Sam Wilson (The Falcon) comes to terms with a legacy left in the absence of Captain America, while Bucky Barnes (The Winter Soldier) deals with his dark past as Hydra’s ultimate super-soldier and the fallout from his actions in a world without his best friend, Steve Rogers.
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier’s premiere episode “New World Order” is all about legacy. Save for Sam Wilson’s epic skydiving sequence over the deserts of Tunisia and a brutal bank robbery orchestrated by the series antagonists, the Flag-Smashers, Episode 1 gives their Avengers lifestyles a backseat in place for the ordinary, home lives of Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes.
While Sam’s family struggles with financial problems (worsened in a world post-Thanos after the Blip), Wilson further contends with taking up the mantle of America’s first avenger, Steve Rogers, since Cap passed his infamous shield onto Wilson. He later witnesses the debut appearance of John Walker, the world’s new Captain America, and something says he’s not pleased.
Meanwhile, Bucky is guilt-ridden over his actions as The Winter Soldier. Now settled in Brooklyn and attending mandatory therapy sessions since pardoned, Bucky befriends Yori, a father whose son was killed years earlier without explanation. Unbeknown to Yori, Bucky killed his son, RJ, during his tenure as The Winter Soldier many years before.
If you’re anticipating a team-up between Sam and Bucky during the premiere, there isn’t one. Instead, the episode sows the seeds for the larger stories to come, from an agenda by the Flag-Smashers, Georges Batroc, and John Walker, the world’s new Captain America.
It’s a strong and entertaining opener, which similarly to the superb Wandavision, opens slow, with the eventual promise of kicking things off big time. Lastly, the best bits being Don Cheadle, an awesome opening sequence with The Falcon over the skies of Tunisia, and the beginning of Bucky’s redemption arc.