New World Order: The Falcon And The Winter Soldier – Disney+ Talk
After the fantastic ‘Wandavision’, Marvel’s next show to be released on Disney+ is ‘The Falcon And The Winter Soldier’. This show follows James ‘Bucky’ Barnes (a.k.a The Winter Soldier) and Sam Wilson (a.k.a The Falcon) after the events of ‘Avengers: Endgame’ just like ‘Wandavision’ did. Very long title aside, this was a show that I was not particularly interested in. After the unique format and narrative structure of ‘Wandavision’, the next show in the Marvel schedule felt like just another typical action-packed project.
However, while that won’t be a breath of fresh air, hopefully Bucky and Sam’s frenemy relationship will be. This is an aspect that I am looking forward to with this show. The Falcon is another character that I feel was poorly handled in the films, in terms of writing, while Bucky’s emotional arc is interesting and unique. And now that the first episode is here, it’s time to see if this show was worth waiting for or not.
Episode 1, titled ‘New World Order’, continues after the events of The Blip and reintroduces Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson as they adjust to a normal life.
Like ‘Wandavision’, this episode gives viewers a less joyful perspective to The Blip: This is mainly evident with Sam’s story arc as he attends Captain America’s funeral (addressing that the new, messy, world has more criminals now than in the last five years) and reunites with his sister Sarah and tries to keep hold of their family boat. I’m glad Marvel are highlighting the less pleasant side, and more grounded, reality to the major event as it highlights circumstances that viewers weren’t shown in the films. The arc around their boat, ‘Paul & Derlene’ is a fantastic case of showing how the people affected by The Snap/Blip are living compared to the people who were snapped and brought back.
Sam wants to keep the disintegrating boat, while Sarah had to deal with loss and so wants to sell it because she wasn’t emotionally ok to discover new memories with it. While they have opposite arguments, both of them make sense: For Sam, it was like he was only gone for a second, so still has an attachment to the boat, while Sarah doesn’t anymore. It’s a fantastic way to showcase the victims’ different view on the world now.
The episode also continues Bucky’s story and deals with his PTSD. While I feel that Bucky’s main arc is completed, this aspect, the human side, is one that I find interesting. The Marvel films are one of the only examples that show the aftermath and effects of a mind control victim, which is unique and fascinating. And it has damaged him, as we see him attending therapy sessions to try and adjust back to a long-awaited normal life. It also deals with the repercussions of his actions when he was under Hydra’s control. Whilst Bucky and Sam’s circumstances are different, their sense of loss is what they have in common, and this episode portrays that beautifully.
Overall, this was a good introduction to ‘The Falcon & The Winter Soldier’. While it does open with a clunky edited fight sequence, it then tells the story of two superheroes who are dealing with a different type of loss and the aftermath of the major events that are shown in the films. This means that the episode is more grounded and is more level-headed in terms of its plot: the stakes to save are not the world now; it’s individual human lives and relationships.
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