The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Ep.1 Review

The latest Marvel series to make an appearance on Disney+ is The Falcon and the Winter Soldier which began streaming the first episode March 19. Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie star as the titular characters. A general warning: do not read if you don’t want any part of Episode 1 spoiled for you.

Episode 1, titled New World Order begins with some familiar faces and a callback to Avengers: Endgame. Although Steve Rogers gave the shield, and by extension the mantle of Captain America, to Sam Wilson (The Falcon, Mackie), he still seems to be struggling with accepting the shield. Then it transitions to something Marvel excels at, a fight scene. The first ten minutes of the episode seem to be very dedicated to this scene and helps the rest of the episode flow. Marvel fight scenes are always well choreographed and include witty dialogue which aids in lessening its seriousness.

After this fight scene, we are introduced to a couple main points of conflict that will be present throughout the season. Sam’s struggle with the shield and accepting the Captain America mantle will be very present along with the introduction of the Flag Smashers, a group that wants to unify the world without borders. 

Throughout this episode, it seems clear that one of Sam’s main issues with accepting the shield is based in race. The episode does a good job of emphasizing the racial undertones present when Sam decides to donate the shield to the Smithsonian and he is told he “made the right choice.” It continues to be present throughout the episode as Sam attempts to get a loan to help out his family business and prevent it from going under and is rejected, even with his status as an Avenger. With the current state of the United States, it is important for parts of it to be reflected in the media we consume, and so far Marvel has not disappointed.

Now this is called The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, so what is the Winter Soldier up to? It seems that everyone’s wish has come true and Bucky Barnes (Stan) is finally in therapy. In the episode we can see Bucky struggle with nightmares from his days as an assassin for HYDRA and his struggle to fit in with the rest of the world. His experience in therapy is incredibly important to his development as a character as he is finally accepting help, at least to a point. 

This episode ends on the cliffhanger of the introduction of a new Captain America, who is otherwise known as John Walker or U.S. Agent, a prominent character in the comics. I won’t pretend to know what will happen in the next episodes, but this introduction is surely the start of something complicated and awesome.