There is a meme around that shows Wanda, Sam and Bucky standing at Tony Stark’s funeral. He says, “We needed therapy, but instead we got a TV show”. The meme is on point. WandaVision really focus on symbolically dealing with Wanda’s grief. Falcon and the winter soldier, Disney + ‘s latest MCU offering is listed directly in the therapeutic section. Located in the MCU “after Blip” as WandaVision, Falcon and the winter soldier takes its tonal, action and even planning rhythms from Captain America: Winter Soldier – and this is a smart and refreshing move.
When the episode opens, we go straight into the action with Sokol, who has to pull a kidnapped officer from the US military from the clutches of a villain that many of you may remember. Without spoilers, it’s fun to see this familiar face – and as always, the physicality of the action is enhanced by his presence. The Falcon is assisted by Joaquin Torres, a U.S. military officer who deals with the Falcon mantle in comics.
Before the release of @DisneyPlusHS‘s #FalconAndTheWinterSoldier,, @ suchin545 talk to the stars @anthonymackie and #SebastianStan to expand #MCU on the small screen and what goes into those bad action sequences. pic.twitter.com/hlxvRBQnAe
– Movie Companion (@FilmCompanion) March 17, 2021
As the episode progresses, we meet the Winter Soldier. Bucky, who has now been pardoned and is undergoing conditional therapy. Bucky has his demons. He’s looking for redemption – and without Steve or Wakanda around, therapy seems to be all he has. Bucky is also trying to correct his mistakes – which forms the core of a rather dynamic but significant heroic episode and creates an emotional conflict, which I personally am curious to see how they play out. Meanwhile, Sam returns home and fights various battles with the financial system and the legacy.
There’s a lot to pack in one episode – but even without a heavy dose of action in the second half – director Carrie Skogland and the screenwriters manage to deliver a fun, fast-paced episode. There is, of course, a large organization for bad villains that we need to “see” and someone suspects that Baron Zemo (seen in the trailers) will also follow suit. The first episode has already irritated many storylines that can extend beyond the show itself.
Final sentence until Falcon and the winter soldier seemingly stepping on the familiar territory of the MCU in terms of action and themes – its delivery is significantly deeper and character than would be expected. Unlike WandaVision, there is no unique format, conceptualization of grief or mysteries guided by Easter eggs. Falcon and the winter soldier MCU is doing what it did best with the Captain America trilogy – exporting a “spy thriller, but with superheroes.” The resulting mix is not only very fun, but also surprisingly layered.