After the weirdness of WandaVision, the Marvel Cinematic Universe returns to a more conventional footing with its second Disney+ series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Unfolding more like a six-hour movie than a six-part series, FAWS is essentially a buddy-cop-meets-Tom Clancy adventure following test–pilot–turned–Avenger Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and reformed assassin Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) as they deal with uncertainties and crises in a post-Blip, post-Steve Rogers, post-Tony Stark world. One such threat is the Flash Smashers, an anarchist group — with their own army of super-soldiers —who prefer the good ol’ days of the Blip. Along the way, Sam and Bucky meet a few allies and foes (the problem is, which is which?), both familiar (Emily VanCamp’s ex-SHIELD agent Sharon Carter; Daniel Bruhl as Captain America: Civil War baddie Helmut Zemo) and new (Wyatt Russell as the new and blonder Captain America; Erin Kellyman’s Karli Morgenthau, the Flag Smasher’s leader). Between the action stuff and chasing down the Flag Smashers (the aerial combat sequence in the first ep sets the bar so high that the rest of the series has trouble keeping up), the series also looks at the toxic impact of systemic racism and the dark side of nationalism, as well as the personal issues of Sam and Bucky. In quiet character moments, we see the former trying to make amends with the many people he’d killed as a brainwashed hitman while the latter is figuring out if he has what it takes to step out of Steve Rogers’ incredibly big shadow and be his own man. Here, we revisit some of our favourite moments from the first season. So be warned: Spoilers abound! If you haven’t seen The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, skip this and go read something else.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is now streaming on Disney+.