The Best ‘Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ Episode Isn’t What You’d Think

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier debuted on Disney+ earlier this year, giving fans insight into Sam Wilson’s (Anthony Mackie) journey to becoming the next Captain America. The six-episode series follows a reluctant Sam as he decides to take up Steve Rogers’ (Chris Evans) shield and legacy. One might think the finale — where Sam finally embraces his new role — would be the highest-rated episode of the series. However, fans cite a different episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier as the best.

[Spoiler warning: This article contains spoilers for Marvel’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.]

Sam Wilson becomes the new Captain America in ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ finale

Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie in Marvel's 'The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.' Stan wears a black leather jacket on the right, and Mackie wears his black and red Falcon suit on the left. Their bodies are turned away from the camera, but they're both looking back at it. Which episode of the Disney+ show is the best?
Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie in ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ | Marvel Studios

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier spends most of its run building to the finale. That’s when Sam Wilson suits up as Captain America at long last, following a full season of grappling with his complicated feelings surrounding the shield. The show’s final battle sees Sam donning his new Captain America suit, complete with wings that harken back to his Falcon costume.

The finale also demonstrates why Sam makes such a great successor to Steve: his empathy and willingness to do what’s right. However, even if “One World, One People” provides an epic transformation for Sam’s character, fans aren’t convinced it’s the best. Looking at IMDb ratings for each episode of the Marvel series, it seems their favorite is a bit grimmer.

Fans say ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ finale isn’t the show’s best episode

Despite the major developments that take place in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier‘s finale, fan reviews and critic ratings don’t name it the best episode. Instead, they seem more inclined to go with “The Whole World Is Watching” as the strongest installment of the series. On IMDb, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode 4 received an 8.8 rating, placing it above the other five installments.

Those struggling to remember what happens in episode 4 can think back to a powerful image: John Walker (Wyatt Russell) standing over a man he’s just killed, holding the now-bloodied sword of Captain America. That shot remains one of the most memorable in the series. And it seems Walker’s turn resonated enough to push the episode into favorite territory for many fans.

Why do fans think ‘The Whole World Is Watching’ is the best episode?

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So, why did viewers prefer “The Whole World Is Watching” to the other Falcon and the Winter Soldier episodes? In part, it’s because the ending was so exciting that it left them wanting more. The top IMDb review for the episode cites that reason, as well as the fact that the show handled U.S. Agent well:

“I do not say that lightly… I love Marvel, I’m a big comics nerd and I’ve enjoyed almost everything the MCU has put out over the past decade but this episode is on another level. The first three episodes were good, maybe even very good, but this? No contest. I’m dying for the final two episodes. A decent 9 to a 10 for me. I love how they are doing US Agent. The ending was insane.”

Other IMDb reviews called the episode “dark” and “thrilling,” indicating fans are looking for a change of pace from Marvel. Hopefully, future MCU projects will give it to them.

In the meantime, you can decide which episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier you think is best by streaming it on Disney+.