TL;DR – What a stunning end to a remarkable story.
Post-Credit Scene – There is a Mid-Credit Scene
Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ subscription that viewed this episode.
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier Review –
And so it has come to an end. I was unsure what The Falcon and The Winter Soldier would explore rather than let Anthony Mack and Sebastian Stan banter with each other for six episodes. However, as we have gone through this first(?) season, it is clear that the show was, of course, ready for the banter, but it wanted more. Well, today, we take a look to see, after all that promise, if the show sticks the landing.
So to set the scene, we open in one the end of Truth, as the Flag Smashers make a move and attack the central GRC meeting in New York. Karli (Erin Kellyman) holds off until Sam (Anthony Mackie), Bucky (Sebastian Stan), and a surprise Sharon (Emily VanCamp) arrive on the scene. But Sam understands the plan. Karli wants them to evacuate because that is where she is going to attack. The question is that in the chaos, can Sam stop things before they go too far. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
We need to look at the action because a good half of this episode is one long action sequence. The first strength they showed was to split the trio up because each of them fights differently. This gives the filmmakers the ability to cut between the different set pieces without losing momentum and without the audience getting drained. The highlight of this for me was the chase between Sam and the Helicopter over New York Harbour. Skating across the water and swooping up, it is one of those moments that I wonder if it would still stand up if we saw it on the big screen because I would like to see it on the big screen.
While on the balance of things, this episode is a success for Sam/Falcon/Captain America. But it is also, in one way, a personal failure because it was so close to it not happening. Back in The Whole World is Watching, there was this moment when Sam almost reached Karli, shifting her off the path she was heading down. Because he knows her pain, he was able to cut to the heart of the matter and would have succeeded here if not for the interruption of John ‘faux Cap’ Walker (Wyatt Russell). Walker’s interruption radicalised Karli even more, making New York inevitable. Even here, we see Sam try to reach her. There is that level of care that you don’t often see in superheroes. So it hurts all the more that he is never able to reach her because she is shot by Sharon. The only reason this can work as well as it does is that Anthony Mackie is a superb actor, and you see it in his performance.
Indeed, this is the day for big character moments for almost everyone in the main cast bar Torres (Danny Ramirez), who was relegated to a since scene insert and not in a character confirming way that we got with Zemo (Daniel Brühl). For starters, we get to see that Sharon is indeed the Power Broker, something I suspected back in Power Broker, but not that she was going into this role at full tilt. John Walker also got a slight redemption arc which was a little frustrating that it happened so quickly. Though it did mean we got more of Countess Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), who was once again a pure joy.
After all the dust had settled, the question is, did the show stick the landing? And I would say that it did. You would not get emotional when Bucky went to see the old man if you did not care about his story. You would not sit back in awe as Captain America schools those senators in how to act with integrity if you had not seen all of Cap’s struggles to get where he was or get teary when he took Isaiah (Carl Lumbly) to the Museum. More importantly, you would not have gotten the pure joy of Bucky getting his flirt on at Sarah’s (Adepero Oduye) party by lifting up all the kids with one arm.
In the end, do we recommend One World, One People? Yes, yes, we do. What a way to end a show. It took a global story and made it personal. It provided some of the best action of the show so far without diluting its message. It also was a whole lot of fun.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier
Directed by – Kari Skogland
Written by – Malcolm Spellman & Josef Sawyer
Created by – Malcolm Spellman
Based on – Characters created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
Production/Distribution Companies – Marvel Studios & Disney+
Starring – Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Emily VanCamp, Wyatt Russell, Erin Kellyman, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Danny Ramirez, Georges St-Pierre, Adepero Oduye, Carl Lumbly & Daniel Brühl with Amy Aquino, Desmond Chiam, Dani Deetté, Indya Bussey, Renes Rivera, Chase River McGhee, Tyler Dean Flores, Elijah Richardson, Aaron Haynes, Ken Takemoto, Miki Ishikawa, Rebecca Lines & Jane Rumbaua