Marvel's shows on Disney Plus are giving great actors the chance to give great performances
There has been a huge reaction to Sebastian Stan's performance in the most recent episode.
Bucky is crying, so now we're crying.
In the opening scene of the fourth episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, when we're zipped away to Wakanda six years previous, we find Bucky (Sebastian Stan) in the jungle away from the main city, alone with Ayo (Florence Kasumba).
She is reading aloud the trigger words that will reset his mind into Winter Soldier mode, and as she lists them off one by one, Bucky gets more and more emotional, terrified that their time spent undoing his brainwashing has been for nothing.
However, as she says the final words in the sequence and he remains in control of his own mind, those tears of fear turn into tears of joy, as he realises he has gained autonomy of his life for this first time in several decades.
Because Bucky has remained such a grumpy-when-not-stoic character throughout the series to date, seeing him burst into tears represents a hugely emotional moment in the show.
In short, Bucky is crying, so now we're crying.
On the latest episode of TBR Spotlight: The Falcon and the Winter Solider [LISTEN from 04.18 below] Rory and Eoghan break down the brilliance behind that opening scene.
However, what the scene also represents is a brilliant moment of proper acting for Sebastian Stan himself.
Across the movies within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Stan hasn't really been given much more to do than look angry or look confused or angrily confused, so these Disney+ shows are allowing some great actors - and for anyone who has seen I, Tonya or Logan Lucky, they'll already know Stan is great - the opportunity to really get into some of these meatier performances.
While the Marvel movies have been nominated for a lot of Academy Awards so far - including Best Picture for Black Panther - there hasn't been a single Oscar and Golden Globe acting nomination given to any performance in any Marvel movie to date.
So far, DC have had more success with awards attention and success for their comic book movies, both times with the Joker, thanks to Heath Ledger and Joaquin Phoenix.
However, thanks to these Disney+ shows, it does look like Marvel could start catching up, even if it does mean with Golden Globes and Emmys.
Outside of Stan, we also had Elisabeth Olsen giving us the full gamut of grief, loss, loneliness, repression, and anger in WandaVision, unpacking some incredibly powerful scenes that simply wouldn't have landed without the nine-episode arc to do so.
And then there is, of course, Katherine Hahn.
There hasn't been more meme-able moments and memorably fun reactions from a single character since the launch of The Tiger King, and the complicated, convoluted character of Agnes was perfectly matched by Hahn's chameleonic performance.
And judging from the new trailers, it looks like Tom Hiddleston and Owen Wilson may also be joining that list thanks to the turns in Loki.
We'll see how it continues when the penultimate episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier airs on Friday, 16 April, and Loki arrives on Disney+ on Friday, 11 June.
Only two episodes left. pic.twitter.com/sg4jupDYj4
— Marvel Studios (@MarvelStudios) April 12, 2021