The third episode of the series continues where episode 2 ended: with Sam and Bucky going to see Baron Zemo in prison. The episode hardly features the new Captain America at all and instead focuses on the uneasy alliance between Sam, Bucky and Zemo.
Please note the following article will contain spoilers, so if you have not yet seen episode 3 we suggest you watch it before reading on.
Here’s a list of the ones that stood out to us most in the “Power Broker”:
Winter Soldier Code Words
The episode opens with Sam and Bucky on the way to speak to Baron Zemo in prison. Bucky enters the cell alone and is greeted with the words that were used to trigger the agents of the Winter Soldier program. Zemo is testing the words but only gets part way through before realising the words no longer work on Bucky. He does state however that there was “something there.” This could be teasing that the Winter Soldier isn’t completely gone.
Zemo’s Vintage Cars
After Bucky breaks Zemo out of prison, he and Sam meet Zemo in a secret location. Zemo originally appeared in Captain America: Civil War and even though he was arguably one of the MCU’s most successful villains, many fans were disappointed in the portrayal of the character. Not that Daniel Brühl didn’t do a good job, he was fantastic but more that he was unrecognisable compared to his comic book counterpart. This series is almost a new start for the character’s design and this meeting is where it happens. We are reminded that Zemo is a rich baron. We are shown not only his golden gun but also his huge collection of vintage cars, a display of Zemo’s wealth.
As mentioned Zemo was a baron of Sokovia. His family had a rich history and the colour purple is a trademark colour of the family since the 1500s. During the Second World War, Helmut’s father Heinrich wore a purple mask. He was a brilliant but sadistic genius who specialised in creating toxic chemicals. During a fight with Captain America, some of these chemicals were spilt across his face causing the mask to fuse to his skin. This mask became a symbol of his power and as a mark of honour, Helmut wore a similar purple mask.
This is the second time so far we have had a reference to Bucky’s notebook. This time, however, we are given a little more detail on the origin of the book. In the debut episode, we were introduced to the notebook Bucky uses to list the names of people that he has wronged and wishes to make amends with. This is reminiscent of the book Steve Rogers uses in Captain America: The Winter Soldier where he lists all the things he needs to catch up on. This episode reveals that Bucky is using the exact same notebook that Steve was using. This may mean that Bucky is also trying to catch up on the things he will also have missed.
The X-Men City of Madripoor
Marvel comics are filled with many locations and we are now introduced to a key location from the X-Men franchise. The trio arrives in Madripoor, a major location that is synonymous with Marvel’s mutants. The city is a true representation of the comic version, a safe haven for criminals from all over the world. Zemo brings the team to Lowtown which appears to be run completely by the Power Broker. We can assume that the city of Madripoor was under the Fox banner, meaning this will be the first hint of the X-Men in the MCU.
Sam as Smiling Tiger
While the Winter Soldier and Zemo are accepted in the city of Madripoor, Sam Wilson is not. Zemo has Sam take up the guise of a low-level criminal called Smiling Tiger. The two look very similar but this is also a slight dig at Falcon. Smiling Tiger is such a low-level criminal he is nothing more than a henchman.
The Princess Bar
The Princess bar is one of the most notorious drinking dens in Madripoor and is filled with history in the comics. This is a location in the comic books associated with Wolverine and his lover Tyger Tiger. In the MCU, the bar is run by a woman who goes by the name Selby. She has no association with the comics.
The Monkey’s Face
While looking around Madripoor we are shown a neon light with a mysterious monkey’s face on it. The same logo can be seen on the jackets of the thugs fighting Sam and Bucky. This is undoubtedly a nod to the comic character Hit-Monkey. The character is unlikely to show up in the MCU due to his oddball nature but he is one of the world’s most feared killers. Marvel Studios are most likely using the gang in place of the character.
Dr. Wilfred Nagel
Dr. Wilfred Nagel is a mad scientist who was working on the Super Soldier Serum for the U.S government until the snap. When he returned from the blip the funding had been pulled on the project so he made his way to Madripoor, where he met the Power Broker. In the comics his role was similar but he experimented on African-American soldiers and is responsible for the creation of the first Black Captain America, Isaiah Bradley. We were introduced to Isaiah and his grandson in episode 2 so we may get to see more of the Bradley’s in future episodes.
You’re Not Gonna Move Your Seat Are You?
Back in Captain America: Civil War we had a scene with Sam and Bucky in a car. Bucky asked Sam if he could move his seat forward to which Sam replied “No”. In this episode we come across the same scenario only the roles are reversed and Sam is in the back seat. Sam quickly realised the situation and says “You’re not gonna move your seat up are you?”
Kimoyo Beads and Dora Milaje
Zemo takes Sam and Bucky to one of his safe houses but just as they arrive Bucky says he’s going for a walk and will meet them later. As Sam and Zemo head inside, Bucky proceeds to pick up a small round object from the ground. Fans of both the comics and movies will have recognised this as a Kimoyo Bead. These beads are used by Wakandans and serve several purposes. Bucky follows a trail of Kimoyo Beads, which were presumably being used as monitoring devices, to a member of the Wakandan Royal Guards, the Dora Milaje. He comes face to face with Ayo, the second in command of the Dora Milaje who is either looking to recapture or kill Zemo for the murder of the previous king, T’Chaka.
While this isn’t a definitive list of every Easter egg and callback in this episode, these are the ones that stood out to us the most. Tune in to Disney+ next Friday for episode 4. In the meantime let us know what your favourite moment of episode 3 was.