Fresh off the heels of Wandavision, Disney+ presents The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, with aspirations of answering the question of if and how Sam carries the shield.
THERE ARE SPOILERS AHEAD.
When last we left Sam aka “Falcon” and Bucky aka the “Winter Soldier”, they were looking at a geriatric Captain America who had decided to stay in the past with the love of his life, Sharon Carter. As old Cap speaks to a bewildered Sam, he passes him the shield and the mantle of Captain America. Unsure if he can do as good of a job, Sam promises Cap that he will do his best, to which Cap replied, “That’s why it’s yours.” As the credits roll on Avengers: Endgame we are left wondering what new adventures are in store for Sam who has been chosen to be the new Captain America.
In episode 1 of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier we catch up with Sam in the Middle East working with the Air Force. He is on a mission where he finds himself up against Georges Batroc and the Flag Smashers. If Batroc looks familiar, it is because Captain America took him down in the first few minutes of Captain America: Winter Soldier. Although we never really find out what happened to him after his interrogation, we would later learn that a suspicious Nick Fury hired the Algerian mercenary as part of a ploy because he did not trust the folks at SHIELD. After dispatching the threat, Sam goes to Louisiana to spend time with his sister, Sarah Wilson. We spend quite a bit of time with the siblings—more on them later.
Soon after we find a pardoned Bucky in therapy attempting to cope with the stresses of being a 100-year-old man living in the future. We spend a significant amount of time learning how Bucky is adjusting to his new life. During his therapy session we discover that he has a “list of amends” with names that he is working to cross off. It seems now that he can think independently, Bucky is feeling some guilt after almost a century of assassinations. On a lighter note, we also get to accompany Buck on his first date in over 90 years.
What made Wandavision special seems to be the same thing they are going for with Falcon and the Winter Soldier. In effort to put flesh under the tights, Marvel is showing us what could be considered character studies of the heroes we’ve only casually gotten to know in the films. Wandavision gave us insight into the complex feelings of guilt and grief our heroes feel as a side effect of lives saved, and lives lost.
In Falcon and the Winter Soldier we begin to explore the feeling of unworthiness as Sam donates Cap’s shield to a museum and remorse as Bucky works to make amends for his past transgressions. Back to Sam and his sis, they have a sobering moment (which she predicted) while trying to secure a loan for the family’s struggling business. The moment is a testament the real-life issue of Black people being denied loans for the sake of their skin tone, no matter their status in life. In this case, Same is an Avenger, in real life, it can be a doctor or lawyer with otherwise stellar credit getting curved at the worst, or a suspect interest rate at the least.
Racism aside, you will find yourself asking how do some of these people get money when they aren’t fighting crime? If you’re not Tony Stark, Bruce Wayne, or Oliver Queen are you working at the Dollar Store when you aren’t on a mission? As the first episode of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier ends, we are introduced to the new Captain America and we can’t help but wonder what he’s up to. We’re definitely looking forward to the next episode.