Characters grapple with difficult realities in Marvel’s new show


Photo Courtesy of IMDb

Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan star in “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier”. The first episode of the series was released on March 19.

By Rukayah Hussein, Buzz calendar editor

With the remarkable reactions of fans and critics alike to Marvel’s original series “WandaVision,” many are probably eager for more from Marvel’s new line of exclusive television series. With the aftermath of “WandaVision” barely behind us, Marvel has just released the first episode of its new series — “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.” This new series premiered on March 19, and it already has everyone buzzing.

This series focuses on two companions of Steve Rogers, who is the original Captain America. One is Sam Wilson, aka the Falcon, who is portrayed by Anthony Mackie. The other is Bucky Barnes, otherwise known as the Winter Soldier, played by Sebastian Stan. For those who have not caught up with the Marvel Cinematic Universe and have astonishingly avoided spoilers regarding the franchise through the movie “Avengers: Endgame,” I caution you to not read any further.

The first episode brings us up to speed about the state of the world six months after the Avengers and other Marvel heroes defeated Thanos and brought back the other half of the Universe’s population. Sam Wilson currently has joined forces with the Air Force and is taking some time to help his sister with the family business. Jame Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes is currently in therapy to deal with his past, which is complicated to say the least.

These two characters became unlikely acquaintances through their relationship with Steve Rogers, but following the events of “Endgame,” they have lost touch. Or more specifically, Bucky is avoiding Sam’s texts. Steve, who decided to take a detour on his journey of returning the Infinity Stones, which are important gems that have the power to alter existence as we know it, has grown old and retired. He passes on the mantle of Captain America to Sam Wilson and hands over the infamous shield as well.

Throughout this pilot episode, we see Sam struggle with the reality of the task that Steve has granted him. He recognizes the weight to be carried with the symbolic relic and the important role of Captain America in protecting the world post-Endgame. However, he just does not think he’s the man for the job. Not only that, but Sam and his sister now have to deal with the distressing financials of maintaining the business their parents started.

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As Sam is working on his relationship with his family and forming new ones within the Air Force, Bucky is currently on the path of personal development. Plucked out of time just like Steve Rogers, Bucky was brainwashed to become the elusive Winter Soldier, an assassin with a metal arm, by the fictional terrorist organization known as HYDRA. Now that he’s finally free to be himself, he works on making amends and dealing with the trauma of being controlled and forced to commit heinous acts. Unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, it is proving to be more difficult than he’d appreciate, and he is forced to reckon with his past both throughout his day-to-day life and in his own nightmares.

While the show is called “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” these two characters have many personal issues to deal with before they are ready to come together. In the background of the episode, just as expected, there are people up to no good — and not in the catchy sort of way like “Agatha All Along.”

The episode was definitely not as intellectual as the theatrics found in “WandaVision,” but it was certainly a rollercoaster of action and emotion. It was an impactful introduction to this lesser-known hero and anti-hero duo. Viewers can strip away from the force of the Avengers and see what it’s like to come home after being a hero and needing to deal with your private demons too. The conclusion of the episode will surely make you want to throw your remote at the screen, but that is just what Marvel does — keeps you coming back for more.

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