The Falcon and The Winter Soldier
Season 1 Episode 2
The Star-Spangled Man
John Walker (Wyatt Russell) takes his first tentative steps into the role of the new Captain America. He’s nervous and hesitant, especially about stepping into the role and having to do things like give interviews rather than fight. We get to see his personal journey as well as the reaction of Sam and Bucky to the news. Bucky goes to confront Sam about his decision and the two fall back into their contentious relationship. I love the banter in that scene and Sam’s breakdown of the threats they face. It’s fun and really sets the tone for how their dialogue will work going forward.
The two team up and their first mission together takes them to Germany on the hunt for the Flag Smashers. After tracking them to their base, they find themselves in a brawl with the enhanced terrorists and receiving a surprise assist from the new Captain America and his partner. It’s an intense and brilliantly done action/ car chase sequence that continues to showcase the cinema level quality of this series.
After confronting the Flag Smashers, we get to see Walker in action as the new Captain America alongside his sidekick and the scene shows that the man is proficient with the shield. Even in the aftermath of the mission, you do feel for the guy as he tries to convince Bucky and Sam that he is his own man and wants to do the right thing. The writing in this moment is pitch perfect and taps into the emotions of both the character and the viewer. Things get more intense when Bucky takes Sam to visit Isaiah Bradley, a former super soldier that no one knows about.
His story and what happens to Sam afterwards does a brilliant job of continuing to show real world issues can affect everyone, even superheroes. As the story progresses, we see that the Flag Smashers are not the only threat and that even they have something to fear. Something that will lead to the duo having to confront a ghost from their recent past.
The second episode of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is a moving, exciting experience that tells the audience that the series is going to tackle some tough issues both psychologically and socially. The fact that they touched on those issues organically makes the episode so engaging and entertaining. If the series keeps and builds on this momentum, they could have something special and unique within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.