The Lowest-Rated ‘Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ Episode Makes A Lot of Sense

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier proved an exciting addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, seeing Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) embrace the role of Captain America at long last. The Disney+ series steadily built to that point, unraveling Sam’s complicated feelings about the shield and everything it stands for. That journey had its ups and downs, and fans enjoyed some episodes more than others. IMDb’s lowest-rated episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier falls just below the others in terms of ratings — and it actually makes a lot of sense.

Fans and critics are divided on ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s worst installment

Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson in 'The Falcon and the Winter Soldier' Episode 1. Captain America's shield sits on a desk, and he's standing behind the desk and looking down at it.
Anthony Mackie in ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ | Marvel Studios

Fans and critics don’t always agree when it comes to films and TV series, and that applies to The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. The two groups are split on the worst episode of the show. According to critic scores on Rotten Tomatoes, the finale is the worst-rated episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

Critics suggested the final episode presented a rushed conclusion that didn’t do the plot or the characters justice. Although many appreciated the action and emotional impact of the finale, they felt it didn’t compare to earlier installments. Fans, however, found one previous installment more lacking than “One World, One People.”

For fans, “One World, One People” was the second-worst episode of the Disney+ show — but not the worst. Their IMDb ratings suggest the series premiere, “New World Order,” is the weakest of the bunch. Funnily enough, the first episode falls on the higher end of critic ratings. However, general viewers don’t agree with the sentiment.

‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ premiere is the lowest-rated episode on IMDb

According to IMDb, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode 1 takes the title for the worst episode. “New World Order” received a 7.7 rating, placing it slightly below “One World, One People” and “The Star-Spangled Man.”

Since the premiere sets the stage for what’s to come, it’s probably no surprise that it’s the lowest-rated episode of the series. Beginnings tend to be slower and less exciting, and that’s certainly the case for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Although its premiere kicks off with an impressive fight sequence, the rest of the episode focuses primarily on setup. And while some viewers appreciate the details, many found it boring.

Why fans think ‘New World Order’ is the worst episode

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The pacing for the first episode seems to be fans’ biggest complaint, as it’s a factor they brought up repeatedly in reviews. Most agree that “New World Order” contains humorous moments, action, and fun character dynamics. Unfortunately, all of those things were too few and far between to hold viewers’ interest.

“A very meh first episode,” one fan wrote on IMDb. “There were some really sad, epic, and funny moments, but it doesn’t make up for most of the episode being boring.”

“Between the meaningless action and the dialogue that went nowhere, it felt like no plot was being developed as it crawled forward at a snail’s pace,” another IMDb reviewer added. “Nothing horribly wrong with it, but definitely nothing great either.”

That sentiment prevailed in most critiques of the series. While fans didn’t necessarily dislike The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode 1, they didn’t love it either. Judging by the ratings, they felt things picked up as the story continued. However, as necessary as the premiere was, it was simply too much setup for their liking.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is currently streaming on Disney+.