This is a satirical series written from the perspective of Uncharted's Nadine Ross and Sam (Samuel) Drake.
So I just got home from lunch with Sam, where we discussed our weekly TV show. If you had asked me a few years ago if I would be chatting with a Drake over burgers about a television episode, I would have punched you in the nose. But Nathan was very straightforward about the fact that Sam needed something to do while in town–likely avoiding whichever nemesis is now tracking him down–and was going stir crazy without any exploring to do.
So Nathan recommended we watch The Falcon and The Winter Soldier and share our opinions. Like a buddy-watch. With a Drake. Insufferable. Only, I've been going out of my mind staying in one place as well, so I figured just one season wouldn't hurt.
It turns out that Sam has not stayed up-to-date with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. At all. I know this because when talking about Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), instead of asking about his incredible recent tech upgrades, he said, "He was great as Kovacs in Altered Carbon."
"I thought so, too, but you probably remember him from Avengers: Endgame."
And Sam had the absolute irreverence to ask, "From what?"
"You know… ‘On your left?'"
He gave me a blank look, and I had to stop myself from swatting the fries out of his hand. While I have seen every movie since the very first Iron Man, Sam has spent his free time online doing archeology research. What did he call himself, again? A "modern day historian." I've never heard such an overstatement in my life.
I nearly lost it when I asked him if he had even taken the time to watch Spider-Man: Far From Home, considering that film ended the MCU's Phase Three, and he answered, "I'm getting around to it, right after I watch Captain America: Civil War."
Now that the Snap has been reversed, some people who lived through the Blip want a world without borders.
As if that's in proper order... It makes watching TFATWS with him nearly unbearable because I'm not quite sure he has any idea what's been going on in the franchise.
When we started talking about the premiere episode, the first thing out of Sam's mouth was about the opening action scene. "Nothing short of show-stopping," he claimed. Then I made the mistake of asking him what he thought of Wilson's new wing suit. He said, "Has he always had Redwing?"
So I launched into an explanation of who Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) are and what they do in the MCU without giving him any spoilers in case he ever watches the other movies in correct order. In truth, I didn't have to share much since the show does their exposition very well. Once he was caught up, I could then explain why the show does such a thorough job of letting the audience know what each character has been up to since their last appearance.
"Oh, so that's why they took the time to follow Bucky through his day-to-day," Sam noted after I finished briefing him on Bucky's history with Steve and Hydra. "I was wondering why we got all those details, but it's a great way to put the viewer in the character's shoes."
Finally, we were getting somewhere. "Not to mention, it gives us more insight into how people are coping after the Blip. I still cannot imagine living through something like that."
Sam turned thoughtful. "It kinda makes you wonder who might've disappeared. If I were in these movies, would I even be here talking to you?"
What he said got me thinking. Would I have been dusted, or would I still be around to recommend games to Chloe, or listen to her hour-long rant about the quick time events in Little Hope?
I guess I must've looked sad, because Sam cracked some truly horrible joke about how he's seen a lot of dusty places over the years, so he'd feel right at home. I stole his ketchup as payment for making me sit through that sentence, and we launched into a discussion about how spending time with these characters really allows us to examine how they're coping with the many changes in their world.
"It makes for a smooth set up for the conflict they establish with the Flag-Smashers," Sam said. "Now that the Snap has been reversed, some people who lived through the Blip want a world without borders. It makes sense." He held up both hands. "Partly."
I shot him a curious look. "Partly, but they're resorting to anarchist tactics to make that happen."
"I expect Wilson and Bucky will stop 'em."
"We have no idea how the season is going to progress. I'm used to Marvel exceeding my expectations."
Sam agreed, and toward the last bit of our conversation, I explained I appreciated their social analogy at the end. He nodded and called the new, government-appointed Captain America a ridiculous fraud. Sam and Nathan are of the opinion Wilson should have kept the shield since apparently "the government will probably be using this new Cap as their own personal puppet."
There’s nothing like a good ol’ buddy comedy.
By the time I asked Sam where he thought the story was going in the next episode, he was nearly done with his burger, and I was finishing up my fries. Just as I expected, he's excited for the team-up moment. I have to admit, I am looking forward to it a little, myself.
"There's nothing like a good ol' buddy comedy," Sam said, chugging the rest of his soda as we prepped to leave. "Plus, since the writers made sure the audience understands each character's backstory separately before shoving them together, the team dynamic will be done well."
I raised Sam the fact that while there are sure to be moments of comedy throughout, a lot of the focus will be on the character's interpersonal struggles. "Not to mention, they now have to overcome the conflict introduced with this Captain America," I added. "I still feel like a traitor just for calling him that title."
Sam also found the scene shocking. "He's... John Walker, I believe?"
"How do you know that but not half of the other things that are going on?"
Sam shrugged. "Elena and Nathan wouldn't stop ranting about it, so I looked him up."
It was a relief to hear I wasn't the only one put off by this new face. "It's an absolute insult to Captain America's name to replace a soldier who was willing to take on Thanos' entire army alone with someone who has never had to face a threat of that magnitude."
Sam nodded as he shouldered open the door and we went our separate ways until the next episode's recap lunch. On the ride home, I couldn't stop thinking about how watching even the first episode of this show has me missing Marvel's trinity more than I thought possible. I miss Tony, especially, because while he and Steve had their differences, I know the man who ended Thanos would make short work of such a cheap imitation.
All things considered, Sam and I are excited for the next episode. In fact, he sent a text just a few minutes ago reading, "As long as Wilson's kicking ass, I'm a happy camper."
So, what do you think of the show so far? Drop your thoughts in the comments.