‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ finale falls just short of greatness

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(Center): Karli Morgenthau (Erin Kellyman) in Marvel Studios’ THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved. Photo credit: Marvel Studios & Walt Disney Company

Rafael Magana

Episode six, “One World, One People,” marks the series finale for “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier”. The series has built up to a climactic confrontation between the heroes and the Flag Smashers but ultimately falls a bit short in its finale.

What the episode ultimately suffers from is pacing. Despite the content in the episode being great (the action sequences were excellent), it all feels a bit too rushed.

As the episode begins, we see that the Wakandans sent Falcon (Anthony Mackie) a new Captain America suit, and this marks the beginning of his tenure as the new Captain America.

The suit incorporates elements of the classic Captain America suit while retaining his wings and other smaller details of his Falcon suit. He continues to utilize his wings, while also including the iconic shield in his fighting style.

The Flag Smashers launch their assault on the Global Repatriation Committee in New York, with the new Captain America and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) responding to the attack.

Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) is shown to be back in the United States and aids the pair with their efforts to stop the Flag Smashers.

What ultimately makes the episode fall short of greatness is how rushed everything feels. Much of the episode is spent jumping from plot point to plot point, rapidly attempting to wrap up as many of them as they can before its run time ends.

Visually speaking, it’s an absolute delight to look at. The narrative suffers, however, as much of the plot just seems to end without much build-up. The payoff to many of the narrative threads was wasted, to be frank.

A great example of this is Carter’s role in this episode.

In episode five, we saw that Carter was acting suspiciously, and seemed to be in contact with Karli Morgenthau (Erin Kellyman). The season finale reveals that she was in fact the Power Broker and has been pulling many of the strings behind the scenes.

This revelation, while not too surprising in retrospect, comes out of nowhere. It comes at the conclusion of a showdown between Carter and Morgenthau. Following a confrontation between Captain America and Morgenthau, in which Captain America refuses to fight back, Carter shoots and kills Morgenthau.

Throughout the series, Morgenthau was built to be a real threat, and for her to be killed off like that was rather disappointing.

The standout moment in the finale, and the whole series, was Captain America’s speech at the end. Echoing many of the sentiments that are felt in modern-day America, Captain America delivers a powerful dialogue that seeks to unite people rather than continue to divide them.

There are of course other storylines that get resolved as well, such as John Walker (Wyatt Russell) getting a bit of redemption, but they are hard of note.

The series would have really benefited from even one more episode to fully flesh out these storylines and not make them feel so rushed.

Despite the shortcomings of the finale, however, the show was still an enjoyable and at times poignant part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Episode six, “One World, One People” gets 3 stars out of 5.