Disney+ Mini-Series, 6 Episodes, released 2021
About the content:
Following the events of ‘Avengers: Endgame,’ Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) team up in a global adventure that tests their abilities — and their patience.
Admittedly, I wasn’t hugely excited when this mini-series was announced (unlike the upcoming Loki series) – and now halfway through, I have to say: better than expected.
First, because you get a little more insight into each character’s backstory, not just the main 2; then because their delightful banter – a bit like legendary Kirk/Spock. And then the references to current events: People who simply returned after 5 years of Thanos-limbo locked up in camps and starving; a divided society, people longing for the “normality of before”, cynical injustice – even an Avenger who saved the world many times over can’t get a loan. Maybe the “wrong” skin color?
This issue definitely plays a role in Steve Rogers’ aka Captain America’s legacy. He had actually given his shield to Sam, who then donated it to a museum, because he ,didn’t feel up to the task – a black Captain America? And then the government promptly puts a new – white – Captain America (Wyatt Russell, son of Kirk Russell) out there… Wyatt (as an actor) makes every effort to appear arrogant, selfish and therefore unqualified compared to the “original”. And considering the fact how intensely the Marvel fans dislike him after only 2 episodes, he’s done a great job.
The racial factor becomes obvious when the Falcon/Winter Soldier duo discovers that there was another one back then…. one was hailed as a hero, the other secretly used, then imprisoned and everything about him hushed up. “Wrong” skin color once again. And now there is a new variant of the super soldier elixir out there… so they need to ally with former enemies (Daniel Brühl as Zemo – great that he also has the opportunity to develop his role a bit further) and old friends (Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter)…
Therefore those 3 episodes so far feel much more like Bond than superhero/Avengers – along the way, the dark underbelly of our society is revealed. There is a lot of gray area, because the “good guys” carry a dark burden and some of the “bad guys” actually have relatable motives. And everybody apparently has a secret agenda … Therefore the plot remains utterly unpredictable, you expect new twists at every turn – thus a high rating at the halfway point of this exciting series. Highly recommended!
PS: Some people seem to have a problem connecting Zemo from Winter Soldier movie with the TV series backstory. Well, simply think of Baron von Richthofen, WW1 pilot and internationally known as the legendary “Red Baron” … no contradiction between ancient noble family roots & serving in a war.