Here it is; the final episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is now streaming on Disney Plus worldwide and definitely ends the story for the show but, at the same time, opens the door to new possibilities of what could happen next in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. For the past six weeks, we have been given little teases and hints to what will happen during the final episode of the show and for the most part, it delivered! It definitely has its flaws and odd choices but the good largely outweighs the bad, making this to be an appropriate ending to one of Marvel’s best series to date. Here’s why.
Episode six takes place immediately after where episode five ended; Karli and the Flag Smashers’ master plan is finally starting to unfold, John Walker is ready to get his revenge on the person who murdered Hoskins and, of course, Sam (aka The Falcon) and Bucky (aka The Winter Soldier) must stop the villains from causing chaos.
I am just going to come out and say it – episode six (titled ‘One World, One People’) is great. It feels much smaller in scale to the final battles in Avengers: Endgame or Thor: Ragnarok but it didn’t need to go huge in scale. It sets up all the characters so nicely and progresses them in a perfect way that felt earned, fitting, and satisfying. Sam easily has the most character development during the show; a large portion of the runtime focuses on him having to step up and be the next Captain America. As you see throughout the season, it comes with the setbacks and knowledge that he cannot be the next Steve Rogers. Since Steve Rogers was brought into the MCU back in 2011, he was shown to be a symbol of hope – not just in World War II but in modern society. When John Walker (perfectly portrayed by Wyatt Russell) took over the role, that symbol felt different and many people in this fictional world of superheroes did not like the way he was replacing what Steve stood for. His morals were different and didn’t live up to the legacy that was Captain America. What we saw happen at the end of episode four proved that Walker was not the symbol we needed and became slightly unhinged leading to a bleak, bloody, and disturbing ending. In the finale he does try to redeem himself and the minor redemptive arc that he is given does work with the scenario that he finds himself in. At the same time, however, Walker didn’t feel as if he had all that much to do during the battle. Bucky, Sam, Karli, and even Sharon Carter all have much more to do than he does and he feels as if he was shoved to the side, sadly.
However, the action is brilliant in this episode. The chapter immediately begins with the tension rapidly building and chaos breaks out which provides a gripping and enthralling twenty to thirty minutes filled with non-stop action. It does not slow down until the very end and when it does, it has purpose and brings the show to a satisfying close. It’s fight sequence after fight sequence and each one had me closer to the edge of my seat, never being repetitive or feeling stale.
The ending is also a perfect way to close out the series. The scene with Sam and Isaiah is bittersweet and ends the show in a way that brings closure to Carl Lumbly’s character. It’s easily the most emotional part of the episode, maybe the entire series. Because the show set up Isaiah in a way that makes us know that he had been wronged, you get the satisfaction and closure on his character that left an emotional impact.
I cannot deny that there are faults in the final episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier but this truly is a great ending to a great show. You feel the sense of closure but also see the possibilities of what will come next. Anthony Mackie gives his finest performance to date and I would be shocked to see the actor give a better performance than he did here; he truly is outstanding. Sebastian Stan is also great and seeing his character return was a delight. Walker steals every scene that he is in throughout the season and I really do hope that he returns in the future. This is a great series of television and a welcomed entry in the MCU.