DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier series premiere episode “New World Order” is laden with spoilers. You’ve been warned. Proceed at your own peril.
Welcome, Marvel lovers! The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has officially soared onto Disney Plus, and I couldn’t be happier if I tried. While it’s quite the departure in tone from its predecessor WandaVision, this show looks like it’s going to be a boatload of fun. Marvel is really stretching its wings and showing just how versatile it can be.
“New World Order” is definitely more of an introductory outing that lays the groundwork for the remainder of the series. I loved seeing these characters outside of their typical superhero settings. That being said, I dug Sam’s epic fight sequence with the terrorist organization LAF. Additionally, it was nice to see Bucky’s therapy session and how he’s trying to make amends for his past transgressions. Sebastian Stan really shines here.
Ready to delve into “New World Order”? Let’s get to it.
Now, we open with Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) donning a suit and packing up the Captain America shield. He appears to be quite somber here. Something tells me he’s either attending Steve Roger’s funeral or an event honoring our former Cap. We hear him replay in his mind the last conversation he had with Steve regarding the shield. He felt like it “belonged to someone else,” even though Steve was passing the mantle on to him.
Next, we’re in Tunisia. Sam is being briefed by the U.S. Air Force about a rescue mission for Captain Vassant. Vassant was abducted by a terrorist organization known as LAF. Our Falcon just needs to make sure he doesn’t encroach on Libyan territory. Sam drops out of the plane and proceeds to fly toward where Vassant is purported to be. First Lieutenant Joaquin Torres (Danny Ramirez) is on the ground, helping Sam however he can. Sam boards the aircraft housing Vassant and engages in a fight with the LAF lackeys therein. It’s totally epic and rife with Marvel goodness.
Then, Batroc (Georges St-Pierre), the leader of the bunch, snatches up Vassant and dives out of the plane. Sam gives chase. Batroc’s aerial forces pursue Sam and proceed to damage his thrusters, resulting in a thruster malfunction. The intricate, expansive battle sequence gives us major Star Wars vibes as Sam dives between rock formations while chasing Batroc with trusty Redwing at his side.
Meanwhile, Sam manages to successfully rescue Vassant and explode a few LAF helicopters in the process. Suck it, Bartoc! Torres is elated. Later, Sam and Torres are eating post-rescue mission when a man approaches our Falcon. He thanks Sam for helping him find his wife. It’s a touching moment that’s a stark (Get it?) reminder of just how important the Avengers are. Sam is attempting to fix his thruster issue.
Now, Torres tries to pick his brain regarding Steve’s whereabouts. Was he really sent to the moon? Sam keeps mum but definitely toys with Torres here. I’m starting to think that the mischievous look on Sam’s face is a perpetual expression. He’s just in a constant state of mischief.
Next, we see Sam is in Washington D.C. at the Smithsonian. Rhodey (Don Cheadle) is present. Sam proffers an eloquent speech, giving a beautiful homage to all that is Steve Rogers. We see the shield will now have a forever home at the museum. Sam confesses that he doesn’t feel right taking it.
After the induction ceremony, Rhodey and Sam are walking through the official Steve Rogers exhibit. We see vintage posters from Cap’s time serving in World War II among many other things. Rhodey asks Sam why he didn’t take up the Cap mantle. The world needs a hero. Of course, Sam was one of the millions who were “blipped” by Thanos’ snap.
Meanwhile, we see the Winter Soldier in action during a HYDRA mission at what appears to be a lavish museum. A man named RJ (Akie Kotabe) is attempting to flee the scene. The Winter Soldier spots him and RJ pleads for his life. WS brandishes his gun, but before he pulls the trigger, Bucky (Sebastian Stan) wakes up. Next, Bucky is in a therapy session with Dr. Raynor (Amy Aquino). Raynor inquires if Bucky had another nightmare. Bucky lies. He appears evasive and unwilling to fully disclose how he’s really feeling. Raynor is quite gruff and no-nonsense.
Then, Bucky admits that he’s trying to make amends. We see a flashback of him approaching a Congresswoman that he helped get into office when he was the Winter Soldier. This should tell you that she’s bad news. Bucky surreptitiously gets her arrested while divulging that he’s no longer a part of HYDRA. Well, that’s one way of mending fences.
In addition, we learn that Bucky has been pardoned by the U.S. government. He’s now a civilian living that civilian life. But something’s amiss. He’s spent 90 years incessantly fighting and he’s not sure what to do now that the fighting has ceased.
