Sequels are hard, that is a known fact across the universe. You may have noticed the past few recaps have featured some sequel-related beef. Well friends, you can put away that A1 sauce because there is NO BEEF TO BE FOUND IN THIS RECAP. Captain America; The Winter Soldier is a masterpiece and I will slap anyone who says differently with a dirty wet sock.
The action! The emotional stakes! The intricate plot! The abs! *content sigh*
Let’s dive right in, shall we?
The movie began with Steve and Sam having a handsome-off masked as a meet-cute. Sam is also a soldier, specifically a pararescue…er? How is that word done? Pararescue guy? He does pararescue, okay? Anyway, these boys both love running, and are now very good buds.
Their bro-date was cut short though, because some pirates decided to get grabby with one of SHIELD’s boats.
Cap jumped out of a plane and then silently climbed onto the boat and DESTROYED those pirates. I mean… honestly. If you’ve read any of my recaps before, you know how into fictional violence I am. Real-life violence can go suck a turd, but fictional? Hell yeah, bring it on.
They used teamwork to save the hostages, but a certain wily lass was causing a hold-up.
Nat was sent by Fury to collect intel from the ship for secret spy reasons, which made Steve feel left out.
Steve was peeved that he didn’t know about the side-quest even though he’s the leader, so Fury let him in on a pretty huge secret.
These helicarriers are linked with spy satellites so they can “preemptively take out threats.” So, basically, they’re killing-machines that can target anyone anywhere, in mass numbers, and will do so on command. What a terribly horrible idea! Just, so, so stupidly bad! Hahahaha, Fury, this is one of those things in your life you’ll look back on and cringe, all, “uuuggghhh, blame it on the Jägermeister!”
Imagine how weird it would be to go to a museum exhibit about yourself? I mean, I personally would LOVE IT, but other people might find it weird.
I have mentioned before about how Steve’s life is endlessly sad, and this remains a true fact. Peggy was his first love, and now he has to hear about the life he could have spent with her, while at the same time watching her deteriorate… ugh, my heart.
Next up on Steve’s social calendar was a visit to the VA to check in with his new friend to see if there was any *best* friend potential.
I joke, but this friendship honestly lights up my life. Steve needs this, you guys. HE NEEDS THIS.
Fury couldn’t access the boat intel, which got him suspectin’, which lead to a chat with Pierce, a member of the Council for Being Dicks. These folks oversee SHIELD, and they’re the same people who ordered the bomb on New York in Avengers. Anyway, Fury was all, “hold off on our super killing machines for a sec,” and Pierce was like, “sure thing, bud! Anything for you!”
[Also, did anyone else notice that the voice answering him all, “access denied”, sounded robotic until Fury asked on whose authority he was locked out and she was all, “Fury, Nicholas J,” like a robot would care about a dramatic moment. Seriously, rewatch this moment, she totally builds the tension on purpose!]
Almost immediately after revealing to Pierce that he’s going to investigate something fishy within SHIELD, Fury almost gets killed by a murder team. Oh, and look who was there to finish the job!
It’s the Winter Soldier! Dun dun dunnnnnnn… Fury made a pretty badass escape involving a lot of guns, fancy tech, and destruction of public property, and then found his way to Steve’s pad.
Steve’s attempt to befriend/possibly woo his next door neighbour was cute. He’s never been particularly socially adept. Anyway, she declined his offer of a laundry-date, which was good because he already had company.
Fury gave him the mission in code because their conversation was being broadcast on AM radio or something. He was shot through the window, handed Steve a super-usb, then kind of died but not all the way.
Turns out the nurse from next door is actually a SHIELD agent who was placed there to keep an eye on Steve. He didn’t have time to get properly peeved about it, because he had a Winter Soldier to chase!
Steve threw his mighty shield, but Winter Soldier CAUGHT IT. Ohhhhhh dang, Steve! What’cha gonna doooooo? Nothing, as it turns out. In a very sporting move, WS threw the shield back, then skedaddled without even telling Steve how he likes his grilled cheese sandwiches.
Then we saw the team at the hospital watching Fury flatline, and Maria Hill was like, “the world will mourn him just as the world mourned you when you died, Steve,” and Steve was all, “but I didn’t die,” and Hill was like, “right, um… but still.”
