WRITTEN BY SNIGDHA DHAMEJA
Symposia : 6.75/10
IMDb : 7.6/10
‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ is the second series released by Marvel, exploring more of the post-blip world after the events of ‘Avengers: Endgame’. I would say it is a direct contrast to the fever dream that was ‘Wandavision’, delving into the larger consequences and ripple effect of Iron Man’s snap, rather than a more personal display of trauma and grief.
The series spotlights Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson, otherwise known as the Winter Soldier and the Falcon, who reappear on earth after the blip. Previously overshadowed by Captain America, these two characters now face the legacy of the shield. Bucky Barnes, now free of the Winter Soldier persona, sets out to right his previous wrongs, and asks for forgiveness. Sam Wilson gives the shield to the government, who introduce a new ‘Captain America’ as a symbol of the nation. While all this happens, a group of displaced people, called the Flag Smashers wish for the world to go back to the way it was, when half of the population was snapped, and there were ample resources for everyone who remained. As Wilson and Barnes reacquaint themselves with the world around them, they have to keep the Flag Smashers at bay, and preserve Steve Rogers’ legacy by taking the shield from the new Cap.
I enjoyed the dynamic between the characters; not quite friends, not quite colleagues, yet a cohesive team. We get a closer look at their personal lives too. Sam Wilson goes back to his childhood home, and deals with issues of his own. As aforementioned, Bucky Barnes is pardoned by the government, but has to navigate the world without the help of Steve for the first time. In my opinion, these glimpses into their lives, beyond the fighting and Avengers stuff is what makes it a lot more believable that these are people that could exist in a world like ours.
The show also has recurring political undertones, be it the Flag Smashers’ agenda, or the motif of the ‘Captain America’ mantle, now held by John Walker. While there is absolutely no doubt that the comics were definitely written with some sort of political agenda, the show is not too subtle with these themes, to the point where it seems almost unrealistic.
With some callbacks to previous movies, including a villain and a group of exceedingly powerful women, the show also had a slightly disappointing cameo with a character that is barely mentioned in the comics. The Flag Smashers were treated like a band of unruly teenagers until the very end, when the lives of government officials were on the line. And, just like ‘Wandavision’, the antagonist is dismissed, hinting towards no return in future releases.
While this show was definitely entertaining, it shows that Marvel really isn’t as good at making these series, as it is with movies. I understand that these are meant to set up the foundation for the next slate of films, but it is somewhat disheartening to see the last episode end on a vague and open page. I’m excited to see what happens beyond this show, but I missed the ethereal and somewhat disconnected wonder that was ‘Wandavision’. ‘
‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ is a fairly average show, with Marvel’s signature punch-and-kick action that keeps you hooked for the runtime of each episode, but leaves no lasting mark or memory. I’d recommend this to people who enjoyed the Captain America trilogy, and want to know more about what happens to the shield after it gets passed on.