After episode one setting ground for what will happen next in the series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier – Episode Two feels like we are getting a much clearer understanding of the story at hand. The second episode of Marvel’s latest television series ramps up the tension. We are starting to see the pieces being put together to create a compelling espionage series that feels very similar to the Jack Ryan franchise and even Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
The first episode had to set up the criminal organisation (known as the LAF), our two central characters’ motivations, what the fate of Captain America’s shield means to Sam (Anthony Mackie) — while all following through with its intriguing ending and how that impacts Bucky and Sam’s friendship. With that being said, this next chapter certainly bookends the first episode, progresses the story, and even leaves room for new characters, plotlines and elements to be introduced. At the end of episode one, we were introduced to a new character that was a huge gut-punch and one of the first key moments to the twenty-fifth entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. His character felt like a betrayal to Steve Rogers; yet in this episode, he is given a backstory and is just a man trying to serve his country in the best way possible. Wyatt Russell excels as one of the shows main characters by having the charm & charisma with everyone on screen. When his character interacts with Sam (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky (Sebastian Stan), you can see each side to the story — yet the way they play off each other really is where this chapter shines!
This is also an episode that is very light on action. There is one fairly lengthy sequence on top of two trucks early on and that’s it. The sequence itself is bursting with energy, laughs and some of the best choreographed hand-to-hand combat we have seen in the thirteen year long franchise. Each character gets their time to shine; from Sam swooping under the vehicle, Bucky jumping between trucks and Wyatt Russell’s John Walker playing the ‘picture-perfect’ hero during the fight. The final five minutes are also very promising. We see a familiar character return — and while it is only brief — it had me shocked yet gutted that the episode ended and we have to wait to see the story unfold a little more next week. I think that the weekly release format that Disney have been doing with their shows has worked perfectly. Instead of dumping every episode on their service at once, fans of the MCU have had time to theorise and think what will happen in the next episode; meaning that the anticipation stays strong for over a month!
After two episodes, I am already hooked on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. The action is fantastic, the characters have weight, and the general plot has me intrigued. I am very interested to see what will happen next. While the first episode deals with the aftermath of Avengers: Endgame — we fully see this show now come into its own and tell a compelling espionage story.
The second episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is now available to stream on Disney +