Once Avengers: Endgame hit theaters ten years of characters and movies came to a glorious yet heartbreaking end. Of course, it left everyone wondering, what's next? We knew a Black Widow was getting the origin treatment and another Spider-Man movie starring Tom Holland (Cherry) was on the way but what about the other superheroes? The answer came in the form of Disney+ streaming limited series telling stories about some of the other Avengers. First up was the eight episodes of WandaVision which brought the Scarlet Witch together once again with her beloved. In June, Loki played by Tom Hiddleston (Kong: Skull Island) will have a six-episode series, and sandwiched in between, is this week's debut of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
Returning to regular life after "the snap" and the epic battle to restore the earth back to the way it was before was no easy task. For Sam Wilson, a.k.a. Falcon (Anthony Mackie; The Hurt Locker) it was a little easier and a little harder. On the one hand, he had a contract with the military and assisted in difficult situations while, on the other hand, he had to say goodbye to his good friend, Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America (Chris Evans; Knives Out) and try his best to salvage the family's struggling business.
Bucky Barnes, a.k.a Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan; I, Tonya) also had to bury Steve, who was his best friend, while trying to reconcile with the demons inside that haunted him. Upon his therapist's suggestion, he made a list of all those he had wronged while under Hydra's influence and sought them out to apologize. However, despite his best efforts, Bucky was still troubled by terrible nightmares. Through Steve, Sam and Bucky had a tentative friendship that, after a series of events unfolded, finds themselves working together.
In the first chapter, Wilson and Barnes aren't working together yet, as the forty-seven-minute-long episode spends its time establishing their backgrounds and where they each in life currently. As we have witnessed in the past Marvel movies, these two have a hesitant friendship that is filled with caution and tension and without Steve, as a buffer between them, it will be interesting to see how their relationship will play out.
Mackie and Stan have always seemed to have had a camaraderie off camera so it stands to reason that they will have a good rapport on camera, as witnessed through their scenes together in the Marvel films. The series itself seems to have a more series tone than the previously mentioned WandaVision and there is certainly no lack of action sequences, reminiscent of the Avengers movies. Wilson flies through the air as The Falcon with ease and grace while Barnes mopes around being shut off from new people and experiences while he tries to reconcile the man he has always been with the machine that was manipulated to do others' bidding.
The excellent production values and interesting writing/directing is what make The Falcon and The Winter Soldier worth watching. However, the first episode is a little bit slow and boring at times. Based on the trailer, it looks as if the plot will get better in the other five episodes and the action sequences so far seem as if they won't disappoint. Only time will tell if The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will have the entertainment value to keep it moving along.
Right now, there seems to be more questions than answers and I wonder how this mini-series plays into the MCU overall. Disney+ has five more weeks to get audiences to buy into this new story but honestly, I'm not sure the first episode will have most people hooked and wanting to see more.