I'm going to play devils advocate here.

I'm going to play devils advocate here.


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He's just a well written character with a great character arc. I don't think this is devil's advocate at all!


Yea I figured that's what makes him great. He's clearly a well meaning veteran of war who has been through it and it clearly has had it's effects in what we saw tonight


He's the perfect soldier, even after this episode I wouldn't argue against that. War is different than being a super hero though. If he did the same things he did to earn his 3 medals as Captain America I bet they would all be considered wrong. I genuinely feel bad for him. He didn't want this either, he only wanted to do good but was never sat down and fully explained what being a super hero meant by any actual superhero


See but the difference between Steve and Walker is the fact that Walker is a perfect soldier. Steve was never a perfect soldier and did not intend to be. All Steve wanted to do was the right thing such as pushing back the Nazis. TFATWS is really putting an emphasis on what Dr. Erskine’s said to Steve: “Whatever happens, promise me that you will stay who you are. Not a perfect soldier, but a good man”


I'm am obsessed with his charecter. Especially after this ep


Same, dude. SAME. He's such a jerk and I love him for it.


Honestly. But he's just so well written that even as a jerk I root for him. I didn't feel like that before this episode but they really elevated his story today


Indeed. Walker is complicated as a character - he isn't some mustache-twirling villain.


Yea, i think it's not devils advocate imo. It's justifiable like OP said. I even wish he should go rampage and kill more, finish with the same person while Karli watching.


I feel bad for him too. I didn’t expect his buddy to get fridged so fast or for him to crack so fast. Walker is very well-written. He really unnerves me when I’m watching him and he makes you really appreciate Steve Rogers and how hard it must have been to always be so righteous


Karli and her Flag Smashers all went "oh shit" when Lamar died hopefully they realize they went too far and killed an innocent man.


Actually that was the point where I was going “why are they stopping?” Wasn’t that the plan? To kill them? They literally had knives out and everything.


Right, what's with all the knives


Sebastian Stan wanted to do his cool knife flip


Bro I was so mad he didn't get to do some fancy knife work in this


The finale is probably just gonna be an hour long knife flip montage




I think it came down to once they realized he had taken the serum and was suped up that him angry and a supe was not something they wanted to wait around and see. They didn't know he had taken the serum until they had already started fighting them.


Still had plenty of time to stab him when he was holding Lamar.


Yeah, I didn't get that either. They all made big speeches about how the end justifies the means, they had already killed innocent people, and wanted to kill John, but somehow Lamar was off-limit?


It would´ve worked if they hadn´t decide to make Karli a murderer in the last episode. It doesn´t help the story at all, I can´t relate to her problems because she is a psycho, killing handcuffed defenseless people and then getting sad they killed a man in a fight is absurd.


I think it was probably the difference between killing them in a blast and actually killing someone with her bare hands. Now, whether that actually would make a difference to how someone feels is debatable, but I think that's the angle the writers were going for.


I think that's it, and I feel it can be looked upon in two perspectives. The bomb and the knives have that inherent ability to kill. It's an expected, if not intended, outcome. Punching someone, not so much. That could bring about a bit of surprise, and after the initial shock, a person's mindset could change. Also, not seeing the person die, as you're walking away, getting into a car and not even looking back, could be different than seeing their body go limp and crumple into place just a few feet in front of you. Additionally, he wasn't who they intended to kill. He was restrained and held separate. Sam and Bucky were to be preoccupied elsewhere. It was just suppose to be Walker alone, and only him killed, and more as a statement than anything. Karli even told Sam that killing him (Sam) would be meaningless. I'm sure they view killing Lamar as even less so, since Sam still gets recognized for who he is. Killing someone without prior intent, in a way that would not be expected, could be jarring enough to cause them to freeze. Then, being in a situation they weren't expecting, it was just suppose to be Walker they fought, and facing people who probably were no longer fighting with the aim to subdue them, but now probably kill them, could cause one or two to flee. Then the rest follow. Karli wasn't the first one to run, and they didn't all leave at once.


If they wanted to kill Lamar they would have. But instead they tied him up while they went to deal with Walker. They are willing to kill but only want to kill specific people if they can help it.


They realized that the first named character to get clapped was black now Twitter is about to take on the Flag smashers


Flag Smashers CANCELLED


Naw man, it was all the terrorists in episode 1 trying to escape to Syria, they got clapped first.


He said named character


It hits different though when it actually happens in front of your eyes. It's one thing to say in anger "I'm gonna kill you," but it's a whole nother animal when there's a body at your feet and blood on your hands.


Exactly. Have any of them actually firsthand witnessed killing? They haven't actually looked murder in the eyes. Blowing people up is one thing, seeing a person die right in front of you with their close friend watching is another.


They aren’t hardened murderers or even hardened criminals... she accidentally killed Lamar while fighting. He wasn’t their target, Sam isn’t their target, Bucky isn’t their target, it’s “Captain America” and the power structures he symbolizes. They were willing to kill John walker, they are shocked that they accidentally killed someone else. Even after bombing that house with the soldiers (Carly did it herself apparently and only after a moment of extreme grief and personal loss) ... they were all conflicted and struggled with it.


That was the one thing that kind of pulled me out of the moment. Karli had no issue blowing up innocent people days prior, but now that one of her own accidentally killed an enemy combatant engaged in active combat with her people she dramatically takes off the mask with an expression of "Damn, we went too far!" The reaction was clearly for the audience, not for the characters.


