I can see why The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was scheduled to be the first of the new breed of Marvel TV shows to appear on Disney+. It’s a more standard superhero series than the innovative approach taken by WandaVision. However, I loved both of them equally in different ways.
Falcon was a much calmer show, despite traditional action sequences, superhero fight scenes and plenty of drama. Although it had all that you might expect from a MCU movie, Falcon had a lot more. There was a deeper dive into the psychological effects of living in this world, whether that is regret from things you’ve done, how hard it is on the people left behind, or how much courage you have to have to take up the mantle.
Every time something gets better for one group, it gets worse for another.
It’s also another series in which the bad guys aren’t necessarily all that bad. Clearly the Flagsmashers are going about things in the wrong way, but they’re intentions aren’t based in out and out malice. They want fairness for their people and, once again, the after effects of the snap raise their ugly heads.
And aside from all that, it’s a nice odd couple story, even though for a good portion of the show there are three of them. Sam and Bucky are a reluctant duo but have a grudging respect for each other which is fun to see. And Zemo, ruthless and brutal, adds to the fun. Even his motives aren’t the worst we’ve seen in this universe!
Bonus appearances by the Wakandans and our rogue Sharon Carter are topped up with new characters in John Walker, Isaiah Bradley and the wonderfully enigmatic Contessa Val.
You people have just as much power as an insane god or a misguided teenager. The question you have to ask yourself is ‘How are you going to use it?’
So there’s a lot to love. It’s not perfect though. I couldn’t quite get my head around what the Flagsmashers plan was - their motive was laid out clearly but the actual plan wasn’t so obvious. And whilst I loved the themes, debates and important speeches, a couple of them did verge on the preachy.
No one’s clear on whether there will be another series or not, but just like WandaVision before it, this series just made me realise how important these characters are and what I had missed in the previous movies… whilst equally paving the way for plenty more adventure in the future!