TV Review: Marvel's The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Episode 1 (SPOILER-FILLED)

Original series streaming now.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is a 2021 superhero series created by Malcolm Spellman. It is now streaming exclusively to Disney+. It will run for six episodes until April 23, 2021. The series stars Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan. It is based on various Marvel comics. This series runs parallel with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, acting as the second original Marvel series and a sequel to Avengers: Endgame. It was preceded by WandaVision and will be followed by Loki.


"Every time something gets better for one group, it gets worse for another." -Sam Wilson

Plot


Six months after disappearing for five years, Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes are trying to cope with the new state of the world. While Sam works with the military to track down a new group of terrorists called the Flag-Smashers, Bucky continues to try and push away his past as HYDRA's pet. The two of them must preserve a good state of the world as people deal with the effects of the Blip.






IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN EPISODE 1 OF THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER, STOP READING!!!!!!!!!






Episode 1 "New World Order" Review


Marvel is back! After a full fourteen days of no progress inside of the MCU, we return to the post-Endgame world outside of the Hex and follow Falcon and Winter Soldier as they deal with the effects of the snap.


Right off the bat, this show delivers some fabulous action. We didn't get much action inside of WandaVision, and the action that we did get was not the best. This is much more traditional MCU action that flaunts their strengths with special effects and cool camera work much more than WandaVision did.


And it's nice to see where Sam and Bucky are. We haven't followed up on a ton of the characters post-Endgame, so anytime a character is dealing with the trauma of the Blip and the loss of Iron Man or Cap, it hits really hard. On that note, I noticed something very interesting while watching this.


These first few projects after Endgame are dealing with all of the characters that died in Endgame and Infinity War.


Far From Home: Iron Man

WandaVision: Vision

Falcon and Winter Soldier: Captain America

Black Widow: Black Widow

Loki: Loki

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3: Gamora


I know Guardians 3 isn't coming out soon, but the rest of that is the Marvel schedule after Endgame. I just thought that that was an interesting detail that shows how much of an affect Thanos has had on the MCU.


And I really think that's the strong point of the episode. It deals with the trauma and ripples of Cap's return to the 40s and does a great job of exploring the world of the MCU after the snap. WandaVision had that, but it was mostly centered on Wanda's grief and her reaction to Vision's death. This shows how shook the world is after Endgame, and I really appreciated that.


I think the Flag-Smashers have huge potential. They weren't in much of the episode, but the idea that there is an extremist group that thought the world was better during the Blip is a dark and very intriguing plot point. That could be a really cool arc throughout the season and I'm very excited to see where that goes.


I also like the development that we get for both Sam and Bucky, but more Bucky. It's interesting and hard to see him dealing with his past as the Winter Soldier. Bucky has been a pretty shallow character before this, and I like getting a little bit more personal with him. With Sam, I enjoyed meeting his family and getting to know him a little bit better, too, but I didn't think it worked as much as Bucky did.


There are also a few nice cameos sprinkled into the episode. It was just a cool little moment to see Rhodey in it. I didn't expect it, so it was a fun, small moment of surprise. Also, Batroc the Leaper was the guy in that first fight scene. He had a cool fight with Cap at the beginning of Winter Soldier.


There are a few problems that I had with the episode. First off, I think that it was missing a key dynamic. Bucky and Sam do not share a moment on screen together. The show is called The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and their relationship was something I was really looking forward to. I'm sure they'll be together in the second episode, but they weren't in the first, and that was a bit of a letdown.


Secondly, I think being released right after WandaVision puts it at a disadvantage. WandaVision was so unique and distinct, while Falcon and Winter Soldier is very much a traditional MCU project. That said, it's a very good traditional MCU project. That is what I expected and what most people expected, but if it had been before the crazy ride that WandaVision was, it may have fared a bit better. The return to the usual MCU formula can be a bit of a re-adjustment, and not one that a lot of audience members will exactly want to make.


I thoroughly enjoyed this episode and am very excited to see what they have in store for next episode. While I did not like this as much as the first episode of WandaVision, I do think that Falcon and Winter Soldier is going to only get better as it goes along. Once Sam and Bucky are united, once we learn more about the Flag-Smashers, and once Zemo shows up, I will be fully on board.


Fun Factor: 8/10

Acting: 8/10

Story: 8/10

Characters: 8.5/10

Quality: 8/10


"New World Order"


Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Falcon

Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier

Adepero Oduye as Sarah Wilson

Danny Ramirez as Joaquin Torres

Miki Ishikawa as Leah

Don Cheadle as James Rhodes/War Machine

Georges St-Pierre as Batroc the Leaper

Wyatt Russell as U.S. Agent