Duke Reviews TV: The Falcon And The Winter Solider 1x04 The Whole World Is Watching
Hello, I'm Andrew Leduc And Welcome To Duke Reviews TV, Where We Are Continuing Our Look At The Falcon And The Winter Soldier By Looking At Episode 4..
And In This Episode, Wakanda And John Walker Interphere With Sam And Bucky's Mission With Zemo To Deal With Karli And The Flags Smashers...
How Are Sam And Bucky Going To Handle Them And Deal With Karli At The Same Time? Let's Find Out..
The Episode Starts With A Flashback To Bucky's Time In Wakanda, Revealing How Bucky Was Cured Of His Winter Solider Programming, Before We Cut Back To Now Where The Member Of The Dora Milaje Named Ayo, Is Like We Freed You From The Winter Solider Programming And You Stab Us In The Back By Freeing The Guy Who Killed Our King?
But Of Course, Bucky Tells Her That He Has Information We Need So She Tells Him That, Fine, We'll Give Eight Hours But Then We're Coming For Him...
Telling Sam That The Wakandans Are Onto Them Also That Karli Bombed A GRC Depot And That They're Promising More Attacks If Their Demands Aren't Met, This Gets Zemo Realizing That Karli Is Getting Worse And That Is The Only Way To Beat Her Now Is To Just Kill Her...
But Despite Sam Believing That There Is Still Good In Karli And That There Must Be A More Peaceful Way, Zemo Believes Otherwise, Telling Sam That He's Just Seeing Something In Karli That's Not There Anymore...
And Going Back To Captain America: The First Avenger And Remembering What Erkstiene Told Steve About The Nature Of The Super Solider Serum, Zemo's Right About This...
Realizing That This Mama Donya Was Like A Pillar Of The Community, And That There Might Be A Funeral, They Decide To Go Talk With Some People Around The Area Where Karli And The Flag Smashers Were But Everyone There Is Like...
And Just Walk Off...
But Zemo Manages To Get The Information From A Little Girl After Giving Her Some Candy..
Using The Info As Leverage To Save Himself From The Dora Milaje And/Or Walker, Sam Contacts Sharon Asking Her To Keep An Eye On The Camp By Hacking A Satellite Or 2 To Do So...
But As They Go To The Funeral, They Run Into Walker And Hoskins Who They Fill In On The Plan, But Despite Walker Thinking It's A Bad Idea, Hoskins Thinks That They Should Let Sam Go Through With His Plan...
Arriving To Where Karli Is, Walker Gives Sam 10 Minutes Before He Does Things His Way, After The Funeral Sam Confronts Karli And Talks With Her...
And...They Agree And Disagree On Various Things, With Karli Saying That Despite What Zemo Said, She's Not A Supremacist, In Fact She's Trying To End Supremacy, And Sam Is Like, I Agree With What You're Doing, I Just Don't Agree With The Way You're Going About It...
But Walker...Oh...Walker...He's Huffing And Puffing And Is Ready To Blow The House Down By Saying He's Going In, Bucky Tries To Stop Him But Walker Just Tells Him Look, You May Be A Super Solider But Your Partner Isn't, You Want His Blood On Your Hands?
So, Yeah, Walker Goes In And Spoils Any Chance Of Getting Karli To Surrender And She Tries To Bolt Out Of There But Eventually She Trips (Thanks To Zemo) And Drops All This Super Solider Serum That Zemo Breaks But Unfortunately Walker Finds A Vial That Wasn't Destroyed And He Just Is Like I'll Place This In My Pocket For Later...
Contacting Sharon Again, Sam Tells Her To Keep An Eye On Walker And Hoskins As Zemo Asks Him If He Would Have Taken The Super Solider Serum If Asked To Sam Tells Him No, Respecting Sam's Answer, Zemo Tells Sam They Need To Kill Karli And Her Acolytes As He Doesn't Want Another Faction Of Gods To Exist..
To Which Sam Is Like Isn't That How Gods Talk And I Have A Couple Of Theories Which I'm Not Going To Go Into Until I See Loki...
With Bucky Realizing Something Is Wrong With Walker As Walker And Hoskins Burst In, (Hi, Someone's Not Doing Their Job, Sharon) Saying To Hand Over Zemo...
But With Sam Saying That Walker Overstepped And Zemo Has Done More For Them Than Both Of Those 2 Have Done, Walker Is Getting Hyped Again And Is Like How You Want This To Go? You Want Me To Put Down The Shield?