They’re no strangers to violence or to killing people (via bombs etc). I think it was the realization that they’re capable enough that they can kill a man in an armored vest with one savage punch. That’s a brutal amount of strength. They may not have fully appreciated that yet.


Well they went “oh shit” not because they killed one of them but because they realize they just pissed off a super soldier. Karli and the Flagsmashers in general wanted to get rid of them lowkey


She already jumped that fence by blowing up a building filled with innocent people. Why is it more special with a soldier? Because he’s the bad new captain America’s friend?


I think that was the moment when it got real for her. She did kill the other people in the building, but it was distant, not up close, not with her own hands. I think she's starting to get an inkling that this is getting out of control. All this time, her people have been pledging to die for this cause, but now a close friend actually has died for her cause, and it's kind of her fault. I think she's also seeing the bad side of the serum, and it scared her.


I think they realised he would become a lot more vicious. Also, she killed people she thought deserved it, because of their work with the GRC, and this might have been her first time killing someone with her bare hands. Anyway, between Battlestar and Walker, she wanted to kill Walker, since he’s the symbol - his friend just got in the way.


Them stopping was so fucking stupid, they had knives out, were actually trying to kill Sam, Bucky, Walker and Hoskins, and suddenly stopped like kids who got caught breaking a window when someone actually died.


I think it might have been they killed some regular guy and didn't mean to go that far just kill "Cap" although was a little strange.


Exactly. They just had him tied up, if they wanted to kill him they would have then


But they killed people in that building they bombed?? They weren't super. Surely to them Battlestar was a symbol of what they fight against?


They weren’t all happy with the building exploding, but they also didn’t see anyone die. These aren’t inherent killers and seeing someone actually die probably struck a cord. They didn’t get in this to kill anyone, they just wanted to help people.


The psychology of blowing people up and directly murdering someone right in front of you is worlds apart. The goal was to kill the symbol. The group as a whole are not crazed murderers. They had a chance to kill Lamar and they didn't take it.


The only person she wanted to kill was Captain America, Karli literally says that verbatim. And in media there’s a common trope that knives are seen as a “less lethal” alternative to guns. Clearly they weren’t out to murder everyone.


She wanted to kill Captain America, the symbol. Battlestar isn't a symbol. It may have some value to John, but not to American People. He's not a symbol, he never interfered them also. So killing him is like killing an innocent people. So they were stunned at that moment. And all the people left (John, Bucky, Sam) are Super Soldier and expert. They couldn't fight them and win. So they just left the place.


I wasn’t trying to say she killed Battlestar because she was trying to kill Captain America. I should’ve worded it better. I’m pretty sure Karli accidentally killed Battlestar which is why everyone started to hesitate after that.


>So killing him is like killing an innocent people. Yeah, because the people who were in the building Karli blew off weren't innocent? I really don't like how they portrayed the Flag Smasher. Everyone in the show seems to agree that their goal is ok, but we don't even know what it really is. Because "borders and government bad" isn't really a goal.


The thing is how Sam said it, Their goal is okay but not the way they execute it. Their goal is to support the people who lost things after everyone coming back. But the way they were doing things is wrong. "borders and government bad" thing came because after all this becoming separate, they were homeless. When there was “one people, one world” they had homes, jobs. Now, nothing.


'we were kicked out of our homes' But why? Was it because people came back from the snap and wanted *their* homes back? Why is that a bad thing. I'm sure manufacturing/production slowed terribly during the snap and then boom a huge influx of people back. That wouldn't be easy to handle. They need to flesh out their reasoning otherwise I don't get onboard with them at all


I think it's understandable. While people coming back and wanting their homes back isn't a bad thing, in fact, I think everyone would agree it's a logical response, it left Karli and her family homeless. And being homeless is extremely difficult if you don't have the funds to quickly find somewhere else. And Karli does emphasize that a lot of people were put in that predicament. Essentially, after the influx of people returning, the ones who didn't get snapped and were losing everything needed government assistance, but the government prioritized the people who just returned, which means people like the Flag Smashers were left out to dry. Sam also notes how the world itself came together in the wake of the blip. I suspect because a lot of world leaders disappeared, and no one was prepared to deal with a catastrophe of universal proportions. Now that people have returned, things are probably slowly going back to how they were pre blip, for better and worst.


Here's what I think they're saying happened. During the Blip, a lot of homes lost their owners, and several jobs opened up. To keep the economy functioning, immigration restrictions practically died overnight. Jobs and property became plentiful. Then everyone came back. This created an economic crisis, as there weren't enough jobs to go around. Immigrants and refugees were shown the door to give their jobs back to their old holders. Meanwhile, their houses were returned to their old owners. This probably led to ugly questions about property rights. Since the immigrants had lost their jobs, they were at a disadvantage.


If infrastructure of all kinds was starting to get scaled down because you can't maintain it with 50% fewer people, then I imagine it's been a huge issue to get power, water, food production etc all back up to speed. Plus housing markets are already kinda awful, if suddenly there were half as many buyers it might lead to a lower cost housing market or something. I'm sure there's other issues with the sudden population resurgence but these come to mind.


Why is that a bad thing? Let me just be clear here: what they’re going through is complex as fuck on either side. However, you can’t just displace people and expect them to be okay with it. There needs to be some grace, compensation, or something? It’s not bad trying to rehouse the “dead”, however, how they handled it is bad. Displacing people, and then closing borders almost immediately. Most would have a hard time coping.


