Does the cliffhanger effect work in Falcon & Winter Soldier?

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Last Friday the third chapter of the second series of the Marvel Cinematic Universe premiered, “Falcon and the Winter Soldier” / “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” and, regardless of what happened in it, it seems that the endings still do not comply 100% with the definition of cliffhanger.

This narrative resource is nothing more than a dramatic, exciting or mysterious way to end a chapter -in this case- so that the viewer feels a huge desire to see its continuation. Their goal is to keep you on your toes until the next broadcast.

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Recall that ‘suspended endings’ were something characteristic of “Wandavision”, generating considerable hype week after week that helped increase its popularity. For example, the appearance of Evan Peters as Pietro Maximoff (episode 5) toured every specialized media outlet in this sector and made many more people give this product a try. Not to mention the suspense generated by the going back in time by the appearance of the beekeeper (episode 2), the expulsion Monica from Westview (episode 3) or the tension that was created with the Hex expansion for the -almost- death of Vision (episode 6).

However, Marvel does not seem to be playing this card with its new series or, at least, it is not working for him. Although we are in the middle of the season, “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” has not had no ending with the same level of emotion that the previous series achieved. I do not intend to compare them, since both are quite different, but rather to analyze the use of this resource.

The end of the first chapter shows us new captain america, whom we already knew from trailers, spots, posters, and promotional photos. Although the average viewer who is not aware of it, it may surprise him. The same happens at the end of the second chapter with Baron Zemo, with the difference that he is a secondary character of the UCM that we have not seen since “Captain America: Civil War”. Finally, the third chapter ends with the arrival of Ayo, a member of Dora Milaje, the elite warrior corps in Wakanda. An interesting ending due to the consequences it can bring, but with the feeling that some spark is still missing.

Image of US Agent / Captain America in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (2021) 1x01: New World OrderImage of US Agent / Captain America in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (2021) 1x01: New World Order

Which leads me to think that Marvel Studios does not intend to create -so- exciting endings for this series, but rather, to develop it as if it were a 6 hour movie. We are facing a conventional product of the company, with all the essence and characteristic action of the UCM, in which, perhaps, the way of telling the story does not need great weekly outcomes. There are series in which It is not necessary To get the most out of this technique, the question is: to what extent does it influence your progress?

Disney + announced that the first chapter was the most viewed of the -short- history of the platform, with 1.7 million viewers (reports Variety, whose source is data analytics company Samba TV). Also, every Friday, the series is trending on Twitter in certain countries. We will have to wait to see the true impact at the audience level, but, from my perspective, I do not notice the same social effect than with other products.

Be that as it may, there are still three chapters in which anything can happen. In fact, recently, the actor who plays Winter Soldier, Sebastian Stan, has announced a strong cliffhanger for the fourth episode, which will be released next Friday.

“The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” / “Falcon and the Winter Soldier” is available on Disney +.