Updated: Apr 7, 2021
Willkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome to the new thing I'm doing with the advent of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier finally gracing our TVs. I am so fucking excited to talk about it, I can't even stand it.
So, first up, some housekeeping: all the opinions are mine. I own those and only those. Also, as the title would suggest, this bitch is chock full of SPOILERS. I'm going to assume if you're here, you probably don't need me to tell you to shield your eyes if you don't wanna know. Next up: I cuss a lot. I know that I'm an author who's won awards and whatnot, but for this, you get the unvarnished Lex and that's how this is gonna go.
Now, without further ado, on with the show:
So to open, Anthony Mackie is fucking pretty. Like matinee icon pretty. Jesus Christ, I was not ready. He has this lovely gravitas to his acting and this ease to his movements that makes Sam Wilson compelling as fuck. Sam's a good brother, a good uncle, so smart, so resourceful. He is a superhero in every sense.
I mean, look at this beautiful bastard.
The opening action sequence was fucking incredible. It showcased how awesome Falcon is, how seasoned a fighter he is, how resourceful, smart, cunning, brave. I mean goddamn, I'm gonna run out of adjectives before I fully encompass the awesomesauce that is Sam 'I Sold My Fucks on Ebay' Wilson.
Contrasting that, he's a man trying to reconnect with his roots, helping out his sister who has fallen on some hard times post-snap. She's taken over their parent's fishing business and times are hard. I love that we get the domestic aspects of this relationship and I look forward to seeing more of this quiet side of Sam's life.
I LOVED seeing him with Rhodey! Don Cheadle is a fucking gift and that cannot be said enough. Also, I love this relationship dynamic and I hope we get to see more of this as the show unfolds as well. Jim Rhodes is a government man, but he fights on the side of right and isn't just gonna let bad things happen just because.
And then there's Bucky.
Newly pardoned (thank goodness), he's in therapy and I want to hug the fuck out of him. He's living by 3 rules, including no killing, no maiming, and working hard to make amends for the shit from his past. His therapist has all the warmth of an arctic glacier. They've apparently been seeing each other for awhile, and Buck feels comfortable enough to bitch her out, so I'll reserve judgement on her for the moment.
Him sleeping on the floor and waking up from nightmares? Broke my damn heart. I mean, don't get me wrong, Sebastian Stan is fucking beautiful and seeing Bucky shirtless with his dogtags is a damn revelation from which my ovaries may never recover, but it's more the emotional impact of the terror on his face, the tiredness around his eyes and his loneliness that really comes through.
Seeing more Winter Soldier action was just as breathtaking as CATWS. Soldat is a fucking beast and in case you needed that reminder, there you go. We get more of a view of his life under Hydra's thumb and those exploits underscore how far removed from regular life he is.
The nuance of his nightmare about one of his innocent victims being the son of the man who is clearly his friend is so heartbreaking. Like he's been working to make amends for the wrongs he's committed, but how the fuck do you make up for that?
It's not all doom and gloom, though. I loved the little old man teasing Bucky about not dating and then essentially setting him up with the cute girl behind the lunch counter. Seeing him nervous and shy is pretty much catnip for the fanfic community and we are 100% here for it. I admit I am, perhaps, unhealthily intrigued by the idea of him on dating apps. While I love that he's embraced technology (and really, did we expect anything less from the bonafide scifi nerd?), I just can't see him thriving on Tinder. Maybe that's just me.
That their date was a disaster wasn't exactly unexpected. She asked how old he was, and he was honest, and she didn't believe him. She asked about his gloves and he said he had poor circulation. I mean, it was just uncomfortable for everybody. I hope we get a lot more of this more personal softer side of Bucky. We know he can fight, but can he live? I'm looking forward to seeing the answer to that.
The larger action of the story is intriguing as well. There's a looming BigBad in the form the The Flagsmashers. I like the ominous red hand imagery so reminiscent of the Black Hand/Assassins Guild of Skyrim. They are clearly up to no good and I'm curious to see what their plan is, and how the Wish-Version of Captain 'Murica fits into that. (more on this in a moment)
There are also more mundane villains like banks and corporations who are happy to profit off other people's losses but not willing to help. Or a government that encouraged Sam to give up the shield to a museum, only to immediately turn around and pass it off to some dude who looks like a melted goddamn Funko Pop.
That last bit se me allt he way off. Sam's good enough to fight but not good enough to bear the legacy entrusted to him by Steve himself? Fuck all that.
This is the part where I mention that my longstanding beef with the narratively fucked up Endgame movie notwithstanding, obviously. Steve and Bucky were coded as a romance and Hellen Keller could could see that. Also, by him going back and being with Peggy, she became a prize he won instead of the fully realized badass she actually was. Not to mention all the character development and whatnot that both characters had experienced through their varying adventures was chucked right out the window for 'Oh, they kissed once and it was true love!' GMAB.
I can't see Steven Grant 'I broke up the Avengers for Bucky' Rogers being content to live in a time when he knows his best friend is in bondage against his will and suffering terribly and just being okay with that. I also can't see Mr. Bitch I'll Fight You Because I Can being okay living in a time when Jim Crow was still cool and the way things were done. The man couldn't even spell 'complacency' much less observe/participate in it.
What I'm saying is he could have retired and handed over the shield to Sam and gone to art school, got some much needed therapy and got his shit together without all that. Oh, and been there for Bucky, because goddamn.
Sorry, I'll pack away my soapbox for now. Anyway, at 40 some minutes, it was shorter than I was expecting, but that ending rushed right up on me. I wasn't watching the clock or paying any attention to the time for all the stuff going on onscreen. I am very much invested and we're only at the first ep. I am feeling this!!!
I will be back same time next week. So until then, be easy!