Series Review (With Spoilers): The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: Season 1, Episode 6


Image from Disney+

Sam Wilson (Mackie) in his new suit as Captain America.

“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: Episode 6 – One World, One People” was written by Malcolm Spellman and Josef Sawyer and directed by Kari Skogland. As the Flag Smashers prepare to take out the GRC to make their worldwide statement, Sam (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky (Sebastian Stan) come to stop them.

Note: “Captain America 4” was reported to be in the works with showrunner Malcolm Spellman and writer Dalan Musson (Episode 5) to pen the script directly after finishing this review. Anthony Mackie is the only actor confirmed to star as of now. 

Just as it was with the “WandaVision” finale, “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” ends by delivering exactly what is to be expected. The remainder of the series has warranted fan theories to be shut down, and now that we’re here, we get what we get. That’s not to say I wasn’t satisfied with this conclusion, I was, although I think these endings need to pack a little more of a punch and move away from soft final notes. We were warned at the beginning of the series that this would act as a movie split into six parts, and, also like “WandaVision,” in that it puts the characters first. Saving the stronger endings for the films makes sense, and now that Falcon levels up to Captain America, does that mean they could be movie material now that we’ve learned more about these characters in a way that wouldn’t fit into a feature-length film? I think it would be a bad look if a big screen adventure was not in Sam and Bucky’s future. 

Perhaps setting up a plethora of upcoming projects would’ve taken away from the impact of Sam’s speech following Karli Morgenthau’s (Erin Kellyman) death. I appreciate how they retracted from the standard MCU formula to focus on a black man becoming the new Captain America. The exhibit of Isaiah Bradley (Carl Lumbly) is part of that too, and I was happy to see him get justice. I also don’t mind how they are continuing to use Captain America as a title and not as one specific character. Typically, superhero suits that are this accurate to the comics don’t translate well on screen, but my thoughts on this may change in the future. The suit is not perfect, but I think it looks great.

Image from Disney+

As I suspected, the bland Flag Smashers went out not with a war-cry, but with a whimper. This isn’t anywhere near a case where you love to hate these villains either, like we did with John Walker (Wyatt Russell). I’ve just never been given any reason to care about them, their motives or their backgrounds over the course of six episodes. Not that Batroc  (Georges St-Pierre) was a masterpiece of a villain either. I happen to actually like his jumping and kicking fight style, but he also went out like a chump, by getting shot by Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp), who is revealed as the Power Broker. Like I said when she first showed up in episode three, if she was in fact the mysterious leader of the underworld in Madripoor, I would need some kind of motive to create that change in character arc. The best explanation possible would’ve been that she was betrayed by her own country after helping Steve Rogers in “Captain America: Civil War,” yet after being pardoned in the end credits scene, she makes a phone call to someone about rounding up any buyers now that she has access to top secret government intel. This could be what propels us into “Armor Wars,” releasing next year. I don’t think she’s a Skrull because the whole purpose of “Secret Invasion” was that Skrulls wouldn’t draw more attention to themselves. All in all, this is a bad look given the legacy of her aunt, Peggy Carter. 

John Walker is another character in this episode who’s drastically different. The show seems to have totally forgiven him after murdering someone in front of the world. I was expecting a redemption to happen at some point, but it was way too rushed. Walker served no time, and, unlike Bucky, if he was asked if he did anything morally wrong, he would probably answer “no.” He would show no remorse, and we’re not yet at a point where we can feel sympathetic towards him. Speaking of Bucky, I realize that the purpose of the show was to make it so that Sam was worthy of holding the shield, but Bucky wasn’t built up as much as he was. Anyway, I like where Walker’s story is going after his transformation into U.S. Agent.

Image from Disney+

Due to the release switch of this show and “Black Widow,” I believe we will get our introduction of the Thunderbolts in that film. Val (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is supposedly meant to appear in that film, and with the inclusion of Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh) and Thunderbolt Ross (William Hurt), it looks like that’s what this corner of the MCU is building towards. If U.S. Agent is going to be part of that team as well, I think I’ll find forgiveness eventually. There are so many underutilized villains roaming this universe such as Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) and Abomination (Tim Roth), who is set to appear in “She-Hulk” next year. I am very excited about what’s to come with them.

Each phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has gradually embraced the comics more and more. We are two projects into phase four, and we’re already beyond what was ever delivered before. I simply cannot express my anticipation for the future in word form. After the slight break from now until “Loki” debuts, which will be the first of these Marvel series to primarily set attention on a single character rather than a duo, we will have some form of entertainment set in this franchise for the rest of the year, including “Black Widow,” What If…?,” “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” “Hawkeye,” “Eternals,” “Ms. Marvel” and “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”