The Falcon and the Winter Soldier ★★★★

“Steve represented the best in all of us. Courageous, righteous, hopeful. And he mastered posing stoically.“

In contrast to its predecessor, WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier does not have as high highs. Unlike that former show, Falcon also suffers from being heavily in the shadow of the film it is most clearly a spin-off; Captain America: The Winter Soldier. This is unfortunate because that film just so happens to be the best in the whole pantheon of Marvel Studios releases. However, what is immediately impressive about The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is its surprisingly good quality control. Over the course of six episodes, there is no noticeable dip in quality nor consistency which is a feat worthy of praise in itself. 

In many ways, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is a pretty important show. Addressing a number of hot-button political issues relating to racial relations, propaganda, immigration and modern terrorism, I would be lying if I said this was not a well scripted programme. Like the Winter Soldier film before it, this series pushes the envelope of what kind of stories can be told in this medium and with these characters, leading to one of the most mature and sophisticated superhero shows that can be shared with a family audience.

However, that does not inherently lead to fast-paced entertainment. The balance between high-octane action, compelling character drama and social commentary is not always pitch perfect. My biggest complaint with this series, so far, would surely be in pacing. The first episode especially suffers from a lack of excitement and intrigue with a lot of time dedicated to establishing the status quo and setting up themes to be explored in more depth later on. Episode five also has this issue a little bit as well though is certainly much more compelling on the whole. In terms of characters, our titular heroes do take at least an episode to get going but are unfortunately overshadowed by a new entry into the MCU; John Walker. Walker is far and away my favourite character and steals every scene that he appears in. He even proves more compelling than the main villains as well which is no small feat. 

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Is a solid miniseries. It has a lot to say which is worth taking the time to listen to but it spends the larger part of its runtime being an acceptable but not enthralling piece of entertainment. Solid work all round.

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