Someone tell Disney+ that I need all the episodes at one time. I am not only inpatient but I am ready to see the storyline bloom. I had no idea what to expect from Falcon and the Winter Soldier and it seems each episode has me screaming it wasn't enough. The strong black lead, Sam Wilson, is definitely what drew me in but watching the small nuances of race intertwined throughout has me wondering if people see what is unfolding.
In the first episode, Sam is wrestling with what his place in the world will be as he mourns the loss of Captain America. Everyone expected him to assume the role since the shield was passed to him but he believes “It's someone else's. “We need new heroes suited for the world that we are currently in. The shield is more about the man who wore it” as he places it in the Smithsonian Museum.
The chat with Don Cheadle reminds me of a barbershop chat amongst brothers as they discuss the new world order and what is unfolding in race relations. The pain of his family going through financial turmoil feels familiar as we are reminded that although Sam is a superhero, he is still a black man.
Disney+ gives us six episodes of Falcon and the Winter Soldier and I don't think it's enough. We are teased with quick glimpses into the personal lives of Sam and Bucky. Sam has a sister and two nephews and Bucky has been released on a conditional pardon. The threat to the world is what starts their adventure!
The threat to the new world introduces us to John Walker as he becomes the “New Captain America” and no one is happy. He's annoying and up until this point in the series, did nothing notable. Early on he talks about not trying to be Steve but “the best Captain America” he can be. He almost tugs on your heart strings until his privilege shows through as he tries to make Sam his wingman. He is out for ultimate power. One has to wonder why the government didn't reach out to Sam to take on this role but in true form John already has a black sidekick, Lemar.
Who Called the Police?
We learn that there is a black super soldier, Isiah that was thrown to the trenches and he never got the chance “to choose who he wanted to be”. Living in a less than desirable area, he remains disconnected from the world purposefully because he was the subject of experiments and thrown in jail while they made a hero out of the white super soldier. The police show up and guess who is immediately questioned and asked for ID. They even ask Bucky is Sam is bothering him. You see them ease up when they realize who Falcon is but surprisingly Bucky is the one with an outstanding warrant.
The last episode had me excited as the Dora Milaje, Wakanda's all-female special forces group, make an appearance. Recall that Bucky spent some time in Wakanda getting his “Winter Soldier” programming remove and they gave him the vibranium arm. Needless to say their Black Girl Magic was visible. “The New Captain America” was brought to his knees as he underestimated and attempted to disrespect them.
With shield in hand or on hip, John Walker obviously thought he had some super powers as he proceeded to place his hands on Ayo's shoulder. This gesture suggested that he really thought she would bow down to him. If you watched Wakanda or have seen any Marvel episodes with the Dora Milaje then you know that they don't just walk into a room, they command the room and all attention is on them.
Despite the warning John persisted and the Dora Milaje obliged him.
How Will it End?
This series is entirely too short as there is so much more for them to explore and I am already anticipating a second season. In the end, I think Sam will ultimately take the shield and become Captain America. I can't wait to see how race is intertwined and maybe Isiah will get honor.
Where to Watch
Falcon and the Winter Soldier is only available on Disney+. Directed by Kari Skogland with Malcolm Spellman as head writer, the six-episode series stars Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Daniel Brühl, Emily VanCamp, Wyatt Russell, Erin Kellyman, Adepero Oduye, Amy Aquino and Danny Ramirez. The first four episodes of “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” are now streaming on Disney+. New episodes stream on Friday.