tek's rating:

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, on Disney+
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So, at the end of "Avengers: Endgame", Steve Rogers gave Sam Wilson (aka Falcon) his shield, wanting him to become the new Captain America. In this series, Sam donates the shield to a museum exhibit about Steve, instead. And Sam continues his work as Falcon. Currently, this means trying to learn about and fight a group called the Flag Smashers, who want to eliminate national borders and make the world like it was during "the Blip" (the five year period during which half the world's population was nonexistent, following "Avengers: Infinity War"). Meanwhile, Bucky Barnes (formerly the Winter Soldier) is trying to adjust to life now that his mind has been freed from Hydra's control, and he's been pardoned for his past crimes. Part of that means mandatory therapy sessions with Dr. Christina Raynor (Amy Aquino), though he doesn't seem super willing to cooperate with her efforts to help him. And then, it's announced that the government has given the title (and shield) of Captain America to a soldier named John Walker, which neither Sam nor Bucky is happy about. Anyway, Bucky joins Sam in his pursuit of the Flag Smashers, and they're dismayed when the new Captain America and his sidekick, Lemar Hoskins (aka Battlestar) also get involved in that mission. Things get even more complicated when it turns out that several members of the Flag Smashers have superhuman strength (including their leader, Karli Morgenthau), apparently gained from the same serum that was used on Steve in "Captain America: The First Avenger". And Bucky reveals to Sam that the U.S. secretly had other super soldiers after Steve, including a man named Isaiah Bradley (Carl Lumbly), who unlike Cap, was treated like a criminal (and lab experiment) rather than a hero. And he wants nothing to do with Sam and Bucky.

In the third episode, Sam and Bucky are searching for leads on the super soldier serum, so Bucky breaks Baron Zemo out of prison so he can use his connections to help them. This eventually leads them to Madripoor, where they get some unexpected help from Sharon Carter (who is pretty badass). And Sam promises to try to clear her name so she can return to the U.S. someday. (Zemo and Carter were both previously seen in "Captain America: Civil War".) Meanwhile, John Walker and Battlestar believe Sam and Bucky are behind Zemo's prison break. And... eventually a few Dora Milaje, led by Ayo, show up and take Zemo into custody, delivering him to a high security prison called The Raft.

Beyond that, there are a bunch of plot developments that I don't want to spoil. Things change for Walker, for the worse. But he's then approached by a mysterious woman named Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), who has plans of her own for him. Things also change for Sam and Bucky, for the better. And the Flag Smashers are eventually stopped, though Sam tries to change the minds of members of the GRC (Global Repatriation Council), who are in charge of relocating the half of the world's population that was displaced by the Blip. (They're the group the Flag Smashers were ultimately fighting against.)

And I want to mention that the show gets a new title at the end of the episode. Actually, only half the title was changed, and I really would have liked the whole thing to be changed. But I won't spoil how it changes, anyway. Also, there's a mid-credits scene with Sharon Carter that changes things for her, but I can't really tell you if it's good or bad. I'll just say I'm not entirely pleased about it. And... I don't know what else to tell you. But it's certain that many of the events I've detailed here will impact future MCU movies, and it's likely that some events I haven't mentioned will also have an impact, so I'll probably have to spoil some things about this show later on, in reviews of future movies or series. Anyway, the whole series is pretty cool, with all the action and personal drama and humor, plus some good social commentary and nuanced ethical considerations.


superhero webseries index

Marvel Cinematic Universe
Phase One: Iron Man * The Incredible Hulk * Iron Man 2 * Thor * Captain America * The Avengers
Phase Two: Iron Man 3 * Thor: The Dark World * Captain America: The Winter Soldier * Guardians of the Galaxy * Avengers: Age of Ultron * Ant-Man
Phase Three: Captain America: Civil War * Doctor Strange * Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 * Spider-Man: Homecoming * Thor: Ragnarok *
Black Panther * Avengers: Infinity War * Ant-Man and the Wasp * Captain Marvel * Avengers: Endgame * Spider-Man: Far from Home
Phase Four: Black Widow * Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings * Eternals * Spider-Man: No Way Home *
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
short films: Marvel One-Shots
TV: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. * Agent Carter * Inhumans * Cloak & Dagger
streaming: Daredevil * Jessica Jones * Luke Cage * Iron Fist * The Defenders * The Punisher * Runaways * Helstrom
Disney+: WandaVision * The Falcon and the Winter Soldier * Loki * What If...? * Hawkeye * Moon Knight * Ms. Marvel