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‘Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ elevates the superhero genre to new heights

‘Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ elevates the superhero genre to new heights

‘Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ elevates the superhero genre to new heights
April 29
13:30 2021

We have made it to the end of yet another Marvel Cinematic Universe series. I wrote a review giving my thoughts on the first episode of the show here. All six episodes have been released to the public and can be watched on Disney+, and now that we have made it to the finish line, I can officially say this is one of my favorites Marvel projects.

Each cast member shines in their own special way. Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan absolutely crush it as Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes. Wyatt Russell and Erin Kellyman play equally different yet complex villains. Russell plays John Walker, who is the most hateable character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date, but I mean that in the best way possible. His constant tone-deaf microaggressions make him out to symbolize what America really is, while Sam Wilson represents what America should strive to be. Kellyman plays Karli Morgenthau, who is the leader of the Flag Smashers, a group of people who were failed by their governments after the turmoil of Thanos killing half of the universe truly set in. Karli believes she is doing the right thing, but her violent progressions for equality only get her and her group labeled as terrorists by the same governments that failed them. We also get reappearances from actors like Daniel Brühl and Emily VanCamp, who play Baron Zemo and Sharon Carter. If I am being transparent, both Zemo and Carter end the show with more doors being open, rather than shut, leaving a lot of room for their characters to expand in future projects.

What puts this show miles above so many other titles is the fact the message can relate to people on a personal level. Sure, watching Rocket Racoon and Groot blow up aliens in space is absolutely great, but a show like this can be used to show how divided this country truly is. Isaiah Bradley, played by Carl Lumbly, is one of my favorite characters in the show. He once took on the mantle of Captain America when Steve Rogers was frozen, after the events of the first Captain America movie, and instead of being treated like America’s number one hero, Bradley was given the exact opposite treatment. We see him and Sam have discussions about how the world would feel about a Black man being Captain America, and how the shield represents a country that does not look out for those who are oppressed. These ongoing conversations lead to Sam having one of the best arcs I have seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and he is easily one of my favorite characters right now. Sam is in the perfect place once the show ends, and I would not change a single thing. Having Sam Wilson as Captain America is the representation we need, and seeing all the reactions on social media has been one of the best payoffs of the whole show.

I wish I could say the same for Bucky. The finale is the only time when I felt like his character was put off to the side. The show did such a brilliant job of perfectly balancing their stories, and at the end of it all, I just wish Bucky could have had a couple more minutes of screen time to perfectly end his story. I know the end of the show was meant to fully focus on Sam becoming Captain America, but Bucky plays such a crucial role in what makes Captain America a symbol of hope. I also don’t agree with him keeping the Winter Soldier name, because his whole character arc is about forgetting that version of him in the past. I am on board for anything these two are in. Their dynamic is so captivating, I could watch them put together IKEA furniture and be just as entertained.

This show will stand the test of time, and it is a show that brings attention to social issues we have in real life. Some feel that the ending was a bit sloppy, and there were some weird character choices, but half of the time we have no idea what is being taken into account when these shows are being edited down to fit their run time. This show is an absolute blast, and it is so easy to have a good time, but it also asks that you listen to what it has to say. These characters may be fictional, but the problems they are dealing with are extremely real. Covering topics like mental health and systematic racism may seem too heavy for a show about a guy with a metal arm and a man in a bird suit, but when it is all said and done, this is one of the best Marvel projects ever released. Sam Wilson is Captain America and seeing it fleshed out gave me one of the biggest smiles imaginable.

Final rating: 4.75/5

Courtesy Disney+

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Jaden Oberkrom

Jaden Oberkrom

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