This is a spoiler-free review, with Spoilers & Theories for those who wish to scroll down far enough.
"One World, One People" was the final episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier...ever (more on that later).
Hope. New beginnings. Righting wrongs. Helping others. There were a lot of positive messages in episode 6, and we could all use some positivity after these past several years, right? There was a lot of closure, yet also some interesting reveals that will make for great future stories.
You didn’t have to be aware of Marvel Comics history to see this reveal coming: Falcon finally accepts the responsibility of carrying Cap’s shield. A decision made easier, no doubt, by seeing what the government decided to do with it. John Walker was a mess as Captain America, as also foretold in the comics. And Walker will continue to be a mess; we see him again this episode, and are introduced to his next incarnation.
Bucky’s story gets closure in this episode. He gifts his therapist with his journal, with his To-Do List completed. His final scenes seem to imply that he is saying his goodbyes, leaving his old life behind, and starting a new one elsewhere. But not before visiting Sam’s family seafood business for a “Still Open For Business” party.
Even Isaiah Bradley gets closure on his difficult life. Sam makes sure his difficult experiences are now part of history, and Bradley finally got to see a Black Captain America.
The inevitable showdown happens with the FlagSmashers, led by their remaining super soldiers. Sam swoops down into the fight in his new Wakandan flight suit, designed to be bright and patriotic. His dramatic entrance is accompanied by Hugh Jackman’s swelling, inspirational music. Throughout this series, his music has enhanced scenes to evoke emotions, adding another cinematic aspect to this series. Another way each episode has felt like a mini-Marvel movie.
After this epic fight sequence where we see how powerful Sam's new suit can be, Sam gives a speech that reflects all that he has learned from Steve Rogers, Bucky, Isaiah Bradley, and Karli, the Flag Smashers leader. It’s a call-to-action, a scolding, and more than a bit preachy, but it’s a fitting end to this first series. What is power for, if you don’t use it to help others?
After he’s done scolding the politicians, he turns to Karli, who has commented on his new outfit and shield, and responds: “I’m trying something new. Maybe you should do the same.” I doubt his words will be all that is necessary to make the FlagSmashers change their ways. If only it were that easy. But one can hope.
Once again, John Walker butts in where he’s not wanted, but redeems himself by helping. I have no idea why he dared to show up with his homemade shield and in his faux-Cap uniform, after the government stripped him of that right. And especially since he had already made a decision to accept Madame Hydra's offer. Perhaps it was for us to see him in his Cap uni one more time, to give contrast to the new outfit he models for Madame Hydra.
As if it weren’t obvious since Sam is carrying Cap’s shield, Sam corrects a bystander who calls him the Falcon: “I’m Captain America.” This is reflected by the logo after the final scene, which now reads Captain America and the Winter Soldier.
These six episodes have accomplished a lot and covered a lot of story territory. It will be interesting to see where it goes in season 2. A rebuilding Hydra with JLD’s Madame Hydra will probably be a major focus, as will the Power Broker, whose identity is confirmed, and whose continuing evil mission now has added power.
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| Spoiler & Theories
Sharon Carter IS the Power Broker. This is a shocking and unexpected departure from Sharon’s comic history that has Peggy Carter rolling in her grave. Peggy's niece is officially part of the dark side. And Sharon killed (maybe?) the only two people who could have identified her as the Power Broker. Being cleared of past misdeeds by the U.S. government and being reinstated as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent will mean she will be in a position to create a lot of chaos and sabotage in future episodes.
Madame Hydra creates the U.S. Agent. Madame Hydra designs a darker version of John Walker’s Cap uni to mock his patriotic past. He is clearly now on the dark side as well, a departure from his comics path. There, it was the Power Broker who gave Walker his superhuman abilities, but even though he was unstable, Walker was too patriotic to be evil.