Falcon and the Winter Soldier brings new depth to the characters Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson. These two superheroes originally appeared in Captain America: Civil War and until now, have yet to have their own movie or TV show. (Photo courtesy of Lauren Taylor)
****Warning, this article contains spoilers: If you have not yet finished the first episode of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, proceed at your own risk.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is the most recent addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The show’s first episode released on Disney Plus on March 19 and is the first installment in the MCU since the conclusion of WandaVision on March 5.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s timeline starts after “the blip” and begins with Sam — aka The Falcon — retiring the shield Steve Rogers — Captain America — gave him to a museum. There is a speech, and a somber moment of reflection on how although the world needs people like him, no one can ever be Captain America but Steve.
This subdued mood does not last for long as the next few minutes of the show involve Sam working with the Air Force to take down the French terrorist Batroc. Afterwards, in a discussion with his Air Force liaison Torres, we meet the Flag Smashers. Torres explains how they are a terrorist organization far stronger and more serious than the criminals the pair previously fought.
There is also some good character development on the personal side of the character’s lives. As the episode continues, we hear from Sarah, Sam’s sister. She is having trouble keeping the family business from sinking and in order to continue their work, they either need to sell their parent’s boat or find someone who can give them a loan. Needless to say, the need to make a decision about their future causes some tension between the siblings.
Meanwhile, Bucky Barnes –– The Winter Soldier — is having trouble adjusting back to civilian life after 90 years of being under Hydra control. As a condition of his pardon, Bucky is seeing a “shrink” who is helping him make amends with the long list of people he wronged in the past. At the moment, he is having a particularly difficult time crossing off one name from the list: Yori, whose son Bucky killed in an attack. While working up the courage to explain their dark connection, things are going wrong in Switzerland.
Torres, who had been keeping an eye on the Flag Smashers online forums, found information about a meeting and decided to see who those people really were. At the meeting, a man with superhuman strength robs a bank and when Torres tries to arrest him, he beats Torres to a pulp.
However, the attack quickly leaves viewer’s minds when the U.S. government reveals the new Captain America. That shield Sam retired? It is not in retirement anymore.
Overall, the first episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier struck me as a prologue to the TV show’s other episodes. It introduced the main characters and the different plotlines the story will follow.
My main issue with the show was that it was very compartmentalized. Though it featured both the characters it promised in the title, the episode completely lacked any of the interaction that I expected to occur. I would assume that in future episodes we will see more of the Bucky-Sam relationship that we saw briefly in Captain America: Civil War, but I am apprehensive to say I absolutely love the show until these two character’s plots collide, and we can see what action ensues.
As for Marvel’s new TV show style, most fans are enjoying this refreshing take on the MCU’s storytelling style after over a decade of movies.
“It’s quite different from the usual format that most MCU movies use but I honestly welcome it,” said Christopher Weatherspoon, a sophomore at Leesville Road High School. “It’s a good change and allows for more in-depth look at all the characters and their relationships as well as the plot points.”
So far, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is proving itself an innovative and entertaining way to flesh out two characters that Marvel has not yet given their own movies. Now, only time will tell if this new show can hold its own against the recently released WandaVision and the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.