After WandaVision, it’s time to dive back into the familiar feeling of the MCU that we all know and love. After two episodes, Falcon and the Winter Soldier feels like we never left the likes of Captain America: The Winter Soldier or Captain America: Civil War—musical queues and all. So if you are going into this show hoping for an entirely unique feel like WandaVision, you will be disappointed.

With that classic MCU feel, there comes big fight sequences. The action so far has been nothing short of phenomenal.  For those worried about the quality going down due to being a streaming show, you can breathe a sigh of relief. 

The opening of the season showcased a sequence with Sam as he chased a group of baddies flying through a canyon.  Not only did it look great, but it was incredibly choreographed and unique. The truck sequence the following episode was nearly just as exciting. 

Action is far from the true focus of Sam and Bucky’s first adventure.  Instead, the show gives plenty of time to take a deep dive into both of their personal lives.  From Sam juggling the family turmoil he couldn’t be there to help with, to Bucky being haunted by his murderous past. 

We get some truly emotional scenes that help provide a deep emotional context for Steve’s two right-hand men. Sam’s hesitancy in taking the shield is a perfect step for his character. Taking on that mantle is a heavy choice, and to see him need to go on this journey to make that decision is a great move by the writers. 

Bucky’s trauma gets arguably some of the most intense and impactful scenes between the two of them. While his therapist may not be the best out there, she has helped in pushing Bucky to talk more than he ever would. His line to Sam about Steve being wrong hit him hard, and was brilliantly delivered. Also, how rough is that scene going to be when Bucky finally breaks the news to Yori?

Easily one of the most powerful moments so far was during Bucky and Sam’s trip to Baltimore.  Upon knocking someone’s front door, they are let in to meet none other than Isaiah Bradley: the first surviving black super soldier. 

Carl Lumbly’s performance was not only truly inspired, but it’s one that hits the viewer like a train. To top that all off, Sam goes on to get racially profiled after having a loud argument with Bucky.

Just behind Bucky and Sam, John Walker follows the spotlight, with Steve’s shield in hand.  Marvel chose a truly fantastic first scene for the character. Right after we get that brief look at the end of episode one, the one that is meant to make us hate him, we are immediately treated to a very down to earth moment showing Walker as just a man. One that is honored by the opportunity, and just trying to do the best he can. 

This makes for a great foundation for what I can only assume to be the eventual set-up for John Walker becoming the anti-hero/villain US Agent. It’s a progression that I am very excited to witness. The show has handled the character extremely well, and in turn has added even more depth to the already complex legacy of that vibranium shield.

While the true villain of the piece is still murky, the face(s) we have to focus on currently are the Flag Smashers. They are a group of activists bent on bringing the world back into the state it was in during the blip, when—according to them—everyone was united. This is a brilliant set-up, and provides a fantastic viewpoint that isn’t so black-and-white. It’s a truly awesome way to utilize the MCU’s current status quo within the story Marvel is telling.

Marvel’s second Disney+ outing has proven to not only be a smash hit, but also an incredibly solid piece of storytelling. One that has put the spotlight on the intricacies of characters that we have only barely gotten to know—something the show continually enforces. 

These character moments don’t leave our MCU action in the dust either, as they maintain the high octane thrill that we know and love. One can only hope the quality is maintained throughout the rest of the show’s run.