Unlike Wandavision, Falcon and the Winter Soldier chooses the more familiar action/political tone that we got accustomed to in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and does it justice. Top notch action and fantastic chemistry between its leading men Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan makes Falcon and the Winter Soldier escapism in its finest form. 

Picking up immediately after the insanity in Avengers: Endgame, Sam Wilson/Falcon and Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier are brought back together by their ties to Steve Rogers. They find themselves teaming up on an international adventure to stop an anti-patriotism global terrorist group, while dealing with some demons from their past, present and future. 

From the moment the show started, I knew that this was going to be nothing like Wandavision and I am ok with that. With so many Marvel shows coming out, I feel that having your own identity is perfect. However, whenever you subject yourself to something ordinary, it has to be perfect.  

We discover what our heroes are up to. We see Sam/Falcon not follow the dying wishes of his pal Steve Rogers in becoming the next Captain America by putting the shield away. Buky/Winter Soldier battles PTSD from his storied past and is doing everything in his power to move forward, but he just can’t seem to find a way to do so. 

WARNING : There will be some SPOILERS. If you haven’t seen The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and you plan to do so, please go watch it and come back to read the rest of my review. 

Wait…What’s Going On Here?

I was enjoying the cheesy action and the fact that both characters were at odds with each other. So, I was expecting a by the numbers action adventure, up until I saw the last 2 minutes of the first episode where John Walker, played by Wyatt Russel, is announced as the new Captain America. I have to hand it to the showrunners, I didn’t see that coming. 

Even though I knew this was a plot device to help Sam live up to his promise. I very much loved this plot choice, the decision infuriated me in a good way. Wyatt Russel is excellent in this show as he struggles to fill the shoes and understand what it means to wield this iconic shield. I especially loved his character reacting appropriately to his partner getting killed by decapitating a member of the Flag-Smashers. This added some much needed grit to his character. The anger felt earned and relatable to anyone who lost someone important.  

Endless Possibilities With a Little Help From Our Friends

The Marvel fan in me screamed with joy seeing 2 stellar actors return to the MCU. Baron Zemo (Daniel Bruhl), responsible for framing Bucky for killing the leader of Wakanda and Sharon Carter (Emily Vancamp) the niece of Peggy Carter who had to go into hiding after helping Captain America save Bucky Barnes. Another wonderful surprise was seeing Elaine Benes, no sorry, Selina Meyer, ughhhh…I mean Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, but you could call her Val. She turns John Walker into USAgent, who I know from the Marvel comics. I adored the ambiguity of Val and am excited for what’s to come with her and the USAgent.

The leader of the Flag-Smashers is Karli Morgenthau (Erin Kellyman). She makes it her sole duty to unite the world without borders by sharing resources with the countries that weren’t given preferential treatment by the Global Reparation Council. They reactivated status and managed resources for refugees displaced by the Blip. I wanted to mention her because I feel like her character wasn’t fleshed out enough and I struggled to understand her motivations behind her actions. She wanted fair treatment for everyone and she took innocent lives from the countries she was trying to help. 

It Was Sharon Carter All Along

One underlying question that lingered throughout the show was who the Power Broker could possibly be. After Emily Vancamp finally made an appearance in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, she appears good and then comes off quite suspicious in the end, leading me to suspect that she was the power broker. At the end of the series, mine and everyone else’s suspicions were correct when Sharon Carter revealed who she really was. It felt anticlimactic and I really wish they had done some sort of bait and switch, or really made more of an effort to conceal the Power Brokers identity. 

The Falcon Becomes America And Bucky Finally Smiles

Seeing Anthony Mackie as Captain America put a huge smile on my face and confirmed that Steve Rogers made the right choice for who should carry on his legacy. However, Bucky finally telling his best friend about how he was forced to kill his son long ago, and crossing out the last name in his book felt rushed in the worst way. I felt like we didn’t appreciate exactly what he did and what it meant for his character. A few extra minutes to let that sink in would’ve improved the emotional heft of those events. 
Beautifully choreographed action, incredible performances by the cast, and a story that hits home with some powerful themes makes The Falcon and the Winter Soldier a delight from start to finish. Some minor flaws with its main villain and lack of the element of surprise got to me. However, as a Marvel fan, I was once again blown away by this show as it left me wanting more and further confirmed why Disney makes me believe in magic.