Where has the time gone? After what felt like a lifetime waiting for it to finally premiere, we’re now but a week away from the finale of Marvel’s hit miniseries The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier sees the return of Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson and Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes. The series takes place shortly after Avengers: Endgame, in which Steve Rogers passed on his vibranium shield to Sam. As of episode 5, “Truth,” there are still quite a few loose ends to tie up with Bucky and Sam’s global adventures. Sam may have acquired the shield, but a discharged John Walker is up to no good crafting a shield of his own. Elsewhere, Sharon Carter has suspicious ties to Georges Batroc, who just so happens to be cooking up something with the Flag Smashers.
Ahead of the finale, we’ve broken down a few plot points and theories that we expect to see play out in some capacity.
What’s in the box, Sam?
Bucky went to Louisiana to give Sam a case with mysterious contents, courtesy of Wakanda. We see him open it at the very end of the episode, but the camera doesn’t reveal what’s inside. Earlier in the episode, before the Dora Milaje left with Zemo, Bucky had turned to Ayo and told her that he may need to ask for another favor, which is probably how this came about. Considering the fact that John Walker destroyed Sam’s wings, Shuri has likely crafted a new pair for him. And beyond that, we can also expect to see a new suit in there as well, which would then end up being Sam’s version of his Captain America suit. In the comics, Sam’s original set of wings was designed by T’Challa, and he then later supplied him with an upgraded set and a new suit as well, so this is a fitting parallel. This would then also explain why only Bucky was seen fighting the Flag Smashers in the mid-season sneak peek trailer, because they couldn’t yet reveal Sam’s new look.
Bucky comes clean
During Sam and Bucky’s heart-to-heart in Louisiana, Sam gave his friend some tough love advice. He pointed out the fact that what he’s been doing hasn’t been making amends, it’s been avenging. What he really needs to do is find at least one person in his book who needs closure from him. All signs point directly to the older man that Bucky was spending time with in the first episode, Yori Nakajima. Bucky killed his son RJ while he was the Winter Soldier, but Yori has no idea, and he’s been plagued by the mystery surrounding his son’s tragic death for years. Based on this, we can expect that Bucky will finally give Yori the closure that he so desperately needs (and in turn lift a heavy weight off of his own shoulders) once he returns to Brooklyn.
What do we want? Joaquín Torres as the Falcon! When do we want it? NOW!
Upon being introduced to Danny Ramirez’s Joaquín Torres in episode 1, we promptly dove right into his comic counterpart’s storyline in which he takes on the mantle of the Falcon beside Sam Wilson’s Captain America. As of episode 5, not only has Sam finally begun to accept the shield, but he also told Torres to keep his wings that were damaged during his battle with John Walker. At the end of the episode, Torres reached out to Sam to let him know that the Flag Smashers may be in New York City. Despite the fact that Sam told him he would handle it, who’s to say that Torres won’t come flying into town with the repaired wings, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and totally ready to help Sam and Bucky in the final showdown?
John Walker, U.S. Agent?
Episode 5’s surprise mid-credits scene revealed that although John Walker has been discharged, he’s now taken it upon himself to craft his own version of Captain America’s shield. Thanks to Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine‘s unsolicited support for his murderous actions and choice in taking the Super Soldier serum, coupled with his anger and shame over the government stripping him of his title with no chance to defend himself, Walker is likely frothing at the mouth ready to avenge Battlestar and take down the Flag Smashers once and for all. Trailers have already confirmed that Walker will likely be showing up to the battle in New York City with his new shield. However, it remains to be seen what the MCU’s endgame for him is. Will he be wiped off the map after all is said and done? Will he go rogue against the government’s wishes and take on his comic mantle of U.S. Agent? And finally, because Valentina made it quite clear that there are people that are very interested in him because he’s a Super Soldier now, is there a larger scheme at play that he will end up involved in?
Sharon Carter, Georges Batroc, and the Flag Smashers
In episode 5, we learned that Sharon Carter has been working with Georges Batroc in some capacity, and she’s even the one that freed him from the Algerian prison that he ended up in thanks to Sam. Then, at the end of the episode, Georges met up with the Flag Smashers in New York City with a case of weapons of some sort. Whereas the Flag Smashers want to prevent the GRC from passing the Patch Act and take down John Walker, Georges has plans to kill Sam Wilson. This is where things begin to get messy.
Sharon Carter is already very suspicious as it is, with speculation flying left and right as to whether or not she has ties to the Power Broker, or if she’s actually the Power Broker herself. The Power Broker is after the Flag Smashers because they stole the Super Soldier serum, so is she utilizing Georges as a double agent? Will this be one giant meeting of multiple parties who are trying to kill one another? If nothing else, it sounds like the showdown in NYC will be messy for all parties involved.
Sam and Isaiah
Based on the mid-season sneak peek, we know that there’s still another missing scene with Sam in Isaiah Bradley‘s backyard, set during the daytime. In the clip, Sam says, “We bled for this country. Shield or no shield, I’m not going to let anybody tell me I can’t fight for it.” Given the heavy and emotional note that their last conversation ended on in episode 5, it’s not surprising that Sam would visit him again. Knowing how he is, and despite Isaiah’s initial wishes, Sam will likely try to continue to find a way to help find justice for the Super Soldier. Additionally, if the MCU plans to assemble a live-action version of the Young Avengers, this would be a fitting time for Isaiah’s grandson Eli to express an interest in being a hero. (See more on his character in the comics here.)
This one is just wishful thinking, but we’re going to run with it, because why not? When it comes to Disney+’s lineup of existing and upcoming Marvel television series, there have been many questions, vague answers, and much conflicting information about how many seasons each show will have. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier has been repeatedly referred to as a miniseries. However, given that it’s hard to believe that the MCU could possibly even fathom being finished with these characters after next week’s finale, there certainly has to be something else planned … right?
So what if the reason that we haven’t heard anything about another series or feature film is because the title will be a spoiler for episode 6 of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier? In which case it would be fitting for a title card to appear during the mid-credits scene. Captain America and The White Wolf, anyone?
Post-Credits Scene: Thunderbolts, Coming Soon
With the way that some of the events in the series have played out, it would be very surprising if Marvel isn’t planning to introduce the Thunderbolts to the MCU. After all, why else would Baron Zemo have been taken to the Raft of all places? Check out our deep dive into episode 5’s implications for the Thunderbolts here.
So for a post-credits scene, we could potentially expect to revisit the Raft. We’d then see camera pan by Zemo’s cell, the other current prisoners, and then a shot of General Thaddeus Ross. Insert some sort of witty, relevant comment, and then cue the Thunderbolts — Coming Soon title card. Voilà.
The finale of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier will land exclusively on Disney+ Friday, April 23. In the meantime, make sure to follow along with our episodic recaps, reviews, theories, and more, as well as our recent interview with series composer Henry Jackman.