The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Review


Courtesy of Disney Plus

All six episodes of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier are available on Disney Plus.

Editor’s Note: There’s many, many spoilers ahead. So if you haven’t watched The Falcon and the Winter Soldier yet and you intend on doing so, I strongly recommend you to stop reading and save this for later.


The final of the total six episodes of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Marvel’s latest TV show after Wandavision, was released on April 23rd on Disney Plus. After patiently waiting week after week, I’ve finished watching all six episodes, and I can only say that Marvel continues to impress.

Chronologically, the show starts off with how Bucky Barnes, aka the Winter Soldier, is coping after Endgame. He’s seeing a therapist as required by the government on condition of his pardon, but he’s still having nightmares about the innocent people he murdered as the Winter Soldier. The rest of the show continues to deal with what Bucky has to do and what he does to deal with this trauma, including telling the truth to the father of one of his victims. Furthermore, one of the main themes of the show is told through Bucky’s story as making amends isn’t about making yourself feel better but making the person who you’ve wronged feel better.

After Steve Rogers gives Sam Wilson, aka the Falcon, his shield in Endgame, Sam decides not to take up his mantle and legacy as “Captain America” but instead gives the shield away to the government with the intention of it being put up on display. Instead, the government gives the shield to John Walker, a decorated army veteran, who seems qualified enough, but is later seen to be entitled and hotheaded. Through Sam Wilson, the writers investigate what patriotism means to minorities even when the nation hasn’t treated them fairly. The writers also introduced Isaiah Bradley, who was an African American soldier in the Korean War and was imprisoned and experimented on for 30 years by the U.S. government. Through Sam and Isaiah’s conversations, the writers touch on the perennial race conflict in America, which are important topics to discuss especially with issues like police brutality and discrimination that continue to occur in America.

With John Walker, the show discusses the flaws and mistakes that even the most decorated soldiers can make. I don’t think that anybody liked John Walker at first. He seemed arrogant and like the completely wrong heir for Captain America. However, with Lemar Jackson (Battlestar) by his side, the audience could see that John Walker wasn’t all that bad as he was just a soldier trying to do his job, a job that seemed almost impossible: living up to the monumental legacy of Steve Rogers. After Lemar was murdered by Karli Morgenthau, who I’ll get to in a bit, Walker, full of rage, chases down the flag smasher that held down his best friend and violently murdered him with his shield in front of the public. I feel like this was the moment where Walker started to change because it’s after this incident that Sam and Bucky take the shield away from him and the government strips him of the title, “Captain America.” Some people have said that Walker is a bad guy, and they don’t like how the show makes him seem otherwise. To start, I think that Walker murdering the flag smasher in public was made a bigger deal because it was in public and it was John Walker. I don’t think Walker killing him was justified even with the death of his friend, but that moment serves as a way for him to redeem himself, which was what the show was trying to do. Walker is definitely a misunderstood character that people seem to hate because he’s not as upstanding as Steve. In the Senate meeting, the audience can see how Walker was really just a tool for the government, similar to Isaiah Bradley, as he just did what “they” told him to do. In the final episode, when Walker has to choose between saving the truck full of the government officials and getting revenge on Karli, he drops his shield roughly held together by his medals to try and save them, which was a great metaphor for his character. Overall, I think that the writers did a good job with Walker’s character arc although I did feel like the pacing and timing of his redemption felt a bit off.

Now, it’s time to talk about Karli Morgenthau. To be completely honest, I was disappointed. In her first few scenes, she seemed like a person who was genuinely trying to help others. But as the plot progressed and no clear villain seemed to pop up, she started to make some really bad decisions, like bombing a hospital and risking the lives of innocent civilians, who just weren’t “part of her fight.” I understand where the writers were coming from with trying to tell the story of how easily someone can be misguided with the wrong way of going about things. I also credit the writers for giving the audience insight into how the blip helped some people. But there just weren’t enough scenes. Maybe a flashback scene of her journey with the snap and the creation of the Flag Smashers. I know that the show cut out some scenes because it had to do with the pandemic, and it was bad timing. However, Karli and her movement just didn’t hold enough weight. In the finale, I did like how Sam addressed the members of the Global Reparation Council to actually fix the problems that Karli was fighting against.

Baron Zemo, last seen in Captain America: Civil War, teams up with Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes to stop the Flag Smashers. (Courtesy of Disney Plus)

I’ll also talk about some side characters, like Zemo and Sharon Carter. I really liked that Marvel brought Zemo back, and I thought that Daniel Bruhl, the actor for Zemo, did a great job. At first, I felt like Zemo was taken away from us too soon because he was such an integral part of the story with wanting to get rid of the super soldiers, but overall, I thought it was a good showing. For Sharon Carter, I thought she was another character that was underwritten. It turns out that she’s the Power Broker, and she’s actually selling superpowers on the black market. I understand that she felt betrayed by the government and S.H.I.E.L.D., but completely switching it up and becoming an evil villain felt a bit too extreme or too quick for me to process without enough background. Again, I feel like the show would’ve benefitted from flashbacks. Similar to Karli, I felt that Marvel needed to go deeper behind her motivations instead of trying to keep the Power Broker’s identity secret, which seemed kind of obvious.

Overall, the show exceeded my expectations. Maybe it was the fact that the show only had 6 episodes or it was the way that the show was set up, but it felt like a really long and extended movie. The actors and actresses were superb, especially Sebastian Stan in that Wakandan scene and Wyatt Russell throughout practically the entire show, and the writers did a good job with setting the show up for a new season and telling a good story that fits both chronologically in the MCU and in contemporary society.