The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode 6 Takes Divided Stances But Never Completely Falls

by Marc Kaliroff

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode 6 “One World, One People” Review

After four weeks of facing thrilling action and a substantial one hindered by a rather slow pacing, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was forced to face a finale that had enormous pressure on its shoulders. With two titular leads slowly lining up for fine conclusions, a lackluster villain to continue building upon before their inevitable exit, more overarching introductions, a new mantle to face, and so much more, the finale of the series had an immense amount of ground to cover. How would the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe addition on Disney+ fair against more than it could handle? The result was to be expected, but The Falcon and the Winter Soldier leaves off on a divided stance. Though it may not completely fall apart in its final runtime, Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes have seen better days as they walk towards a hopeful future in “One World, One People”. While Marvel Studios and Disney+ are already rolling out the red carpet for Thor’s half-brother in two months, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s finale is as satisfying as it is frustrating for the beginning of this universe’s fourth phase.

Picking up where things directly left off for surprisingly the third episode in a row, before the Flag-Smashers can cause chaos at a political conference Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes are quick to intervene. With John Walker looking for redemption and questions of individuality being shrouded by every character, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s finale was bound to be trapped in a difficult position. Will it focus on completing the arcs of the leads? Will it finally give a spotlight to the Flag-Smashers after their overall lackluster buildup the entire series? Will audiences get to see more of Sharon Carter and Zemo or will they be left with the short end of the stick again? The answer to those questions is yes and of course, the result is all over the place. For an episode that has to wrap things up and lay the groundwork for Marvel’s future projects, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s finale leaves more to be desired in both negative and positive ways.

Image courtesy of Marvel Studios

As to be expected by now with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, while the promise of thrilling action and relatively deep political subjects sounds simply marvelous there is a concern for certain characters who have not received enough screentime. Sam Wilson, Bucky Barnes, and John Walker are once again given the spotlight, but Karli Morgenthau, the Flag-Smashers, and Sharon Carter suffer from a lack of focus all season. On top of setting up the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe during the last ten minutes and a post-credit scene, the finale attempts to close the doors on far more than it can possibly handle. “One World, One People” may provide conclusions for the vast majority of the cast, but that is not to say every decision here is facilitated properly. When it is focused on developing characters the episode excels upon making its purpose clear, but it never has enough time to portion for everyone. The result presents something that is about twenty-five minutes of fun and twenty minutes of actual development with strong words, yet for only its leads.

Where “One World, One People” falls extremely divided is when it comes to conclusions with both the Falcon and Winter Soldier’s future titles. While Sam Wilson taking the mantle of Captain America is definitely satisfying and well earned, it leaves open several questions regarding his former identity. For a series that is constantly flexing the importance of individuality, it feels odd that Sam would just abandon the Falcon namesake yet fitting at the same time. The same, however, can be said about the Winter Soldier. For a character that is attempting to conquer his past, Bucky leaves off on an overall weird standpoint. Should he own up to being the Winter Soldier and continue to utilize it or abandon the title for a new era? Audiences will certainly tread a fine line on both territories as we see each Avenger’s futures unfold, but at the very least this will bring on some flat-out engaging arguments to analyze. At the very least, the show does conclude where Steve Rogers’ legacy is heading — and it is a direction fans will no doubt be excited for.

On the other hand, where audiences will definitely be agreeing with each other for the most part is how lackluster the Flag-Smashers are. It would be nothing new to say that The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and has a critical villain problem. Karli Morgenthau is ultimately not an interesting antagonist for the series to utilize. Her background is barely explained and the character is given almost no attention to despite playing a major role in the overarching plot. Erin Kellyman provides a fine performance, but there is nothing notable in the script to back up the complicated role she yields outside of having a perspective that aligns with the actions of heroes and villains dedicated viewers have seen in the past. The most disappointing aspect of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is the Flag-Smashers and the finale did not help the group’s legacy. Morgenthau goes out on a humdrum note as she exits the Marvel Cinematic Universe for good. The show has always benefited from the heroes most and episode six bleeds that sentiment. While the main villain may have no future, the new Captain America and his allies will.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier finale
Image courtesy of Marvel Studios

For a mostly satisfying conclusion to The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, “One World, One People” poses several arguments for the future of its main cast that are not always properly tied up. Similar to its predecessor series WandaVision, the finale definitely falters a bit when it comes to doing justice for specific key players, yet it never commits a crime to their stories. As the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to embrace the post-blip world it constantly is making questionable decisions that will have audiences ironically divided. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier‘s finale was doomed to be trapped in a peculiar position. It is frustrating, fulfilling, mistaken, rightful, and intriguing all at the same time. It may not be the show’s highlight episode to write home about, but it does a good enough job to set the stage for wherever Captain America’s prodigies may find themselves next. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier could have done a better job across the board when committing to its core ideology. It has its highs and it definitely has its lows, but inevitably it always remains enjoyable as it flaunts its charismatic heroes and brilliant action. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier leaves its characters with potential as it goes out on a fine note. While there is nothing wrong with that, there was certainly more to be desired.

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