Falcon and the Winter Solider has been a solid series focusing on things that the Marvel movies seem hesitant to even give a mention, most specifically, race and racism. I’ve even seen some people take up the indefensible position that this series isn’t primarily about race even when words like “supremacy” and a straight up reference to the Tuskegee Experiment is dropped. It amazes me how stupid some people are willing to look to simply not even acknowledge a conversation about this.
While it has been a solid, seriously minded series, I get the feeling that it needed another episode or two to end in a satisfactory way. Granted, the ending was exciting and full of action, but it was also uneven and, at times, a little too preachy and wordy. It needed some extra time to wrap up character arches, give us more character moments… the moments that should have been in the finale, but the finale didn’t have time for.
I fully concede that the situation might have been out of the producer’s hands. The pandemic might have forced their hands and, if that’s the case, this is more of an act of God than act of man, but what we have is what we have and what we have feels abbreviated.
But, on to the good stuff. Can we talk about how awesome Sam looks as Captain America? The suit looks amazing, the wings look great, and I love the way that the wings compliment Sam’s lack of super soldier strength. While I think that the angular neck piece needs a little bit of work, I am so happy with the way our new Captain America looks and I cannot wait to see his further adventures.
I even like the way that John Walker was handled in the last episode. He wasn’t ever really the primary antagonist as I thought he would be, but rather just another character going through things — his own struggles and his own shortcomings. While I don’t think that he’s a great guy and he’s definitely got his own issues to work through, I do like the way that the finale handled his character and stayed true to his humanity, having him make the right choice between vengeance and humanity.
All in all, although I do feel disappointed with the way the series slid into home plate, Falcon and the Winter Soldier was a magnificent mini-series, spotlighting two often overlooked characters and using them to bring up important conversations, not only of race and privilege, but also PTSD and moving on from trauma.
The ending scene with Isaiah Bradley in the Captain America museum, knowing that his role in history was finally public, was beautiful. I cannot help but think that, had the series had one more episode, we could have had more moments like this to truly wrap up the show the right way.
I’ve loved all of the Captain America movies, and this (limited?) series feels like a continuation of those to me. Sam Wilson should be Captain America, of course—as any fan of Bronze Age Marvel comics would tell you. The whole John Walker/USAgent storyline (and Winter Soldier storyline, in fact) was after I dropped out of all comic book continuity, though I was aware of it through nerdmosis. This international intrigue/action-adventure-with-superheroes could only happen in this particular quadrant of the MCU, especially with Agents of SHIELD now a fond memory. Great series and great write!