Directed by: Kari Skogland
Starring: Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Emily VanCamp, Wyatt Russell, Daniel Brühl, Danny Ramirez, Erin Kellyman
Release date: 23rd April 2021
No of Episodes: 6
Available on: Disney+
Marvel Studios’ newest series, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier starring Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/The Falcon, and Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier follows the two much-loved characters in dealing with the fallout of Avengers: Endgame. Bucky and Sam are an unlikely duo already known to dislike each other, who were brought together towards the end of phase three in Endgame. Now they team up over six episodes to take on a global adventure seemingly built to test their ability and their patience!
"We built this country. Bled for it. I'm not gonna let anybody tell me I can't fight for it. Not after what everybody before me went through."
This post contains some major spoilers for Marvel Studios' The Falcon and The Winter Soldier so if you haven't caught up on episodes one to four yet this is your warning to stop reading!
Marvel Studios’ latest miniseries came to an end yesterday with the series finale of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier airing on Disney+. Last week, we left off with Sam (Anthony Mackie) being presented with a new suit from friends in Wakanda and a threat in New York. We come back in this week with the series finale and are immediately in New York and aware that Sam has his wings back. The action sequence that follows is long and intense - similar to the start of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The episode holds a lot of subtle nods back to the film and heavily hints at the future. What becomes clear only a few minutes into the episode, is that Sam Wilson is Captain America.
While the MCU has been building up to this since Endgame, seeing Sam crash through that window in the suit lifted straight from the comics will be enough to give many fans chills! Even down to the hand-to-hand fight he has with Batroc (Georges St-Pierre), the film is accurate to the start of Captain America: The Winter Soldier - could this be a hint at what's to come? I definitely think so!
We quickly realise that Karli (Erin Kellyman) and the Flag Smashers are taking hostages when she distracts Bucky (Sebastian Stan) with a phone call, and he attempts to convince her that she will remember every single person she kills when this is over. As soon as he realises, Bucky goes after the hostage trucks and frees as many as he can. Bucky is shoved backwards, however, and we see a shot of the metal arms scraping along concrete again, very similar to the scene on the bridge in The Winter Soldier. The scream he lets out when he falls also resembles many of the scenes in the film too.
When John Walker (Wyatt Russell) resurfaces he takes on Karli in an attempt to avenge Lemar, a truck of hostages ends up being driven over the edge of a building. Walker has a small redeeming moment when he prevents the truck from slipping from its precarious position on the scaffolding above where Bucky is taking on the Flag Smashers. When Karlitackles him, however, he ends up on the floor with Bucky, Karli and the Flag Smashers. Walker’s shield breaking is poetic in its placement and meaning, the mantle of Captain America is being fully handed to Sam and it becomes fully clear that John Walker’s Captain America days are officially over. The truck starts to slip, and Sam is there to hold it up after just saving two helicopters' worth of people. Smoke bombs give the Flag Smashers time to escape while Sam frees the hostages.
Bucky, Sam, and John take off after them, however, finding Sharon, Karli and Batroc facing off in the tunnels. Sam is alerted of their location when Sharon fatally shoots Batroc and Karli shoots Sharon. We see another Winter Soldier parallel when Sam and Karli face off, she yells at him to fight back and he tells her “I’m not gonna fight you,” something Steve famously said to Bucky. The scene ends with Sharon shooting and killing Karli. Sam carries her body back to the surface and faces the people set to carry out the vote. If you haven't seen the episode, the speech Sam gives the Senator is definitely worth watching. He hits all the right points and Anthony Mackie delivers it perfectly, proving he’s the only person capable of playing Sam Wilson - the new Captain America - as well as this.
As well as this, Sam gets a section of the Captain America museum we see in The Winter Soldier dedicated to Isaiah Bradley so that no one will ever forget what he did for the country again. He returns home and we finally see everyone being able to relax and enjoy themselves, something Bucky fans have been waiting for almost ten years now. The series ends with a reminder that Sam and Bucky have become friends over the course of the series before we cut back to Bucky and Yori. Bucky tells him what truly happened to his son and completes the book that Steve left him, thanking his therapist for her help.
Walker makes yet more bad decisions, however, donning the suit that Val gives him and claiming the name U.S Agent. Just when we think the villain for a possible season two or Captain America four could have been set up, we get an end credits scene. Suspicions of Sharon being the Power Broker were confirmed before she shot Batroc and now we see her given a full pardon. She steps out of court and immediately sets herself up to be a future villain. That’s not going to end well.
If you haven't seen the series yet, now is the time to binge it! It's available to stream exclusively on Disney+ and is definitely not one to be missed!
What was your favourite moment of the series and what do you want to see happen as a result? Let us know in the comments!
"This girl died trying to stop you, and no-one has stopped for one second to ask why. You've gotta do better, Senator. You've gotta step up."
Words by Chloe Pollard.