Written by Boluwatito Adigun.
How ready is the world for a black Captain America?
The Avengers: Endgame ended with an old Captain America (Chris Evans) handing over his shield to Falcon (Anthony Mackie) which suggests him being the new Captain America. And, with a nod of approval from the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), it seems that the contract has been sealed. Now that Captain America is gone, his legacy is left behind to Falcon who he trusts to carry on with the responsibility of saving the world.
With Falcon uncertain whether he’s ready to be the new Captain America or not, many fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe were eager to see the first episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier which premiered on the 19th of March, 2021.
Before we delve deep into the first episodic recap of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, I have just one question. Who designed that damn wingsuit?!!! Seeing the wingsuit in action coupled with Falcon showing off his aerial combat skills was the highlight of the first episode for me.
However, listening to the voice of Captain America in the opening scene when Falcon was packing up the shield was a little bit emotional for me as I realized that we won’t be seeing him again in any of the future MCU movies.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier takes place just six months after Avengers: Endgame which saw billions of people including Winter Soldier and Falcon reappear after five years but the world has moved on, leaving them behind.
The first episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, titled “New World Order”, is nothing short of action heroics, excitement, and suspense!
Starting the first episode, the introductory scene features Falcon picking up Captain America’s shield as he replayed the last conversation they both had before he inherited the shield.
The next scene shows Falcon aboard a US Air Force plane fully geared and being briefed about a criminal organization known as LAF. The criminal organization had kidnapped a military liaison and was trying to escape into Libyan territory on an airplane from Tunisia where the S military has no jurisdiction over.
The mission is to save the military liaison in a very subtle way but that wasn’t the case as Falcon loudly engages the bad guys. Among the bad guys is Batroc the Leaper (Georges St-Pierre) who was last seen in Captain America: The Winter Soldier after escaping narrowly from Captain America.
Falcon successfully breaches the airplane with the help of his little drone he calls Redwing. What follows is a series of fighting actions in the plane with Falcon making use of various features of the wingsuit, most especially the impenetrable wing shield it forms to repel bullets.
The fight is eventually taken outside of the plane with Falcon in pursuit of the five bad guys who are wearing wingsuits. At very high speed, coupled with his incredible maneuvering skills, Falcon is able to save the military liaison after blowing up a few choppers and avoiding numerous trenches and ravines. It is an incredible action heroic to watch just in the space of 10 minutes into the first episode!
Starting the series with a 10-minute sequence of aerial combat has really heightened the expectations for more action scenes in the series. The series wastes no time introducing viewers to several action set-pieces which were done perfectly well. If this is just the introduction, I wonder what the climax battle will have in store for viewers!
After a successful rescue mission, Falcon is back on the ground having tea with Lt. Torres (Danny Ramirez) at a Tunisian market. Torres tells Falcon about a new group of terrorists called the Flag Smashers who operate with the school of thought that things were better during the 5-year Blip.
After a friendly discussion with Torres, Falcon flies back to Washington where he returns Captain’s shield to the Captain America Exhibit in Washington’s Smithsonian Air and Space Museum after giving an emotional speech.
In the heart of New York City resides the infamous hero; the Winter Soldier who battles with recurring nightmares concerning his cruel past as the deadly assassin controlled by Hydra. In his nightmare, he killed about six security details and one innocent civilian who at the wrong time was in the wrong place.
Waking up from his nightmare, he then visits a psychiatrist – Lt Grace Billetts from Bosch (Amy Aquino) assigned to him by the government to monitor his overall mental progress. During the counseling session, he isn’t honest about his nightmares and his recovery. However, the Winter Soldier shares that he has been trying to make amends for his past, and has made a list of names he is trying to cross out, one after the other.
After the therapy session, the Winter Soldier visits an old Asian man called Mr. Nakajima, who he considers as a friend, taking him out on lunch. At the restaurant, Mr. Nakajima takes on the role of a matchmaker by asking a beautiful waiter on a date with the Winter Soldier.
Suddenly, Mr. Nakajima seeing his dead son’s favorite food changes his mood, making him all withdrawn. At this point a link was established between Mr. Nakajima and Winter Soldier’s nightmare; the innocent civilian he killed was Mr. Nakajima’s son.
A Broke Avenger?
After returning the shield to the museum, Falcon is back to Louisiana where he reunites with his nephews and sister. He sees how bad things have gone since he got blipped and how hard the economic situations have hit his sister.
Personally, I was expecting Falcon to just flip out a checkbook, write down a specified amount and hand it over to his sister, solving her money problems. But it turns out an Avenger can be broke too! Tony Stark (Robert Downey) made us believe otherwise.
Well, Falcon promises to help his sister get a loan from the bank but fails to do so despite his reputation of being an Avenger.
Now to Switzerland, Torres continues to trace the Flag Smashers terrorist group and unknowingly walks into a heist. Trying to catch the bad guys, he faces two masked terrorists who seem to be very strong (like super serum strong) and he is beaten up by these guys. He then calls Falcon, narrating the whole incidence to him.
While Falcon is communicating with Torres about the Flag Smashers, his sister draws his attention to the news broadcasting the government presenting a new Captain America to the world. This happens shortly after the government told Falcon it was the “right decision” to donate Captain’s shield to the Museum.
Giving the shield to a white guy right after encouraging the black man – Falcon, chosen for the job to give up the role has some racist undertone for me. Especially when the man on TV has just said “We need a real person who embodies America’s greatest value”
Seeing the same disappointment I felt on Falcon’s countenance, I hope he goes back to step up to the role of being the new Captain America as he is the chosen one!
This episode was directed by Kari Skogland.
- Going by Falcon’s words, he’s been working with the Air Force for six months which places the events of the series at the same time frame with WandaVision
- The bank scene was quite unrealistic as the loan officer was very unprofessional. It’s also kind of strange that banks don’t have a special monetary policy for people who got blipped and lost 5 years of their lives.
- The lucky cat at the restaurant did catch my attention the moment Winter Soldier stopped it from rocking. It might be insignificant but I concluded that just like the cat with the rocking arm, the Winter Soldier has only one purpose; to fight!. Just like the Winter Soldier, the lucky cat is left-handed.
- If MCU decides to follow the comics, Lt. Torres is bound to become the new Falcon, while Falcon himself fully sets in as the new Captain America. Well, fingers crossed!
The next episode premieres on March 26, 2021 on Disney+. We publish a recap every Sunday.