Review: The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Ep. #1

David Eckstein-Schoemann, Reporter

It’s hard to believe that it’s only been two weeks since we finished “WandaVision.” Now we get to see Marvel’s second Disney Plus series to release, “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.” The show centered around the legacy of Captain America and has been one of the most hyped up series of the year. Without further ado, let’s discuss  how it measures up.

The series starts six months after the events of “Avengers: Endgame.” Sam Wilson (Falcon) gives Captain America’s shield that was given to him by Steve Rogers himself to the U.S. government, feeling that he isn’t worthy to uphold his friend’s legacy. While Wilson still dons the suit and saves people, he takes time to return to his family home and try to keep their family fishing business afloat. Meanwhile, Bucky Barnes (Winter Soldier) is still reeling from the trauma of being forced to commit numerous assassinations for Hydra and does his best to make amends for all the wrongs he did in the past. Things begin to fall apart as a terrorist group. The Flag Smashers are wreaking havoc because they believe that life was better during “the Blip.” If that wasn’t crazy enough, the U.S. government announces a new Captain America.

One of the biggest questions asked after “Avengers: Endgame” was how the world will react to a new Captain America, and this episode is a great start to showing the ramifications of this choice. You see how all the characters, particularly Sam, react. While some believe the shield should be left alone, others can’t live without a symbol and are looking for the next hero to take that place. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised as this is one of the biggest heroes to have existed in this universe and now he’s retired during a time of unrest. It’s interesting because even though Steve Rogers doesn’t appear here, you feel the impact he had on this world and characters. You feel the influence he had on this world.

For the first episode, there was a lot to unpack here. Much like with “WandaVision,” I feel like these characters really benefit in a series format. We actually get to see Sam’s family and how they’re struggling through difficult times. While we get a mention of some of his background in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” this is the first time we get to know this character on a personal level. The scenes with his family, particularly with his sister, are especially good at showing the struggles they’re going through. Every time they try to find a way to save their business, they’re always turned down because of their lack of income after disappearing during “the Snap.” I like that they explore that aspect of these characters because  it shows how even people as high as the Avengers are still prone to the problems of everyday life. 

I especially love how we get a chance to see Bucky’s mental state. If being 106 years old and living in the modern world was hard enough, you also have the character experiencing  nightmares of his past violent actions. Out of all the characters in this show, Bucky is the one I was most excited to see as we get a good look at the trauma he’s gone through over the years. While he played a big part in the other films, now we get to see how he reacts to the nightmares of his past actions. Much like in “Captain America: Civil War,” where he mentions he remembers all of his victims, this series is an excellent opportunity to delve into the character as he deals with severe cases of guilt, trauma, and PTSD. This is something I wouldn’t normally expect out of a Marvel property, but I’m glad they’re going all-in with this choice.

The action here is amazing! The opening plane/helicopter battle alone was especially exciting, but that’s to be expected when you have “John Wick” creator Derek Kolstad on the writers’ team. Much like with those films, the action here is fast-paced, well shot, and keeps upping the ante as it goes along. I’m really impressed with how they give cinematic budgets to these streaming shows as I could easily see scenes like this play on the big screen.

In short, I think the first episode of “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” is an excellent start to what’s going to be a spectacular series. It honors one of its greatest heroes, while still taking the time to see what its characters are like when they hang up their wings and bionic arms. It’s only going to get bigger from here so let’s see where this series takes us next.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Sails


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