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The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Series Review - Dynamic Duo!

The mini-series is full of exciting action and Captain America intrigue.

Reviewed by on Apr 23, 2021
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Kidzworld saw all episodes of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier on Disney+. Series centers on lesser-seen Avenger characters and villains and focuses on a solid duo vs. a flawed new Captain America.

In The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Sam Wilson, the Falcon (Anthony Mackie) joins forces with Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) to fight The Flag Smashers, an anti-patriotism terrorist cell run by super soldiers headed by Karli Monganthau (Erin Kellyman). They want a united world without borders in which citizens are willing to help one another in times of need. In other words a world based on how the survivors of the “blip” had to live for five years after. Their goals are worthy but their methods are bloody. Sam and Bucky share their friendship with Captain America Steve Rogers but have a different take on whether or not Sam should take up the shield, especially when a new Captain America/John Walker (Wyatt Russell) turns out to be far less than ideal.

Suited up and ready to rumbleSuited up and ready to rumbleCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Warning: Spoilers Below if you have yet to binge the entire series.

Epidsode 1 - New World Order

After Falcon shows off his flying skills rescuing a U.S. soldier near the Libyan border, he reports to Lieutenant Torres (Danny Ramirez) on the ground who tells him about a group called the Flag Smashers, who believe the world was better before the Blip brought back the half of the population that had been eradicated by Thanos’s Snap. Sam donates Captain America’s shield to the National Museum while Bucky Barnes has nightmares and is under therapy to shed his Winter Soldier persona. He has been pardoned for his crimes but can’t move ahead. Has no friends. He is trying to make amends to those he hurt.

Sam (Anthony Mackie) donates the Captain America shield to the national museumSam donates the Captain America shield to the national museumCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Sam visits his sister Sarah (Adepero Oduye), who wants to sell the family boat. Despite their loan officer recognizing Falcon enough to take a selfie, even the sisters of international heroes are given no special treatment in a post-Blip recession and Avengers don’t get paid to be heroes. Torres tells Sam about the Flag Smashers and wants Falcon and the ex-Winter Soldier to go after them. On T.V. we meet a new Captain America. Sam is upset that the government is trying to replace his old friend Steve.

The new Captain AmericaThe new Captain AmericaCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Epidsode 2 - The Star-Spangled Man

We learn more about military hero John Walker who doubts his ability to be a true superhero as the new Captain. We meet his friend and sidekick Lemar (Cle’ Bennett). Bucky tells Sam he was wrong to give up Cap’s shield.

Bucky (Sebastian Stan) isn't keen on working with the new CaptainBucky isn't keen on working with the new CaptainCourtesy of Marvel Studios

As the duo prepares to fight Karli and her Flag Smashers, the new Cap joins them. They don’t want to team with him. The enemy are eight super soldiers who have taken the same serum given once to Bucky. Bucky and Sam meet Isaiah Bradley (Carl Lumbly) once a Black super soldier that Sam and Steve never knew about. He was disowned and put in prison for rescuing his fellow soldiers when our government marked them for death. The closest thing to a Black Captain America was abused by our country.

Captain wants Bucky (Sebastian Stan) and Sam to work with him.Captain wants Bucky and Sam to work with him.Courtesy of Marvel Studios

After a cool action battle with the Flag Smashers, which ends awkwardly when Cap and buddy Lemar join in, Bucky and Sam spill all in a therapy session and, in pursuit of the Flag Smashers and a leader called the Power Broker, Bucky tells Sam that the only man who can help them locate him is old nemesis Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl).

The guys undergo intense therapyThe guys undergo intense therapyCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Epidsode 3 - Power Broker

While Cap is on a wild goose chase looking for Flag Smasher leader Karli in Germany, Sam and Bucky talk to Baron Zemo (who hated Avengers for destroying his home county of Sokovia and his family there). He has nothing to do with new super soldiers and sees that Bucky is no longer the Winter Soldier. He breaks out of jail and will work with the guys.

Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl) is needed to helpBaron Zemo is needed to helpCourtesy of Marvel Studios

The Flag Smashers are in Latvia where a woman who cared for several of them as kids, has just died. They have gotten more vials of super soldier serum and with the Baron, the guys go to find the Power Broker in Mandripoor. If there is any serum left, he should have it. Undercover efforts go awry and the group runs into Emily VanCamp’s Sharon Carter’s ex-S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent 13 who has been in hiding since “Civil War”.

Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl) can lead the guys to the serum makerBaron Zemo can lead the guys to the serum makerCourtesy of Marvel Studios

She will help the guys if Sam clears her name. The group tracks down Nagel, a scientist who recreated and made 20 vials of the serum. Thugs arrive and a big fight ensues with Nagel being killed. Who is the Power Broker and who actually has all the remaining vials? Captain America is frustrated that he seems to always be one step behind.