And NOW Fury was dead. *wink*
Pierce tried to get info out of him, but Steve was all, “naw, I’m good,” so Pierce was like, “probably gonna try to kill you, then,” and Steve shrugged and was like, “good luck, pal,” then he sort of thought about it and said, “seriously, I wish you luck, my life is so sad.” I may be paraphrasing.
Anyway, then Steve tried to leave the building, and THIS HAPPENED:
Cap DESTROYED a whole whack of dudes in an elevator. Like, a WHOLE WHACK. It was awesome. Then because the elevator doors were surrounded he jumped through the glass, curled up on his shield, and plummeted to the cold hard concrete like it ain’t no thing. Hahahahaah, I love these movies.
Oh, then he took down A JET using only his motorcycle and shield, and I swear you can hear the jet sigh an “omg this is so embarrassing.”
So Pierce declared Captain America a traitor, bumped him up to #1 super-threat, and made him a fugitive of the law.
Neighbour Agent was NOT having it, and neither were about half the staff. Currrrrious.
Anyway, after owning all of Shield so hard (hahaha, I seriously love it so much), Steve went to collect the intel from it’s clever hiding spot in a vending machine, but someone had beaten him to it.
Nat didn’t exactly have all the haps, but she DID know that Fury hired the pirates to attack the SHIELD ship so he’d have an excuse to get that intel. So off they went to the mall to see what was on the info-stick, and Steve was like, “why are there so many teenagers here?” (in his head), and Nat was all, “it’s their breeding ground,” (in her head).
Once they started fiddling with the gismo it alerted SHIELD to their whereabouts, so they had to figure shit out REAL QUICK. They couldn’t see the information, but they could see where it was produced. So, after evading SHIELD by fake-smooching on an escalator, it was off to Jersey!
Steve is very thirsty for friends. He wants to trust Natasha SO BAD, but he’s also not a dummy. And it seems Natasha wants to be trusted, but it’s not in her nature. I really like this friendship, you guys.
Anyway, the origin point of the intel lead them to the facility Steve was trained in back in the day, where they found a secret bunker that had an imdb.com page for the first movie on the wall, which gave everyone a sad face (but especially me) (and Steve) (but mostly me).
But then they found a secret bunker WITHIN the secret bunker! It was a bunkerception.
Okay, so remember Dr. Zola from the first movie? Well he flipped during the war and worked with the allies, except he didn’t REALLY. He helped to plant hydra agents within SHIELD, then he uploaded his brain to a super computer, which is a totally normal thing to do.
So this supercomputer (and thus the info-stick) has all the hot hydra/SHIELD tea from the past 80 some-odd years. Hydra obviously doesn’t want that info to get out, so they sent a bomb to kill both stars of the movie.
I know villains don’t know they’re in movies, but I mean come on. These two are the main characters, and you think you’re going to blow them both up mid-movie? Hahaha, GROW UP, HYDRA!
With Fury gone, the Council reactivated Project Death-Sight, and Pierce was like, “oh noooooo, anything but thaaaaaaat,” very convincingly. But he wants the project to go ahead, because this was HIS evil plan ALL ALONG! Dun dun dunnnnnn…
Pierce’s poor housekeeper forgot her phone, saw the Winter Soldier sitting at the kitchen table like he popped by to sell Tupperware, and was promptly murdered, proving that Pierce is a straight-up villain.
Steve and Nat went to the one person they knew they could trust – the guy Steve met while running that one time (I joke, but you know I love this friendship, so I am NOT mad at how quickly Sam was assimilated into this posse). If I were him I would have been curious about how they got my home address, but Sam was not.
Nat was peeved that she seemingly traded one evil organization for another, but then Steve was all, “k but maybe we can still be heroes?” and Nat just shrugged, and Steve was like, “c’monnnnnn, who’s a hero? WHO’S A HERO?” and Nat half-smiled and was like, “I ammmmm” (I’m paraphrasing).
Sam revealed that he was a rocketeer(™) in the army, and that he still had access to all his rocketeer(™) equipment, even though he’s retired and there’s no way the army would just let him keep- you know what? I don’t care. Falcon is awesome.
