May be wonder goes for the “game of Thrones”Approach, or perhaps that of many Prestige TV: The penultimate episode is full of all the good stuff, and the finale is often a kind of breakup. Sure, both “WandaVision” and “The falcon and the winter soldierI tried to do it both ways – a big, action-packed finale where lots of open questions were linked, the storylines ended and then of course the future of the MCU was spiced up.
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* Spoilers Ahead: Don’t read unless you’ve watched the final episode of “Falcon & The Winter Solider”. *
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The sixth and final episode, “One World, One People,” is satisfactory, emotionally resonant, and predictable on some levels. The Falcon & The Winter Soldier from the jump is a show about identity and legacy: two men grappling with their place in the world after the man who helped anchor and place them in their universe give – Steve Rogers, aka Captain America – was gone. With cap from the picture, both Sam Wilson, alias Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky, also known as The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), were lost and directionless, unsure who should be without a cap, which gives them balance of character. Both were his friends, partners, and pals but were unhappy with the way his absence increased them.
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Bucky wrestled with his previous sins as a winter soldier and felt very protected by the shield – the final piece of legacy that tied him to his real existence in the 1940s. Sam refused the sign almost immediately – which annoyed Bucky in the process – and couldn’t face the burden of doing justice to the man Steve Rogers was and everything he portrayed. Cap was a legend, and Sam, by his own judgment, is just a man.
In essence, The Falcon & The Winter is a story (legacy and identity) and a plot (the Flag Smasher story), and the real problem with the finale is that the real story in the previous episode, The Truth ( Probably the best episode since the pilot). “TF & WS” is basically the emotional journey of Sam Wilson, who puts aside the insecurity, the self-doubt, the baggage and the acceptance of the shield and becomes Captain America. While this didn’t physically happen until the “One World, One People” finale, he essentially came to that conclusion by the end of the last episode, warts and everything.
So: “One world, one people?” A little fait accompli. As you guessed – again not very difficult to spot – Sam will become Captain America, thanks in large part to Wakandan technology, the favor Bucky asked Ayo (Florence Kasumba), the deputy of Dora Milaje. So that means a new costume and new wings with the colors of the stars and stripes (although mostly white and blue). Is he asking Black Falcon like a bystander? Black Captain America? No, he’s just Captain America, but with wings.
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And then punches and Sam follow with the help of Bucky and John Walker (Wyatt Russell), who, despite his shame, still has the boldness to show himself, defeat the Flag-Smashers as you would expect. Sure, some of the action is exciting – what Wakandan technology is doing to upgrade the wings and bring Redwing back is impressive – but in many ways the anti-climactic sound comes to a predictable conclusion: the good guys win, the bad guys don’t. And maybe more important: How They win and lose – the way all superhero stories are different and some better than others – isn’t all that interesting.
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That said, there are some notable elements to the show, and perhaps the most interesting is a bit of a non-runner that the show has seemingly given up on, or at least hasn’t made it a big point to be resolved: the identity of the power broker . Surprisingly, the power broker Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp). There have been chatters online that Marvel made Carter dirty by turning her into a bad guy. Still, I think this is only true from the perspective of seeing her as a heroine, and not as a complicated person who believes the US government made her dirty in the first place. Sure, Carter knew what choice she was in “Captain America: Civil WarHelping Steve Rogers and betraying the government but knowing the consequences of exile and marginalization and living and experiencing them for five years is a different story. Carter was bitter, struggled to survive, and lived on the outskirts of Madripoor. He was clearly taking all the shortcuts she could in a post-blip world that clearly felt chaotic and made no sense.
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So, yeah, Carter is the power broker, the one who funded the Super Soldier Serum and got it back into production, and the one who went after The Flag-Smashers – they worked for them at one point, it turned out, but then clearly stole it and then went off on my own. As seen in “The Truth”, Carter worked as a double agent and hired Batroc The Leaper (Georges St-Pierre) to infiltrate the Flag Smashers and pretend he’s on their side only to kill the group who betrayed them.
So the finale is something of a Mexican confrontation: the good guys (Sam, Bucky, Walker), the bad guys (the Flag-Smashers) and the bad guys behind the curtain (Carter and Batroc). Far from perfect, but it’s not like you know it was Agatha (I mean Carter) unlike Marvel’s previous show.
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Ultimately, the Flag Smashers are over, and Sam, Bucky, and Walker are never privy to Carter’s real identity. She is excused by the government and is now in a position of real power, agency, and supremacy. No longer that “person in the chair” character who helps the good guys achieve their goals with information, she is employed as a powerful, hydra-like double agent in the MCU who works within the government, but her own nefarious Agenda made money as an arms dealer. Who did she call and say the Super Solider Serum program needs to take a break, but there are still guns to be exploited and money to be made? I wouldn’t be surprised if you got into something like “Arms warsTogether with someone like Justin Hammer[[[[Sam Rockwell]]of “Ironman 2. ”
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Other loose ends that came to some kind of conclusion. Well, Walker is definitely not Captain America anymore, but the US government doesn’t seem to have much of a problem with him fighting the flag smashing terrorists either. Julia Louis-DreyfusThe character of Contessa Valentine Allegra de Fontaine reappears. While she hasn’t revealed her new plan, she’s not dissimilar to Sharon Carter and clearly pulling strings and funding Walker. She gives him a new costume and a new name that we all know from the comics: US agent (“I’m back!”, He says victoriously and rather deceptively to his wife). There are significantly more plans for both in the future, and all signs point to some kind of team like The Thunderbolts – villains or morally ambiguous heroes who may look more like the Black Ops mercenaries who have been ordered to lead missions made by they are headed a shadier clan than the government (which could easily bind itself to Sharon Carter’s power broker).
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Bucky’s story mostly takes a backseat to Sams, but his journey was about being free of the Winter Solider curse that arguably happens along the way (and the Wakanda recap in episode five helps cement that idea) . Still, as I’ve argued for a long time on social media – his story is more emotionally terrifying, one of a man manipulated to be an assassin – he got the weight of the middle episodes. Sam’s story of accepting the shield is really stitched through the show but has gotten the bigger spotlight in the show’s bookends. It’s ultimately more of Sam’s story – he eventually becomes Captain America, and Bucky is still the Winter Soldier – and Marvel knows that Bucky can’t overshadow it any more in the end than in the middle episodes.
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As for this story of being black in America, and how difficult would it be for America to accept a black Captain America? Well, in many ways, this story is just beginning (although Sam does have a couple of lengthy monologues on this, some are effective and some are nasal). The emotional struggle is moving and the elements in Isaiah Bradley (Carl Lumbly) are also consistently poignant. Also interesting, if not a little simple and too satisfying, is how the finale doubles up on the story of Bradley and brings it to a close. If there is a mixed emotional element to the show, seeing Sam as Captain America and wearing that coat well makes you radiate. He’s a man of real character and moral fiber, but some of the scriptures in these expository speeches also undermine the power of these sequences. Some things just need to be over-written in the eyes of Marvel, I think. In his little defense, perhaps the best the series does for Sam Wilson is to establish him as a similar but ultimately different person than Steve Rogers. He must be America’s captain on his own terms.
If anything, both “WandaVision” and “The Falcon & The Winter Soldier” have shown that Marvel’s Disney + series is great with the complications, struggle and emotional hardships of the characters but the resolutions and actions. The latter isn’t very interesting, to be honest, and the former tends to tidy up a little nicely and neatly, favoring the consistency over complications. [B]
All episodes of “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” are now available on Disney +.