If you’re reading this, seemingly you’ve recovered enough to pick your jaw up off of the floor after that wild ending to the fourth episode of Marvel’s hit new miniseries The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.
Episode 4, “The Whole World Is Watching,” certainly gave viewers a lot of content, but more than anything it gave us a whole new laundry list of reasons to despise discount Great Value brand Captain America, John Walker (Listen, you’re doing great, Wyatt Russell!) Arrogant comments and actions aside, the most important Walker-related turn of the episode was when he knocked out Baron Zemo and secretly pocketed the last remaining vial of the Super Soldier serum. This moment brought things full circle with the comics in a way, because that version of John Walker gained his powers from the Power Broker process. Considering the vials were stolen from the Power Broker in the series in the first place, it’s an ironic connection.
Shortly after that scene, Hoskins and Walker had a conversation with ominous connotations. While discussing the Super Soldier serum, Walker asked his partner if he would be worried if it would change him. However, Hoskins noted that power just makes a person more of themselves (and referenced Steve Rogers and Karli Morgenthau). He goes on to mention Walker’s decorated past as a soldier.
Walker proceeds to take the serum off-screen, and then we see the dangerous part of him that has been frighteningly exacerbated by the serum: his rage. The Flag Smashers accidentally killed Hoskins during battle, which sent Walker into a blind fury as he chased after them in pursuit of Karli. Though she evaded his grasp, he managed to corner another one of the Flag Smashers and proceeded to beat him to death with the shield. (This also functioned as a parallel to the fight scene between Steve Rogers and Tony Stark in Civil War.)
In the final moments of the episode, onlookers watched the scene in horror and camera panned to one of the most disturbing images the Marvel Cinematic Universe has ever presented to viewers: Captain America standing tall with his vibranium shield covered in blood. Roll credits.
Though we’ll have to wait until next week to see how this will possibly play out, the fact that countless people were recording the incident on their phones certainly doesn’t bode well for Walker. So let’s hurry up and get that shield back into the hands of the man who truly deserves to wield it: Sam Wilson.
Episode 4 of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is now streaming exclusively on Disney+. Episode 5 will land next Friday, April 16. Stick around for our weekly episodic recaps, theories, reviews, and more.