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SamZemo is the slash ship between Sam Wilson and Helmut Zemo from the Marvel Cinematic Universe fandom.

Canon

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Power Broker

When Sam is investigating a group of super soldiers called the Flag Smashers; his partner, Bucky, suggests they ask Zemo for assistance. Sam hesitantly lets Bucky encounter Zemo alone per his request, not aware that Bucky plans to break Zemo out of the jail. Sam is very shocked to find Zemo already free, insisting that Zemo must return to prison at once. He eventually agrees to let Zemo tag along after Bucky tries to convince him, on condition that Zemo doesn't make a move without their permission.

Sam is surprised to discover that Zemo has been rich as they are walking towards Zemo's private jet. Zemo informs Sam that he is a baron and that his family was a royalty before the Avengers destroyed his country. On the flight to Madripoor, Sam eases the tension between Zemo and Bucky by talking about the song “Trouble Man” by Marvin Gaye, not expecting himself to be agreeing with Zemo when the man compliments the song. He reluctantly states that Zemo is out of the line, but he is right.

In Madripoor they encounter Sharon Carter. After Sharon orders Zemo to drop his weapon and points her gun at him, Sam calms her down by explaining that someone is recreating the super soldier serum and Zemo has a lead. While they are gathering in Sharon's residence, Sharon utters that, deep down, Sam must know that the whole hero thing is a joke and hypocrisy, judging the way he gave up the shield. Zemo asserts that Sam already knows, and not so deep down.

The Whole World is Watching

Zemo asks if Sam would have taken the super soldier serum if he, hypothetically, had been offered it. Sam answers without hesitation that he wouldn't and Zemo is impressed by it. Zemo tries to warn Sam of the danger of the Flag Smashers, asserting that they should not let the organization become yet another faction of gods amongst real people, and that super soldiers cannot be allowed to exist. Sam points out that Zemo talks the way gods do. He tells Zemo that blood is not always the solution.

John Walker finally arrives at Zemo's residence to bring him back to prison. Sam tries to stop him by rationalizing that Zemo actually has proven himself useful and that they will need all hands on deck for whatever is coming next, but the Dora Milaje comes in quick succession, also to apprehend Zemo, causing the clash between Walker and the Dora Milaje. When Sam is trying to break up the fight, Zemo sneaks into his bathroom and escapes. When Sam notices that Zemo has disappeared through a hidden hole, he confesses that he can't believe Zemo pulled an El Chapo.

Quotes

Zemo“It is a masterpiece, James. Complete. Comprehensive. It captures the African-American experience.”
Sam“He's out of line, but he's right.”
— Power Broker
“You look exactly like the man you’re supposed to be playing. The sophisticated, charming African rake named Conrad Mack, aka the Smiling Tiger.”
— Zemo, Power Broker
Zemo“Were you ever offered it?”
Sam“What?”
Zemo“The serum.”
Sam“No.”
Zemo“If you had been, hypothetically, that is, would you have taken it?”
Sam“No.”
Zemo“No hesitation. That’s impressive.”
— The World is Watching

Media

“For Zemo, Sam Wilson's identical stubbornness [with Steve Rogers] is disheartening because his insistence that Karli Morgenthau (Erin Kellyman) and the Flag-Smashers must die will all on deaf ears with the Falcon. This isn't to say that Zemo doesn't respect Sam Wilson's stubbornness and inherent nobility, just as the Baron also respected Steve Rogers'. But it did mean that Zemo couldn't rely on Wilson to see things his way when it came to how to stop the Flag-Smashers.”
— Screen Rant [1]

Fanon

Although it would be easy to interpret that Sam completely hated Zemo by noting how often he urged Bucky to bring Zemo back to prison, some fans have noticed that there were also moments where Sam defended Zemo. The first time was when Sam stopped Sharon from hurting him. The second was when Sam tried to prevent John Walker from taking Zemo to prison.

While Zemo had an obvious hatred towards the Avengers, Zemo had also shown respect towards Sam. In the series, Zemo asked if Sam would have taken the super soldier serum if he had been offered it. He was impressed by Sam who, without hesitation, stated that he wouldn't. Some fans theorize that Zemo gave Sam the question because he himself had had a split-second thought of taking the serum when he had first found it, then was impressed by Sam after comparing himself to him.

Zemo described Sam as "as stubborn as Steve Rogers" who he thought was uncorrupted, unlike other super soldiers. This might show that, even though Zemo was aware that he and Sam had different ways of handling things, he still respected him. Zemo also apparently found Sam attractive as he thought that Sam was similar to Smiling Tiger who was, as he described, “the sophisticated, charming African rake”.

Fans are amused by Sam's ability to call Zemo out; first, on his strange head-tilting habit; second, on his hypocrisy of speaking like a god while declaring super soldiers as a faction who played gods amongst men. It was interesting to see Zemo, who was usually full of control and very articulate, taken aback by Sam's clever assessments. When Sam explained that blood wasn’t always a solution, that might have helped Zemo clear his conscience to some degree, therefore him not killing Bucky.

Other than those things stated above, it was refreshing for fans to see the way Zemo and Sam bond over their similar taste in music.

Fandom

FAN FICTION

Sam/Zemo tag on AO3
Sam & Zemo tag on AO3

TUMBLR

SamZemo posts on Tumblr

Variations

Madrifour refers to the ship between Sharon Carter, Bucky Barnes, Sam and Zemo
SamBuckyZemo refers to the ship between Bucky Barnes, Sam and Zemo

Gallery

References

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