‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ Sends the Wrong Message About Being Black in America

The Marvel series finale undermines its own bold stab at systemic racism

Scott Woods
LEVEL
Published in
5 min readApr 29, 2021

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Photo: Marvel Studios

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Marvel’s series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was doing just fine.

Its initial episodes were action-packed, mature, and solid applications of a couple second-tier characters. The series largely exists because of one funny scene in a car in Captain America: Civil War, and the show has taken great pains to make Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky/Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) totally worth getting to know. Alas, the series, now concluded at six episodes and available on Disney+, didn’t stick the landing in its finale.

There are a lot of reasons why this is true. FWS features a lot of characters — five proper villains by my count — meaning there are a lot of narrative threads, which the show sloppily resolves in its finale by reverting to being a springboard for future Marvel projects. Technically speaking, as much as I loved every second of the Dora Milaje cameos, there’s no reason for the Dora Milaje to be there. Their presence is explained, but it serves no point in the FWS

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Scott Woods
LEVEL
Writer for

Writer and poet holding down Columbus, Ohio