In 2020, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier was announced to be the opening act for Marvel Studios entry into the world of television; however, scheduling conflicts arose, delays occurred and the show was put on a short hiatus with WandaVision taking its place in Marvel Studio’s television lineup. The reason it feels like an epiphany to me is simply because of what these two shows fundamentally are. WandaVision, while quirky and fascinating, was always going to be a tough sell to audiences; containing a wild plot and an unexpected visual style that shocks the system. Already, from the first episode alone, I can tell that The Falcon and The Winter Soldier feels like Marvel Studio’s natural entry into television, it’s exactly what you’d expect to get from Marvel as they enter this unfamiliar territory.
WandaVision’s strange narrative structure has a tendency to send you into a spin, in all honesty, becoming quite an exhausting experience from all of its incessant mystery-building and cliff-hanger episodes – it feels like a series better suited as a second entry. What’s given here with The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is what appears to be something clean, focussed, and grounded. Diving immediately into the core aspects that matter; its characters, world, and drama.
My first impression of this series gives me the sense that Marvel Studio’s won’t skimp on deeper character development here; similar to the final episodes of WandaVision, it looks as though The Falcon and The Winter Soldier will also take an inside peek into the broken mind of its characters, particularly Bucky Barnes – a man holding equally as much tragedy in his life as Wanda Maximoff. Another major story arc explored here looks to be how Sam Wilson will contend with the legendary legacy of Steve Rogers. From tackling the aftershocks of Avengers: Endgame, to dabbling with the legacy of the heroes who are no longer around to stand as symbols for the people; The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is a Marvel show to satiate fans who are hungry to see the social, political, and economic residue left behind in the wake of the blip.
The first act of this series pilot episode left me in complete astonishment that what I was seeing was an actual television show, similar to how I felt during the Disney+ series The Mandalorian Season 2; as we’re given stunning block-buster-level visuals effects. The first episode of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier exceeds WandaVision’s questionable CG work by miles, truly reaching film-level quality with its digital assets and intensive fight sequences.
It’s quite obvious from its pilot episode that the musical choices throughout the series will be very similar to the Captain America franchise, with the utilisation of patriotic beats being played for The Falcons scenes and the mysterious aura tune for Bucky Barnes from Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
From its grounded tone to its more reality-focussed story, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier has every potential to soar — so long as its wings are graceful enough to sustain intensity and its arms are strong enough to hold together its drama.