She was about to kill like 15 other innocent people. Defending her is ridiculous


No I think the point is being missed here. They wanted to kill him, but then they realized he took the serum. When they killed Lemar, they achieved what Karli wanted: To tear "the avengers" apart, to separate and divide them. Sam and Bucky know Walker took the serum. Zemo is gone. Walker is unhinged. Them stopping and running into public was the **best** option for them. Dying in public to an oppressive symbol would only help them recruit more people (see the war on terror for the past 20 years). It also weakens the symbol of Captain America which would only help their cause. Edit: I also think Zemo knew that there was one vial left.


No way (about the Zemo bit), he wouldn't want anyone to get their hands on the serum, ever. Especially the new Captain America


Martyrs basically.


Brilliant actually...nobody saw(iPhone) them kill lamar, the whole world saw captain America kill one of them with zero context


I have a sneaking suspicion that Lamar is actually still alive (albeit critically wounded). Walker will attempt to spin his reaction as "they killed Battlestar so I got justice" only to have Lamar found to be alive after all - just to complete the full, public downfall.


Exactly what I was thinking, I had to double check but he did try to check for a pulse and that's a pretty good confirmation as far as I know. But there was something about the way the camera went back to Lamar after the new Cap jumped out of the building and ran down the street, like it felt like they put that there to callback to and point out that he isn't actually dead.


They killed 3 other people though, and it could’ve been more. No way karli would’ve known the 11 would just be injured.


I mean if Cap and Battlestar hadnt intervened the situation wouldn't have turned violent. You cant start a fight and then complain when you get hurt.


> I didn’t expect his buddy to get fridged so fast or for him to crack so fast. There are only two episodes left. lol


Yes And I have issues with this lol. Idk I guess I assumed there would be more seasons


I mean there still might be, but 'Walker Goes Dark' was clearly a 'this season' arc.


Fiction has a thing where someone dying right in front of the character/viewer is more impactful than someone dying off screen/away from the character. Maybe it really is rougher? I don't know, I've never killed anyone so I can't confirm. ​ Because yeah, Karli killed three people last episode. I guess this is the first time she's killed someone with her own hands. Maybe that's what spooked her and the Flag Smashers?


I was in the royal artillery. My job in Afghanistan was to call the fire missions in. While my actions led to the death of enemy combatants. I never actually seen death. Because of that I believe I've not suffered as bad from PTSD as the infantry that engaged in close quarter fighting.


If I had to kill someone, I'd rather be a drone operator than a Roman Legionary. Think about eating your beef that someone killed in a slaughterhouse for you vs cutting a cow's throat, gutting it, draining it's blood, quartering it and eventually grilling it. Literally the source of the idiom how the sausage is made.


He started to really piss me off with how impatient he was with Sam and Karli’s talk. The anti Walker dudes are gonna have a field week with this one


He basically shot himself in the foot in Sam and Bucky's eyes. How can they trust you if you won't listen, although now they ain't going to given him a second or humor him.


>sically shot himself in the foot in Sam and Bucky's eyes. How can they trust you if you won't listen, although now they ain't going to given him a second or humor him. He´s just an insecure piece of shit. His ptsd has nothing to do with that.


Dude, did you even pay attention to this episode? He got his medals of honor because he survived an encounter that got his comrades killed. He's not insecure. He has past experience with terrorists and his past experience says that if they aren't dealt with pre-emptively or by force, people will die. And ultimately they did die. Flag Smashers were willing to kill John and Lemar before Carli killed Lemar in one punch. His PTSD is why he didn't trust Sam's method. To say it doesn't is ignoring his entire backstory.


Dude you have no idea what PTSD can do to someones personality. don't ever fucking trivialize it. You don't know what it does to people. Thats a smooth-brained comment to make.


Now we get to see the serum amplify insecure asshole!


That happened twice in just this ep. He didn't want to talk to Karli, which shows he doesn't understand how guerilla organizations work. He was confused and irritated Zemo was following the kid, which means he never interfaced with locals any place he worked. He talked about their work in Afghanistan being difficult to defend. This guy's unit existed to perform executions. There's no other conclusion to draw given how he's acting and what he's said. And he still manages to show less range in strategy than the most active assassin in MCU history and a Sokovian kill squad leader.


That's the thing. He's the perfect soldier. Give him any order, he will do that. He have a will to be the good man but he can't. His duties come first/before his good intentions. That's the truth when >! he went to kill that guy!<. Wherever he fought, it was all about killing. It's always his duty to kill people.. But when his anger got off, he realizes his mistake. He's now an idol, he is taking up a mantle. So you have to think like Captain America.


The parallels to Hodge in _The First Avenger_ keep getting stronger each episode. He's big, fast, follows orders... and is a bully. Captain America has always occupied an odd moral position, because America has frequently _not_ been the paragon of moral virtue that it usually tries to frame itself as. Steve Rodgers was uncannily good at threading that needle and embodying the Dream of a More Perfect Union. John Walker in contrast is a Good Soldier. He's not a _bad_ man in any particular respect, but he's not a _Good Man_ in the same way Steve was.


