America may not accept a black Captain America, but Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) will persist ahead of a prejudiced nation because that’s what being a true American is. To sound like a cliched politician, America is about the idea that all men are created equal. When there’s a problem with the US, it’s not up to the Captain to be a poster boy for patriotism. It’s to challenge a nation when it is not enduring its standards. Abiding by Steve Roger’s philosophy of doing what’s right, Sam places his beliefs upfront for the whole world to see whether they like it or not.
The beauty in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is its proof of television being a writer’s medium. A movie would have condensed the character development needed to make Sam the next Captain America. To adapt what was explained in these six episodes on the big screen would require a trilogy that would be underwhelming compared to the Captain America movies. I must tip my hat to Malcolm Spellman (the head writer) and Kari Skogland (the director). My interest in Sam was initially relatively narrow. His everyman, calm demeanor rendered him dull. Now seeing the whole picture, I see that’s the entire reason why Steve gave Sam the shield.
The six-hour structure of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier invests us in each character along with social commentary that’s appropriately displayed within the context of the narrative. In a movie, Sam and Bucky (Sebastian Stan) would have had more of a rushed Lethal Weapon buddy cop vibe. With television, we get to see each character flourish naturally, placing them within their appropriate positions for future installments of the ongoing MCU. To think about it to a certain extent, the MCU treated films along with their sequels in a less condensed narrative arc similar to the way television shows are written. Marvel has returned to what inspired their films’ structural goals. That’s not to say that whatever Marvel puts on the page is perfect.
After all the reveals for her character, I still could care less about Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp). I don’t know why her organization betrayed her. Maybe if I had some specificity, I could give a damn. A hollow character all around, I felt more of a connection to Cole from Mortal Kombat than Ms. Carter. Even when agreeing with what Sam said, the format he used to address the racial issues America faces was, to me, unintentionally cheesy with the fourth wall being broken as the cameras are pointed for Sam to give his inspirational speech. I understand this moment drew similarities to the comics, but sometimes events in comics don’t adapt well to live-action. Bucky’s journey to becoming a better man felt like an afterthought, although his story was mainly complete in the penultimate episode. Bucky Barnes is a cured man, at least until something triggers him again. It would have been nice to see Bucky not relegated to a secondary character position in this episode with nothing to chew on. But I understand the finale is all about completing Sam’s arch.
Where we go from here is left open as with all Marvel properties. Whether it leads to more seasons or a movie is unbeknownst to me. What kind of threat will John Walker (Wyatt Russel) be now that he has an ally by his side, continuing to pull his strings. I’m sold overall with where Disney is taking this money train that can’t stop chugging along. Like always, substance wins over style. People don’t still love the Avengers because they’re cool; it’s because the story always mattered first. Nothing better exemplifies this than Sam’s gift to Isaia Bradley (Carl Lumbly). An absolute heartfelt moment that you can only get when you trust your writing staff. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier solidifies that character development will forever win in the end.
Do you agree with my rating?