But Looks Like Walker Isn't The Only One Interested In Zemo As The Dora Milaje Show Up Also And Says...
Of Course Walker Says That The Dora Milaje Have No Jurisdiction Here But Ayo Is Like The Dora Milaje Have Jurisdiction Wherever The Dora Milaje Happens To Be, But Walker Drops His Hand On Ayo's Shoulder Like An Atom Bomb And Gets His Ass Handed To Him...
So, Yeah, We Get A Big Fight Scene Here Which Ends With Zemo Escaping And Walker Delivering The Funniest Line Ever Of..They Weren't Even Super Soliders...
Now, Look, I Have Been On Walker's Side Throughout These Reviews Saying That I Was Willing To Give Walker A Chance To Develop And He Does Develop Throughout These Episodes It's Just This Episode And One Part In The Final Episode Where He's All Chevy Chase In National Lampoons Vacation...
I Would Have Compared Him With Tommy Wiseau But He's Not That Horrible...
I Mean It's Obvious, They Meant For This Scene To Be A Dramatic Moment For Walker As Realizes He's Not As Strong As Steve Was But It Just Came Out Funny...
Anyway, After That Scene, Walker Talks With Hoskins Out Of Uniform And He Asks Hoskins The Same Question Zemo Asked Sam About If He Would Take The Super Solider Serum If They Asked Him And Hoskins Is Like Hell, Yeah, From What I Understand It Just Takes The Best Or Worst Parts In A Person And Just Amplifies Those Qualities...
This Has Walker Then Asking Him What Would Happen To Me If I Take It, And Of Course, Hoskins Is Like Dude, You Have Three Medals Of Honor, You're The Best Guy I Know, However, Walker Says To Him Yeah, We Did But In Order To Get Those Medals We Also Had To Do Some Bad Things...
Meanwhile, Karli Contacts Sam's Sister And Tells Her To Give Sam A Message For Her Or She'll Find Her And Kill Her Family, With Sam Worried About Her Sister And Nephews, He Tells Her To Get Somewhere Safe And Use Cash Only...
Texting Karli, She Tells Sam To Meet Her At The Rooftop Above The North Plaza And To Come Alone But Bucky Doesn't Trust Her So, He Goes With....
Though Karli Says She Never Would Have Hurt Sam's Sister And Doesn't Want To Hurt Him, She Asks Sam To Either Join Her Or Let Her Go...
But Before Sam Can Answer, Sharon Calls Saying That Walker Has Found Them Which Leads To Hoskins Getting Captured And Breaking Free, It Being Revealed To Us That Walker Most Likely Took The Super Solider Serum And A Fight Where It's Sam, Bucky, Hoskins And Walker Vs The Flags Smashers...
But During The Fight, Hoskins Gets Tossed Into A Wall By Karli, Which Breaks His Neck And Kills Him Instantly...
In Revenge, Walker Goes After A Member Of The Flags Smashers (Believing It To Be Karli At First) And Just Smashes That Guys Head In With The Shield As People Are Filming Him, It's Just Horrible To See Captain America's Shield Being Used On Such A Thing...
Yeah, That's The Type Of Thing You Would See In Mortal Kombat In Fact, It's So Horrible That That's Where The Episode Stops And We Get No Music During The Credits Whatsoever, Marvel Is Just Like You Sit There And Think About It!
Anyway, This Episode Was Both Dark And Hysterical Thanks To John Walker...
Like I Said I Stand By What I Said About John Walker In My Review Of Episode 1 But I Will Agree That There Are Moments That Are More Hysterical Than They Are Dramatic Either Way, I Know What They Were Going For...
But Either Way I Say See This Episode...
Till Next Time, This Is Duke, Signing Off...
Top 5 Missed Opportunities in 400 Days
Hey, remember when TWDG Season One ended and we were a group of emotional messes? Remember when Season Two was announced and we were gonna get a DLC to bridge S1 and S2 together and we were extra excited for everything to come? Because I do.
To be fair, I truly did enjoy 400 Days when it first came out years ago, and it’s not like I hate it now or anything... I just can’t help but look at it and see wasted potential on every level-- the characters and their development, the stories, the impact our choices made for the future...
The concept of 400 Days-- a collection of stories that follow different protagonists and the situations they find themselves in within the zombie apocalypse that eventually connect to one another-- is a great one. I love the idea of mini-episodes that are all connected, and one choice you made in one episode affects the next episode you play... so what happened? Why does it fall flat now when we look back on it?