John walker isn't a bully, you can clearly see he's trying to do what's right, even if he fails at it. What he did at the end of Ep3 was because he was filled with rage and while Steve wouldn't have done that, how many of us can acrually say we'd have the same mercy as him in that situation? John is no Steve Rogers but he's so much more 'only human'.


How naive is this? He never goes into a situation looking to kill. He's been trying to arrest the Flag Smashers whenever he was given the opportunity. Otherwise, he would have just shot Carli at the memorial. Or he could have shot Zemo on site. Or he could have went in with guns at literally any point and opened fire. Also, if you're arguing that a guy, who is underpowered and outgunned by regular civilians taking super soldier serum, will fight for his life, no shit. He doesn't have the luxury of pulling his punches. He tried to fight the Dora Milaje and was rendered useless. His best friend got killed in one punch. You want him to be Steve but he can't be Steve because he doesn't have the tools to be Steve. He doesn't have the unbreakable moral compass but he also doesn't have the capability to fight with morality as the #1 priority.


Hoskins was the one who could talk with the locals and who understood people are not machines or little obedient things. Walker is the perfect representation of the US military presence and image in the world.


It was a bad choice in hindsight, however, think about it if you're Walker: One of the PERFECT ICON Captain America's best friends who doesn't have his wings is trying to talk down a known violent criminal who could snap Sam in half if she wanted to. Walker knew it was him, Battlestar, Bucky and Sam, and just her. It was the wrong choice in the end because we know Sam was talking her down, but Walker didn't know that. What he knew was Sam had been gone for a bit and was in a very dangerous situation. He even convinced Bucky of the same thing. It's a struggle that Walker is in, he's Captain America. He's the leader, he has to make the call, and if he chooses incorrectly, Sam's death would be on his hands. Again we knew otherwise but that's just dramatic irony for you.


"The serum amplifies everything that is inside, so good becomes great; bad becomes worse. " Dr. Erskine John Walker's a complex character with a hell of a lot of baggage. You can't get a Medal of Honor without seeing some shit, let alone 3. Given Sam's record as a counsellor was just replayed to us, I'm wondering if Sam is ultimately going to be talking John Walker down off some sort of cliff in an upcoming episode.


I think it will be another talk with Karli. my reasoning - the guy that got killed telling Karli she reminded him of Captain America - or what he used to think of Captain America. Sam talking the supremasict angle with Karli. I reckon we will see a point where Karli has to choose a path for her-supersoldier-self. Be a Steve Rogers Captain America, or be a John Walker Captain America, basically. and Sam will be pivotal in that choice.


Either way, I can't see her surviving the season. Money's on Power Broker, but all of the flag smashers will end up dead.


She's totally gonna become a symbol and an icon.


I think it’s interesting that Walker is so dismissive — or at the very least, distrusting — of Sam, another experienced veteran who has the additional benefit of therapy and years of engaging in this kind of non-army fighting. Walker speaks as if Sam and Bucky have no army experience.


I was curious about that as well. You'd think if nothing else he would have some professional respect for an ex PJ.


There's significant trust issues there.


Not sure if this is relevant, but I looked it up, and I don't think anyone has been awarded more than two Medals of Honor, let alone on the same day. It just bothers me that the writers chose to say he got three Medals of Honor from one day. Sorry if I misunderstood the scene, but I think that's what they said.


No need to play devil's advocate at all. I feel like we learn more about Walker each episode and see a bit more depth to the character. Not going to lie, he irked me in the scene with Bucky, Sam, and Lemar after they were routed by the Flagsmahers in episode 2. But hearing his talk with Lemar this episode it was more apparent that Walker has quite a few emotional scars and PTSD from the tour(s) in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the government isn't well equipped to help soldiers through the trauma and adapting to the life after service. What a well written and complex character. I firmly believe they should have left the shield in the museum, and agree it's going to get worse.


This episode really made me think, not just about the difference between Rogers and Walker, but about the difference between WWII and our never-ending shitshow in Afghanistan. WWII was, for the Allies, an unambiguously righteous war, and the Nazis are now a byword for evil. Afghanistan, on the other hand, is a country largely held hostage by its own radicalized faction. No one will ever be seen as liberators there, only has invaders. Not even conquerors, because the Afghanis know that armies come and go, but the Taliban is there to stay. It’s probably pretty easy to get a Rogers out of WWII, and pretty predictable to get a Walker out of Afghanistan.


Imagine how helpless the guy feels. At his core he just wants to save lives and help people. But when the people doing the killing are enhanced there’s literally nothing he can do. But now it’s too late for his humanity. Battlestars line “power makes you more of what you are” was so perfect. Walker is gonna sure as hell become more of what he is.




And the person giving the speech croaks shortly after. Glad Battlestar was just dead, no light fading crap.


Help people? When you want to save people yes u become a fireman or a paramedic or a doctor. When you enlist you are willing to kill to *serve* your country's interest. That's not the same thing.


What a stupid comment. I’m usually not so harsh. This was flat out STUPID


Do you think the US were seen as liberators in Irak Afghanistan Vietnam?


