In last week’s episode of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, Sam and Bucky managed to reclaim the shield from a crazed John Walker, Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine made her Marvel Cinematic Universe debut, and the Dora Milaje took Helmut Zemo into their custody to imprison him on the Raft. Additionally, the Flag Smashers established a connection with Georges Batroc (who’s working with Sharon Carter!), and they’re cooking up something against the GRC in New York City. Keep reading to find out what happened in the finale of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, “One World, One People.”
The episode opens right where “Truth” left off, with the Flag Smashers beginning their attack on the GRC. Sam comes flying into town as Bucky approaches the building on foot, and he’s met by none other than Sharon Carter. When Karli realizes that Sam has arrived, she instructs the Flag Smashers to set off smoke bombs in the building so that the council is forced to evacuate. We finally get our first look at Sam’s new Captain America costume, courtesy of Wakanda, which is an epic tribute to the one he wears in the comics. When a man asks who he is, Sam doesn’t hesitate to finally say the words, “I’m Captain America.” (You’re damn right he is.)
Sam realizes that Karli is purposely trying to evacuate everyone, but before he can do much about it, Georges Batroc arrives and kicks him to the ground. Karli has a woman give her cellphone to Bucky so that she can talk to him, and she tries to sway him to see things her way. He’s not receptive, though, and he darkly tells Karli to trust him when he says that she’ll remember all of the people that she killed. Downstairs in the parking garage, a member of the Flag Smashers disguised as a guard places locks on the doors of the armored trucks that the council have been placed inside to evacuate. As Bucky steals a motorcycle, Sharon “accidentally” bumps into the Flag Smashers guard and kills him with mercury vapor.
Sam continues to fight with Batroc in a fight that feels reminiscent of the one with Steve Rogers in The Winter Soldier, before taking his leave out the window to pursue the helicopter being piloted by a member of the Flag Smashers. Redwing confirms that one of the council members in the helicopter has flight training, so Sam begins to hatch his next plan. Karli and her Super Soldiers reunite, and the crew looks surprised by the fact that their leader plans to potentially kill their hostages. Has she finally gone too far?
The Flag Smashers take control of the police trucks with the council inside of them, but Bucky arrives before they can peel off. They distract him by lighting one of the trucks on fire, and he’s forced to step away from the fight so that he can free them. And then, late to the party, John Walker arrives with his new homemade shield. Karli gives him a hollow apology for what happened to Lemar, which only enrages him further. Bucky and John fight the Flag Smashers while Sam continues to work on the hijacked helicopter. He covertly informs the woman who’s a pilot about what’s to come, and then proceeds to swiftly knock the member of the Flag Smashers directly out of his seat and into the water below so that she can take his place.
Karli sends the other remaining truck full of council members hurtling toward a ledge, which it ends up dangling off of the precipice of. In a surprising moment, Walker abandons his fight and does the right thing. He drops his shield and rushes toward the truck, pulling it back upright. However, he’s quickly knocked back down by the Flag Smashers. Just as the truck begins to plummet, Sam arrives in the nick of time and catches it. The crowd cheers. “That’s the Black Falcon there. I tell you.” “Nah, that’s Captain America.”
Batroc shoots smoke bombs down into the area where Sam, Bucky, Walker, and the Flag Smashers are, which sends them all scattering. As Karli runs through a building to escape her pursuers, Sharon manages to lure her intro a trap by tricking her with the Flag Smashers’ whistle call. We learn that Karli initially worked for Sharon in Madripoor.
“You wanted to control a world that hurt you, but I wanted to change it.”
Sharon offers for the Flag Smashers to come back and work for her again, and they can make a difference together. And thus we finally learn that the true identity of the Power Broker is none other than Sharon Carter. Batroc strolls up, unaware that Sharon was the Power Broker, and threatens to blackmail her. They both shoot one another, and then Sam arrives.
