The six-part series follows Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson and Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes as they team up in a chaotic post-Endgame world, on a mission to stop the ‘Flagsmashers’, testing their abilities, friendship and values along the way. The series also saw the return of now fan-favourite Baron Zemo - Played by Daniel Brühl - in a case of character development that literally nobody saw coming (dancing Zemo anyone?).
Although regretfully short, the series saw a huge amount of character development in both Sam and Bucky. Once merely Captain America’s sidekicks, the series breathed new life into the pair, creating deservedly moving backstories for both, as well as finally exploring Bucky’s years of trauma and the complexities behind Sam’s decision to take up the title of Captain America. One of the most impactful parts of the series is its handling of the issues surrounding the history and legacy of the title. Some of the most moving scenes come from the conversations between Sam and Isaiah Bradley, the first Black super-soldier, experimented on against his will before being imprisoned and silenced for decades. His final scene and the revelation of his statue and story immortalised in the Captain America museum is by far the most emotional of the series.
One of the most brilliant parts of the series is the dichotomy between Sam and John Walker, whose brilliant portrayal by Wyatt Russell added a much-needed exploration of the meaning behind the Captain America title. A subtle way in which Marvel explores this dichotomy is through costuming. Captain America’s suit has gone through many changes over the years but one motif that has stayed constant (unsurprisingly) is the scheme of red, white and blue. There was always a great deal of white on Steve’s suits, generally agreed to represent his good heart. However as soon as Walker’s Captain America is introduced, there is a notable absence of white on his suit, it is almost entirely blue.
In contrast, when Sam makes his epic entrance through a window in the final episode as the true Captain America, his suit contains more white than any before him. This detail may seem insignificant, but it represents the importance of the man inside the suit and the stark contrasts shown between the two throughout the series - for example, Walker’s public murder of a suspect versus Sam’s compassion towards Flagsmasher leader Karli. Sam is not a perfect soldier but unlike Walker, he is a truly good man, which is ultimately much more important. As Iron Man famously said, ‘If you are nothing without the suit, then you shouldn’t have it.’
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is a truly brilliant series, and I am sure I speak for most Marvel fans when I say I cannot wait to see what comes next.