The Falcon and the Winter Soldier on Disney+: What's it about?

·Contributor
·3-min read

Now that WandaVision has finished, it kinda feels like we don’t have a reason to obsessively discuss (mostly wrong) theories about what the hell was going on on that weird, slightly melancholy show.

Happily, Disney+ and Marvel have us sorted because The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is here to keep us intrigued and theorising all week long.

A still image from Marvel's TV series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier showing The Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan)
The Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Sam) engage in the noble tradition of a ‘brooding glare-off’. Picture: Disney+

But what is it, why should you watch it and do you need to see any specific Marvel flicks to understand what’s going on?

What is The Falcon and the Winter Soldier?

It’s the brand spanking new offering from Marvel and stars Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan reprising their roles as The Falcon and Winter Soldier respectively.

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Is it a prequel story or set after the latest Marvel movie?

It’s set post Avengers: Endgame, in a world that is still reeling from the fact half the population vanished and then came back five years later due to Thanos’ whole ‘jazz hands of death’ thing.

What have The Falcon and Winter Soldier been up to?

Well, Sam Wilson aka The Falcon is still running missions for the government and getting into all sorts of exciting adventures. He’s also trying to establish a life at home with his sister, Sarah (Adepero Oduye), although that’s a little trickier.

Bucky Barnes aka Winter Soldier is having a bit of a rough time. He’s still got PTSD and experiences terrible flashbacks from the time when he was an involuntary Hydra assassin, and desperately wants to make amends for his dark past.

The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) rides his motorbike through the night.
The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) faces a much darker time without his old mate Steve Rogers around. Picture: Disney+

Is this a tricky, mind-bending show like WandaVision?

No, this is more like a fast-paced, globe-trotting adventure that features spectacular action sequences and a surprising amount of quality character work and world-building. There are certainly going to be twists and reveals, but it’s not a total mystery box like WandaVision.

Anyone else from the Marvel universe in it?

Loads of people! You’ve got Sharon Carter aka Agent 13 (Emily VanCamp) who is Peggy Carter’s niece, there’s James "Rhodey" Rhodes aka War Machine (Don Cheadle) who is always welcome and Helmut Zemo (Daniel Brühl) who is the fantastic baddie and evil puppet master from Captain America: Civil War (2016).

What Marvel movies do I NEED to see before I watch this?

You should probably have watched Captain America: Winter Soldier (2014), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019). The Thanos snap is very important to the story and knowing about Bucky’s past is also pretty damn crucial.

Could I just read a bunch of Wikipedia entries instead?

I mean, sure. If that’s how you roll, we’re not here to judge...

The Falcon (Anthony Mackie) pulls Captain America's shield from a tree in a scene from the TV series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
The Falcon (Anthony Mackie) demonstrates exactly the wrong way to cut down a tree. That’s not going to work, mate, you’ll be at it all day! Picture: Disney+

What’s so great about the show?

Like WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier takes a couple of characters who are interesting but slightly underused (particularly Falcon) and reframes them as the leads. This gives us a lot more space to explore their contrasting personalities and backstories.

Plus, let’s be real, the action is AMAZING. The opening sequence from the first episode? It’s going to blow your socks off!

How long is it?

Six episodes, all of which are somewhere around 45-50 minutes long.

Okay, fine, I’ll bite. Where can I watch it?

Disney+, dear reader, with the first episode up today (Friday, March 19) with the next five episodes coming weekly.

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