The Falcon and the Winter Soldier basically takes place where Avengers: Endgame left off. Steve Rogers as Captain America has stepped down, leaving his shield to Sam Wilson/The Falcon/the (rumored) future Captain America. And on a superficial level, that’s about where it ends: Sam Wilson has the shield and is expected to take up the mantle of Captain America.
But, oh the story it tells along the way.
On one hand, you have the dynamic between titular Falcon and Winter Soldier. Brought together by their respective friendships with Captain America, it’s quite often hilarious listening to them bicker. They really do respect and care about one another, and that makes the bickering all the better.
On another, you have another dive into just how screwed up the fallout of half the world’s population disappearing… and then coming back would be. What happens if your wife disappears and you remarry? What happens when someone else has moved into your house? Your assets? Kids who’s families have disappeared. We’ve had a few hints of fallout in the movies (Spider-Man mostly so far), a bit more in WandaVision, but it’s not something that you really can deal with in a movie. So the Falcon and the Winter Soldier is a perfect place to deal with it–and let me tell you, people are angry.
On a third (yeah, I know, just deal with it), one thing that the Falcon and the Winter Soldier really starts to get into is the dynamic of black history and America. It asks the truly relevant question: what would it mean for a black man to wear the stars and stripes, to become a symbol of America. It’s not an easy question but it’s a question worth asking. And F&WS (that’s a long title…) doesn’t have all the answers, but at least it tries.
Overall, there’s a lot to love in this series. I love the aforementioned dynamic between the main characters. Zemo: surprisingly hilarious. A number of really intense fight scenes–you can see that Marvel is actually putting some serious money into their TV showings. Digging into issues a two hour movie can’t really deal with.
If there are any particular negatives to lament, one would be that the show wasn’t quite as much a ‘buddy cop’ show that the trailers made it seem. It’s a solid show, don’t get me wrong. It just tends to be a bit more serious than I expected. Other than that, the ending was a bit weak. A powerful speech, but the idea that it will actually change anyone’s minds? Meh.
Overall, a solid entry into the Marvel Universe, well worth the watch.