The guys plus Sharon track down Nagel's labThe guys plus Sharon track down Nagel's labCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Epidsode 4 - The Whole World is Watching

Wakanda-six years ago. The Dora Milaje (female soldier group) has successfully de-programmed Winter Soldier Bucky. His trigger words no longer work. He is free. He now tells them that the Baron is only a means to an end. Karli has realized that the serum is dangerous. Only Steve Rogers wasn’t corrupted by it. She has hidden serum vials under a tombstone and retrieves them, strapping them to her. She and other Flag Smashers attend her old friend’s funeral.

Karli leads the Flag SmashersKarli leads the Flag SmashersCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Captain America is also there as are Bucky and Zemo. Sam tries to talk Karli down but the Baron and Capt. are restless and burst in.

Captain America wants to bust in and kill KarliCaptain America wants to bust in and kill KarliCourtesy of Marvel Studios

She feels Sam betrayed her. Zemo shoots her and the vials go all over. Zemo smashes the vials but Captain pockets one. Karli survives but thinks all vials are smashed. The Wakandan women arrive and a big fight ensues. The women win, the Baron disappears and the Capt. Is pissed that he was beaten by non-super soldiers.

Bucky (Sebastian Stan) is deprogrammed in WakandaBucky is deprogrammed in WakandaCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Captain takes the serum and, in a battle with Karli’s forces, his old buddy Lamar is killed by Karli. He thinks another of her soldiers killed him and brutally beats the man to death with his shield. The video goes viral and this Captain America’s reputation is ruined. From a phone call we gather that Sharon is either the Power Broker or working with him. She is not a friend to Bucky and Sam.

Is Sharon (Emily VanCamp) actually the Power Broker?Is Sharon actually the Power Broker?Courtesy of Marvel Studios

Epidsode 5 - Truth

After Captain America beats a man to death, he hides to clear his head. Bucky and Sam try to talk him down. Sam wants the shield. He refuses to give it up and a fight occurs in which it is obvious that Cap has taken the serum. Bucky and the Captain are almost equal now and it’s a brutal fight.

Karli (Emily Kellyman) has vials of the serumKarli has vials of the serumCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Finally Bucky and Sam win and Bucky wants Sam to pick up the Shield and be Captain America! Sam and Bucky are told to stand down. Karli has gone deep undercover. Nobody will find her. Sam takes the shield home and tells Torres to “keep the wings”. John Walker is stripped of all awards, dishonorably discharged and can never be Captain America again.

John Walker (Wyatt Russell) is given a dishonorable dischargeJohn Walker is given a dishonorable dischargeCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Defeated, John Walker is approached by the mysterious Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) (a super-spy, triple agent infiltrating S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra). She may have some jobs for him.

Super spy de Fontaine wants John to work for herSuper spy de Fontaine wants John to work for herCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Karli visits the orphanage that has now been shut down. She is further angered. While in Sokovia, the Baron visits a memorial. He asks Bucky to kill Karli. He might, but his own way. He almost kills the Baron but turns him over to the Wakandan warrior women instead. After a visit with defamed soldier Isaiah Bradley, Sam learns that he wasn’t even told what the serum was and was experimented on. When he tried to save fellow Black soldiers, he was sent to prison. The government now thinks he is dead.  A Black man will never be accepted or supported as Captain America and Sam shouldn’t try.

Wakanda warrior approaches BuckyWakanda warrior approaches BuckyCourtesy of Marvel Studios

At home with his sister again, Sam gets locals to help him with the family boat repair and Bucky shows up to help also. The two men further bond as friends. He gives Sam a high tech looking suitcase and says the Wakandans worked on what is inside. He thinks it might be his Falcon wings but doesn’t open it.

Bucky flirts with Sam's sister on the boatBucky flirts with Sam's sister on the boatCourtesy of Marvel Studios

We see that Sharon assigns someone a job. Is she really the Power Broker? After the boat is fixed, Sam goes back home with the shield and starts practicing using it and working out. He and Bucky talk about their love for Steve Rogers and the fact that they both have to move on.

Bucky (Sebastian Stan) wants Sam to be the new Captain AmericaBucky wants Sam to be the new Captain AmericaCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Bucky realizes what an extra burden being Captain America would be for a Black man especially. He still feels he needs to say sorry to more people he hurt as Winter Soldier.

Sam (Anthony Mackie) practices with the Captain America shieldSam practices with the Captain America shieldCourtesy of Marvel Studios

The two will keep in touch if news of Karli comes in. She and the Flag Smashers decide to blow up a government meeting. She has been given a new weapon. She doesn’t want refugees moved back to their countries of origin. Torres is tracking their messages. Lights go off at the meeting.

Karli (Emily Kellyman) is given a new weaponKarli is given a new weaponCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Sam opens the suitcase given him by Bucky. What is inside? His Falcon wings or a new Captain America suit?  We see that John Walker is making his own Captain America shield. It won’t be as strong but he is welding his military medals to it.

