Disney+ already landed a huge hit with WandaVision as the start of their Marvel takeover of the platform. Where that show was quirky, strange, weird, tense, and at points terrifying, we have a new show on the block. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is more grounded than WandaVision was. There are inevitably going to be comparisons between the two, although The Falcon and The Winter Soldier was originally first in line.

At least from the first episode, this feels like the most human and real a Marvel property has felt. After you suspend the disbelief that we’re talking about a superhero with a flying pack and another with a metal arm that’s 100+ years old, you can see why. Without delving into spoilers, let’s see why this show’s opening episode works so well.

For The First Time In Ages, A Small, Contained To Earth Story

Courtesy of: Disney and Marvel Studios

While the idea of supersoldier serum falling into the wrong hands sounds like high sci-fi or fantasy, in the MCU, it’s one of the smaller stories. Our first episode starts off with a bang, with one of the best action sequences involving Sam, that we’ve seen yet. It’s juxtaposed by the terror and regret that plagues Bucky. His past as The Winter Soldier is catching up to him in the form of nightmares.

The scenes with him and his therapist are the real highlight here. They’re acted with humor but also knowing that deep down, Bucky is a troubled person emotionally. You get to see more of Sam’s family, and his motivations for helping out that family. This episode included one of the funniest scenes you can imagine for a superhero to be involved in. It all builds the dramatic and comedic tension until it bursts.

You’ve never seen heroes like this before. Sure, we got Tony Stark’s wounds on full display, or Thor, or Wanda, but those are either larger than life cosmic beings or incredibly rich, playboy, philanthropists. What works with Sam and Bucky, is that they connect with the audience on a human level. We all have emotional troubles, money troubles, family troubles, dating troubles, you name it. That’s why the first episode works so well.

The Issue Of Race Bubbles Up

Sam doesn’t want the mantle of Captain America. I’m sure the US Gov or someone else doesn’t want him to be the shining beacon of hope either. Sam willingly gives up the shield during this episode and it leads to a shocking final thirty seconds of the episode. After such a human episode, it really hits you where it hurts. From our coverage of the Press Conference about the show this past weekend, you can tell the show and it’s creators are going for that message.

It’s Still Classic MCU Through And Through

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

When the action happens, you can tell it’s a Marvel property. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is a terrific start for the new show. This was originally going to lead us into the next Phase of Marvel, but it got pushed aside for WandaVision. That might be for the best because now, while expectations are high, this show started very strong. It’s got all the human emotion and action you’d want out of a show from Marvel Studios. Where it goes from here, is a mystery that we’ll have to unwind. But like every buddy-action film out there, whether it’s 48 Hrs, Lethal Weapon, or Rush Hour, the fun doesn’t start until the two main characters team up.

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