The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
Television TelevisionTalks

TelevisionTalks – The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Two things to start, if you want more episode to episode talk and stuff like that checkout my podcast, 10 Minute Marvel. And secondly, there will be spoilers coming up here for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

Spoilers Start Now

So, at this point in time, Marvel has put out two shows on Disney+. The first being WandaVision and now we’ve gotten The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Both of these shows focus on Avengers characters, but not the main four or so that we’ve seen a lot of. The Hulk had a movie, though it was Edward Norton, Captain America had three, Thor, three, and Iron Man had three movies. Plus they all played larger parts in the Avengers movies. We’ve only gotten to see bits and pieces of characters like Wanda Maximoff, Vison, Sam Wilson and to a less extent Bucky Barnes. So Marvel has taken an opportunity to tell us more about them.

What is the Story?

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier follows the exploits of Sam and Bucky as they both try and deal with the reality that Captain America is gone (whatever that means). For Sam it is about how he can pick up the shield that Cap gave him. And Bucky it is about making amends for his time as the Winter Soldier and growing beyond that past. Now, there is more to the story, but when you get down to it, that is the most important part of the story and the real focus. Both Sam and Bucky need to move past the shadow of Captain America and stand on their own.

What About Villains?

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
Image Source: Disney

There are of course villains along the way. Three groups that stand out. Firstly there is the GRC and John Walker. John Walker is basically whom the US government picks to take over as Captain America when Sam gives the shield away. Needless to say that doesn’t go well and there are run ins with him. There are the Flagsmashers who like how things were before everyone came back. And there is the mysterious power broker working in the background.

The Flagsmashers are really the main villains but they are not the most interesting villain. In fact, I think that John Walker as a rival is the most interesting villianish part of the series. John Walker isn’t even truly a villain though. He is more of an anti-hero. That is who he generally is in the comics as well. He’s the person who will take things too far or lose control versus truly wanting to be bad. And I give mad props to Wyatt Russell, he played that role perfectly.

But the Flagsmashers?

So, this is starting to get out there more. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier primarily filmed in 2019. You might remember that time as being before a pandemic. And part of what was filmed was there was a virus going around the GRC camps for the people who had come back from the blip. In the current version of the show, that was completely removed. There were minor hints, the Flagsmashers had stolen a vaccine, but beyond that pretty limited.

This removal and adjustment of everything didn’t do the series any favors. The Flagsmashers kind of lost their teeth. They didn’t have a reason for doing things, and the GRC came across as a bureaucratic organization is bad just because they are a bureaucratic organization. Trying to adjust on the fly for the show really caused the main villains to be more of a mess and the GRC to feel kind of tired in what they are.

Who Is Isaiah Bradley?

One of the main storylines for Sam and Sam picking up the shield and why it was hard to pick up. It wasn’t because of the Flagsmashers. It was Isaiah Bradley. I will say, this part of the show with Sam worked the best out of anything. Isaiah Bradley, the black Captain America basically. And how his story was so much different than that of Captain America. How when he did the same thing that Cap did, he got thrown into prison. How the government tried to cover up the experiments and how his life was broken because of what had happened.

It makes the weight of the shield that much more for Sam to pick up. But it also is then more hopeful when Sam does pick up the shield. Sam is a character who wants to change what has been done wrong and help those who have been wronged or are struggling. And he is able to do that with Isaiah Bradley in a very meaningful way for the character but also just in general in the show.

Other Odds and Ends

Zemo, why was he in this show? Besides just him dancing, the main reason he should be in everything, there is another reason. Zemo, most likely, is going to be in a group called the Thunderbolts. They might also get called the Dark Avengers. Basically a group of villains or anti-heroes often headed up by the likes of Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross. You might know what name from The Edward Norton film, The Incredible Hulk, and then again in Winter Soldier and Civil War. I am guessing that Val is helping Ross to set-up a Thunderbolts like team with US Agent, John Walker’s new hero name, Zemo, and some more characters who might be on the Raft with Zemo.

Falcon and the Winter Soldier Zemo
Image Source: Marvel

Then there is the Powerbroker. Right now we believe that the Powerbroker is Sharon Carter. I think in the end that will be true. I don’t think they are going to do a misdirect after the characters lay it out so well. But what was that. That part of the storyline was hot garbage. It was a mystery who the Powerbroker was, except it was somewhat obvious who they were setting up to be the Powerbroker. But it was then more of a mystery didn’t make sense for Sharon to be the Powerbroker.

Basically Sharon Carter went on the run in Civil War, no one has reached out to her, she is maybe dusted in the snap, and now six months later, she’s running an criminal organization in Madripoor, what? Most likely they are trying to set her up as a villain for the Armor Wars show, possibly being brainwashed and a deep sleeper of Hydra? But they did it so poorly in the story that no, just get rid of the Powerbroker from the show. Or make Sharon Carter a Skrull.

How Does This Compare to WandaVision?

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was what I expected it would be. It is more of a standard super hero fare. We saw more normal villains, there was less of a WTF is going on that happened with WandaVision, and more action throughout. However, because of the vaccine storyline being removed, and less of a clear vision on the show as a whole, I don’t think it is as good as WandaVision. I think there are some interesting parts to it, but for the most part, it is just average. The Sam Wilson/Isaiah Bradley stuff is amazing, John Walker is good. Bucky in general does a really good job. But the show lacked the tension and interest that WandaVision had.

So What’s Next?

Well, there are a number of interesting things that can come out of this. Like I said, I think Sharon Carter might be the main villain in the Armor Wars show. I hope that it turns out to be she was brainwashed by Hydra as a sleeper agent and just activated. But that’s one likely thing.

Then there is John Walker, US Agent, and Zemo, I think that both will end up being on a Thunderbolts team. I would like the Thunderbolts to get a Disney+ show, but they might be movie material. I could see that team being presented as a new Avengers type team and maybe cause the formation of the Young Avengers.

And we are getting a Captain America 4. That is going to be a movie with Sam Wilson Captain America taking the starring role. I am very interested in seeing what they’ll do with that movie.

Final Thoughts

This was not as good as show as WandaVision. And I am not sure it’s much watch Marvel content. Now, it is still really enjoyable, but if you are wanting to watch a show that matters for the movies, this one isn’t it. At the end of Endgame, everyone expects Sam to become Captain America, at the end of this Sam becomes Captain America. The main great thing you get from this is the Isaiah Bradley story and the introduction of his nephew Eli Bradley who is a Young Avenger. Otherwise, I don’t know what you’ll be missing too much. Now, if you are a Marvel fanatic like I am, there is a lot of good and a lot to be mined from the show. So if you love Marvel, watch it, if you go out of your way to see all the movies in theaters, watch it. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, it just isn’t as good as WandaVision.

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