Coping without Cap: A Falcon and Winter Soldier Review

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Dominik Perez

Disney released the second in a line of planned Marvel Cinematic Universe shows, The Falcon and the WInter Soldier. “I really enjoy the way they’re portraying bucky and how he’s trying to reform and become a better person, redemption arcs are always awesome. Falcon is also shown struggling with real world issues instead of being a 2D side character so it seems the focus of the show will be on character development and how they need to grow to fill the space left by Captain America. The first episode served as a great hook and I’m excited to see what the rest of the season has in store,” junior Gavin Williams said.

Dominik Perez, Entertainment Editor

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier hit Disney’s premier streaming service, Disney Plus, with an action packed first episode which sets up questions and storylines for the rest of the series that will entice the viewer and keep them hooked. The show follows the aftermath of the events of Avengers: Endgame and primarily how the two leads, Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastion Stan), handle a world without Captain America. The first episode sets up plenty in terms of how the viewer can expect the two to cope with the loss of their mutual best friend as well as how they deal with the U.S. government stealing his very image to promote nationalism.

The episode begins with a wonderfully coordinated action scene following Sam Wilson, The Falcon, as he single interferes with a french terrorist’s organization to kidnap a U.S. official and escape into hostile air space. The combat itself possesses a dynamic quality as the camera moves to follow each dodge and punch, giving the entire scene a flow to keep the audience immersed in the fight. Sam’s midair dives from helicopter to helicopter induce a sense of anxiety and awe as he effortlessly navigates himself through the air. The scene concludes in an explosive last minute victory that sets expectations higher for any future action scenes to come.

From here the show slows down a bit to introduce characters and conflicts such as Sam’s family struggles and Bucky’s amends list. The former fails to hold interest, however, as the show does not set up any reason for why the viewer should care about Sam’s family struggling business aside from the fact that it affects his personal life. Whether or not it affects the greater narrative the show attempts to tell, or just serves as a look into the less heroic side of The Falcon’s life and the effects of the “blip” from the last two Avengers movies remains unknown. 

However, Bucky’s desire to make amends for his actions under Hydra’s mind control from the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier promises to make for an interesting and potentially heartfelt story line. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier spends the entirety of its first episode telling the stories of our two protagonists separately in order to display to the viewer their individual motives and conflicts. While Sam deals with his family problems and the threat of yet another anti-superhero terrorist organization akin to the former Hydra, we watch Bucky try to adapt to modern life after having been under mind control since the end of world war two and then immediately disappearing from existence during Avengers: Infinity War. As he struggles to find love as a 106 year old man he also deals with deep rooted guilt for the atrocities he committed under Hydra’s influence and an aggressive case of Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

His struggles make his character deeply endearing and provide plenty of set up for future character development. As for some of the major conflicts in the show, episode one reveals the existence of a global terrorist organization who’s scheme remains unknown, Bucky needing to make amends for his actions which includes revealing to one of his very few friends that he killed his son years ago, Sam’s family business, and the U.S. government’s attempt to replace Steve Rogers with a new Captain America.

“I think it’s what really needed to be covered in a character piece starring Bucky since he has severe PTSD. It’s a good way to do new things with a character while clearing out the old,” junior Darren Godfrey said.

While so far The Falcon and The Winter Soldier suffers from a bit of a slow pace viewers can expect things to pick up once the show finishes setting the stage for a superhero drama fitting of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The show’s appearance, however, disappoints as it maintains the ugly washed out camera filter present in far too many MCU films, but it does shine in terms of action and special effects. Another flaw seen so far exists in the product’s lack of an in depth view of what exactly occurred after Avengers: End Game, as half of the world’s total population suddenly reappearing after a five year absence from Earth would undoubtedly cause unforeseeable conflicts. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier have yet to really touch on this, however. Despite its few flaws, the show makes for a must watch for any Marvel fan, and promises plenty for anyone who enjoys well written characters, phenomenal special effects, and high stakes action.

 

Chant Grade: A-