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Winter Soldier

Season Two, Episode 47


Director(s) Boyd Kirkland

 Man of Action and James Felder

Summary Its flashback time as Captain America is assaulting the Red Skull's castle in World War II, and Bucky - aready inside - lays out some Hydra thugs and lowers the drawbridge for him.  As Captain America and Bucky pass through the castle, they pass the advanced weapons being stockpiled here - chemical warfare, missles, and so forth. 

In the modern era, Bucky - now the Winter Soldier - is visiting the ruin of an old Hydra fortress, when he is confronted by a giant robot wearing the Hydra logo.

On Hydro Base, the Red Skull is having a meal, and boasting to Captain America that he, imprisoned as a war criminal, eats better than most Americans.  Captain America wants more information from the Red Skull about Code Red, and why the Red Skull brainwashed Falcom, Doc Sampson, and the Winter Soldier.

The Red Skull continues to taunt Captain America, and suddenly Hydro Base is under attack by one of the giant robots.  Cap hitches a ride on a departing SHIELD aircraft, and has the pilot grab an anti-grav pack and leave the aircraft so that Cap can ram the giant robot with it, leaping himself at the last moment.  The robot hits the water but rises again, and fires a blast from its eyes at Cap, who crouches behind his shield.

Ms. Marvel dives in front of Cap, and absorbs the blast, firing it back as Iron Man lands.  The Avengers attack the robot, which falls before their combined might.

Later, at the Avengers Mansion, Iron Man briefs the Avengers on what he calls the Sleeper robots, parts of which were designed in World War Two and have been revised and updated by the Red Skull using technologies the Red Skull was able to steal while having infiltrated the American government as Dell Rusk.  Apparently, the Red Skull escaped Hydro Base while it was under attack.

The Avengers go off to search for the Red Skull, starting with the Washington DC area.  Captain America tells Iron Man that he wants to start by finding the Winter Soldier, and Stark tells him that Cap's best bet is to enlist the help of Nick Fury.

Nick Fury is heading up the Skrull mop-up efforts, leaving Abigail Brand in charge of SWORD and Maria Hill in charge of SHIELD.  He and Captain America discuss the Winter Soldier.  Fury recounts a past mission when SHIELD discovered a Hydra facility, and Fury took in a team to shut it down. 

Leading the way in, Nick doesn't notice that the Winter Soldier has taken down the other members of his team.  Nick plants explosives, and then the Winter Soldier and he fight.  The Winter Soldier escapes, and Fury survives, with the implication that his injuries included his lost eye.  Fury documents other missions they know of regarding the Winter Soldier over decades.  Fury doesn't know why the Winter Soldier hasn't aged.

Fury and Cap tracks the Winter Soldier to yet another Hydra base; apparently the Winter Soldier is working to shut them all down.  An activated Sleeper robot attacks, but the Winter Soldier, Cap, and Fury take him down.

Captain America confronts the Winter Soldier and calls him "Bucky"; the Winter Soldier denies knowing who that is.  Finally, the Winter Soldier admits it, but is bitter over the loss of his arm.  Bucky recounts how Hydra doctors put him back together, adding his cybernetic arm.  The Red Skull took Bucky and trained him, doing things to his mind to enthrall him, and kept him in hibernation between missions to preserve him for future uses.

The Winter Soldier tells Cap and Fury that the Sleeper robots were the Red Skull's failsafe; if his plan as Dell Rusk failed, the Sleepers would activate and destroy as much as they could in revenge. 

Bucky accidentally activates another signal, and in Washington DC, more Sleepers awake to fight the Avengers there.  The Sleepers transform and combine, forming a Super-Sleeper, with a head resembling a red skull.

The Avengers fight the Super-Sleeper. Thor and the Vision intercept the blasts from giant cannon Stark recognizes as the "Nova Cannon", finished and inculcated into the design.

Captain America and the Winter Soldier arrive, and head for the head. They crash through and head to the main CPU control room, where they find the Red Skull in control.

The Red Skull traps them, and intends to destroy the U.S. Capitol Building.  He boasts that he will enslave Captain America like he did Bucky.  The Winter Soldier breaks them free, but is injured.  Captain America fights the Red Skull, who triggers an escape sequence and the head module separates from the Super-Sleeper, jetting away.  Captain America and the Red Skull continue their battle], but the Red Skull ejects.  Captain America helps the injured Winter Soldier, breaking off from his pursuit.

The Red Skull parachutes away, but is captured by the Avengers when his parachute catches on the Washington Monument.  Captain America and the Winter Soldier both survive the crash.  The Winter Soldier escapes to work on cleaning up the wreckage of his past, and Cap wishes him well.

Lots of backstory history here, for those who follow Captain America's mythos.  This story is a loose adaption of part of Ed Brubaker's run, but only loosely (of necessity, as Captain America isn't dead, Sharon Carter has yet to be introduced, no Crossbones or Synthia, et cetera).

When Tony Stark calls something "a serious piece of tech", you know its a major threat.

Its satisfying that we finally find out how Nick Fury lost his eye in the AEMH universe.

Nick Fury's team taken in to shut down the Hydra base included Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine, who was Nick Fury's lover and often his second-in-command in the mainstream Marvel Universe; its nice to see her finally included.  Is one of the others Gabe Jones from the Howling Commandos?  If so, he looks awfully young, but its possible.  The other team member looks like he might be Dum Dum Dugan, sans mustache and hat.  None of the injuries that the team takes look fatal on their own, but who can say?

Its odd that the Red Skull clearly survived WWII; why has he not aged?  Why, if Hydra was still under his control, did we see no sign of it, nor have it mentioned when Zemo and Von Strucker argued over Hydra?  Did Zemo or Zola share their version of the Super-Soldier Formula, which the Red Skull had in the movie universe, and Zemo had here?

The Sleeper series of robots are a reoccuring threat from the Red Skull in the Marvel Universe.  Their transformation was possibly a tribute to many various giant robot heroes in animation, particularly in Japan.

In a nod to the comics, the Red Skull's Hydrobase prison uniform was the green jumpsuit he wore for many years in the comics in the earlier days.