Marvel Studios’ second streaming series of Phase 4, The Falcon & the Winter Soldier, expanded the storylines of Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson as we know them. But what are some pros and cons? Here are 5 of each!
- Worst: Didn’t Think Out of the Box
Unlike its predecessor WandaVision, TFATWS lacked the creativity of thinking out of the box. It was quite easy to predict its big plot points (such as Sharon Carter revealed as the Power Broker & Sam becoming Captain America). Did it leave such serious suspense for viewers? Not exactly…unless they’ve always been big fans of Sam Wilson and Bucky.
- Best: Bringing the Dora Milaje Back
We haven’t seen the Dora Milaje in..let’s see, since Endgame? Wakanda’s royal protectors are often overlooked, but TFATWS put them into full action: swinging spears and showing justice and loyalty in the public, these women have proved that they are definitely not to be messed around with. Bringing them into the show finally gave them the focus they deserved while enhancing Bucky’s White Wolf status!
- Worst: The Flag Smashers Were Disappointing Villains
Karli Morgenthau was a complicated character who had a persistent good side that, sadly, often used bad tactics to obtain her understandable desires. But the Flag Smashers as a whole? Not impressive villains. In the end, they didn’t even turn out to be bad guys like the other MCU villains had shown themselves to be.
- Best: Left Plot Holes for Captain America 4
TFATWS did a good job leaving the right amount of plot holes for Captain America 4 to fill in. Sharon rejoining S.H.I.E.L.D. as Agent Carter only to steal and sell government secrets, Torres having Falcon’s wings in his possession, and Sam taking on all of the responsibilities of being Captain America are all mysterious storylines to be told in the future… We all can’t wait to see what will happen next!
- Worst: Val Doesn’t Make Too Much Sense
Val’s entrance into TFATWS immediately sparked Madame Hydra rumors and connections to the upcoming Secret Invasion. However, her storyline was too vague and didn’t really make any sense: as she helped John Walker become U.S. Agent while still acting suspicious, we do wish that her storyline was told in a bit greater detail.
- Best: Showed Bucky Can Be a Good Person Independent from Steve
Bucky was always reliant on Steve Rogers to stay stable in his life. Without his best friend, he could easily waver. But TFATWS demonstrated how Bucky could still be a good person without Steve around! Finally, he realizes that Steve Rogers won’t always be right there by his side to keep him on the good side.
- Worst: Character Building Slowed Everything Down
A lot of people realized that episodes 2 and 3 were, admittedly, kind of slow due to the character building of its titular characters. Besides Zemo being reintroduced over video cam and a little bit of action here and there, the story progressed without much excitement – it’s too bad the writers had to redo the plot so abruptly.
- Best: Displaying a Different Side of Sharon Carter
Sharon used to constantly exist as a kind agent to Steve Rogers, helping him out willingly on various missions. But that all changed after the government sent her on the run after stealing Cap’s shield and Falcon’s wings for the Avengers Civil War.
In TFATWS, that long-unanswered question of what she was doing all that time was finally addressed: making a living for herself in Madripoor as the Power Broker! Did S.H.I.E.L.D. even care to check her records before suddenly welcoming her back? They should have.
- Worst: Too Little Episodes
Even WandaVision had nine episodes! Fans found that TFATWS lacked a reasonable amount of installments in its first season – only six – disappointing the viewers, leaving them wishing there were more Friday Marvel movie nights. Was the story not fully finished by the writers when the series was due to be released, or was the original plan set on only six episodes?
10. Best: Emphasizing Race
Racism has always been a problem in the United States and in the world. Isaiah Bradley’s conversation with Sam brought out important truths: a prominent figure like Captain America is often imagined as a charming White guy with blond hair, blue eyes, and a muscular build. Did that stop Sam from taking on Cap’s mantle? Nope! Representing the truths behind the title – loyalty, bravery, and kindness – instead of the outward appearance, Sam proves that Steve was right to hand the shield to him.
Starring Anthony Mackie as Falcon/Sam Wilson, Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier, Daniel Bruhl as Baron Zemo, Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter, Erin Kellyman as Karli Morgenthau, and Florence Kasumba as Ayo, all episodes of The Falcon & the Winter Soldier are now streaming on Disney+!