The Falcon and The Winter Soldier: TV review (Spoiler-free)

Disney Plus hits the mark again with their newest show from Marvel cinematic universe, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, which premiered Mar. 19. Centered around Captain America’s closest friends Sam Wilson, The Falcon, and Bucky Barnes, The Winter Soldier, portrayed by Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan respectively.  

Although I’m a fan of both the characters in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, I was a bit skeptical about this show after the huge success of WandaVision and how much of an unexpected turn the show took compared to most Marvel content, making it so interesting to watch. Instead, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is a much more grounded and serious show, a tone that was set with the show’s initial trailers.

The show deals with the aftermath of Avengers: Endgame, in which Sam was given Captain America’s shield and the responsibilities of carrying on Captain America’s legacy. Bucky, on the other hand, after being kidnapped by the evil organization HYDRA in the ’40s and brainwashed to kill for decades since then, was left off finally healed in the aftermath of the movie.  

The first episode is split into two storylines, one focusing on Sam and what he’s been up to since he was given Captain America’s shield, including how he ended up not taking on Captain America’s role and instead just continued his work as The Falcon. He is still experiencing sadness from losing Steve Rogers and doesn’t believe he is strong enough to carry on the role of Captain America. Audiences get to see a major glimpse into Sam’s background this episode, as he returns to his hometown in Louisiana and visits his sister and her children.  

Bucky’s storyline goes further in-depth into the PTSD that remains from all his years of being tortured and brainwashed. He still has nightmares of all his kills and is on a journey of making amends as recommended by his therapist who we also get to meet in this episode. Watching Bucky in this first episode really made me realize how little of his personality we’ve actually seen in all the Marvel movies. As a fan favorite, it really shows you how great Stan is at playing the superhero with such minimal dialog and scenes, yet still having such a massive fanbase that love his character.  

The antagonist of the show doesn’t seem to get revealed in this first episode with there only being a quick scene hinting at whom it may be when we see a group referred to as “The Flag Smashers” robbing a bank in Switzerland. I actually liked the decision not to focus too much on any villains in the first episode so audiences could get established into how the main characters are and what they’ve been up to.  

Although both characters didn’t have many scenes together in the movies, from the limited interactions they did have their frenemies dynamic seemed to provide great humor to audiences. Sam and Bucky don’t interact in this episode but getting to watch them battle their own personal demons and see what they’ve been up to since Avengers: Endgame was great to watch and helped the episode not feel rushed by having them unite so quickly. 

The second episode tells us more about “The Flag Smashers” including their background and what their purpose is. This episode dives into Captain America’s “replacement”, John Walker, played excellently by Wyatt Russell. Viewers get to see John try to replicate Steve Rogers as much as he can, although not received the same by Sam and Bucky. The episode also reunites Sam and Bucky and provides many emotional scenes between the two, as well as some humorous ones. 

I wouldn’t say that this show provides the exact sense of mystery and thrill that WandaVison did with its premiere, yet it still was a great watch and made me excited to see the rest of the series, especially with the reveal at the end of the second episode. Getting to see more of the backgrounds and personalities of the titular characters was interesting to watch and shows you exactly why they were given this show. Mackie and Stan both continue to do great work portraying their characters and exhibiting how their trauma is still impacting them.  

So far, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier seems very promising, exhibiting more of a traditional Marvel format than WandaVision. Although only two episodes are out, the show seems enjoyable enough to potentially emerge as another major win for Marvel and Disney Plus.  

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier’s first two episodes are on Disney Plus and new episodes will come out every Friday until Apr. 23.

Article by @alexisg_news on Twitter.

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Alexis Garcia

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier: TV review (Spoiler-free)

by Alexis Garcia time to read: 3 min
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