Monday, March 22, 2021

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: Early Thoughts

Full disclaimer: This is not my bag. 

Let's talk about genre for a second.. 

Genre is that division that tells a consumer of media what they can expect from whatever they're about to consume. It's the thing that makes me skip the latest family sitcom because prior experience has told me that I don't like family sitcoms, and the same thing that makes me immediately interested in the latest horror anthology to hit Netflix. 

Marvel has mastered genre in its long years dominating the big screen. Superhero movies are too broad a category to lump the MCU into, since Guardians of the Galaxy was a space comedy and Thor was an epic fantasy opera. It appears that the Disney+ shows are following suit, with WandaVision being a fantasy/horror mix with heavy pop culture references, and now The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is a Tom Clancy/24 military thriller where the participants happen to have robot wings and arms. 

Military thrillers are not my bag. 

That ALL being said, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier's first episode wasn't a bad experience. 

Okay, throat sufficiently cleared, let's get into the review. 

A Post-Blip World

Like WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier takes place months after Avengers: Endgame, where everyone who was taken away by Thanos's snap returned thanks to Tony Stark. Although the world is celebrating the reuniting of families and a return to a semblance of normal, chaos is threatening to tear the world apart as the population has effectively doubled once again. The political climate is a hotbed of problems, and luckily the government has the Falcon to help sort it out, because nothing helps political instability settle down faster than a man with robot wings. 


Outside the military, Bucky Barnes is trying to cope with living in a not only post-blip world, but a post Winter Soldier world. He is plagued with PTSD of his former life, and the confusion of being 100+ years old but never experiencing the world around him outside of assassination missions. This doesn't mean he can't have awesome high-octane fight scenes with his robo arm, it just means that they're relegated to flashbacks to back when he was the most dangerous man on earth. Bucky is now trying to find his place in the world while making up for all the harm he's done to it. 

The New Cap

The first episode doesn't give us much to go on regarding the overarching plot of the series, just buildup and hints at what's to come, but one of the show's biggest talking points is who is going to be the next Captain America. Falcon decided to donate the shield to the Smithsonian, not believing he was worthy to wield it, but the government turns around and gives the shield to the world's most punchable face and calls him the new Captain. As of the end of the episode we have no idea who this guy is and what makes him worthy of the title, but I'm sure we'll find out in the weeks to come. 

Again, Not My Bag

Like I said, overall I enjoyed the show despite it being far from my wheelhouse of usual media consumption. Bucky is a compelling character that I fell in love with in Captain America: Winter Soldier but the genre just isn't one I get excited about. Fans of the MCU who just want more and probably fans of the espionage military world will probably love it, but anyone who wanted more WandaVision is going to be disappointed to find something very different, and this time we can't blame Agatha. 


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