The Falcon And The Winter Soldier
After Hulk uses the Nano Gauntlet to bring back everyone who was dusted by Thanos, the heroes take on Thanos' forces and Iron Man makes the ultimate sacrifice ending Thanos' Infinity Quest for good. Captain America returns the Infinity Stones that were plucked from the past but does not return to the present. He lives a long, fulfilling life with Peggy Carter. Then he returns to the Avengers timeline as an old man and hands off his shield to Sam Wilson, The Falcon, saying "It's yours now".
Spoiler Level: Mild
The Falcon And The Winter Soldier opens, appropriately, with the sound of birds chirping and Sam Wilson putting on a suit and tie. Captain America’s shield is seen lying on his bed as he recalls Steve Rogers’ words when he gave Sam the shield.
Then we jump to a military mission the Falcon is helping with. The flying sequences of Sam fighting the LAF are spectacular. Due to the overcrowding of super heroes, the Falcon has been somewhat underused in the Avengers films. We never got to see his full range and what we get here is the beginning of making up for that. After the mission, Sam and Rhodes (Don Cheadle) appear at the opening of a Captain America museum where Sam makes a speech and leaves his contribution to the museum.
Then we see Winter Soldier back to his assassination games before cutting to a mandated psychiatric session with Bucky in a freshly cut hair do. He manipulates truths and half truths talking to his psychiatrist. We learn that Bucky has been pardoned for his crimes.
Meanwhile, Sam is working with his sister to help open a business. The shows picks up with what WandaVision began to touch on…namely, the effect of the Blip on the lives of people. Sam’s sister, Sarah, struggles with Sam being gone for five years. When he disappeared, his nephews were just toddlers. We also get to see more of the broader picture of how the Blip is still affecting people in a well done scene with Sam and his sister applying for a bank loan. The MCU TV shows are a perfect place for dealing with the after affects of the Blip which is one of the great things about these series. Marvel is not moving on like everything has gone back to normal just because the people have returned. There are and should be major ramifications which I hope the MCU TV series will continue to explore. The setting for The Falcon And The Winter Soldier is “a few months (6?)” after Avengers Endgame according to a line Sam says.
Many MCU fans were very disappointed when their theories about WandaVision–especially the one about Mephisto–didn’t pan out. And I see it happening here again. One of the theories (I’m not going to call them “Easter Eggs”) is a carry over from WandaVision about the X-Men being set up, *sigh*, all because Madripoor is mentioned. Mentioning “Madripoor” is an Easter Egg because it is something fans will recognize but does not affect the show for people who don’t get it. In order to maintain the structure of the Marvel [Cinematic] Universe we are going to get references to familiar things. So, I’d say ignore the podcasts and websites trying to guess what is coming and just focus on enjoying the show for what is. Or at least take it with a grain of salt as you watch the show and form your own theories and put your faith in the show’s story tellers. We know the story is going to involve Zemo and Hydra and also a group called “The Flag Smashers” (which actually is a reference to a character named “Flag Smasher” from the Captain America comics) who believe life was better during the Blip and we will be seeing the return of Sharon Carter and have already gotten an appearance from James Rhodes. There is also the return of another familiar face. And then there is the first appearance of a new character in the MCU from the comics. The first episode doesn’t deal a lot with whatever the main plot line is going to be. We get some action and the rest is focused on bringing these characters back, how they are adjusting, Bucky trying to figure out how a 100 year old man like himself fits in the 21st century. With the running time being 42 minutes plus credits we are going to get to know these characters on a much more personal level.
The Falcon And The Winter Soldier gets off to a solid start, wrapping up loose ends from the past and forging a new path forward for Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes. It's a great next step after WandaVision, and will present a more familiar tone of action and adventure than its quirky predecessor. And when Loki arrives this summer it will probably add a whole new style to the growing palette of the new age of Marvel TV. The creative differences between shows is a positive move in ensuring the future of the MCU.
The Falcon And The Winter Soldier Ep 101: New World Order
Writing - 10/10
Storyline - 10/10
Acting - 10/10
Music - 9/10
Production - 10/10
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