The Falcon and the Winter Soldier - Episode 1 - Review

Marvel's second Disney+ show is much more in line with what fans expected to see when they hear "Marvel Cinematic Universe". The Falcon and the Winter Soldier tells the story of both of Steve Rogers' friends and sidekicks, and the legacy they have to deal with.

If you have seen any of the Netflix Marvel shows like Daredevil or Luke Cage, this might feel familiar to you. The first episode felt like a hybrid between one of those Netflix Marvel shows, and the standard MCU fare. The show gave a big flashy action sequence to the audiences right away, in one of the coolest scenes Anthony Mackie's Falcon has ever been involved in.

The way it felt like a Netflix Marvel show is in the way the story was structured. There are two titular characters, and the show follows both of them - separately. Their stories haven't intersected yet. It was a bit of a slow burn, but in a good way - it let two supporting characters have some development that was sorely missing from the movies they appeared in.

Sam Wilson (Mackie) in particular got a lot to chew on. Not only is dealing with the politics of a post Endgame world, but the legacy of Captain America, the burden of the shield, and helping his family out. It was a lot to pack into a 45 minute episode, especially with part of that time dedicated to the other half of the title, The Winter Soldier.

We've gotten bits and pieces of Bucky's story over the years, more so than we did Sam's so there wasn't as much heavy lifting in order to check in on him. He is dealing with the same Captain America related stuff as Sam, but is also trying to get his mind right from being brainwashed for several decades.

Bucky and Sam's stories have not dovetailed together yet, but each offered intriguing things for what's to come. The mystery organization will be fun to explore, and how characters like Batroc and the incoming Zemo fit into it. While that might be the surface story, the bigger story might be something more personal.

Sam gave up the shield and the opportunity to rebrand as Captain America because he, like Indiana Jones, thinks it "belongs in a museum". But as soon as he did, the government gave it to someone else. There are definite racial undertones to the act of giving the moniker of "Captain America" to a random white guy instead of Sam. I hope Marvel doesn't shy away from it, and really leans into the notion.

There is already evidence to suggest the government wants Sam out of the picture. The top secret mission he was on at the beginning felt like it was set up for Sam to fail. Then his comment about his equipment glitching when the government fixed his equipment, is there for a reason.

Sam and Bucky have gone their separate ways, with the one thing binding them out of their lives (no word on where Old Cap actually is - other than the moon of course). It will be interesting to see what brings them back together.

This was a sufficient first episode. It set some things in motion quite well, and now has roughly 5 hours left to pay them off. While this is tonally a far cry from the fantastic WandaVision, it was great in its own ways, and should continue to shine.

Episodes of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier drop on Fridays exclusively on Disney Plus.


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