After a brainstorm over breakfast, this ragtag crew of heroes figured out the bad guys must be Pierce and Agent Sitwell (among others). So off they went to execute a fun plan that included throwing Sitwell off a roof.
Sitwell explained the nefarious plans of Hydra: use an algorithm created by Zola’s dead-man-computer-brain to suss out threats to hydra, then kill them using the heli-murderbots. It was a very big deal! Not big enough to call any of the other Avengers, but I get it. Who can they trust? Who knows, Thor might be Hydra. *sarcastic hair-flip paired with sardonic stare*
Then the Winter Soldier came to kill them, resulting in a huge fight that was SO AWESOME YOU GUYS. Seriously so good. I hope the fight choreographer won awards. DID the fight choreographer win awards? Okay I looked it up and can’t really tell, but it’s James Young, and this guy seems cool as all hell, so high-fives to you, sir!
Bucky!!!! Huh, I guess all that experimenting in The First Avenger WAS something to worry about!
Oh, and Nat was shot in the shoulder and it is NEVER MENTIONED AGAIN. I guess she just wrapped it up and went on with her day. That day included getting captured by SHIELD, then immediately rescued by Maria Hill, who took them to see…
Fury is aliiiiiiiiiiiiive! He had to fake his own death to save his life, and didn’t tell anyone because SPIES. But he decided to reveal himself to trusted SHIELD agents who have proven themselves, Nat and Steve… and Sam (LOL).
Bucky was starting to remember Steve and that they were best pals who loved and respected each other, so Pierce was like, “reboot!” and they fried his brain a bunch, which was very rude.
Meanwhile, Fury wanted to salvage SHIELD, but Steve was like, “it’s all or nothing,” then they broke out into song, and it was beautiful, but then Fury was like, “but isn’t there a whole show devoted to SHIELD?” and Steve shrugged like the lovable rascal he is.
Then we were treated to a flashback of Steve’s mom’s funeral (ugh, his life is so sad), and Bucky saying that they’re friends forever no matter what. It was very nice and sweet and made me want to hug both of them for a full hour.
They made it into the Triskelion (SHIELD headquarters), and Cap took over the airways to announce to everyone that they’ve been accidentally working for the bad guys, and that under no circumstances should those helicarriers of death take off.
Agent Neighbour and an adorable nerd were all, “sorry dude, Captain’s orders”, and a fight broke out. Unfortunately it didn’t stop Rumlow from launching the heli-kill-planes. A heli-battle broke out, with Sam dodging bullets in the air, and fighting with Bucky over who Cap likes more. Bucky tore Sam’s wing off, then threw him off the plane.
Meanwhile, The Board had gathered for the launch of the heli-death, and were none too pleased to hear that one of their members was an agent of Hydra. Did this surprise anyone else? I thought FOR SURE there would have been at least a couple Hydra agents on The Board. I mean… it’s a BOARD. Aren’t they all supposed to be evil?
Anyway, Pierce fried their broaches when they disagreed with him, but then he got his ass kicked by an old lady.
It was Nat! She had a magic face mask that could turn her into someone else, which would have been very helpful in a number of situations they had already been in, but we’re not here to nitpick.
She uploaded all the hot goss from the info-stick onto the internet, letting loose all of Hydra’s secrets, as well as SHIELD’s. But she couldn’t do it alone.
Fury used his gross eye to authorize the upload, which left me with QUESTIONS. 1) How? 2) But… how though? 3) Seriously, how?
Anyway, now that that was taken care of, the only thing left to do was take down the heli-murderers.
Bucky kept shooting Steve, which was wildly upsetting, but Steve still managed to slip the chip into the little slot thing and turn the heli-hydra-planes on each other. Bucky was pinned under some debris, so naturally Cap went to help him out and they got into some fisticuffs again. Steve was so damn over it that he dropped his shield and threw some nostalgia at Bucky, then just patiently waited to die.
Just as Bucky seemed to be remembering something, the no-longer-murder-carrier fell apart and Steve plummeted into the water. But then Bucky pulled him out! Then he walked away dramatically all, “now we’re even,” and the unconscious thoughts of Cap were like, “thanks, but not really!”, and Bucky was like, “we’re totally even, so I’m going to walk away, and you’re never going to see me again,” and unconscious Cap was like, “hahahahaha, okay, bud, see you later,” and Bucky was like, “no you WON’T,” and Steve’s unconscious thoughts were like, “okaaaaaaay, sure, bye then,” and Bucky stomped his foot and was like, “your tone implies you think you WILL see me again, but I assure you, you won’t!” and then Steve’s unconscious mind didn’t respond because he was in serious need of medical attention.
