1. Excellent lessons pulled from this series! I found “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” overall enjoyable, but rather muddled and unwilling to truly dig into some of the deep issues it raised – ironic, given its insistence on facing other deep issues. Perhaps this was simply lazy storytelling.

    However, I actually have to disagree with you: I don’t think that John Walker’s actions in saving the van were a redemption (even if evidently they were meant to be). It was a very good conclusion to his character arc in the series, in which he embraced a dark and violent extreme version of himself and then realized how harmful and destructive that could be, and decided to instead to pursue something more selfless, rather than revenge.
    I found it a satisfying emotional conclusion… But not redemptive. I still don’t like John Walker, and I don’t trust him – which his last scene bore out, with him taking a new and decidedly shady job. He still hasn’t learned his lesson.
    However. It would definitely have been better if the show had showed more of the consequences of his actions, as you suggested. And I REALLY wish the main characters had taken more action to see him reined in.

    Also – I can’t believe anyone would justify Walker’s horrendous actions in murdering an enemy prisoner. That is terrible!

  2. Jes Drew says:

    i agree with your main point that ‘cheap grace’ is a major issue in the film industry and Bonhoeffer is certainly closer to the definitions of redemption and grace. However, I would argue that John Walker did not do anything that would require redemption in the terms of his story arc. As a combatant who was ambushed with the intent to kill, and was only spared because his friend and fellow soldier took a blow for him, he had every right to hunt down and take everyone responsible into custody if possible. And if not possible, keep them from being a threat. All those superhumans were an accessory to murder, and were extremely dangerous. Taking them down by any means necessary was permissible, especially for a trained soldier given jurisdiction over them. It was only a shame because a symbol (who was going to be killed for being a symbol) was caught killing in a symbolic way that shocked the public.

    • If Nico hadn’t surrendered, I would agree with you. Given the fact that he was surrendering and begging for mercy, however, I view that as a pretty blatant violation of traditional military ethics.

  3. Caleb McCary says:

    There was so much “telling” in this series. Lots of on the nose dialogue and commentary that would have been a lot more powerful if they had done more “showing.” It had some great action sequences and a few interesting character moments but, overall, this was a weak entry. After the tour de force that was WandaVision, it felt like lazy storytelling.

  4. Katie Briggs says:

    This is excellent. Thank you!

  5. Well said! Thank for making this point about stories and their use of cheap grace.

What say you?