“The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” Brings MCU Action to the Small Screen

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A new uniform, a new shield, a new Captain America? The newest Marvel T.V. show, “Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” should cover all of this and dive deeper into, what once were side characters, and are now leaders of the New Avengers.

The show picks off around the same time as “WandaVision,” which just released its final episode on March 5, approximately three months after “the blip.” For those unfamiliar with “the blip,” it’s the five-year time period after Thanos’ snap before the Avengers were able to bring back the 50% of people that were wiped out. However, Natasha Romanov/Black Widow, Tony Stark/Iron Man, and Steve Rodgers/Captain America are all still gone.

“Falcon and The Winter Soldier” is the second show in the MCU’s newest phase. “WandaVision” kicked off phase four with a sitcom-action mix that fans received well. The finale saw Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch battle it out with Agnes/Agatha Hargreeves before fans were left with an end credits scene where Wanda was flying through pages of an old book. I believe that we were able to see Wanda learning about her magic from old texts she might have taken from Agatha. After seeing Wanda walk back into the house, we see another version of her in her Scarlet Witch get-up, floating and casting runes. 

Where does Marvel go from there? With no renewal for season two of WandaVision and Olsen confirmed to be on “Doctor Strange 2,” I think it’s reasonable that we may only be seeing her in upcoming movies playing a leadership role for the new generation of Avengers. One of these possible “New Avengers” is John Walker. 

Warning: everything I’m about to say is a theory and I won’t be held responsible for possible spoilers. Back to our scheduled programming. 

According to the comics, John Walker was a super fan of Captain America’s (we’ll clarify and call him Steve Rodgers), but also highly critical. When Steve disagreed with an agreement made by superheroes with the government, he turned in his shield and the U.S. government asked Walker to step up. So far we can see how the MCU would adapt this to fit in the next phase.

This is where things get a little more complicated. In the comics, Walker is much more impulsive and eventually more aggressive than our American Sweetheart Steve Rodgers ever was. This leads to his capture by Flag-Smasher, and eventually, his hanging up of the uniform for Steve to step back into, while Walker turns into U.S. Agent. Some fans believe that this means Steve could still be alive since we never actually saw him pass, but I think it’s safe to say that he’s not coming back. 

Flag-Smasher is a villain who we’ve already met in the first episode when an Air Force buddy of Sam Wilson/The Falcon calls. That buddy then tells Sam he disobeyed orders and went into action, meeting Flag-Smasher. Sam then sees that the government has named a new Captain America against Steve Rodgers’ last wish for Sam to take over the gig. The question then lies, will Sam try and reverse the decision or stick with his new life of being a civilian and aiding the government when necessary?

I think it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise if Sam does nothing to stop Walker’s promotion as the series opens up with Sam turning in the shield and turning the job down. We then follow his life as he returns home to New Orleans from his superhero work as the Falcon. We meet his sister and nephews and hear about his deceased father and his relationship with the town. Sam tries to help his sister keep their boat and business but banks won’t even give loans to superheroes after the chaos of the blip. 

In the middle of episode one, we got to see how Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier’s adapting and some possible foreshadowing for later episodes. Bucky relives a nightmare from his time under Hydra and then goes to a therapy session where we learn he hasn’t been talking to Sam, one of the only people he should be able to trust. 

He then goes out with one of his elderly friends (he is 106 after all) who sets him up on a date. On the date, she asks questions he can’t answer (at least without a lengthy explanation of his whole life story) which triggers some trauma and guilt he’s been holding. Bucky then leaves, presumably to go deal with that trauma, but never does. 

This is the only section we see Bucky in, and he and Sam are never together. I’m assuming that they will eventually team back up to help Walker fight Flag-Smasher but only time will tell. I think we can expect a lot more action than WandaVision offered, but that also comes with fewer easter eggs and fan theories. While there are three fewer episodes than WandaVision, I personally can’t wait to see what the MCU has up their sleeve, for Wanda, Sam, and Bucky’s futures as leaders, not side characters.

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