TV Show Review: The Falcon and The Winter Soldier

YJ Si, Editor-in-Chief

3.5/5

Ever since April two years ago (it’s been two years. Really?!), I’d been looking forward to seeing what Sam and Bucky would be up to after Steve Rogers passed down his shield. Whatever I was speculating, though, from the multiverse or something related to Wanda/Vision, it wasn’t half of what The Falcon and the Winter Soldier would turn out to be.
I think this show did a really good job of portraying so many current political and social issues in the United States today—the inherent and systemic racism against African Americans, the mental health issues of our veterans—and leaves us questioning what America’s role in the world is, and what it should be.
Of course, it’s a bit fishy to me that the United States still needs another Captain America when, I don’t know, there are aliens and wizards running rampant around Earth and the rest of the universe.
Jokes aside, I like most of it. The series presents the issue of race when it comes to the United States (There was an African-American super soldier this whole time? Now there are eight?) and goes in-depth as to what that conversation of healing is like as well as Sam coming to terms with what that acknowledgment means for him and his community.
I enjoy the character development too—Sam stepping into his role as Captain America, Bucky coming to terms with his past, and the guilt of his actions that continues to weigh him down. Even Zemo made a significant appearance, but did we ever really expect him to change?
Anyway, in Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) terms, I like the way they progress the story—especially bringing back old characters (Sharon and Zemo) who now have a much more significant role.
But I don’t like the way they designed Karli Morgenthau. Obviously, she had her reasons for the things she did—the Global Repatriation Council (GRC) was definitely complacent to the true pain of those suffering from the blip.
My issue is that it almost seems like we should sympathize with her. And to an extent, the environment did shape who she was and what she did. But she was not simply “a product of her environment.” She was not just “a girl trying to make change.” She killed civilians for “the greater good.”
While her actions ultimately did create the change she wanted, and perhaps what was right for the world, I think Marvel should’ve presented those things to us rather than suggesting that she did the right thing. These issues are obviously complex and don’t come down to sympathizing with terrorists or a complacent government.
Overall, I like the themes this show touched on, and I want to see more ideas related to our current social climate. I just wish Marvel left the morality of change through violence up to its viewers to decide.