Finally, the first episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has been released. Unlike WandaVision’s strange simulated reality, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is much more grounded in the reality viewers are aware of. MCU’s new direction into TV is paying dividends when it comes to storytelling. After Avengers: Endgame, I wondered how Marvel can go beyond that movie. What can they do next to make sure the fans will keep coming back?
Marvel’s solution is giving some of the less focused characters their own space to explore their backstories deeply. This approach is helping Marvel keep their fans engaged and amp up characters like Wanda Maximoff and Sam Wilson with relatable stories.
Directed by Kari Skogland, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier stars Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Falcon, Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier, Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter, and Daniel Brühl as Baron Zemo.
The first scene of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier does a magnificent job of setting up the arc of Sam Wilson and general theme of the series. After the events of Endgame, the world is still coming to terms with the absence of heroes like Captain America. Using this as a premise, the series explores how different characters are dealing with this new reality. This is where MCU’s world-building truly shines! You are already caught up with what has happened in the past and the series continues to build new arcs on past events.
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier explores what it’s like to be Sam Wilson. When the Falcon costume comes off, Wilson is just a regular human being with problems that are relatable to everyone. This might be the first time where we get a look at the non-superhero side of Wilson, who is humble man, struggling to keep things afloat and find a balance between superhero life and regular human life.
The story of Bucky Barnes starts in a different place. Barnes is still living in his past figuratively and trying to adjust to regular life. Although Barnes’ backstory has been explored to a certain level in MCU, the Falcon and the Winter Soldier is expected to dive deeper.
Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes are in different positions in their lives, which seems to be used as a setup for their frenemy relationship. Although there are major differences in their personalities, they seem to have some things in common like their military experience and their bond with Steve Rogers. The friendship with Rogers will play a crucial part in the relationship between Wilson and Barnes. On a certain level, it feels like Wilson and Barnes are trying to move on after losing Cap and look forward to other relationships in life.
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier explores the nuances of racism in Sam Wilson’s arc. Considering that conversation around race can be complicated, the writers have done a great job by making systemic racism seem subtle, but still quite noticeable. So far, MCU has not really focused on Wilson’s racial identity and exploring it adds a new layer to his story.
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is expected to deliver adrenaline-pumping action sequences. Considering that the first episode in every show is about setting up the characters, arcs, and the theme, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier offers a glimpse into what action scenes would look like. Although there aren’t many action sequences in this episode, the ones that are present are incredibly well executed and they make you crave for more. Hopefully, the remaining five episodes will feature much more action.
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier hasn’t entirely revealed all the antagonists yet. But, the setup for these villains hints at something exciting and challenging for our heroes, Wilson and Barnes. After all, a fantastic hero can only exist with an equally formidable villain.
Another thing I noticed is that some villains are working towards a cause that the audience can relate to. MCU had done something similar in Black Panther and it worked out incredibly well. We can only hope that The Falcon and The Winter Soldier will deliver in the same way.
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier episode 1 shares a glimpse into previously unknown lives of Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes and promises an exciting action-packed story. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier debuts on Disney Plus Hotstar Premium on March 19.