For a TV show about superheroes, “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” is much more, as it deals with the harsh undertones of racism and post-traumatic stress disorder. In the past, Marvel has been extremely hit or miss with forcing difficult topics and showing representation, but in “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” they hit the mark.
I can remember being 10 years old watching the Avengers TV show on the Disney Channel and thinking that the Winter Soldier was so cool. I can also remember reading the comic book series where Sam Wilson, who is played by Anthony Mackie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is given the title of Captain America and thinking how awesome it was.
Now as an adult, getting to watch the characters that I thought were “cool” deal with real-world issues like trying to get a loan or battling depression, is extremely satisfying and “cool” once again. Don’t get me wrong, the superhero part of this show is fantastic and truly does a good job of being a superhero show. But there’s more depth to this series than others.
The first episode opens with Wilson getting ready to intercept a hijacked airplane and save a hostage. Up to this point in the MCU, I have always wondered if the Falcon was actually a good superhero who could hold his own in a fight, or if he was just the side character for Captain America. He never truly got the opportunity to have a big fight scene, being that he was sharing the screen with so many other high-profile heroes in every movie he has been in. After this moment, I’m no longer questioning his superhero status.
Now that the Avengers are not together following the events of “Avengers: Endgame”, Wilson is a contractor with the government, and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) is working through therapy to deal with his past as the Hydra assassin in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”
Following the events of “Endgame,” Barnes was pardoned by the U.S. government for his past with Hydra. Now he is making amends for his past actions and removing members of Hydra from their positions that he put them in, because they are abusing their power.
Wilson and Barnes meet up in the second episode and their unlikely friendship grows as they head on a mission together. They also watch as newcomer John Walker (Wyatt Russell) takes over as the new Captain America Wilson and Barnes feel he is disrespecting the legacy of their friend Steve Rogers, who had bequeathed his shield to Wilson at the end of “Endgame.”
What truly makes this show stand out among the plethora of Marvel content is the little details that the writers put into it. For example, while Barnes is working on making amends for his past, he uses the same notebook that Rogers uses in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”
The writers even give a subtle callback to one of the first things that Wilson said to Rogers. When they met, Wilson calls attention to the fact that Rogers isn’t able to sleep in his bed at night because it’s too soft — something combat veterans deal with when returning home. The first time we see Barnes in the show he is sleeping on the floor of his apartment, not in his bed.
The little subtle details in this show make it truly incredible and big Marvel fans will be happy to see the comic-accurate details in the show. I also think that most Marvel fans will be happy with the liberties the writers took and changes they made with certain characters — like giving Barnes the title of White Wolf.
The finale was worth the week-to-week wait and I have rewatched it three times since it came out.
The acting, writing, costumes, and graphics are all fantastic as the show was given a big budget to complete each episode and it was well spent.
If you needed a reason to get into the MCU, this is a pretty good one. “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” can be streamed entirely on Disney Plus at their base subscription.