Note: Potential spoilers for Falcon and the Winter Soldier if you consider publicly released casting information to be a spoiler. Which some people do so hey, no judgement. This is why I warn.
It has become something of a meme to say that anybody who was disappointed in WandaVision has nobody to blame but themselves for daring to speculate and guess about future plotlines of a show whose entire story structure was based on cliffhangers and references to other movie franchises and well known storylines from the comics.
Not that I have an opinion on that point of view.
Anyway, with Falcon and the Winter Soldier coming out next week I've decided to preemptively ruin the show for myself by talking about why I'm looking forward to it and what I hope to see.
Why I’m Watching
To begin with, I will be up front and say that in general I'm not hugely into the whole spy genre. Like I don't hate it but neither will it be first on my list if I need to pull up something from my movie queue in order to occupy my time. I firmly believe that if God wanted me to be watching spy stories when I needed a distraction she wouldn't have provided me with so many history documentaries to watch on YouTube. These are simply facts.
That being said, I do have what might be called character types which I respond well to. The listed qualities can be mix and match but can be boiled down in their essence to some combination of the following:
- Strong, emotionally constipated people with mental trauma
- The mouthy bottoms who love them
So you can see why Sam and Bucky as a combo might appeal to me regardless of whether they are in a spy genre or a cooking show.1
Also now I really want the Falcon and Winter Soldier cooking show. Mind you it wouldn't be a fair fight. Sam would bust out proper New Orleans cooking and meanwhile Bucky's going to be over in the corner taking eight years to talk about the proper ripeness for fruit and bitching that bananas don't taste the way that they used to. Cruel to even make them go through with it, really.
Which brings me to what I'd love to see in the show. These thoughts are based on no spoilers except publicly known casting and things which would bring my heart joy. I've had a rough few years. I could use joy. Also Marvel owes me for that fucking sacrifice line from WandaVision. Just saying.
Anyway, what I'd like to see:
Sam From New Orleans
I have no idea if this is the plan but the promo shot of Sam throwing the shield is clearly taking place in the south. Anthony Mackie is from New Orleans, I would love for these to be mixy things. And not just in the sense that they have to mention where Sam grew up in passing but there's nothing really making it clear that this was New Orleans (in much the same way that Maria Rambeau lived in Louisiana but nothing really stood out about it as Louisiana so much as anywhere hot and humid.)
No I want Sam being proper New Orleanian. I want him telling Bucky to meet him on the uptown lakeside corner of the street and having Bucky be all "The actual fuck are you talking about?" I want Sam to have strong opinions about the best parade spots to lay claim to and about who makes the best po'boys.
I want the reason why Sam is all blasé about magic users to be because he's from New Orleans and magic and the supernatural is so baked into the DNA of the town that you can't walk into a McDonald's without the person behind the counter shrugging and saying yeah they've got a ghost which hangs out by the ice cream machine but that doesn't mean you can order a Shamrock Shake right now so do you want your Quarter Pounder or no?
Sam Giving Bucky Shit About Everything
Granted this isn't a huge leap since it's clear from the trailers that this is the plan. But even so I have things I would like for Sam to give Bucky shit about. Like I want scenes where every time they pass by someone Sam's like "So are they your great-grandkid?" and when Bucky gets annoyed about it Sam points out it's not his fault that before Bucky became the Winter Soldier he was scattering his seed like a lawn sprinkler.
Sharon Carter Kicking All The Ass
It's no secret that Sharon was done dirty by the MCU and that was even before she was shoehorned into a makeout scene with her maybe-uncle in a desperate attempt to prove that Steve was totally straight, omg, how every dare anybody suggest he and Bucky or he and Sam had more chemistry, Captain America is as straight as apple pie god damn it!2
This is also not even getting into how much shit Emily VanCamp had to put up with IRL for daring to play a female character around a male one who fans wanted to see boinking his best friends more than her.
So I would love for Sharon to be getting her due. I want her to not just have the scene we see in the trailers of her kicking ass but of her being awesome and oozing competency all over the place.
I also want her to be a badass in her own right and not have to have moments where she's just a really good helping hand, or only when some other female character shows up to fight with her because for some reason suddenly we don't believe Nat or Okoye could kick ass all on their own even though Okoye herself could defeat and rule the entire planet by herself and we'd thank her for doing it NOT THAT I'M STILL BITTER ABOUT HOW THE RUSSOS CAN'T HANDLE STRONG FEMALE CHARACTERS OR ANYTHING.
So yeah. Sharon. Being a badass. I want that.
Sam's Sister. Just… Sam's Sister
Speaking as one who is myself a sister to brothers, I am thrilled that Sam's sister is going to be a character in the show. I have no idea what the actual plan is for her but neither do I care. I want her to be a sister, which is to say someone who, like myself, loves her sibling(s) but will cheerfully undercut their coolness at every available opportunity because this is what sisters do.
"Oh you're an Avenger, huh? Well how about you avenge those dirty dishes out of the sink?"
"Amazing how you can fly around on those wings to fight evil but the ONE time I ask you to spend Thanksgiving with me your ass can't get a plane ticket."
"Hey Bucky, lemme show you pictures from that time in college when Sam thought smoking made him look cool."
And so on. Sam's sister. Reoccurring character. Yes, please!
(I neither confirm nor deny if any of these stories resemble things my actual siblings may have done.)
I'm Aware Bucky Is A Character On This Show
I realize I haven't mentioned Bucky too much. It's not because I don't like the guy, I promise. It's just that the stuff I like for characters of his type are sort of cruel to say I'm looking forward to. Like "Yay, guy dealing with having his brain fucked with!!" isn't exactly a fun concept. It's one I'm interested in. I mean the fact that the plot of Iron Man 3 was "Tony deals with PTSD in the most unhealthy way possible" was pure me-bait and I thank Marvel for it. But at the same time it's not on the same level as Sam's sister saying she still hasn't forgiven him for the time he melted the foot off her doll as a child which is DEFINITELY not an example I'm pulling from my own life or anything, that would be SILLY.
So instead I'll stick with the evergreen comment that if you don't want your character to cry pretty and come off as super gay you don't cast Sebastian Stan.
Let the man do what he does best, I say. LET HIM DO WHAT HE DOES BEST.
I realize I’m trying to be at least somewhat realistic here so I don’t need Sam to talk to birds but I would like birds. As I said on Twitter:
Does this need for birds extend to the point where we need Big Bird to make a special guest appearance in a moment that blows Luke Skywalker on The Mandaolorian out of the water? No. But my counter argument is: why not anyway? Name me an MCU property which isn’t immediately improved by Big Bird and/or any other Muppets. You can’t.
Ergo: Give me that bird.
My expectations are reasonable. Thank you for listening.
And that's all I've got for now. One week to go before the show airs so we'll see what they actually do. The current plan is for me to do comments on it same as I did WandaVision so fingers crossed for good show, good health, and so on and so forth.
At the very least let's hope there isn't a "sacrifice" line. Sheesh.