[Episode Review] THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER
THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER l Courtesy of Disney+
Recently, I was lucky enough to check out the first episode of the upcoming live-action series, THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER. Originally set to air in August of 2020, but was pushed back after filming was delayed due to COVID, the time has now arrived for Falcon and Winter Soldier to soar in their own 6-part series.

In THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER, all eyes are on the shield, as Sam Wilson aka The Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes aka The Winter Soldier decide to team up – or rather, work together – when a new global threat launches them into an unexpected mission that may hit too close to home.

The series opens with viewers getting a peek into what Sam and Bucky have been up to after the events of Avengers: Endgame. Along with his continued work “helping” the government, we are also introduced to Sam’s family in Louisiana, most notably his sister Sarah Wilson (Adepero Oduye), which gives us insight into their brotherly/sisterly relationship and the tension that comes from having a sibling that is also an Avenger. Meanwhile, Bucky has found himself in therapy, working through the PTSD he experienced during his time with Hydra. From what I’ve gathered in the first episode, it looks like family, grief, and trauma are going to be prevalent storylines that will be intertwining throughout the series.

(L-R): Falcon/Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) in Marvel Studios’ THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. ¬©Marvel Studios 2020. All Rights Reserved.

Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie slide back into their familiar roles with ease. But what I was interested in knowing more about were the villains. The first episode doesn’t give us too much information in that regard, but we are introduced to a character known as Flag-Smasher. Decked out in a dark mask with a signature red handprint, these individuals believe that life was better during the blip. We do get to see some action from Flag-Smasher and their followers, but what that means for the series overall is something that only time will tell.

The most impressive aspect of the first episode is definitely the special effects that are used. One of the scenes that unfolds features Falcon and a slew of parachuters taking on a challenging fight in a display of visual mastery. I’m not a technical wizard but, from what I understand they used StageCraft. This was used on The Mandalorian, and it is a massive screen that displays a live image behind the actors. I actually found myself a little woozy watching how everything played out because it felt so real, even on a small TV screen.

It’s hard to be critical of a series when you’ve only watched one episode but, with this series following that of the acclaimed WandaVision, I can’t help but feel like the first episode was lacking creativity. That said, I’m aware that they are both VERY different series, but my engagement level wasn’t nearly as high as it was for WandaVision. Nevertheless, for those who had a harder time getting into WandaVision and its execution-style, they may find that THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER is more their speed. However, I don’t know what the rest of the series holds, so there’s a chance that the remaining five episodes will be just as exciting.

Overall, I think THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER has a lot of potential. Fans are going to be walloped by the ending of the first episode, which, if we are being honest here, I’m excited to see what people think. I’m looking forward to seeing more impressive special effects as well as a deeper dive into these characters as they explore life without Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, by their side.

THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER will begin streaming exclusively on Disney+ tomorrow, March 19.

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