Later, Bucky meets with an elderly man in Brooklyn named Yori (Ken Takemoto) for lunch. While they’re eating, Yori asks out a waitress named Leah (Miki Ishikawa) on behalf of Bucky. Bucky is reticent to say yes, but Leah is all for it. So, he agrees to meet her that night after her shift. He scolds Yori for his brazen approach. Bucky likes to take his time when it comes to dating.
Next, we learn that Yori is grieving the tragic passing of his son, RJ. Moreover, he still doesn’t know how RJ died, but we do. Bucky’s face conveys it all. That was the young man Bucky killed when he was still under HYDRA’s control. He’s clearly trying to make amends with Yori. Stan’s performance is heartbreaking here, as is Takemoto’s.
Meanwhile, Sam returns home to Louisiana. He pays his sister Sarah (Adepero Oduye) a visit at her seafood business. She’s experiencing financial hardship and preparing to sell their parents’ shrimping boat. However, Sam puts his foot down. He’s willing to help her gather the funds necessary to see the business thrive. He’ll aid her in getting a loan. After some prodding, Sarah reluctantly acquiesces.
Later, Bucky meets with Leah for their date. After her shift ends, they hang out at the restaurant and play Battleship. She grills him regarding his life growing up. Leah notices that Bucky has an old school quality to him, so she asks him how old he is. He nonchalantly replies, “106.” Leah laughs. If only she knew the truth…
Next, Leah expresses her gratitude that Bucky is spending time with Yori. Yori has struggled quite a bit after RJ’s death. Bucky excuses himself and leaves the restaurant. He winds up on Yori’s doorstep. We see a lovely tribute to RJ in Yori’s apartment. Just when you think Bucky’s about to confess the truth, he avoids it and simply pays back Yori for lunch.
Then, we see Torres is in Switzerland. He’s following LAF and surveying their latest move. Karli Morgenthau (Erin Kellyman) enters the fray and hands Torres a mask. Everyone in the group is donning one. Suddenly, someone from LAF jumps out of a window while armed with two duffel bags. They’re chock full of money. Mayhem ensues. Torres attempts to arrest the LAF lackey with the cash. As a result, the latter knocks him unconscious. He’s immensely strong.
Meanwhile, Sam and Sarah are at a bank to request a loan. The banker is more interested in the fact that Sam’s an Avenger. He asks for selfies and pries into his superhero life. Where’s Cap these days? Do superheroes generate income? Additionally, the banker notes that Sam hasn’t made any money in five years. Well, that’s because he was snapped along with half the global population.
Consequently, the banker declines the family’s request for a loan. It should be noted here that institutional racism, not Sam’s lack of finances, played a vital role here. This dude blatantly ignored the fact that the Wilson family has been banking at this bank for generations. Would a white man encounter this same issue after returning to Earth post-snap? Despite that, Sam’s determined to get his sister the necessary funds to save the business.
Later, Sam receives intel from Torres regarding the Switzerland bank fiasco. They’re video chatting. Sam’s taken aback by how strong Torres’s attacker was. Supernaturally strong at that. He urges Torres to keep the situation between them and to further monitor it.
Lastly, Sarah flips on the TV. We see a spokesman for the government addressing a group of people in D.C. He goes on about how the United States needs a new figurehead, a symbol of justice and protection. Now that Steve Rogers is gone, the U.S. must have a new Captain America. He introduces John Walker (Wyatt Russell). Walker charismatically waltzes out into the crowd. He’s sporting Cap’s suit and he’s armed with that shield. Both Sam and Sarah appear crestfallen. That should be Sam up there!
“New World Order” does exactly what it’s supposed to do. The episode establishes a “new world order.” It’s interesting to see what life is like post-Avengers: Endgame. Similarly, I love all the references to Steve Rogers and his global impact. The Smithsonian exhibit felt like a wonderful tribute to the former Captain America.
While I’m not a fan of this John Walker fellow, it does explain his appearance in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier trailers, particularly the scene wherein he’s running onto a football field with his back turned. I have a sneaking suspicion that Sam will covertly steal the shield. As he should.
Additionally, “New World Order” does a fantastic job of delving into Bucky’s trauma. He’s trying to evolve and redeem himself, so I hope The Falcon and the Winter Soldier gives him the redemption arc he deserves.
Do you think we’ll see Sam bring Bucky into the fold in next week’s episode? Who is this John Walker dude? Will Bucky make amends with Yori? Join me next week as I recap The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, here on Geek Girl Authority.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier streams new episodes every Friday on Disney Plus.