Mike and Jami from Spoiler Free Reviews took turns reviewing each episode this season, so what were their overall feelings on it overall?
Mike: Marvel Studios is 2/2 in terms of making really great shows that just don’t have quite the same impact as their films. Having said that, while not nearly as ambitious as WANDAVISION, THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER is still a fun, action-packed series with very deep and beautiful messages about living up to legends, and the fight for your place in the world and in this country, regardless of how much it tries to dispose of you.
Jami: I enjoyed this series immensely and am grateful that Marvel finally dug deeper on social issues. While the rhythm of this series was much more in line with previous MCU films than WANDAVISION was, this story’s handling of systemic racism, nationalism, and those that fight against those things propelled THE FALCON AND WINTER SOLDIER to a much-needed level of ambition that I didn’t think Disney would take.
What really helped keep this series afloat was the fantastic chemistry between Sam and Bucky, Anthony Mackie, and Sebastian Stan respectively. They know they’ve got true allies in one another because Steve brought them together, but the loss of him as their connection finally gave us a chance to see each of them rise above sidekick status to be leaders in their own right.
Mike: The character arcs for both Sam and Bucky are strong overall, and to have Sam truly earn the mantle of Captain America by living up to everything Steve embodied and more makes the scene where Steve gives him the shield in Endgame all the more potent now. It’s not just because someone chose him. It’s because he fought for and earned it. Furthermore, to give Bucky peace and to deepen his bond with Sam–going from friend of a friend to full-on bestie is worth seeing as well.
That being said, we all know the true highlights of this show were Zemo and Sharon, who literally have evolved into more interesting characters than the titular duo in the span of 6 episodes.
Jami: Zemo was absolutely a highlight for me as well. I’ve been a long-time fan of Daniel Brühl. He elevates every scene he’s in throughout the series, and I’m looking forward to him coming back in Phase 4 of the MCU. It was great to have Sharon back as well, but her side plot was a weak point for me.
Mike: Overall, despite some mediocre episodes here and there, after everything, they set up here, and given how well they stuck the landing, I’m pleased to say that, while not the best project Marvel Studios has crafted, THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER is still an exciting and thought-provoking ride, that has me adequately hyped to see how the rest of Sam and Bucky’s adventures will play out and impact the Marvel Cinematic Universe for phases to come.
Jami: While I enjoyed every episode, the series was strongest for me when Sam and Bucky were working together. Any time they went off to do something on their own, the show seemed to lag, although I did enjoy the quieter moments involving Sam’s family. THE FALCON AND WINTER SOLDIER did a fantastic job of allowing Sam to become Captain America on his own terms while allowing Bucky to make peace with his past, all while asking hard questions about how our superheroes can stand for something more than protecting America’s nationalistic instincts.