“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” is another hit for the Marvel Cinematic Universe

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Photo credit: Disney

Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes plan a covert attack in “The Falcon and The Winter Solider.” All six episodes are now available to stream on Disney+.

Noah Sparkman, Staff Writer

Marvel Studios has once again extended its unprecedented winning streak with “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” crafting a six-episode miniseries that is almost as thematically satisfying as it is enjoyable to watch.
The series stars Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan as the titular duo. It also boasts Kari Skogland as the series’ director and Malcolm Spellman as showrunner. All six episodes are now available to stream on Disney+.
Similar to the MCU’s previous hit “WandaVision,” “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” revolves mainly around two characters that had been relegated to Captain America’s supporting characters in the past. Despite barely making a dent in the mainline “Avengers” films, Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes had always been fan favorites, but never got their time to truly shine.
However, with the ending of “Avengers: Endgame” positioning Wilson to take up the mantle of Captain America, the role of those two charactes was clearly about to change. “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” pushes them to the forefront with ease, forging chemistry between the two that is endlessly entertaining.
The fact that the duo works so well is naturally due to Mackie and Stan’s commitment to the roles. Mackie brings a sort of innocence to the role that fits the hero he is slowly becoming, while Stan’s previously haunted demeanor as Bucky Barnes gives way to a large amount of snark, giving the character much more of a soul than in previous entries.
Other returning characters like Daniel Bruhl’s Zemo and Emily VanCamp’s Sharon Carter also bring life to the series, with the former being a chronic scene-stealer in the early goings.
Some of the new characters are fantastic as well, most notably Wyatt Russell’s John Walker, whose turn as the antagonistic new Cap often invigorates the show’s drama.
However, not all of the new characters are as enticing as the others. Karli Morgenthau and her band of Flag Smashers are dead on arrival. Their goal to return the world to its pre-Snap state is nonsensical, and Morgenthau’s character is frankly annoying as she screams and cries her way through the events of the show.
This failure is emblematic of the show’s writing, which is hit or miss. The major misses of the show are the Flag Smashers, as Spellman tries to convince the audience that they are simply misguided souls with a good cause.
However, after watching them carry out the amount of terrorist attacks that they do throughout the show, it simply becomes tiring when the audience is once again preached to about how noble the cause is.
It is unfortunate that the Flag Smashers are such a large portion of the ensemble because the rest of the many moving pieces are truly compelling. The series takes every opportunity to delve into the concept of duty, as well as what it means to be a hero.
The show effortlessly recaptures the intriguing social commentary that the “Captain America” films offered, but with more obvious real world parallels this time around. This is most notably portrayed through the character of Isaiah Bradley, a former Black Captain America who was erased from history by the American government.
Touching on matters like police brutality, systemic racism and more, makes it finally feel like this world has been translated to our own, and the show becomes all the more interesting for it.
What is still larger than life, however, are the action sequences. Skogland directs them meticulously, with the thrilling hand-to-hand of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” making a glorious return here.
However, what will ultimately make this show enjoyable for viewers is the growth the characters show in the series. Both Wilson and Barnes have clearly come a long way from their first on-screen appearances by the end of the series, and the peace they find will satisfy many viewers.
By the end of the series, the teasers for their future, as well as the future of other now-beloved characters, will have many fans excited for what is to come for this franchise.
Despite minor annoyances, the series stands as yet another extremely entertaining entry into the vast catalogue, and fans will be very satisfied with what they find here.