Elsewhere, Bucky and Walker have fooled the other Flag Smashers into thinking they were heading toward a rendezvous point by using their app. However, in actuality it was where the police were waiting to arrest them. Inside the building, Karli advances on Sam, viciously attacking him, but he refuses to fight her. She picks up her gun and aims it at him. Before she can pull the trigger, Sharon shoots her. Karli apologizes to Sam as she lay dying in his arms, and he carries her body out of the building and to where the first responders, the council, Bucky, and Walker have gathered.
As the council approaches Sam, he’s quick to correct them when they label the Flag Smashers as terrorists. What follows is an incredibly important conversation, which happens to be a live broadcast on the news, in which Sam sheds light on the meaning of what the Flag Smashers were trying to do, and also makes it clear that the place where he’s standing is far from easy.
“I’m a Black man carrying the stars and stripes. What don’t I understand? Every time I pick this thing up, I know there are millions of people who are gonna hate me for it. Even now, here, I feel it. The stares, the judgement. And there’s nothing I can do to change it. Yet I’m still here. No super serum, no blond hair, or blue eyes. The only power I have is that I believe we can do better.”
Bucky looks on proudly from nearby, while Isaiah Bradley does the same as he tunes in to the broadcast from home. We even get a peek at Joaquín Torres as he sits in front of a laptop at work and watches, too, along with Sam’s sister Sarah. Sam remarks that Karli died trying to stop the GRC, and nobody has stopped to ask why. After he finishes making a mic drop-worthy point, he and Bucky reconvene with Sharon, the latter of which drags her off to seek medical attention for her bullet wounds.
The remaining Super Soldier Flag Smashers are being ushered into another armored police vehicle, and they’re due to be transported to the Raft. However, the soldier that closes the door utters, “One world, one people,” before shutting the door. Are they off the hook? Maybe not. Whatever potential escape plan they may have had is gone as quickly as it came, because the truck explodes. The camera pans to Zemo’s butler Oeznik, who’s sitting in a car nearby holding a remote. We then move to the Raft, and we’re given a glimpse of Helmut Zemo as he sits in his new cell reading a book and listening as a reporter on the radio announces the fate of the Flag Smashers. He smiles.
Elsewhere, Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine approaches Walker’s wife and exclaims that Zemo got the last laugh. She goes on to insinuate that she may or may not have had something to do with that, though she doesn’t outright confirm. Walker steps into the room donning a slightly modified version of his suit, which is black instead of blue. He’s officially U.S. Agent. And Valentina isn’t done with him yet.
In a heartbreaking moment, Bucky finally musters up the courage to tell his friend Yori the truth about what happened to his son. He was murdered by the Winter Soldier. Bucky then leaves a gift for Dr. Raynor at her office: his notebook, which she opens to see that all of the names in his list of amends have been crossed off. He later walks by the restaurant that Leah works at to see her pouring a drink for Yori.
Sam returns to see Isaiah once again, and we learn that the GRC has made the decision to stand down on their plans. Isaiah compliments Sam in his own unique, gruff way, but it’s obvious that he’s proud of Sam for taking on the mantle after all. Sam then brings Isaiah and Eli to the Smithsonian to show them a surprise. In a beautiful moment, we see that he organized for a statue and a plaque dedicated to Isaiah to be displayed in the Captain America exhibit. Isaiah shakes with emotion as they embrace.
“Now, they’ll never forget what you did for this country.”
In the closing scene, Sam, Sarah, and the boys are having a lively celebration at the docks in Louisiana, and Bucky arrives to join in on the festivities. Just before the credits begin to roll, Sam slings his arm over Bucky’s shoulder and the two walk off together. They make a damn good team.
After the screen fades to black we see a new title, Captain America and The Winter Soldier.
There’s also a post-credits scene, in which Sharon receives the pardon that Sam promised her. However, despite the fact that she accepts her old position back with the CIA, it appears that she’s going to use it to her advantage as she maintains her identity as the Power Broker as well.