Main cast: Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson/Falcon), Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes/Winter Solder), Wyatt Russell (John Walker), Clé Bennett (Lemar Hoskins/Battlestar), Erin Kellyman (Karli Morgenthau), Daniel Brühl (Baron Zemo), Emily VanCamp (Sharon Carter), and Florence Kasumba (Ayo)
Director: Kari Skogland
Sadly, it doesn’t seem like The Whole World Is Watching where this show is concerned, if the complete lack of hype around this show is anything to go by. Discounting the usual shills that will praise anything Disney puts out in order to keep gaining backstage access and what not, there is no heated discussion about each episode, nothing.
Disney+ will likely never release viewership numbers, and I don’t know many people that are watching this show. Those that are subscribed to Disney+ watch other shows on that service, just not this one. Strange thing is, those people were rabid MCU fans a few years ago, and I was often the odd person out because I wasn’t convinced that the MCU films were that great. Now, though, the most rabid of the lot admitted to me that he had seen the entire season, and told me bluntly, “It was bad.” I can only wonder whether, since Avengers: Endgame, people just got tired, or whether there had since been other show franchises that improved on the MCU formula.
Therefore, it may be prudent for these people to start courting new fans. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, however, is even more newbie-unfriendly than WandaVision, operating on the vain assumption that those that watch this show know religiously the convoluted and sometimes contradictory lore of the MCU films. In the last episode, for example, Baron Zemo shows up without much background information given to newbies, and in this episode, we have some bit player from the Black Panther movie suddenly showing up to claim some past acquaintance with Bucky.
As for the plot, we basically move a step or two from the previous episode. Photogenic model-like “refugees” making a case about how they don’t need charity when their placement in this movie suggests that they do, and yes, these refugees are all sainted people. If they were driven to evil, like Raggedy Ann Bore, it’s because they felt that the world didn’t care about them, et cetera. I’d be more sympathetic if these refugees were portrayed more like refugees and not, say, agitprop given an unrealistic United Colors of Benetton gloss created solely to allow the people behind the agitprop to feel woke and proud of themselves.
Sam becomes more and more of the angry boring woke mouthpiece about oppression and unfairness, when I can only wonder why then he didn’t just spend more time helping these refugees instead of just posturing about things. Hey, with that flying gadget he has, he can easily grab a few cute refugee girls and drop them into the compounds of those actors in Hollywood so that these actors can take those children in instead of just making eye-rolling dumb speeches on Oscar nights.
Oh, and John Walker starts getting more and more derailed, mostly because he isn’t getting his way and he also isn’t as woke as the others. He’s the most interesting character here, precisely because he’s the only one not talking in a monotonous, dour manner, but of course he’s going to be embarrassed by the script.
Factor in that each episode seems to be turning into a “let’s see what bit character from older shows that we can shove in next” parade, and I really have a hard time buying some people’s claims that this show is a runaway success. If anything, people seem to be running away from it. Heaven knows I would, if I hadn’t already committed myself to reviewing this show to its end.