Epidsode 6 - One World, One People

The Flag Smashers are determined to stop the GRC vote that will close borders and move refugees back to their original countries. Delegates are being evacuated. Bucky walks the area and Sharon is there in disguise looking for Flag Smasher members. Sam, now wearing a new Captain America suit….with wings made in Wakanda, busts through a window with Cap’s shield. He has decided. He’s the new Cap. He realizes that Karli wants the delegates evacuated!

Sam Wilson as the new Captain AmericaSam Wilson as the new Captain AmericaCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Now hostages, GRC members are put on armored transports. Karli calls Bucky to convince him she’s right. He tells her she will remember the innocents she killed. He still does. Sharon fights a Flag Smasher while Sam flies to the roof to stop a helicopter. Sam saves a soldier and the public notices, cheering him while Bucky saves hostages from a transport Karli has set on fire. John Walker as Cap shows up to fight Karli but his new, wimpy shield doesn’t hold up. Sam deftly finishes up saving hostages in the helicopter and arrives just in time to keep a transport from falling off a bridge where hostages inside would die. A Black bystander i.d.’s him as the “Black Falcon” whereas another says “No. That’s Captain America”!

Karli gets away on foot and Bucky with the Walker Captain and Sam, split up to find her. It’s Sharon who finds her and pulls a gun. We learn that, yes, Sharon is the Power Broker having helped Karli launch her campaign in Mandripoor. They wanted different things; Sharon to control a world that hurt her and Karli to change it for the better. Sharon feels betrayed and shoots Karli. One of Karli’s men arrives, threatens to reveal Sharon’s identity to the world so she shoots him but he also shoots her. Sam arrives. He doesn’t want to fight Karli but she is about to shoot him when Sharon, injured, shoots and kills her. She dies in Sam’s arms.

Karli Morganthau will die for her causeKarli Morganthau will die for her causeCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Sam talks a GRC head senator into reconsidering the group’s decision to relocate refugees. Many came home from the blip to find others living in their houses. This guy should now understand what it is to be helpless. Change is hard. Sam ought to know. He’s taking on Captain America as a Black man. Later Sam thanks Sharon for stopping Karli, even though he’s sad about it. He offers to still get her a pardon. Does he not know that she is the Power Broker?

Final scenes involve four of the Flag Smashers being blown up by Baron Zemo’s forces while on their way to a maximum security prison called “The Raft”. Valentina de Fontaine is happy about this and we see Walker in a new non-Cap black suit ready to do her bidding as, he thinks, a U.S. Agent. Bucky continues to apologize to people he wronged as the Winter Soldier and Sam visits Isaiah, showing him a statue of him in a new museum exhibit that tells his true story. Everyone will now know just what a hero he is. Bucky joins Sam and family near their restored boat for a party.

Bucky celebrates with Sam and his familyBucky celebrates with Sam and his familyCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Wrapping Up

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is loaded with big-screen-worthy action and sharp character development. The series proves itself worthy of Captain America's legacy with its globetrotting intrigue and mature, current social commentary. Rebellion is the currency of the day and Karli Morganthau and crew illustrate how a cause can seem both “good” and “bad”. 

John Walker (Wyatt Russell) thinks of taking the super soldier serumJohn Walker thinks of taking the super soldier serumCourtesy of Marvel Studios

We love the sparky rapport and fun banter between stars Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan who have great buddy chemistry. There is a lot of personal development for each lead character.. we really get what makes each man tick.

Sam and Bucky work on Sam's family boatSam and Bucky work on Sam's family boatCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Some of the plotting seems rushed as a lot of things happen with no real explanation but a lot is being stuffed into six episodes.

Can Sam be the next Captain America?Can Sam be the next Captain America?Courtesy of Marvel Studios

The final two episodes bringing Sam to his decision to take up the Captain America shield as Steve Rogers wanted are wonderful, emotional and timely. The extra burden a Black Captain America will face wasn’t easy to accept for Sam…. And we feel for him. Will he be more accepted now than ever before or do old prejudices still rule? The final episode showcases Sam’s new suit…with wings and his fighting skills. He’s made the right decision. There are several satisfying emotional moments, especially involving abused old soldier Isaiah Bradley, that will cause a few tears.

The guys in Mandripoor looking for Power BrokerThe guys in Mandripoor looking for Power BrokerCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Action seems to be amped up to super-speed as the series wraps up. We feast our eyes on great production design and expensive-looking action sequences. You can tell this isn’t a cheap series.

We don’t know if there will be a season 2 but most likely, this is the end of this mini-series. However, the duo, with Sam as the new Cap, might show up in a theatrical movie. We award four stars.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Series Rating: 4

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Series Review - Dynamic Duo | DisneyCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Stream the full series of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier on Disney+!