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‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ Review | #tinder | #pof | romancescams | #scams



The dark and twisty emo prince of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is getting his groove back. Sorry not sorry that my biggest takeaway from the Disney+ Falcon and the Winter Soldier series has nothing to do with fan theories. Bucky Barnes talks about online dating in episode one, and I need us all to sit with that information for a minute. Because I have questions. QUESTIONS.

In the first episode of the series, the antihero once known as the Winter Soldier goes on a cute little date with a waitress named Leah (no relation to myself, but much appreciation) played by Miki Ishikawa from The Terror. Back in his prime, before he was brainwashed by super villain Nazis (boo) and turned into a mindless assassin (double boo), James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes did not have a confidence problem like his bestie Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America. He was the hot friend with a girl on each arm. So the date itself is not weird to me.

But a quick reminder that, because of [insert superhero stuff here], Bucky is a 106-year-old man in the body-ody-ody of Sebastian Stan. And while on said date, he talks about having tried online dating before. That sticks out to me. What’s this grandpa doing on Tinder? Here are the main things I need answers for.

How does Bucky swipe with a metal arm?

He can’t. In fact, we see that he has a flip phone in Falcon and the Winter Soldier. (I also know he’s right-handed and the metal is his left arm. This is a joke, nerds.) So he doesn’t. And like, of course Bucky has a flipping flip phone and of course that makes him more attractive. He’s no different from any other Brooklynite who’s old-fashioned in a way you can’t put your finger on and seems like such a fun challenge to date. Sigh.

So… how is he on the apps?

I guess you can technically set up a Tinder profile on a laptop or desktop computer. Though let’s be honest, as an Avenger, he should be on Raya. But something tells me that Bucky has gone full Greatest Generation and set up an eHarmony profile like all of the other single grandparents out there. Maybe Match.com or OkCupid.

Did someone help him set up his profile?

We can hope Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) a.k.a. Falcon did. Maybe that’s what Falcon and the Winter Soldier is actually about. But probably not. He has no friends. Poor buddy.

How many red flags would there be?

I wanna say a bunch, to be mathematically precise. The way he bluntly tells the waitress that he’s 106 years old and then laughs it off like he’s making a joke makes me think that kind of dark humor is all over his profile. His profile is probably alarmingly vague about his job and his bio in general, and that’s never a good sign.

He also refused to take off his leather gloves during the date… which would totally give me serial killer vibes. As an audience member, I understand that he’s hoping to not bust out the metal arm on a first date, but as a woman I would be majorly creeped out.

But hey, at least his profile probably doesn’t say anything stupid like “looking for the Jim to my Pam”—because Bucky does not know who Jim and Pam are.

How does he know about Tiger Selfies?

When Bucky vaguely describes his dalliance with online dating in Falcon and the Winter Soldier he mentions “lotta weird pictures” and specifically “tiger photos” when pressed. “Half the time I don’t even know what I’m looking at,” he says. “It’s a lot.” Now, you know I had to look into this. You may have forgotten because a lot has happened since then, but “tiger selfies” were a big thing in 2014. For some weird reason, it became a trend on Tinder and other dating apps/websites to pose with a tiger at the zoo or on vacation—and it was pretty much universally deemed problematic because often enough the big cats were drugged for the photo opp. Gross!

Also, I know that the writers of this show probably just used tiger selfies as an example of a creepy online dating trend that would turn someone off, and the “2014” of it all doesn’t really matter, but I really like imagining that Bucky set up a Tinder seven years ago and immediately nope-d out and deleted it after seeing the tigers.

What’s his type, exactly?

I don’t want to put words in Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s mouth after just one episode… but it’s mostly dudes doing tiger selfies. There were some women, but come on. Is this the show’s subtle way of telling us that Bucky has ticked off that he’s interested in women and men? I wouldn’t blame him. He came of age in the ’30s and ’40s, when being gay was an actual felony, and has suddenly found himself in the 21st century with the world wide web of online dating at his fingertips. Why not explore it?

Marvel comics have hinted at Bucky being canonically bisexual before, this is not just the fanfiction talking. It would be even cooler if either the comics or the Disney+ series made it more than a subtle hint—nobody likes to be baited!

What is it like to date Bucky Barnes?

Based on the one example we get in the pilot episode… mostly nice! He brought Leah flowers. That was nice. The two of them played Battleship over drinks, which honestly sounds ideal. He opened up about his family and seemed to be having a pleasant conversation. He does get triggered by the memory of his murder-y past and walk out on her in the middle of the date, however, and I have to admit that I hate when guys do that. Ugh, annoying! Alas. Nothing’s perfect. Hopefully, this thread continues as Falcon and the Winter Soldier continues because my already-heightened interest just skyrocketed.


Want more hot takes on all your favorite shows? Yeah. We know you do. You can find all of our TV coverage here.



Leah Marilla Thomas is an entertainment writer, UNC alum, and former Hasbro Toy Tester (yes, that’s a real thing) who actually watched all those Marvel shows on Netflix and loves The Good Place and Love Island equally.

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