november nouveau: the falcon and the winter soldier

THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER

Who will wield the shield?

THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER (2021) is an American television six-episode miniseries created by Malcolm Spellman. It is based on Marvel Comics characters Sam Wilson/Falcon and Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier. Created for the streaming service Disney+ it is the second television series in the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) produced by Marvel Studios. It shares continuity with the Marvel films, taking place after AVENGERS ENDGAME (2019) and stars Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Wyatt Russell, Erin Kellyman, and Adepero Oduye. 

Cast

Anthony Mackie as SAM WILSON/FALCON

Sebastian Stan as JAMES “BUCKY” BARNES/WINTER SOLDIER

Wyatt Russell as JOHN WALKER/CAPTAIN AMERICA

Erin Kellyman as KARLI MORGENTHAU

Danny Ramirez as LIEUTENANT JOAQUIN TORRES

Georges St.-Pierre as BATROC

Adepero Oduve as SARAH WILSON

Don Cheadle as JAMES “RHODEY” RHODES/WAR MACHINE

Daniel Bruhl as HELMUT ZEMO

Emily VanCamp as SHARON CARTER

Florence Kasumba as AYO

Julia Louis-Dreyfus as CONTESSA VALENTINA ALLEGRA DE FONTAINE

Cle Bennett as LEMAR HOSKINS/BATTLESTAR

Carl Lumbly as ISAIAH BRADLEY

  1. NEW WORLD ORDER

The Falcon was given the mantle of Captain America by Steve Rogers but struggles with the idea and instead gives the shield to the government as a museum display. The Winter Soldier attends government mandated therapy. U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Joaquin Torres witnesses a terrorist group known as the Flag Smashers rob a bank in Switzerland. The government announces a new Captain America (John Walker) and gives him the shield. 

  • THE STAR-SPANGLED MAN

Winter Soldier tells the Flacon that he should have kept the shield. They go to Munich, where Karli Morgenthau and the Flag Smashers are stealing medicine. Our heroes fight the group but get their butts kicked because they are all super-soldiers. The new Captain America and Battlestar arrive and join in. The Flag Smashers escape. Captain America wants to work with the Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but they turn him down. In Baltimore, Winter Soldier introduces Falcon to Isaiah Bradley – a super-soldier who fought Winter Soldier during the Korean War. But Bradley, bitter over being imprisoned and experimented on for 30 years, refuses to help. Winter Soldier is arrested for skipping therapy, but Falcon has him released. They again refuse to work with the new Captain America. Winter Soldier suggests they visit Helmut Zemo in prison. 

  • POWER BROKER

Zemo offers to help so Winter Soldier helps him escape prison. They go to Madripoor an island/city/state run by the mysterious Power Broker. A criminal named Selby reveals that the Power Broker hired Doctor Nagel to recreate the Super Soldier Serum. Selby is killed and every bounty hunter in Madripoor targets Falcon, Winter Soldier and Zemo. Living on the island as a fugitive, Sharon Carter saves them, and they go to Nagel’s lab. They learn he made 20 doses of the serum which Morgenthau stole. They are attacked and Zemo kills Nagel. Carter stays behind and Falcon promises to get her pardoned. While our heroes search for the bad guys in Latvia, the Flag Smashers attack a GRC (Global Repatriation Council) storage facility in Lithuania. Winter Soldier is confronted by Ayo and the Wakanda Dora Milaje. 

  • THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING

Ayo gives Winter Soldier eight hours to use Zemo before the Dora Milaje take him. Zemo leads them to Morgenthau at the funeral of her adoptive mother. Captain America and Battlestar intervene. Falcon tries to persuade Morgenthau to end the violence but an impatient Captain America butts in and a fight breaks out. Zemo destroys most of the Super Soldier Serums, but Captain America gets the last vial. The Dora Milaje come for Zemo but Captain America refuses to hand him over and another fight breaks out and Zemo escapes. Later, Captain America (who has taken the Super Soldier Serum) and Battlestar get into a fight with the Flag Smashers and Morgenthau accidentally kills Battlestar. Infuriated, Captain America beheads one of the Flag Smashers in front of horrified witnesses filming his actions.  