Well, a major reason for me is the fact that all four seasons of the main game are complete. When 400 Days came out, we didn’t have S2, so we didn’t know what our choices meant. That lead to us theorizing about what would happen if we got everyone to go with Tavia, or what would happen if no one but Bonnie went. Why was Bonnie the only one who agrees no matter what? What could that mean?
And we have those answers now, and it’s a let down... especially when it could’ve been so much better. That’s what I wanna talk about today. I wanna talk about what I think are the biggest missed opportunities in 400 Days.
5. Giving Shel and her dumb sister actual personalities
Of all the stories you can play in 400 Days, Shel’s episode is probably the worst due to the fact that she and her dumb sister lack any memorable qualities or personalities.... which is such a shame because this story also has one of the more interesting moral dilemma’s.
In this story, you play as Shel who is surviving in the diner/gas station with a group that consists of some of the cancer patients from S1. Remember them? They were with Vernon and helped him steal out boat? Yeah, they got away and apparently Vernon died and the group feel apart over the damn boat, but you don’t get much more than that.
Shel has this dumb sister who I can’t be bothered to remember her name because she’s that bland. Her sister is basically Shel’s personality. Take away her sister, and you’re left with nothing.
They’re going for the “Oh man, I don’t know what this world is doing to my dumb sister, it’s changing her, I don’t want her to have to do things like murder, I want her to have a normal childhood,” but that falls flat when they don’t give me a reason to care about them in the first place.
Like I said, the moral dilemma for this one IS interesting-- They catch someone who tried to steal from them. The man is injured pretty bad, and he can’t speak English, so there is no way for them to communicate with him. Roman, the dude who acts as the leader of our group, says that they can’t keep him here but they can’t send him back out there... and that means killing him.
So what do you do? Do you risk it by giving this man a second chance, give him some food and send him on his way and hope he doesn’t come back and do more harm? Or do you kill this man so that there is no risk in him coming back to do harm?
And you as Shel are the swing vote. That’s not an easy choice to make, plus you gotta think about how that choice is gonna affect your dumb sister?
Except it doesn’t really matter.... at all. No matter what you do, Roman still cracks down and wants to murder another member of the group who tries to escape, Shel’s dumb sister is still a brat who talks big but never does anything, and Shel is still a stale piece of white bread.
If they wanted us to care, then give Shel something other than her sister. Maybe they could’ve had her be someone who doesn’t really have a backbone, she tries to avoid conflict and is intimidated by Roman, she doesn’t speak up even when she should, and then her dumb sister could be the opposite-- Loud, take charge, wants to get more involved with protecting the group, isn’t afraid to stand up to Roman which causes him to take her under his wing and wanna turn her into a murder baby... which Shel definitely doesn’t want so what could she do to keep her dumb sister away from him?
If they wanted to tell the story of a woman worried her sister is going to grow up cold and ruthless because of the world around her, then tell that story. Show us that story, show us what happens when you agree to kill the man and now her dumb sister genuinely believes that murder is an easy solution to their problems, so when it comes to the woman who escaped, the dumb sister volunteers to kill her and Roman lets her... and you as Shel gotta decide if you wanna fight that by running away or just let it happen.
I dunno man, but Shel’s story is my least favorite of the bunch because I have no reason to care about either of them, and that’s a waste.
4. Nate’s a shithead so they should’ve used him more
Well, hello again, Nate... we meet once more here on T5F.
So yeah, I’ve talked about this crazy bastard on a previous list about characters no one likes, so you’re probably wondering why I’m saying that he should’ve been around more.
That’s the thing, I hate Nate. He’s gross, he’s brutal, and he’s uncomfortable with those crazy eyes of his... but he would’ve made for a fun antagonist in more of 400 Days, as well as in S2.
Depending on what episode you play first, Nate can either first appear in Wyatt’s story, or Russell’s. In Wyatt’s story, Nate is chasing down him and Eddie after Eddie accidentally killed a guy who was with Nate, and Nate here is chasing them down for some revenge. He eventually finds them, and who ever is left in the car as no choice but to flee, leaving the other behind.
Nate plays a more active part in Russell’s story, picking him off the highway and chatting with him on the way to the diner/gas station, and y’know how Shel has no personality? Well, I think I know where all the personality went because Nate’s got quite a bit of it. He’s one of the more memorable parts of 400 Days for a reason. He has a weird charisma about him, but then he starts talkin’ gross and almost gets Russell’s face eaten off by a walker and you get the idea that this man isn’t quite right, y’know?