No not even a little. But that’s not on the everyday men and women that put their lives on the line to be there. The people fighting those wars really have nothing to do with them being there


Yeah, right now we’re witnessing Steve Rogers arc happen to a man that is WILDLY unprepared to live up to those expectations. Named the next Cap, lose your best friend, and now the corruption of the serum already showing its ugly face. John Walker is a well written character


Some of the best villains are sympathetic characters. John Walker truly believes that he is a good guy, he was in over his head, he was not prepared to take on the role of Captain America and was frustrated that he didn't have the same support. He felt inferior for being undermined by another foreign government interfering in foreign affairs (Wakanda) even though he had no more right than they did AND he got his ass handed to him AND they weren't powered individuals. Throw that in with the cocky attitude and the shit eating grin and my-way-or-the-highway attitude, and, well... He was destined to crack. And he's going to be a damn good villain.


I think it is even more complex than that. Walker believes he can be a good guy, Walker desperately wants to be a good guy - but knows he has a dark history. He said himself, when Lemar was bigging him up, that what he didn't to earn those medals did not feel good. and that being Captain America was the first time he truly felt he could do good.


That fucker walking around in full regalia being a dick in public. Steve was always trying to be discreet and out of the public eyes whenever he wasn't on duty. He would never use the shield just to talk with people. Walker is a dick.


Remains to be seen if he’s a villain.


Not a villain. Anti-hero, yes. But not a villain. Embodiment of the US military. So... If you're American, he's not a villain.


I mean, that exactly the intention with his character. After ep. 4 I’m certain he’s going to be an antagonist in the show, but the audience is meant to understand exactly why he’s so vindictive.


Facts. I’m pumped to see how the show continues to pull on this thread of Walker’s unraveling.


I do feel bad for him. You can tell he’s under a lot of pressure and that he does want to do the right thing but there’s just a little something wrong with how he does it


The look on his face as he brought the shield down on the flag smasher was something else


tbh. I found his face hilarious before he killed that dude


The real tragedy of John Walker is that he is a good soldier but now, full with doubts, regrets and trauma, he is the one who needs the most a leader with a good heart to give him relieve. He is the one who miss the most Captain America. ​ Needing Captain America while trying to replace him is what is pushing Walker to this path of craziness.


Well said! I think that's why he ruined sam's talk with karli. He seemed genuinely worried about sam's safety. Could you imagine a soldier at war saying let's not storm the house sgt. I'll go in alone and talk them down, just give me 10?


From now on I’m replacing “you need Jesus” with “you need captain America “


I have sympathy because he lost his partner and friend, but you could just tell he was barely hanging on before Hoskins died. He never deserved the shield, and this is proof.


Exactly. Lemar is supposed to mirror who Bucky was to Steve. Steve watched Bucky fall off a train and seemingly die and he didn’t go full Homelander in public even though he had the power to do so.


What if like Bucky he’s not really dead like Cap thought. That would make the situation Walker put himself in way more awkward when his only defense is “I was in a rage after watching my partner die”


Someone in the episode discussion thread also had the theory that Lemar isn’t really dead and I’m not sure which way I want it to go.


It was obvious they were going to kill him this episode from the point where he talked about the little Battlestar design he draws with his autographs. You don't get that level of detail unless it's a goodbye episode.


SPOILER (possibly) >!IMDB only lists Clé Bennett as being in 2 episodes, so unless they're not listing him in more episodes to keep from spoiling the surprise of him turning up alive, Battlestar is no more.!<


>!He's been in 3 so far though right? 2nd 3rd and now 4th!<


How do you use the spoiler tag?


”You were the chosen one! It was said you would destroy the flagburners not turn against America. Bring peace to the world not chaos. Ypu were my partner, Walker! I loves you”


To be fair though, Steve did say “I’m not going to stop until all of Hydra is dead or captured”. Plus he was in a war so he had full clearance to go after the enemy and be cheered on by the public.


There it is. The homelander comparison I’ve been looking for. I love the similarities between the two honestly. I hope walker has some weird kink like drinking breast milk as well


Lemar was really the only thing holding him back and now that he’s gone, there’s no way Walked could ever be The Captain America. As for Lemar being like Bucky, Cap lost Bucky early in his life as a super soldier but he kept it together and fought for what he believed was right (and most of the time was right) Absolutely heartbreaking so see Lemar die in this episode (I was so shocked :0) and I can’t only imagine how much trauma Walker carries with him.


Between him and Lamar throughout this series Ive honestly thought Lamar would have been the better choice as cap he seemed more mentally stable and definitely had the stronger moral compass


He’s Sam and Walker is Frodo. I guess that makes Gandalf the US Government?


man, that murder at the end was something I didn't expect in the mcu... but it was great as it perfectly portrays his worsening mental condition


I didn’t think it was right for him to react that way after Battlestar got killed, but come on. She just straight murdered my guys partner and battle buddy of years.


He’s such an incredibly well-written character, and Wyatt Russell is doing such an amazing job. If we had a real-life Captain America, I would bet that he would turn out to be more like John Walker, as much as we would all wish for a Steve Rogers.


