The Falcon and The Winter Soldier
Season 1 Episode 1
New World Order
In the wake of Avengers: Endgame, Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes have to find their way in the world with one not sure he can live up to the mantle that was given to him and one not sure he deserves the second chance he’s been given.
The first episode of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier starts with the bigger than life action that has been the staple of the MCU on the big screen as Falcon (Anthony Mackie) is dispatched to retrieve a high value target in the hands of terrorists on a plane heading into protected airspace. The scene is powerful, fun and full of action. The production values and special effects are glorious and the viewer gets immersed in the action along with the return of a familiar face in antagonist Batroc the Leaper.
In contrast, Bucky’s (Sebastian Stan) introduction into the episode is more personal as a nightmare reminds him of his time as the Winter Soldier. A nightmare that sends him into an intense therapy session that is well written and pulls no punches as the two verbally spar with each other. It’s a great scene that tells the audience what Bucky will be dealing with throughout the series. Things get more interesting when his mission to amend for his past acts threatens his friendship with a man connected with his past. Those moments are moving and solemn. You get the sense of the emotional turmoil the character is dealing with.
When Sam returns to the world after his mission, he finds a new battle when his sister decides to sell a piece of their childhood and he learns that being an Avenger has its complications, especially when dealing with getting a business loan after being blipped out of existence for five years. Another great scene anchored by Mackie’s performance that showcases some interesting truths about life after the blip. The sibling dynamic felt a little forced at times during their arguments, but the scenes were solid.
With this being a Marvel action series, the bad guys have to into the act with the introduction of a terrorist group known as the Flag Smashers. Their motives are interesting and the have some interesting secrets that it will be even more interesting to see uncovered. The flip side is that the threat of the Flag Smashers causes the government to deploy a new symbol for America in the form of a new Captain America that will definitely cause a reaction from viewers and the characters alike.
The first episode The Falcon and The Winter Soldier sets up a great action story for its two leads. What it also does is set up some great personal drama for them as well. Drama that will be rooted in their own journeys apart and together. It has all the action you expect as well as some fun Easter eggs for MCU fanatics. I look forward to see where both the personal and the mystery stories go next.