As much as it pains me to say it, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier series came to an end this week with an action-packed finale. It was hard to say goodbye to these characters (for now, hoping for season 2 soon), as this series has been one of my absolute favorite comfort shows through the last few weeks.
It was so exciting to see Sam and Bucky grow and develop as characters over the last six weeks. We as fans got to see so much more of their backstory and the types of things that shape them as characters, outside of being part of the Captain America team. When watching the finale, there were several major takeaways I took note of, and I have compiled a list of them below:
Sam Wilson is one of the best characters in the MCU
Call me biased, but this series really helped to shape Sam to be one of the most compelling and heroic characters in the MCU. From the epic Captain America suit reveal, which I was blown away by, to his speech at the end of the fight with the Flag Smashers, to what he did for Isaiah Bradley, a man erased by the US government, he has proven you don’t need Super Soldier Serum to be Captain America. There were times where I teared up during the episode seeing Sam in the suit and making a speech to take a stand against the government’s wrongdoings, which made me proud to see how far he has come as a character.
Power Broker reveal
Throughout the series, there was one name brought up, but was never really revealed. The Power Broker was an all-powerful, mysterious source that funded criminal organizations like the Flag Smashers, etc. The identity of this person remained unknown until this episode, where it was revealed to be Sharon Carter. I kind of guessed that it would be her, but it still surprised me how they chose to take her character down this darker path. At the end of the episode, we see that she is granted a full pardon from the U.S. after being exiled, but we soon learn she is going to use her new position in the government as a way to sell government secrets. I think this choice to give her that edge and possible villainous streak makes for an interesting character arch and uses her character better than it had been in the past Captain America movies.
John Walker becoming U.S. Agent
In the series, we see the character of John Walker spiral into this darker, lawless place, as he takes the super soldier serum and loses his title as Captain America. However, after a slightly heroic act in this episode with saving the people being terrorized by the Flag Smashers, it showed audiences that the MCU is not done with John Walker yet. Cue the entrance of Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, played by the incredible Julia Louis-Dreyfus, a mysterious figure offering Walker a chance to get back in the game. We don’t know much about her other than what is in the comics, but we can assume she is a darker Nicky Fury-type character. In the end credits for the episode, we see that Fontaine had granted Walker a new costume, giving him the name “U.S. Agent”, which we can only assume is setting up his arc like in the comics and could possibly lead to a Dark Avengers movie or series in the future.
Sam and Bucky’s friendship is one of the best in the MCU
Yet again, this is just my opinion. Maybe I’m biased because these are two of my favorite characters in the MCU, but it feels like Sam and Bucky’s friendship has been a long time coming and was portrayed in the best way. In the Captain America movies, we see the two of them fighting a lot, especially as Bucky is trying to break free of his role as the Winter Soldier and Sam has a deep distrust of him and what he could do to manipulate Steve. We never really saw a lot of screen time between the two characters, but fans had been calling to get the two together due to the incredible real-life chemistry between Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan. Can I just say, they did not disappoint, as we finally got to see them together in a good place. The series did not rush their friendship or try to force it, but brought them together under unfortunate circumstances in a world without Steve Rogers. Both as characters had so much to offer each other to help them grow and overcome a lot, and it was so great to watch. The ending scene with Bucky reuniting with Sam in his hometown, surrounded by Sam’s loved ones, and them looking so happy and at peace, just felt like the right ending to leave these characters.
If you have not seen The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, you are definitely missing out! All episodes are currently up on Disney +.