Scarlet Witch mentally tortures a town - "It's not her fault she's going through mental anguish" John Walker is a bad Cap - "Who cares about his past, he's bad man"


I disagree because I think both of them are extremely interesting. I think Walker may be going full on villain though with what is being set up so far but Wanda is on the roadmap to redemption. They’re in different stages of their arcs and situationally, it’s not comparable. Plus it’s not like Wanda brutally murdered Hayward in front of his colleagues when she found out that he’s trying to turn Vision into a sentient weapon. She saved the town in the end. They’re different people with different trauma and different personalities so it’s not comparable in the slightest. I really do like Walker though, a really sympathetic guy. I mean he’s just been thrown the mantle of captain America and feels like everyone around him is showing him up and he’s mentally unstable as it is. The difference between Wanda and Walker (rn at least) is that Wanda has taken accountability and accepted that she’s done wrong while Walker genuinely believes what he’s doing is right. Her denial has been replaced by acceptance while his is going strong


There’s a very stark difference between the two though (and yes I do think Wanda is at fault for Westview) Wanda didn’t create the Hex on purpose and she didn’t even know she could. Her powers activated on their own and created the hex. Wanda was also unaware of what she had done for a little while. She still hurt people and held them captive and there’s no excuse for that. Wanda made a mistake but hers was unintentional. Walker fully meant to kill that man. Walker knew he was capable of killing him and decided to do it. The man even begged for his life. Now Walker did just watch his friend die so I take that into consideration. But yeah the difference between the two is that one never meant to hurt people and the other wanted too. It also helps that we’ve seen Wanda’s past and understand her more. This is our introduction to Walker and it was never a smooth ride.


These two things are clearly not the same. Wanda accidentally used chaos magic and blacked out while she did it. John has been unhinged these past few episodes, in a subtle way before murdering someone in broad daylight because he got tired of dealing with self imposed L’s.


What’s your bet that the next episode starts with Walker’s flashback to Afghanistan?


He is the Perfect Soldier, whom Erskine didn't want. His trauma is a result of being the perfect soldier. What would a perfect soldier do? Follow the orders by whatever means necessary. His motivations, insecurities and losses make him human. But the idea of Captain America is to face them. Walker doesn't seem to want to face them. Cap faced the problems Walker faced too. He lost his friend, had trauma of WW2 too l, but did he lose his head? Because he was a Good Man.


Yep totally there with you! I’m certainly not the first person to say how I find his whole demeanor kinda grating, but his arrogance is rooted in a blinkered need to do the right thing according to his military programming. I love characters like Walker who showcase such unpredictable nuances. Everyone has a sympathetic stake in this plot and it’s elevating Marvel’s storytelling in the way I’ve always hoped for. He was so unnerving this episode. A pressure cooker overdue to implode. Wyatt really sold the adverse aggravation caused by the serum as things got progressively worse. The speed and ferocity that Walker knocked out Zemo with the shield I was honestly fooled for a second that Walker had unintentionally killed him. Seeing Zemo slump to the ground like a dead weight was an oh shit moment for me. Marvel are absolutely nailing the supporting roles lately. Karli and Walker have become my two favorites with their layered and deeply affecting motivations.


The reaction to him does show how hypocritical fans can be. Zemo, an actual terrorist, has bombed the UN, was part of a Sokovian “kill squad” - fans love him because suddenly he’s sassy and had a little dance scene. Wanda (who I do love), kidnaps an entire town, helps Ultron - fans love her. Loki, literally tried to enslave the Earth, regularly kills innocents in his mad quest for power - fans absolutely adore him. Walker, a soldier with PTSD who Sam and Bucky act very childish towards - this man is the literal devil.


Yep and the whole "seeing the shield like that sent actual shivers down my spine" - so damn cringe. If you're going to measure every character by Steve's ideals and self restraint they'd hate most of the Avengers too


I like Steve but I was never super big on the whole righteous good guy thing. Like I get the shield's symbolism but most people act as if getting blood on the shield is worse than actually killing someone.


Well said!


I think he's sympathetic, but I don't think i feel bad/sorry for him. He acted like a jerk even in episode 2&3 before anything. Trauma isn't an excuse to become so arragont.


Hoskins (Battlestar) was the Hosea to John Walker’s Dutch. John’s definitely gonna go insane now. Also, the only problem that I had with the show as a whole was that they initially showed John Walker as a decent dude who wants to live upto everyone’s expections but then they did a complete 180 and made him act like an Antagonist and become a brute. I would’ve liked it if some of his good sides were shown a bit more to make the Audience conflicted.


>Hoskins (Battlestar) was the Hosea to John Walker’s Dutch. John’s definitely gonna go insane now I understood that reference.


Take my free silver as your reward!


Whoa Boah!!! My first award! Ty kind sir! *tips hat in appreciation *


I think it makes sense, well I’m trying to make it make sense. He thought that with the shield “the job” would be a cake walk. At every turn he’s shown that it essentially means squat, and all he’s good for is signing autographs. For the people it matters most, he doesn’t get validation for his title, and he can barely get anything done because of his government ties. The weight finally caught up to him and the serum certainly won’t help. That’s how I saw it, hope it helps!


I feel like he deserves alittle sympathy. If he was in a war zone and a squad member had just been killed and he chased down the attackers and killed them all, that probably earns him some kind of medal. He's not used to or prepared for the responsibility of being a public icon. He was a damn good anonymous soldier in a warzone with no one watching but your brothers in arms just trying to survive too.


It was mostly a fake persona. I do think there still is a part of John that genuinely wants to do good, but his cockiness and arrogance corrupted him and he's obviously going to be even worse with Lemar dying.


And also I think he has trauma due to his “time in Afghanistan”


I still see him as a bad guy, and likely the main villain from now on but he is a very well-written, sympathetic villain.


How is he a bad guy? He’s literally trying to help others and defend them. Just because he’s hot-headed and really stubborn doesn’t mean he’s a villain. He did go far with that bludgeoning but it’s not like sam and bucky didn’t drop bodies earlier.


