Main cast: Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson/Falcon), Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes/Winter Solder), Wyatt Russell (John Walker), Don Cheadle (James Rhodes/War Machine), Erin Kellyman (Karli Morgenthau), Danny Ramirez (Joaquin Torres), Amy Aquino (Dr Christina Raynor), and Georges St-Pierre (Georges Batroc)
Director: Kari Skogland
This is just my personal anecdote, and I am not claiming that I represent the majority of folks out there, but I had no idea that this show was out until I stumbled upon it a few days later after its premiere. No one I know talked about it, no pop culture YouTube commentators that I follow discussed it—they were far too busy salivating over a certain four-hour cut that I still couldn’t find the time to sit down and watch yet, and really, nobody around me seems to care at all.
Thinking back, during the early days of WandaVision, the malaise seemed to have set in as well. When they heard that I was watching the show, their response was a near-uniform variation of: “Oh, it’s kind of weird. You’re watching it? Good, tell me how the whole thing went once the series ended!”
I have a hard time mustering the enthusiasm to watch New World Order, the first episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, myself. It was only when I had enough queries and “Please watch it so that I don’t have to!” demands from other people that I finally sat down and gave this one a go. The things I do for all of you, I tell you.
At any rate, I wonder what happened to sap away much of the enthusiasm about the MCU. COVID-19? Disney’s ridiculous performative wokeness that only underscored its own hypocrisy with every nonsense they pulled? Avengers: Endgame, however fun it was, offered closure to many of the principle characters of the previous era, and right now, Disney is elevating sidekicks to main roles when they are not offering female versions of certain heroes, instead of just coming up with original good female characters. I mean, do we really need a female Hawkeye, if the rumors were true? The male version is ass enough as it is. Then there are rumors about a female Thor. Why? Are there no original strong female heroes that these people can use, that they have to insultingly settle for imitations in order to demonstrate how much they respect women? Of course, we also need an Asian hero, and he has to be the one that does martial arts, because you know, that’s not a stereotype at all, sigh. Westerners and their stupid so-called progressive notions about how Asians should be, I tell you.
Anyway, I’ve gone off-track, but that’s because there isn’t much to say about this episode that is interesting. Yes, I’ve said it.
At least WandaVision starts off with an intriguing gimmick. Sure, the whole mystery box premise ends up under-delivering and I soon realize that the bulk of the characters introduced had nothing to do with the main plot; they were just there to advertise their own spin-offs. Still, the first episode promised something interesting. This one, though, feels like deleted scenes from the Captain America movies retrieved and made into its own special cut of a spin-off series. Perhaps this is to be expected, as this is, after all, a show about Captain America’s B-roll sidekicks but still, I’d have thought the show could at least let these two characters shine on their own right instead of reminding me so hard and so often that they are the extras that are given the spotlight because the main star had gone off to lose his virginity at long last to his girlfriend some point in the past.
So, now that we know more of Falcon, he’s… er, quip-heavy, impulsive, can fly, and use his wings to form a bulletproof shield. So, a Captain Iron America? War Machine fellow shows up too, giving everyone the side-eye because there is only space for one leading black hero in a single Marvel show, so there.
Bucky Barnes is traumatized by the things he had done in the past as a sleeper agent, and, er, yeah.
There are some ladies here that talk in sassy ways, to show everyone that the MCU hadn’t been overcome by toxic masculinity and the folks in social media can therefore look at DCEU instead for things to cancel. These ladies talk like walking Twitter-bots, complete with invisible finger-snaps punctuating their feisty words, as well as facial expressions and head-snaps made for people to turn into memes.
Oh, and by the end of the episode, a threat has arrived. Foreign scumbags threatening to promote open borders! Wait, I’m now confused. I know open borders are bad now, according to the US mainstream media, since we have a Democrat lich as the President of the United States now, but this show was made during the days of Orange Man Bad when open borders were a good thing used to pump up why a lich should be allowed to place its phylactery in the White House. So… why is the show claiming that open borders is a bad thing? Considering how political Disney is nowadays, so long as doing so won’t hurt its bottom line in China, I can only wonder what this means. Is this show some kind of secret anti-Bernie Sanders propaganda? Or maybe the bad guys will turn out to be the good guys after all, and the US military is actually the bad guy because, euw, white men and guns are like, so alt-right Nazi CANCELLED.
Who knows, or cares.
Now that I have watched this thing, I guess I may as well watch the rest of the season. I may as well watch that certain four-hour cut as well. Still, the two leading men in this one are so very pretty, so maybe I can turn the volume down and just gaze at the scenery when things get rough. Perhaps this show may actually be fun. Fingers crossed, and knock on wood.