As anyone who has read my posts for this site knows, I'm not a Disney fanboy. In my opinion, they have ruined large portions of both the Star Wars and Marvel Universe. Luckily, since both universes are so expansive, the overlord's taint cannot reach every corner. As such, every once in a while, there are a few diamonds that are generated in the rough. I believe Disney+'s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier series is quietly showing itself to be one of those precious gems in a sea of pyrite.
I understand, any Marvel television series coming off the heels of Disney's instant cult classic WandaVision, has some massive shoes to fill. However, since I did not watch much of that series, this review is purely based on my skeptical view of all things Disney. I must admit, after watching the first two episodes, I do believe Disney, or more precisely Marvel Studios, has produced a quality TV offering.
The story, so far, revolves around the aftermath of Captain America's decision to return to his original time. Understanding that his services might nevertheless be needed, Cap asks his buddy Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), aka the Falcon, to take up the mantle and continue as Captain America. Understandably, fearing an inability to live up to Captain America’s standards, Wilson refuses to follow Roger’s recommendation. Instead, he argues that Captain America should remain decommissioned. While Wilson may believe that only Steve Rogers can be Captain America, he is not hesitant to fill the void Rogers left, as the Falcon.
Meanwhile, Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), aka Winter Soldier, is in a whole different place. After coming to grips with the fact that he once worked for one of the world’s leading terrorist organizations, he has decided to right the many wrongs he has caused by repaying all his known victims, one person at a time. It is a hard process, especially since it will likely bring back too many painful memories. But, it is a process Bucky feels he must complete if he will eventually be able to survive in this world.
However, despite the Falcon and Winter Soldier’s wish to pursue their own paths to reconciling Captain America’s decision to step away from being a hero; events would not allow them to enjoy their choices. First, just days after Captain America is officially retired, a new unnamed transnational criminal organization surfaces that seems every bit the threat that the former criminal leader HYDRA was previously. Second, to confront the new threat, the government hastily decides to name a new Captain America (Wyatt Russell).
Naturally, these twin events implicate the Falcon and Winter Soldier, who have not spoken to each other since Rogers's disappearance and are not exactly on the best of terms. Nevertheless, they believe that they are the best ones to handle the situation, and much better than the newly named Cap. So begins a tenuous partnership of old comrades, recently estranged, but now willing to work together in honor of their former friend.
As with most good TV, what makes this show a worthwhile watch is the chemistry between the Falcon and the Winter Soldier. It has both the sarcasm and criticism one would expect from these two heroes. However, it also has periods of connection that you would find in a relationship. Naturally, this is a vibe after only two shows. That is to say, there is plenty of time to ruin it. However, if the show continues as it is, it will present a more traditional superhero saga, Indeed, it replaces the head-scratching wonderment of WandaVision, with the time-honored, heart-pumping actions of superhero television of the past.
Written by lao.san on Apr 2, 2021