Television Reviews

THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER: Episode One Review

The effects of Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame continue to be presented through The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Premiering tomorrow on Disney+, the series stars Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan, and places Captain America’s two companions front and center. Within the first episode, it’s clear the series will lay some important groundwork for Phase Four of the MCU, as well as giving Falcon his much deserved time to shine.

After a difficult fight against Thanos, the loss of friends and even years, we reconnect with Sam Wilson (Mackie) as he deals with that, as well as finding his footing in a world without Captain America. Similarly, Bucky Barnes (Stan) is processing a lot from his past while navigating a path of redemption.

The series opens in typical Marvel fashion, with a flashy, action-packed sequence. For viewers who weren’t so much a fan of WandaVision‘s creative switch from the standard superhero formula, you’ll be pleased to find this returning to form. But that isn’t to say the series will only be adrenaline-pumping fight scenes, as there’s a real peak into how the show will tackle some heavier themes.

Learning more about these characters, somewhat one-on-one, is certainly a highlight for this format, and really all the Marvel/Disney+ series to come. We’ll be able to see how Bucky deals with the trauma and PTSD from his Hydra days, perhaps more from his time in Wakanda. While his years as an assassin played a part in some of the previous films, specifically in the Captain America franchise, we’ll get the opportunity to see it from his perspective now. There’s a lot left to be uncovered about the Winter Soldier, but even more-so for Sam.

With this show, we’re able to get Sam’s full backstory, which wasn’t much of a focus previously. Poised to perhaps take the reigns from Steve Rogers, we’re able to connect with him on another level; learning more about his family and life before The Avengers. And we’ll also see how he’s dealing with returning post-“blip”, having missed five years, and what that experience is like.

Episode one only gives a taste of what the six-installment series has to offer. I think its strength lies in the ability to explore more of the two characters, both together and on their own, that otherwise has not been touched by the MCU. There’s no doubt fans are in for an exciting journey and what will feel like an extended Marvel film.

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