The Falcon and The Winter Soldier premiered on 19th March 2021 and will release in an episodic format till 23rd April 2021 with a total of 6 episodes. The miniseries is part of MCU Phase four and is set after the 2019 film Avengers: Endgame. Produced by Marvel Studios, the miniseries is directed by Kari Skogland with Malcolm Spellman as the head writer. Starring Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier and Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson / Falcon.
After The Blip
Back in 2019, MCU saw an end of its third phase with the death of Tony Stark aka Iron Man and Steve Rogers aka Captain America’s retirement (which I am still processing btw) paving way for Phase 4. With WandaVision we saw the uprising of the Scarlett Witch aka Wanda Maximoff and her descent into a world of grief and agony which served as the perfect start for Phase 4. WandaVision left viewers and fans like myself in awe and tears wanting more of it and well, I am still processing Wanda’s loss too! The end of MCU Phase 3 and the beginning of MCU Phase 4 is undeniably strong and heartbreaking with no place for complaints but just superhero catharsis.
That being said, MCU has now shot us into the world of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier six months after everybody returned from the blip Thanos caused by the infinity stones. We see two of Captain America’s best friends and heroes Bucky and Sam, where one tries to make amends and deals with trauma that is seeped 100 years deep, the other tries to serve with the best of his ability carrying duty and legacy on his shoulders. The episode posses depth and offers a wider understanding of the characters rather than straight-up exploiting their combat abilities in the opening episode.
There is a conflict of emotions and thoughts in Sam as he decides to give up Captain’s legacy for the best (according to him) and at the same time, you can see the sombre feeling of loss of his best friend that hovers on him continuously. But while Sam feels that he is not ready to take the place of America’s flagship superhero, America is in desperate need of a hero! To carry on Steve’s legacy is Sam’s inner calling and we know that ever since Captain gave him his shield. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier marks Sam’s journey on the path of realization and ultimately becoming the hero America needs.
There is an undertone of racial injustice in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier that is brought into light with Sam and his sister Sarah’s relationship depicting that no matter how good one might do, which very well includes bringing people back from the blip, all of this will lose value as soon as race and colour will come into play. One of the scenes where Sam and Sarah apply for a loan in a bank is brilliantly executed and is multilayered.
The sequence which starts with some cherry sprinkle light laugh moments eventually grows into questions about wealth and struggle for superheroes alongside the racial division that is inflicted by the system. In a statement by Spellman, he said that Sam being a black man would play a major role in the show and well, he took no time in making a strong point.
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier episode 1 ends with the defence council introducing a new Captain America played briefly by Wyatt Russell and god, it is bothersome on so many levels. The new Captain America more or less feels like aid to the government and not to the people going very much against the legacy of Steve Rogers.
The episode is broken into 2 storylines that are weaved together but not at the current visible moment. While the first one clearly deals with Sam, the second one takes us closer to Bucky who is now seeking therapy (holy cow, never expected this). He is laden with the trauma that induces nightmares and loneliness in his every day. After years of abuse from Hydra, not just physically but emotionally and mentally too, he attempts to make amends and integrate into the society like everyone else is seen.
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier episode 1 has a stronger storyline and buildup for Sam as compared to Bucky, we see Falcon in his true sense as he flies, fights, and wins. We are introduced to Flag-smasher, an extremist group that believers that earth was better at the time of the blip and we are also brought in terms with a new character Torress who seems to be here for a long time as Falcons aid.
Stream It or Skip It
STREAM IT! The Falcon and The Winter Soldier opens strongly with a promising premise and character arc. It will be interesting to see both Sam and Bucky come together and embark on a journey they might not be ready for realizing their inner calling and most importantly continuing Steve’s legacy. Each and every character in the episode is well chalked out and thought over and there are no loose, let them slide moments here. The series also establishes Sam and Bucky as leads and not sides, 2 heroes capable of leading their own stories, and it’s amazing!
Is there any Easter egg you noticed in Episode 1? Tell us in the comments below!
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier: Episode 1 is streaming now on Disney+ Hotstar.
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