People think antagonist and villain are the same thing.


He’s bad because he was rude to Sam and Bucky after they were rude to him first. He didn’t even speak in the first episode and every comment I saw was “I hate this man”. Literally for just not being Steve.


Ikr, the hate boner this sub has for John is incredible.


He killed a guy that was surrendering, that's definitely bad guy material (and a war crime) no matter how you spin it. He's a complex bad guy with a sympathetic backstory, but that doesn't stop him being the bad guy.


Antagonist and Bad guy aren’t the same thing. Tony was the antagonist of Civil War but he was not a bad guy. Walker is the antagonist because he directly opposes Bucky and Sam (the protagonists). Walker bashed in the head of a man who didn’t kill his friend in front of civilians. That’s much different than Sam killing out of necessity on a mission.


hes a disturbance for the protagonists, so yeah not really a villian


A "good man" worthy of the shield, would never accept it in the first place. That's what Sam is all about. Take the shield, no I'm not worthy. would you take the serum? No! And it's not false modesty, it's real. Just like Steve. Walker? You will be cap! Yes sir, thank you, sir! My honor sir! I can't fight! Oh, serum, let's go! Now I'll be the best cap. Give the mantle to someone that doesn't want it.


i mean, he should be kind of sympathetic because otherwise he would be a bad character. people defend him all the time though and he is definitely wrong


He lost his moral compass


This reminds me of a quote, I forgot who, but it goes like this: >Only in America can you, invade a country, kill their men, women, and children, then come back and complain about how it hurts your feelings. While I understand PTSD and stuff, do understand that joining the military is a job, and killing people for a living is a job.


Walker and Hoskins were completely, utterly set up to fail by the US government by being non-supes cosplaying as heroes, and this was immediately apparent when they got their asses kicked in episode 2, leading to Walker's massive "do you know who I am?" insecurity in episode 3, and to the events of episode 4.


1. Yes, but he’s a condescending asshole (maybe it did, but this is controllable). War and trauma didn’t did that. It’s all about how you treat people and John only treats people well when he wants something from them. 2. He lacks self reflection. Sam realized the high standard, among other things, that came with living up to being captain America, which is why he said no. John seemingly never stopped to think about those values and assumed being a “good” person means you can take up the mantle. 3. John was already unstable and losing his friend is a result of that. It’s sucks, but I don’t feel all too sorry for him because his anger and impatience is why this happened.


Yeah I think this is what Marvel wants you to feel, although a lot of the fan base demonises him because they’re 1 dimensional. That and also the show really struggles to convey anything like emotion and plot without exposition


>although a lot of the fan base demonises him because they’re 1 dimensional. Marvel Twitter right now in a nutshell.


I don't blame him. I would have done the same. It probably hurts even more after their talk about how they could have saved more lives in Afghanistan with the serum and it still didn't stop his best friend from being killed. Walker has honestly proven a far more interesting character to me than most (if not all) in the mcu. I also think he is a more interesting character than Steve Rogers was. Hate me, whatever, it's just an opinion. Righteous good guy is an old comic trope that doesn't appeal to me personally. I like morally grey. That interests me


I’ve seen so many people gloss over the fact he was clearly trying his best at a job he never signed up for. Yeah he didn’t respond the best with Sam and Bucky but they were equally as childish with their whole “you can’t sit with us” attitude imo. We all know he’s not gonna stay Cap for the whole show even, so seeing people hate on him more than literal super terrorist Zemo gave me whiplash.


Actually, I hate Zemo just as much, but he's at least somebody I can't predict and some of the shit comes out of his mouth just makes me laugh. Walker I could read like a book but he's about as interesting as the side effects page from a new prescription packet.


What do you mean not signed for?? He enlisted and nobody forced him to become Captain America. he wanted it. Power should never be given to those who want it.


I think he's great. (The character, not the actions obvs) Really good storytelling. I was waiting in anticipation for him to take the serum and go ham on everyone, even though you could see where his character arc was going it was really fun seeing it play out.


Exactly! He’s clearly not the right man to be the new Steve but the US government doesn’t care about that. They just want a good soldier who symbolises what they think America should be. Walker is clearly suffering from major PTSD and both he and Lemar acknowledge that he actually wants to do good. He’s just too used to being a soldier. The hate he gets VS the lack of hate for Karli is insane. She’s an actual terrorist who had admitted she doesn’t care about murdering people whereas (until this episode) he was just slightly rude to our protagonists after they treated him like shit for no reason.


He’s a brilliantly written character. You understand his reasons but also, you love to hate him.


Captain Khaleesi


I love John Walker as a character and he might be my favorite part of this show. The slow descent into madness and over thinking everything, plus his triggers are just all so incredible to watch. Such a beautifully written character. Edit: and the acting is phenomenal too!


Yea Steve became Captain America before he'd seen real combat right? He went in without that trauma and with a set, albeit naive, sense of right and wrong. Walker seemed (justifiably) jaded and reeling from his time in the military from the jump. And all that pressure to follow Steve and ALWAYS make the right call. I've definitely enjoy watching his slow decent. Much more nuanced "villian"


Couldn’t agree more!


I love John Walker, best part of the show. ppl just have blind hate


4. Everyone instantly treats him as someone who’s stomping on the legacy, making everything he says and does something that should be protested 5. He feels powerless and like a joke because he’s not as strong as any of the avengers.


