Raggedy Ann girl playing the supposedly anti-heroic and sympathetic antagonist is as riveting as a slab of moldy bread. That young dear was wretchedly forgettable in Solo: A Star Wars Story, and she’s doing the same thing here to ensure that her role here will be as wretchedly forgettable as her role in that other film.
Power Broker, this one ain’t.