Falcon and the Winter Soldier: Season 1, Episode 1 - "New World Order" Spoiler Review

 After watching the first episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (FAWS), I am excited for the story Marvel is about to tell us.  I am a big fan of the Captain America films, when I ranked the MCU films I ranked them near the top.  Since I am a big Cap fan, then a series following both Sam and Bucky had me very excited.  Sam and Bucky have not a lot of time together in the films, but their chemistry together was always good, I'm excited to see their relationship now that Cap is not there to be the buffer between them. The first episode has some action (2 scenes both early on), but the real focus of the episode is on the struggles that both Sam (Falcon) and Bucky (Winter Soldier) are having post-Captain America.  The episode was more dramatic and slower-paced than I had expected, but I enjoyed the episode immensely.  I can sympathize with fans who felt the episode was too slow and lacked excitement, but I am sure Marvel will deliver plenty of action and excitement.  FAWS is only six episodes so I am wondering if the first episode will be the slowest-paced episode of season one.  Marvel has kept quiet on the possibility of multiple seasons for their Disney Plus series, I have to think some shows will get multiple seasons.  I think FAWS is a perfect show for a multiple-season arc, after watching episode one titled "New World Order" I hope we get at least a few more seasons.  The series might be partially pulling from the Nick Spencer run of Captain America: Sam Wilson.  The Spencer comic series featured Sam taking over the mantle of Captain America after Steve Rogers gets old once the super-soldier serum was taken out of his body.  The Sam Wilson series featured Falcon struggling to be accepted by America as he decided to be more socially active.  Nick Spencer delivered a very strong series that has direct ties to the social unrest that has been spreading across the U.S.A. for the last several years.  If FAWS decides (I think they are) to use the Spencer run as an inspiration for the show I could not be happier.  I expect that FAWS will struggle will pleasing everyone if they bring race into the series, but it is a necessary story to tell.  I will delve a little more into this after I do the episode recap.


Episode one opens with Sam Wilson (Falcon) getting dressed and placing Captain America's shield in a bag, we hear a voice-over of Steve Rogers and Sam from Avengers: Endgame.  We now join Sam as he is on a mission, Sam needs to stop a terrorist organization called L.A.F. from capturing an American military officer.  Sam flies off the plane in pursuit, Sam finds the military officer's plane has already been taken over by the terrorist.  Sam enters the plane, and a fight ensues, the pilot is shot, and the plane starts to descend.  The terrorists led by Georges Batroc (also known as Batroc the Leaper) escape using wingsuits taking the officer with them.  Batroc is again played by MMA fighter Georges St-Pierre who appeared as Batroc in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  Sam is helped from the ground by Lieutenant Torres (more on him later), Sam needs to prevent Batroc from reaching Libyan airspace.  Sam is pursuing the wingsuited terrorists until a couple of helicopters join the fight and start shooting at Sam.  Sam uses redwing to take out the helicopters, but his jet pack is damaged.  Sam is able to use the heat-seeking missiles shot at him to destroy the attack helicopter.  Sam's jetpack repairs itself and he is able to rescue the officer before they reach Libyan airspace.

Sam is now having a post-mission drink with Torres; we learn that Sam has been working with the air-force for the last six months.  Torres mentions that L.A.F. is not the biggest threat out there, he mentions another group called the Flag Smashers.  The Flag Smashers are a group that believes that things were better during the blip; Torres says he will keep an eye on them.  Sam is back in Washington where he makes a speech commemorating Steve Rogers and donating Captain America's shield to the Smithsonian.  There is a government official there that thanks Sam for coming forward with the shield.  James Rhodes (War Machine) is also there, Rhodes questions Sam on his decision to donate the shield and not take up the mantle of Captain America.  Rhodes thinks Sam should be Captain America since Steve offered him the shield, Rhodes believes the world needs Captain America.  

We are in a hotel where there is a group of people coming back to the lobby, there is an attack by the Winter Soldier.  The Winter Soldiers kills all the security and then kills what is likely the main target saying "Hail Hydra" before he kills.  We see an innocent guest who was witness to the murder cowering before he too is killed by the Winter Soldier.  We see Bucky wake up from a nightmare (the killing, likely a real event from his past).  Bucky is in government-mandated therapy, he is frustrated at having to answer the questions.  We see he is making amends, by breaking some of the rules/conditions put upon him.  Bucky is obviously still struggling with the guilt of his past actions and losing Steve Rogers has only made him isolate himself further.  We learn that Bucky has been avoiding Sam's attempts to reach out to him and that Bucky's only friend is a crotchety old man.  Bucky and the old man Yori go to a restaurant for dinner.  Yori tells the server/owner that Bucky wants to ask her out on a date.  We learn that Bucky and Yori have bonded because they are both sad and broken men.

Sam goes to see his sister and her two sons; Sam's family ran a fishing boat and now the sister runs the boat and wants to sell the boat.  The boat is falling apart, and the sister can't afford to keep the business and the boat afloat.  Sam wants to help her get a loan; he doesn't want to give up on the family business.  Bucky goes back to the restaurant for his date with Leah, Bucky is awkward, and he is keeping the details of his past to himself.  Leah and Bucky drink, chat and play a game of battleship.  They chat about Yori and how he lost his son, this causes Bucky to leave as we soon learn that Bucky was the one who killed Yori's son during his attack on the hotel.  Sam is going to the bank with his sister to try and get a loan.  In Switzerland, Torres is trying to investigate the Flag Smashers.  Torres ends up outside of a bank with other members of the Flag Smashers.  The people are given masks to wear, bags are thrown out the window by a member who we see super strength.  Torres tries to stop him, but he is slammed to the ground kicked in the face.  The bank officer is impressed that he is with an Avenger, but Sam had no income for five years and his being an Avenger means nothing to the bank.  The bank denies the loan request leaving Sam and his sister in serious financial trouble, Sam and his sister fight over what to do next.  Sam speaks with Torres, and he watches the video of Torres getting beaten up.  Sam is curious about the abilities of the guy who attacked Torres.  Sam then sees on TV that the government official who thanked Sam for handing in the shield to the Smithsonian has now given the shield to a new Captain America who is white as the episode comes to an end.  