The difference between him and Steve is that Steve believes everyone should have freedom. Walker thinks everyone should fall in order. Steve doesn’t think he is above the law. Walker thinks he is the law. I feel for his trauma, but you know he knows taking the serum is bad and he justifies it by regarding past trauma. It’s a slippery slope, but at the end of the day his actions led to what happened at the end, because he thinks he is above the law because he is Captain America.


I definitely feel bad for him, still hate him though.


“Because a strong man, who has known power all his life, may lose respect for that power. But a weak man knows the value of strength, and knows compassion.”


I mean- that’s great and all, but the amount of overkill was definitely concerning


What's everyone is not realizing it's that Hoskins was purposefully tied up and knocked out before the fight. He wasn't supposed to be there. She totally didn't realize it was him before she hit him.


Losing your best friend and getting trauma flashbacks doesn’t justify practically beheading an umarmed personal that ESCAPING and was begging for his life.


Tony Stark would have killed Bucky in Civil War if Steve was not there to stop him. He was pushed over the edge when he realized Bucky killed his parents. Tony also blasted Sam when Rodey got shot down accidentally in the airport scene. The only difference is that there was no third party there at that moment to stop him. Maybe his soul would have been saved if someone was there to stop him or help him calm down.


Walker, to me, is two sides of the same coin. On one hand, I feel bad for him; as you've mentioned he's been through some shit, clearly. He's being held to a standard no man can reasonably uphold. On the other hand; how *dare* he try to fill those shoes? I don't give a shit if God himself came down and handed you the shield. You don't try to replace Steve Rogers unless he or his constant allies and friends have given you permission. In Walker's shoes, I would rather deal with a dishonorable discharge for disobeying orders than commit that act. I can't wait for the fight between him and Bucky. I hope Buck is able to just constantly beat him down because Walker isn't a third of the fighter Rogers was, and Bucky was literally about to kill Steve on that HYDRA ship. TL;DR I feel bad for him, but he needs to get his ass beat a couple more times.


I actually think the devil's advocate position seems to be the most popular one, and I should know since I got downvoted in another thread for disagreeing! But personally yeah, no. I think people forget he is in command, and that the circumstances that led to Lemar's death were his doing, all resulting from his inability to accept even the possibility that he could be wrong or misguided. He's also a pretty obvious metaphor for racist authority, in my view. He treats Wakandans like subordinates, he treated Sam like just a wingman to be coopted to his image, and he brought Lemar into a supersoldier fight that he could have avoided with a peaceful negotiation. But he couldn't let it happen, because he wasn't in control, and he needs control.


Writing a show with a bad guy who just has the viewers begging for his comeuppance is easy. Writing a show with a bad guy who also inspires our pity? That's quality writing, there.


I feel similarly and I love it. He's one of the more complex characters the MCU has attempted. I am constantly vacillating between "he just needs some counseling" or "his intentions are decent, his actions are just misguided" To "Oh my God, shut the fuck up you smarmy, entitled jackhole" or "I KNOW you did not just talk down to that woman, I hope she spears you through the throat" He's.. Really human. I don't hate him. I am exasperated and sad for him.


He didn’t want to become that way. Dude lost his best friend in front of him.


He might be my favourite character. I'm adoring what they're doing with him, Russel is playing him perfectly, and he's a fascinating character.


“They weren’t even super soldiers” really made me feel sad for him. He feels utterly powerless and pathetic. Then when someone asks for his signature as Cap after he’s failing so hard at it... really made me pity him, he’s been given a job he’s just not able to do. That’s where I think all his nasty traits come from, a deep insecurity and a desperation to overcompensate for his shortcomings. He makes me swing wildly from wanting to punch him in the face to making me feel really sad for him. A well written character IMO


I agree. It's hard to root for him now that's he's straight up murdered someone, but I get how he feels and why he did what he did.


I feel extremely bad that his friend died and that he had to watch it. But that’s where my sympathies for this character end. He has made one bad decision after another and let’s his anger dictate his ever move. What he did in episode 4 was gonna happen eventually. I understand his past and how that may have affected him. I also understand that your past isn’t a justification or excuse for how you act in the present.


Walker isn't some special case. He's not a huge villain or anything. He's a fucking cop and acts like most fucking cops do, drunk on his own authority and convincing himself he knows who's a victim and who isn't, and applying force based on his bullshit assumptions without once considering that a nonviolent approach might work, or that someone who disagrees with him might be right. Edited to add: Oh he has ptsd? Tough shit. So do I but I didn't decide to be a fucking fascist. Edited again bc I missed the last part of the episode: OH HE MURDERS SUSPECTS INSTEAD OF TAKING THEM INTO CUSTODY. yup he's a fucking cop


Finally some sense. Jesus people in this community will defend walker and shit all over karli and claim the actress is terrible because they hate her ideology.


After tonight, I love the new Captain America. I really hope he kills Karli too so he can avenge Lamar


Agreed, I swear to God if I see one more person defending Karli.


Karli is a moralizing radical talking about removing roadblocks ie people and considering herself just and good unlike those evil GRC guys. They are cold callous and calculating. Unlike myself(Even though she is) ‘One people one world’ that’s something the Nazis would say. I agree a thousand percent with Zemo. This power is inherently corrupting only 1 in a million could handle it correctly. There are more Walkers and Karlis than Steve Rodgers of the world