Then we make it to the diner/gas station where they get shot at, and Nate insists on finishing this... as in, let’s go in and shoot whoever is shooting us. They sneak in, and the old man there says Nate is back to finish the job... which isn’t great. Nate acts like he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, but then suggests they kill the old couple using a line from the story Russell told her.... y’know, the story that’s kinda triggering for Russell.
At this point, Russell can either tell Nate off and leave, or he can stay where Nate will kill the couple right in front of him and claim that Russell is his boy and it is not great.
We know that either way, Russell gets away from Nate. We never see him again so he could be dead, turned, or alive. All I can think about is the fact that they created the beginnings of a compelling antagonist who could’ve bled over into S2 at Howe’s or even afterward. Like if we showed up at Howe’s and were locked up, only to find Nate locked up with us. Or maybe instead of Arvo, Nate could’ve been the one who stumbled upon Clementine and Jane and was overpowered and threatened by them... only for him to stalk them and confront them about what happened.
Either way, there was a missed opportunity to do more with Nate.
3. Focusing on the wrong things within Bonnie’s story
Alright, everyone’s favorite: Bonnie.
Bonnie is the only character in 400 Days who actually matters in terms of S2... and even then, her story doesn’t matter too much...which is dumb.
For me, Bonnie’s story is such a waste... like okay, right from the start they establish that Bonnie is a recovering addict, and I’m intrigued. The idea of an addict surviving in the apocalypse while trying to kick the stuff is interesting as hell.... but the story kinda just glosses over it unless Dee is insulting Bonnie by calling her a junkie.
No, the story we got was Bonnie breaking up a marriage. Great.
There’s this dude Leland who has a wife, Dee, but he and Bonnie are getting awfully snug with one another... so that’s real nice. Dee eventually finds them giving each other the look and breaks it up in a passive aggressive way before revealing she found a bag of supplies. This happens to be a bag that she “found” at the diner/gas station where Shel’s group is currently staying.
An argument breaks out between Leland and Dee with Bonnie in the middle and it’s not compelling at all. You can just sit there and do nothing and it doesn’t matter, they continue to fight until Shel’s group spots them and they gotta run.
Bonnie ends up shot and falls behind, and we do get a cool scene where she has to make her way through this cornfield without getting caught. I do like that bit, it’s fun.
But then she gets away, grabs a weapon, and hits someone walking up on her... that someone happened to be Dee. Whoops. Dee calls her a junkie, saying she killed her, and then dies.
Now comes the big choice: Do you tell Leland the truth or lie to cover your ass?
While this is an interesting choice on paper, it doesn’t matter. Leland isn’t with Bonnie in the end no matter what, and Bonnie will always agree to go with Tavia.
Personally, I wanted the fact that she was a recovering addict to be more front and center. Throw Leland and Dee away, have Bonnie travelling on her own. Have her going through withdrawals, show us her struggle of still being hooked on drugs while surviving in the zombie apocalypse... have her stumble across Shel’s group and from a distance, she sees they have medical supplies. She’s so desperate that she sneaks in at night and steals as much as she can, but gets caught.
We could still have her running away through the cornfield with the drugs, she can still get shot and everything... but maybe she’s so desperate for them that she ends up killing one of Shel’s group members, and she sees just what she’s willing to do in order to get these drugs, and you can make a choice of abandoning the drugs and quitting, or taking the drugs and running away... and it could actually affect Bonnie in the ending and into S2.
Plus, her killing one of Shel’s group would help add to the debate in her episode, y’know?
I just... I wanted that story... not what we got.
2. The past is more interesting than the present
This goes hand in hand with #3, but applies to almost everyone else.
All of these characters that we get to play as have more interesting backstories that I was more compelled by than what they’re actually going through in their stories.
The first time we meet Vince, he straight up murders a dude who is pleading for his life, saying he doesn’t even know Vince’s brother. Like... okay, what the hell happened here? What happened to Vince’s brother that made her commit murder like that?
How about Wyatt and Eddie? They’re running from Nate after Eddie killed the guy he was with. They’re panicking, Eddie is covered in the dude’s blood, Wyatt doesn’t know if Eddie meant to shoot or not. You can tell they’re known each other a long time, too. They’re a couple of stoners who got themselves into hot water.
Oh and Russell? His story is interesting as hell! He was in a group where the main guy kept going on about how seven if the perfect number for a group, ya can’t break seven, and this group eventually started killing so they could steal, so Russell got away and is now on his way to find his grandmother’s place.