Oh, and also Sam was fighting Rumlow, and he did very well, but then he kind of cheated by having the hellicarrier take Rumlow out instead. Then he jumped out of the building into the helicopter piloted by Fury.
So now the bad guys are exposed, some went to jail, and some escaped because there’s a whole show still devoted to this storyline. Maria Hill accepted a job at Stark Industries, Agent Neighbour (whose name turns out to be Sharon) went into the FBI, Nat and Fury disappeared into the wind, and Steve and Sam did a blood-brothers pact and vowed to find Bucky.
Of course, they couldn’t wrap up the movie without a tease for Age of Ultron, so the mid-credits scene was a couple a’ twins being super weird in some cages. Fun!
But that’s not all!
Bucky is rememberiiiiiiinnnnnggggggggg. See you soon, buddy!
What an absolute homerun for the MCU. Both movies following The Avengers were sort of ho-hum, but then along came Captain America throwing his mighty shield… and all who oppose his shield must yield!
This movie was fun. It was tense, it had twists, seriously amazing action, emotional depth, and budding friendships. I don’t know if you guys can tell, but I liked it. I liked it a lot.
- Maybe keep Steve away from planes? He keeps trying to sacrifice himself on them.
- Did anyone else miss Hawkeye? He’s all about SHIELD! Did he take some time off? Do you think he was there the whole time, shooting arrows and making quips, but no one noticed? Or maybe he was wearing one of those magic face masks the whole time?
- Bucky/Winter Soldier’s theme music was gosh-darn amazing. Any time he showed up and the music got all screetchy… *chef’s kiss*
- There are theories that Marvel was setting this up since the very first movie, with hints that Obadiah Stane was Hydra (feeding weapons to both sides to destabilize society). What do you guys think? Is Marvel that smart, or is this just a happy coincidence?
- Speaking of setting things up, I’ve watched this movie more times than I care to admit, and I still don’t understand the boat that launched the plot. What’s with the boat? Why was the information ON the boat for Nat to steal? Was this a specific Hydra hangout?? Someone educate me please.
- If you ever make a museum based on my life please include the slushy cup that formed all of my early childhood ideas about frozen beverages, and my 2012 Ugly Christmas Sweater trophy.
- Bechdale Test: Squeaks by with a discussion about shell casings. This conversation was technically about Fury, but I’ll let it slide because I love this movie so much.
- Upon re-watch I make notes to myself to help me remember what happens so I can write the recap. Here are some examples of my notes:
OKAY THAT’S IT BYE FOR A BIT!
6 thoughts on “MCU Photo-Recap Countdown; Winter Soldier”
You missed one of my favourite lines! Sam jumps out of the building – gets caught by the helicopter and sasses ( i think it was nat and fury??) that it was a near-miss and they’re all ” The floors aren’t numbered on the outside!” This made my life because how many times do we see the hero nonchalantly say Imma jump out the west 12th floor and the good guys find him every time!
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Wow, you no-homoed Steve and Bucky about as much as Marvel did… exceptional!
I don’t think this twist was set up that far in advance. Stane wasn’t HYDRA; he was just an opportunistic capitalist dealing with the Ten Rings (who were clearly different than the Ten Rings of Iron Man 3). In The Avengers, when Tony used his super-hacker on SHIELD he gets absolutely zilch on HYDRA infiltration. SHIELD was weirdly absent for Iron Man 3 so there wasn’t any foreshadowing there. Only Zola’s “defection” was established early.
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Yeah, we’d have to stretch pretty far and give the MCU a huge benefit of the doubt to credit them for planting it this early.
One could argue that Hydra was keeping their files separately, in Zola’s weird basement-brain, and that’s why Tony didn’t find anything in Avengers, but again, it would be a stretch.
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Heyyy I found the whole photo recap hilarious and I was wandering if it’s okay if I screenshot one of the photos and use it as my Twitter header?
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Go for it! Thank you for asking first.