The Falcon and Winter Soldier wrapped up a chapter of Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes’ (Sebastian Stan) story with Friday’s sixth and final episode.
The series follows Wilson and Barnes as they deal with a post-blip world without Steve Rogers’ Captain America and a group known as Flag-Smashers whose plan is to fight and foil the world governments’ plans to relocate the population that returned after the blip.
After the U.S. government assigns the new Captain America, John Walker (Wyatt Russel), to take up Steve Roger’s shield, Bucky and Sam struggle to subject themselves to his authority and find themselves going toe to toe.
The show in its entirety tackles issues such as racism in the U.S., labels, PTSD and bringing iconic figures down from the pedestal we put them on and seeing them as the people they are, amongst other themes.
The conclusion of the show is a final battle between Wilson, Barnes and the Flag Smashers, led by their leader Karli Morgenthau (Erin Kellyman) as they try to kill political hostages to fulfill their plan.
Wilson shows up to the battle no longer as Falcon, but as Captain America, with a suit and wings courtesy of the Wakandans. He and Barnes also received help from Sharron Carter (Emily VanCamp) to fight Batroc the Leaper (Georges St-Pierre).
Walker shows up to the fight with a homemade shield that doesn’t last long and redeems himself, showing heroism by rushing to save a group of hostages trapped in a truck that’s about to fall over a ledge.
At the end of the battle, Wilson delivers a speech that encapsulates the frustration of a lot of people in today’s America, where Black people are profiled and politicians seem to be deaf to the ears of the citizens they should be serving.
“You just don’t understand,” one of the politicians says to Sam, to which he responds, “I’m a Black man carrying the stars and stripes. What don’t I understand? Every time I pick this thing up, I know there are millions of people who are going to hate me for it. Even now, here, I feel it. The stares, the judgment. And there’s nothing I can do to change it. Yet I’m still here. No super serum, no blonde hair, or blue eyes. The only power I have is that I believe we can do better.”
The show uses the moment to highlight the very real-life frustrations and worries of countless people who deal with racial profiling, disenfranchising, and other social issues.
The second to last scene is Sam paying respects to Isaiah Bradley (Carl Lumbly) a former Korean War veteran who was given the super-soldier serum but was later imprisoned by the U.S. government and used for testing. Wilson takes Bradley to the Smithsonian, and shows him a new installation where there is now a statue dedicated to “Isaiah Bradley”.
The show then concludes with Wilson and Barnes celebrating with Wilson’s family in Louisiana. As the two walk away and the camera fades, the title card of the show reads “Captain America and The Winter Soldier.”
While the show wasn’t afraid to tackle and talk about very real issues and themes that were often found feeling as if they took place in the real world and not a cinematic one, the ending did feel somewhat rushed.
There was a want for a seventh episode to allow for more of the characters’ development that was given in the previous five episodes. However, it leaves the door open and paves the way for the next chapter in the titular character’s lives as well as that of the supporting characters.
As one character says in the post-credit scene, “things are about to get weird.”
“The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” is available to stream on Disney+