The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Ep 1 Review: Sam and Bucky traverse through chaotic present and tragic past

Updated on Mar 22, 2021 11:20 AM IST  |  287.5K
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Ep 1 Review: Sam and Bucky traverse through chaotic present and tragic past

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Ep 1

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Ep 1 Cast: Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Ep 1 Director: Kari Skogland

*SPOILERS ALERT* Upon watching the first episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, a unanimous question which one rarely thought about but now, it's all you can think of is; How do superheroes earn a living? Leaving out Tony Stark and even the original Avengers, who were mostly under the care of Iron Man, what about the rest of the warriors?

We get to see a staunchly humane side to our beloved yet criminally underrated Marvel characters Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), early on, in Disney+'s latest MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) series outing. In what seemed like a heavy appetiser with Ep 1, we're taken a little down the road to a few months after everyone was brought back from the 'Blip' seen in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. While Spider-Man: Far From Home was a homage to Iron Man and delved only a little into the repercussions of Thanos' evil misdeeds, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier gives a subtle yet emotional nod to Steve Rogers aka Captain America while giving us the honest aftermath of the 'Blip'.

For those who were wary of Steve passing on the shield to Wilson just need to watch the exhilarating rescue sequence taking place in the first 10 minutes of Ep 1 as Falcon flies through paragliding terrorists and countless missiles against unbeatable odds and an eventual 10-second deadline. "I can do this all day," is the narrative you're reminded of with Sam's riveting passion to fight the bad guys, even if it's by his lonesome self. We're also elated to see the new modifications to Falcon's suit especially with the addition of Redwing, able to blow up helicopters. It's hard to fathom that 2020 was a Marvel-less year at the theatres and this particular action scene is especially reminiscent of the high-octane adrenaline-boosting opening sequences we adore in MCU movies like Captain America: The Winter Soldier or Captain America: Civil War. There were definitely no compromises in the quality of what Marvel excels at; compact yet exhilarating thrills to keep you at the edge of your seat, sofa, bed?!

While there's plenty of frills to sink your teeth into, Ep 1 gives Wilson and Barnes their deserved due on the emotional quotient. With the 'Blip' wrecking havoc, we see the drastic effect it has on humanity with chaos at every corner. It's especially seen through Sam and his family; sister Sarah Wilson (Adepero Oduye), who has struggled financially taking care of her two kids and the family business all by herself during those five years when Sam was gone. It's the one poignant sequence at a bank where the bank teller fanboys over Falcon and takes a selfie but when it comes down to business, turns the other way and refuses to give Sam's sister a loan. Though extremely subtle, Marvel is trenching steadily into real-life socio-economic issues, especially in the matters of race. While Falcon is a celebrated superhero, Sam is still a Black man in America and its encouraging to see it being dealt with in a big scale project like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

There's also the inner battle writhing inside Wilson about carrying on his best friend's legacy. While he's of a differing opinion than that of Steve, you can't help but root for him to become the next Captain America. As a fan of the OG6 Avengers, seeing Wilson and Rhodey (Don Cheadle) dealing with the loss of their best friends is sure to leave you teary-eyed. Anthony's acting prowess is already well known as threading the line between being a badass superhero and a regular joe seems like second nature to him. Mackie as the titular character is something we need to see more of in the MCU.

On the other hand, we have Bucky, who has finally got a moment to actually fathom his tragic past. In what was poetic justice, the first sequence of Barnes in present time (barring his real-life nightmare) is him getting therapy. When the therapist, a war veteran, relays how he's finally free, Bucky's immediate response is, "To do what?" The sheer hell that Barnes has been through is indeed tragic because except for the calm in Wakanda, its always been a battle for him. Now, that he's free, he doesn't know how to cope. We also see Bucky fighting hard to go back to before being Hydra's brainwashed assassin. This includes making some friends and even going on dates. However, the past constantly lingers in his mind.

Sebastian's strongest suit as Bucky has been talking less and communicating through his eyes. This time, we get a lot of both, especially seen in the therapy session with the extreme close up shot on Stan's devilishly handsome face with witty dialogues, an MCU trademark. Bringing in 106 years worth of pain is no easy task, but Seb does it flawlessly. One thing that fans definitely want to see will be how Bucky is grieving Steve's death. Avengers: Endgame gave the Stucky bromance zero closure and in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Ep 1, we've only witnessed Sam dealing with Roger's loss. It's something we hope will be looked into.

As for the villains, we're introduced briefly to the Flag Smashers, a group who believes life was brighter during the Blip. Mere crumbs have been placed as we'll get introduced to the bad guys more, in detail, in the next few episodes. One is also left curious with the inclusion of the new Captain America, John F. Walker (Wyatt Russell) and what he will bring to the table.

ALSO READ: The Falcon & The Winter Soldier: Kevin Feige reveals why Marvel's much anticipated show has only 6 episodes

In conclusion, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Ep 1, unsurprisingly, didn't jump headfirst into Sam and Bucky teaming up because one has to understand, their only common denominator; Steve, is now dead. Given the animosity they share, it will be interesting to see how they finally do indeed team up, especially with the reveal that Wilson has been trying to contact Barnes. Moreover, these characters deserved their solo time to shine as well and Ep 1 uses emotional vulnerability to strike gold in leaving you invested not just in saving the day but in the characters themselves. For that, kudos to the head writer/creator Malcolm Spellman and director Kari Skogland. Kudos to Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan as well!