Once again... Bonnie is a recovering drug addict in the apocalypse.
The only one without an interesting backstory is Shel... which I guess is fitting. The boring character doesn’t even get a fun backstory, she just exists.
It’s not a good sign when I’m more interested in the past, y’know? Vince’s I can give a bit of a pass to because he killed that guy before the apocalypse broke out, and his dilemma takes place right at the start, and it’s done pretty well.
Everyone else though? I already explained Bonnie’s, but what about Russell and his seven group? We could’ve gotten that story of a group that starts out good, the guys gives his philosophy on the dumber seven, Russell meets that one girl... but then things start to grow dark when the group starts to become desperate enough to murder and steal, the guy keeps going on about the number seven so they can’t invite anyone in, and they can’t let anyone go... so Russell has to sneak away or something.
Wyatt and Eddie? Show ‘em there when Nate and his buddy show up. Give us the tension of “are these guys chill or are they planning something?” when Eddie gets into a fight with the other dude and ends up shooting him, Nate gets pissed, and they gotta flee. Wyatt doesn’t know if Eddie shot him intentionally or not, it’s a whole, thing and they can still hit the cop and do that whole thing, too.
I just... I think problem is the stories were a bit too compact and short, not giving the characters a chance to develop or the stories enough compel to them.
1. It doesn’t matter who goes to Howe’s or not and that’s dumb
Sigh..... so yeah, obviously this is #1.
My biggest problem with 400 Days is that is doesn’t affect much. Even Bonnie’s story doesn’t affect what she does in S2.
As for the rest, if you only got Bonnie at Howe’s, then the rest and their fate’s are unknown. But if you do manage to get everyone to go with Tavia, they are at Howe’s... the problem is, they show up in small cameos that literally do nothing.
Ya got Wyatt who walks past Clementine like “Dude you better hurry, Bill doesn’t like to wait” like.... what, am I just supposed to get excited and point at him like “oooohhh I know him! I know him! That Wyatt! Hehehehe!” because I didn’t do that...
Or Vince randomly showing up to catch Tavia smoking, or Shel and her dumb sister making a comment about Sarah, it’s just dumb.
And then Howe’s falls and their fates are left unknown anyway.... so it didn’t matter.
I’ll just say what most of us were thinking.... Why weren’t they the cabin group? No, seriously, why weren’t the 400 Day’s crew the cabin group? Because it was too hard given the fact that there are so many combos? That’s fair, but if that’s the case, then what was the point of 400 Days?
Did they just want to tell a bunch of smaller stories within this world but never actually planned on using them outside of fun cameos in S2, with the exception of Bonnie? That probably is the case... and I think my disappointment in 400 Days does stem from being in the fandom at the time and getting hyped to see what they would do with these characters, only for it to be this.
Not only that, but then I started to think about how they could’ve done with game but with the actual cabin group from S2. Luke, Nick, Pete could’ve had their own story dealing with Nick’s mom getting bit after they took in a bite victim.
Rebecca and Alvin could’ve had a story about their marriage kinda falling apart despite them trying hard, and this could help make her affair with Carver make more sense.
Carlos and Sarah could have a story that explains Carlos’ over protectiveness and as well as explore Sarah as a character.
Hell, give Mike a story.
Give JANE a story about her and Jaime so that her appearing outta no where isn’t jarring, and develops her and the reasons she treats survival the way she does.
There was so much they could’ve done with this idea... and to be honest, if we ever get another game in this series, I would love it in this style but expanded into a season where each episode follows a different character and tells a different story, but in the end they all end up connecting. There is SO MUCH you can do with that!
But alas..... 400 Days for me is full of missed opportunities and I wish it wasn’t.
-Eddie only appeared in Wyatt’s episode and then disappeared until his death in S4.... Eddie’s great, should’ve been around more.
-Would’ve been nice if the cancer group from S1 was expanded on, give more context to what the hell happened to Vernon and the boat, y’know?
-a bit more development for Tavia would’ve been nice, as well... she just kinda shows up at the end and recruits who she can.
So what are your thoughts on 400 Days? Do you agree with these missed opportunities, or have any to add? Lemme know, it’s always fun to chat.
Have any suggestions for future T5F’s? Feel free to send ‘em in! :D
Next week’s T5F
Top 5 Reasons Gabe’s Pretty Great, Y’all Are Just Mean
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