The final episode of Falcon and the Winter Solider has arrived and while it doesn’t top anything that episode four or two brought, it was much stronger than episode five.
Firstly though, the new Captain looks amazing. His entrance to the GRC building and then the shot of him carrying Karli looked brilliant. The last one was really powerful in terms of how Falcon has consistently tried to talk her down, he wanted to save her. That’s why he makes a good Captain America.
The action in the series has been beyond brilliant. As I mentioned in episode four, Marvel don’t shy away from the brutal nature of the action. For instance, the moment when Sharon Carter gassed that Flag Smasher goon was a great cinematic moment. Captain America’s action scene with Batroc was strong, and how he used his wings with Karli (and throughout the whole season) has still been creative.
Bucky had a strong conversation with Karli as well, how fighting for something bigger than yourself isn’t always good, it can still lead down the wrong path. His character was left in a strong position as well. He told his friend the truth and completed Steve’s book. Bucky leaving it with his therapist was symbolic of him leaving not only his past being but completing his arc from moving away from Steve.
Walker’s arc fell apart a little, however. Across the season he is made to be a darker character and a darker hero than Captain America. But trying to help the GRC members instead of hunting Karli, and then working with Buck at the end didn’t feel right for his arc. It felt like a slight regression. Especially because he is working for the Contessa as US Agent, a darker hero. Hopefully, when Walker comes back, he is the darker hero making the more aggressive choices his character is built on. He is definitely the personal favourite to come out of the season. Where he and the Contessa go from here will bound to be good.
Sharon being the Power Broker does make sense. Her government and hero left her out in the cold and while it dampens Peggy’s legacy that is part of the point. She is transitioning into a phase one Tony Stark; in the sense, she is selling weapons with no accountability to the highest bidder. Hopefully, they will continue to build off of that, especially now she got her life back. Perhaps in a season 2?
Finally, seeing Zemo again, learning that his goals were reached, satisfied and content, even in prison. Zemo being name-dropped by the Contessa as well as her working with US Agent could lead into a Thunderbolt direction, especially with Abomination coming up in She-Hulk. Given the Thunderbolts are a team used to perform darker missions for shadowy agencies, it makes sense why four super-soldiers couldn’t simply be left at the Raft. They create irreconcilable conflict with Zemo, and also hold strong anti-government ideals. However, them dying seems like somewhat of a missed opportunity, as the Flag Smashers could have proved a dangerous force going forward. Especially with an open power broker and a different Captain America.
Overall, this series works well. The action is strong, the characters stronger and it leaves threads open at the right length. The political commentary mostly works as well, especially surrounding Walker. Personally better than WandaVision, though that series is different. Whether in a season two or a film, wherever these characters pop up next will be amazing.
By Kieran Burt
Feature image: Disney