Episode one was a lot different than I expected, the episode gave us a more in-depth look at Bucky and Sam.  The episode also featured Sam during his action sequence actually killing the bad guys, normally Marvel has shied away from violence, but New World Order gave us a fuller picture of both what Sam and Bucky are capable of.  The episode also felt sad, and besides the action scene with Sam, the episode was not a lot of fun.  That sounds like a criticism, but I mean it as a compliment, Marvel is giving us something which we did not expect.  I am sure future episodes will have a lighter tone, but I am happy that this episode is letting us get a more introspective look at our heroes.  Where Wandavision was a show that could have fans analyzing each and every frame of the show, FAWS seems to be more straightforward.  Wandavision ended up being a lot more straightforward than fans expected, but in Wandavision I think there was a lot of intentional misdirection to keep fans on their toes.  I think FAWS will be done in a similar style to the Captain America films, there will be great action, a solid story and likely a surprise or two.  Bucky might have gotten the Hydra programming removed from his mind, but he is still left with the memories and guilt of all the things he did while in their service.  We see that Bucky has pulled back from the world, he is avoiding Sam, and his only real ally is the father of a man he killed.  Bucky's relationship with Yori will likely lead to a fairly emotional climax when Bucky will confess to Yori about what happened to Yori's son.  After Captain America: Winter Soldier, Bucky went into hiding and was trying to live a quiet life until he was framed for the bombing that killed Wakanda's king.  Bucky is now back in the world and trying to find his place, but he is haunted by his past which makes causes him to keep sheltered away from others.  The Bucky from the comics eventually does take on the mantle of Captain America, in the aftermath of the Civil War comic book series Captain America is assassinated.  After some time Bucky, is one of a few who each take the mantle of Captain America, but in the MCU Bucky has seemed to have no interest in taking on the responsibility, likely believing his past makes him unworthy.  

We spend more time with Sam in this episode, and I hope sooner rather than later we see Sam and Bucky collide.  Sam, since his introduction into the MCU, has been a character who is happy to be there, he is happy to help and now he is being primed to be a leader.  At the end of Avengers: Endgame Steve Rogers chose Sam; we hear that little bit of dialogue at the beginning of this episode.  Steve wants Sam to be Captain America, we are not entirely sure yet why Sam is reluctant to take up the role, but by the end of the episode, it is obvious that he is hurt by the decision to have a new Captain America.  The government did not ask Sam to be the new Captain America, they picked someone else, we know nothing of the new Captain America, but he obviously did not earn the shield.  It is interesting that government did not ask Sam, do they want a Captain America they know they can control, or is it a racial thing.  In the comics when Sam becomes Captain America, it is his social activism that causes him to be not accepted.  Sam in FAWS is shown to be a solid guy, he works as a contractor for the Air Force, he is/was an Avenger that helped save the world.  I hope the series does not shy away from the politics of social activism; I hope the show embraces the need for everyone to be treated equally no matter what.  Sam's personal life is what makes me the saddest, he saved the world, he is helping his country and he still cannot get a loan.  Sam seems to be struggling in a different way than Bucky, both are avoiding their destiny, but Sam's personal life is also at stake.  Sam and his sister are fighting over the family legacy, his sister wants to move on from it, but Sam is determined to save it.  I am not sure how this storyline will be paid off, but the time would not have been put in for us not to get some sort of a resolution.  Sam is not shown to be right; though, he is also not shown to be wrong.  Sam's sister Sarah has been dealing with the family business while Sam joined the air force and later became an Avenger.  Sarah thinks Sam missed too much of the struggle his family had with the business, she thinks Sam does not want to let go for the wrong reasons.  I am enjoying the look into Sam and Bucky's personal lives; I hope the remaining five episodes continue to build on the personal lives of them.

We got very little of what I assume will be one of the main antagonists of the series in the Flag Smashers (FS).  The FS as we are told believes that the world was better offer during the blip, we do not know why or how they plan to change anything.  The fact that there is a group that is building in power that believes things were better when half of life was missing is an interesting villain group.  The FS have a similar viewpoint to Thanos, Thanos went on his quest, not for his own personal glory or to rule the universe, Thanos believed he was saving the entire universe.  I am excited to spend some time with members of the FS, I want to know why they feel the way they do, and I am curious what their plan is.  In episode one, FS stole what might be money, it was in two large duffel bags.  We know from the trailer that Baron Zemo is back, I wonder if he is tied directly to the FS or if he will be a side mission that Bucky and Sam must undertake.  This was a great episode to start the season off, it had a fantastic action scene, and it had some amazing character development for both Sam and Bucky.  Join me next week as I cover episode two.

If you are interested below are my reviews of each episode of Wandavision:

Wandavision Episodes 1 & 2

Wandavision Episode 3

Wandavision Episode 4

Wandavision Episode 5

Wandavision Episode 6

Wandavision Episode 7

Wandavision Episode 8

Wandavision Episode 9

0/Post a Comment/Comments