After we pointed out last week that The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s off-brand Captain America, John Walker, is a stand-in for Tony Stark (minus the billions of dollars and body armor full of piss), the most recent episode only added credence to that interpretation, giving us a scene where Walker is whooped by a tag-teaming Bucky and another Cap of sorts, à la Civil War.
Not to mention scenes of Walker being dragged before an aggressive government panel, not unlike Tony in Iron Man 2, and sweatily hammering metal.
The penultimate episode also cemented that this show is less of a comic book adaptation and more of a Lethal Weapon movie, just with fewer mullets and sexy saxophone licks.
Obviously, the series has been proudly following a buddy cop formula, and the cast literally promoted the show as Lethal Weapon-esque. But with only one episode to go, it’s clear that this show is not just vaguely inspired by the franchise but is an elaborate remix of specific elements from the Richard Donner action quadrilogy, albeit one that happens to star a couple of Avengers. Sam is the more by-the-book company man, like Danny Glover’s Det. Roger Murtaugh and Bucky is the moody loner shaped entirely by his past trauma like Mel Gibson’s Riggs, both of whom are constantly being pestered to examine said trauma by an unrelenting therapist. And while Bucky is alone, Sam is surrounded by family and eventually invites Bucky to stay with them. But both Sam and Murtaugh are concerned about their pal flirting with a family member, Sam’s sister --
And, unfortunately, Murtaugh’s daughter ...
The villains are Super Soldiers like Bucky? The villains of the first Lethal Weapon are members of the same elite military unit as Riggs. And both stories eventually force the duo to let an annoying criminal tag along because they have helpful information; Baron Zemo and Leo, played by Joe Pesci.
It seems as though Sam and Bucky’s narrative arcs are ultimately going to follow the same trajectory as Murtaugh and Riggs in the first movie; Sam decides to take up the mantle of Captain America after declining it originally, while Murtaugh changes his mind about retiring. Bucky learns that he isn’t defined by his violent past, and he can open himself emotionally to relationships other than with Steve, just as Riggs moves on from the death of his wife and gains a new best friend. And, frankly, it’s also just nice to have a new Lethal Weapon-like project where the Riggs character isn’t played by a total scumbag.
Top Image: Marvel Studios