While more conventional than “WandaVision,” Marvel’s “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” explored a bracingly provocative theme over its six-episode run — namely, can a Black man in good conscience take up the mantle of Captain America? That hero’s journey concluded with a slightly scattered finale that didn’t match the terrific buildup, but which did reinforce the show’s admirable ambition.
The show also found time to let Bucky come to grips with his grim history as a ruthless killing machine, but ultimately its greatest asset stemmed from what Marvel identified in Mackie and Stan’s screen time together in “Captain America: Civil War” — the breezy chemistry between them, and how these characters move on without the guy who united them.
“WandaVision” and now “Falcon and the Winter Soldier” took full advantage of the creative latitude that streaming provides, with the freedom to devote six hours to a story and allow such relationships to breathe in a way that movies can’t.
Overall the series deftly accomplished its primary mission, which was to explore the dramatic tension in Wilson becoming Captain America, in a way that went beyond just being told the shield now belonged to him. It also continued to demonstrate Marvel’s ability to mount big, muscular action in productions for Disney+, while showcasing the depth of its universe.