“The Star-Spangled Man” rectifies something that was missing in last week’s “New World Order,” which is that it brings the two titular characters back together immediately, and keeps them together through the episode. Doing so leads to some really inspired bits of comedy between Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie, really allowing them to tap into the chemistry that made their scenes stand out in CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR. It also allows us to immediately get into the root of the conflict between them – Sam’s choice.

Watching every episode feels a lot like reading a 22-page issue of a CAPTAIN AMERICA comic book, and the show is starting to tap heavily into Captain America mythos as well, which is something I genuinely appreciate and is incredibly welcome. But more than that, and most importantly, it’s also tapping into a lot of social issues we face today inspired by the BLM movement and systemic racism in America. This is a smart, and bold choice, feeling more impactful than forced because we know the types of issues presented in this episode are things that we see on the news every day.

The only area where the show needs to progress on is the narrative, which (like WANDAVISION) is taking its time moving the story along. It’s a good thing because we get to explore theme and character better. But with 1/3 of the season completed already, we will need to start picking up the pace sooner.

The second episode of THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER is available to stream now on Disney +!

Mike Manalo

Born a Slytherin. Baptized into Marvel. Bitten by a Radioactive DC fan. And raised a Jedi, Mike Manalo is a silent guardian, a watchful protector… a Dark Nerd!

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