‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier:’ That’s it. That’s the tweet
Sophia Michetti | Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Warning: “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” spoilers ahead!
Looking back to six weeks ago when I started watching “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” I was a bit hesitant to say the show would be one of Marvel’s finest. I asked myself, “How could Marvel outdo the masterful sitcom gold that was ‘WandaVision?’” “Am I really going to enjoy a six-hour movie about a man with mechanical wings and another man with a metal arm traveling the world to fight young, techy terrorists?” “How iconic can Zemo really be?” The answer — I now know — is that yes, this will be one of the most glorious six-hour cinematic experiences of your life.
One of the many elements that struck me about this limited series was the parallels between scenes in “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” and previous Marvel movies. Some were iconic, like Sam asking Bucky to move his seat up. Some were comedic, like Bucky eating dirt after jumping out of a plane, while Steve Rogers seemed to miraculously land effortlessly whenever he jumped from high places in previous movies. And of course, we all remember the ending of episode four with the striking parallel between John Walker’s Captain America using the shield to attack that Flag-Smasher and Steve Rogers using the same shield to attack Tony Stark in “Captain America: Civil War.” The scenes were similar, but there is clearly a difference in the characters of both men.
Wyatt Russell’s performance as fake Captain America John Walker is one that I like to compare to Imelda Staunton’s performance as Professor Umbridge in the “Harry Potter” franchise — he’s a character I love to hate. John Walker is an egotistical, brooding soldier given power by the government, but he also shows that it’s the government that inflated his ego in the first place. The choices he made during the show, especially the choice in that one scene I mentioned with the graphic, public killing of the Flag-Smasher who was innocent of what he was accused of, were horrendously unheroic, but the show’s writing makes you wonder how he got to be so much of a jerk in the first place.
But that’s another central theme of the show: relying on others. As humans, we are more dependent on each other than we like to think. In a more practical sense, Karli and the Flag-Smashers are rebelling against world governments because they are not receiving the assistance they need to live safe and secure lives. However, Bucky and Sam’s story show that we need to rely on each other mentally as well. Bucky and Sam’s rapport was wild, witty and wonderful, but it was also one of the sweetest bromances ever to grace television. Their relationship demonstrates how the most unlikely of friends can give each other peace of mind if they are willing to open up to each other.
I could not in good conscience write this article without acknowledging Isaiah Bradley. One of the final scenes where Sam shows Isaiah his statue recognizing his heroic actions in the Smithsonian Museum sent chills throughout my entire body, and his inclusion in the show represents today’s need for telling the untold stories of Black and other minority voices. Scene Writer Christine Hilario wrote a stellar article about racial commentary in “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” midway through the show’s release, and this season’s commentary ends beautifully between a Black super soldier from the 20th century and our modern Captain America.
It’s official, folks — we have a new and worthy Captain America. Sam Wilson came in looking fly (haha, get it?) in his new Wakandan suit, and his first public speech as the newest major superhero on the block about labels and recognizing the humanity in everyone we meet sealed the deal on Sam Wilson taking on the role of America’s hero. We all saw the potential in him as he tried to reason with Karli and make her see that while her intentions were good, her actions were not, and this just made the finale episode all the more satisfying. The official Captain America Twitter page changed with the release of the final episode, and I can’t wait to see how the rest of the Marvel Universe reacts to this epic new beginning.
Show: “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” Season 1
Starring: Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Daniel Brühl
Favorite Episodes: “The Star-Spangled Man,” “The Whole World Is Watching”
If you like: “WandaVision,” Marvel movies
Where to watch: Disney+
Shamrocks: 5 out of 5