  • TRUTH

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier demand the shield from Captain America, which leads to a fight with Captain America destroying the Falcon’s wings. But our boys get the shield and break Captain America’s arm in the process. Winter Soldier finds Zemo in Sokovia and gives him to the Dora Milaje. Walker is fired and stripped of being Captain America. But he is then approached by the Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine. The Falcon visits Bradley who tells him that a Black man cannot and should not be Captain America. The Falcon returns home to fix the family boat with his sister. Helping out are several locals and the Winter Soldier – who shows more than a passing interest in Sarah Wilson. He also gives the Falcon a briefcase from the Wakandans. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier train with the shield and agree to put the past behind them and work together. The Flag Smashers and Batroc – whom Sharon Carter has secretly hired – plan an attack on a GRC conference in New York. 

MID-CREDITS SCENE

Walker makes himself a new shield from scrap metal and his war medals. 

  • ONE WORLD, ONE PEOPLE

The Falcon – wearing a Captain America winged flight suit from the Wakandans – flies to New York with the Winter Soldier intending to stop the Flag Smashers with the help of Carter and Walker. Carter lets slip that she is the Power Broker to Batroc and then kills him. The Falcon tries to reason with Morgenthau before Carter kills her too. The Falcon manages to convince the GRC to cancel the forced relocation of displaced people – that Mogenthau had opposed – and instead help them. The Winter Soldier and Walker capture the other Flag Smasher super soldiers, but they are killed by Zemo’s butler en route to prison. De Fontaine gives Walker a new suit and code name: U.S. Agent. The Winter Soldier makes amends to those he hurt while brain washed. The Falcon has a memorial dedicated to Bradley added to the Captain America museum exhibit. 

MID-CREDITS SCENE

Carter receives a full-pardon and rejoins the C.I.A. She then sells government secrets. 

  • THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER received five Emmy Award nominations. 
  • Production was halted for several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Dislikes

  • My biggest dislike of this show is that it was only 6 episodes. I could have gone for 8, 10, even 20 episodes it was that good. 

Likes

  • The two leads are incredible in their roles. Which really comes as no surprise since this isn’t the first time we have seen them in these parts. But what is really nice is the chemistry they have together. You want to see them, you want to watch them interact, and you don’t want to see it stop. 
  • Our two heroes start out not getting along. Then they become partners, then teammates, and then friends. But it is all done organically. It is not rushed, and it is believable. It is one of the best things about the show and certainly the thing I enjoyed the most. 
  • This show has heart. From the Winter Soldier beating himself up over the people he hurt while brain washed, to the Falcon trying to help his sister Sarah with the family boat, to John Walker losing his best friend and failing miserably to live up to the legacy of Captain America – this series has heart. 

I really didn’t have many expectations abut this series. Like everyone else I was familiar with the Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but I couldn’t say either one was a favorite. I didn’t even find either of them particularly interesting. But I checked out the series because it was a Marvel show. I intended to also check out WandaVision and Loki but decided to do this series first. Boy, was I glad I did! I loved this show! I absolutely loved it! And I am so surprised that I enjoyed it so much. I love it when that happens. 

If you are a Marvel fan like me, I am sure you have seen this series already. You might even have seen it more than once. If you haven’t then I suggest you stop whatever you are doing and go watch it now. It’s okay I give you permission. You are going to love it!

No television series can get a perfect rating because no series can have every episode absolutely perfect. There are always some good and some not so good. THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER is no exception. But it is just about as near perfect as you can get. For that reason, I give it four and a half gray geeks. 

That’s all for now gang. I hope you enjoyed our talk and I hope you keep coming back for more. A wise man once said, spending time with a friend is like drinking wine from a bottle that never empties. See ya later!

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