A Review of Episode 1 of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, “New World Order”
There is a small spoiler in one paragraph, it is noted in bold. Otherwise, spoiler-free, including the two quotes!
Truly, I love me some Sam Wilson and do I love me some Bucky.
This episode does a solid job re-introducing us to two heroes we’ve been missing for awhile.
It shows Sam Wilson being hella important right off the back, which is exactly what we all needed, as well as showing he’s fully capable in great hand-to-hand combat. The cool sh*t he does with his Falcon suit for self-defense is fun to watch as well! We are finally getting what the original films couldn’t give us: Sam in his element.
(But while Sam is kicking a**, this dude decides that he’s gotta stop fighting, pound his chest at least 2 times, and remind people HES tough. Like, what was that?? )
“You don’t get to come back and try to right your wrongs because you couldn’t deal with what was going on here” -Sarah Wilson
And yet, while Sam is in his element in action scenes, he’s clearly out of his element when it comes down to just being himself. He’s still torn about Steve giving him THE shield. He’s desperately trying to make sure his family, in particular his sister Sarah, can keep their family’s possessions together. He’s desperate to know what is his and who he is.
(Side Note: Props to Adepero Oduye in this episode, who plays Sarah Wilson, because my god is she fantastic. I’ll take a show with her as a lead please.)
“I had a little calm in Wakanda, but other than that, I just went from fight to fight, for 90 years” - Bucky Barnes
When Bucky comes in, you see that he’s in a different yet similar boat (hah, pun if you’ve
seen the episode)- while Sam wants to make up for being gone during The Blip, Bucky is trying to make amends for all the people he’s hurt over the years. And he’s struggling, particularly with nightmares. Bucky has more amends to make, and it’s hard to watch him suffer while he tries to figure out how to make amends to a friend he deeply cares about, and deeply and unforgivingly hurt. Yet -SMALL SPOILER- he is going to therapy! I appreciate that they show his progress is slow and not without relapse and make this- fairly- realistic (everyone has different experiences with therapy). Furthermore, I really enjoyed how real the therapist was here. She didn’t bullsh*t him, but she also didn’t just say sh*t to say it. The portrayal of this therapist being a real human while also being a professional honestly trying to help Bucky was great, so props to the writers and the actress who plays her. It adds additional depth to Bucky’s incredibly real, long-standing trauma.
I truly enjoyed the character stories for Sam and Bucky, but, I gotta say, the plot surrounded by the military operations and such? Couldn't care less about it, but it does bother me with their portrayal of the military and other countries that aren’t the USA. That said, this is not a new problem in the MCU; it’s been a problem since the first Iron Man film. It’s hard for me to go into more details about this element without spoilers. What I will say, though, about the overarching plot of this episode, is that this show carries over a theme from WandaVision: exploring the impact The Blip had on everyone. While I enjoy seeing them take this seriously and make it realistic (especially in Sam’s specific case), I’m cautiously waiting to see what they are going to do with all this- particularly with a new theme that comes up: “The World Was Better During The Blip”.
Is this show going anywhere worthwhile?
I truly watched this for the characters and action, not the plot, and that’s what continues to hold my attention. It’s clear to me that this show is going to take its time exploring why Sam DOES deserve the mantle of Captain America, why Bucky DOES deserve redemption, and why Sam and Bucky make a hell of a team. It’s going to be GLORIOUS when we see Sam Wilson take back that shield (calling it now, he is our Cap!), and it’s going to be tons of fun when we finally see them working together. I just know it. If you're expecting a mind-blowing plot or something completely out of the box like WandaVision, this episode doesn't hit those beats. However, if you’re here for the characters and some good action, you’ve got it.
Your Friendly Neighborhood Bi gives this:
3 out of 5 Finger Guns
(Because I’m bi)
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