Marvel Studios’ second-ever live-action series for Disney+ arrives this week with “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier,” and with it comes more of the big-screen Marvel we’re familiar with – though, as was the case with “WandaVision,” the characters are the focus here.
Debuting on the streaming service tomorrow, March 19, this six-episode miniseries follows Sam Wilson aka The Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes aka The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) after the events of “Avengers: Endgame” – most notably, when an elderly Steve Rogers presents Wilson with the Captain America shield.
For this review, we were given access to just the first episode of the series, which was originally supposed to premiere back in 2020 before COVID-19 complications delayed production. While it’s a smaller taste of the show than we received with “WandaVision,” it felt jam-packed and practically indistinguishable from the Marvel Cinematic experience I remember from the days of sitting in a movie theater.
Just within the first episode, this miniseries promises great, intense action paired with a deep dive into two characters who find themselves tied together by the former Captain America. As this series is set in the events after “The Blip,” when those snapped out of existence by Thanos returned, we get to see the aftermath of that on not just our heroes, but their communities. I found it refreshing that we get to see the effects of Thanos’ actions on a smaller scale—trying to get a bank loan after “disappearing” for five years, children who aged significantly while their parents were dusted—and I’m sure there will be more examples of this to come.
I can’t speak to the chemistry between Mackie and Stan onscreen in the first episode, but it is clear in clips shared by Marvel Studios that these two are yet another “unusual couple” for fans to fall in love with. Aside from the comedy, these two actors have a full plate of post-Blip trauma to deal with and Marvel isn’t pulling any punches – especially Bucky Barnes, who is not only in government-mandated therapy, but is also attempting to make amends for his past crimes as a brainwashed Hydra operative.
While I prefer and miss the quirk and whimsy of “WandaVision,” “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” is an entirely different, yet similar beast. The action and pacing matches that of the big-screen entries in the MCU canon, but the smaller, more intimate explorations of these characters and their trauma follows the trail blazed by Wanda and her time in Westview – and I, for one, can’t wait to see what comes next.
“The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” premieres on Disney+ this Friday, March 19. You can check out the final trailer below: