This article contains spoilers for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 5
The hit Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) show The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is nearing its end with the final episode airing on Friday, April 23. The show, starring Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan takes place after Avengers: Endgame, where Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes team up for a new mission. They also deal with the loss of their mutual friend, Steve Rogers AKA Captain America who went back in time to live his life with Peggy Carter.
In the penultimate episode of the show we see the aftermath of John Walker violently killing a member of the Flag Smashers with the Captain America shield. Sam and Bucky then confront John Walker in a warehouse and manage to get the shield from him. Sam then goes back home to his sister and nephews and Bucky goes in search of Zemo in Sokovia. Zemo is then arrested by the Wakandans.
On the other hand, John Walker then gets discharged from his post as Captain America as well as the army. As an angry John Walker storms out from his hearing, he is met by a new character, Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus. This character is called Madame Hydra in the comics and was a double-crossing agent for SHIELD and Hydra. She gives John her card and asks him to pick up her call.
The fifth episode consists of a lot of light-hearted moments with Bucky helping Sam fix his parents’ boat. However, the most anticipated moment comes in the show when Sam finally accepts that he should have been Captain America and trains with the vibranium shield.
Before the show ends, we see that the Flag Smashers have moved to New York, where world leaders will vote on an Act that relocates refugees back to their country. The Flag Smashers and their sympathisers plan to attack the politicians with the help of Batroc the leaper, who wants to kill Sam Wilson. In the first mid-credit scene of the show, John Walker is seen making his own shield.
What to expect from the finale?
After an extremely well-made episode, hopes for the finale are high. While Marvel has a great track record of surprising their fans, people have still theorised what the last episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will be about. According to theories, in the last episode Sam will publicly step up as the new Captain America. He and Bucky, with the help of allies like Joaquin Torres will team up to take on the Flag Smashers.
However, apart from the revolutionary group having eight super-soldiers, they have hundreds of civillian sympathisers. This can make the task extremely complicated for Sam and Bucky. Hence, it is not a big stretch for fans to theorise that there will be a cameo from a MCU superhero as an ally. As James Rhodes, played by Don Cheadle already made a cameo in episode 1, it is also possible that he will suit-up as War Machine to help Sam and Bucky in the finale. This will also be a great way to set-up for the War Machine series Armor Wars.
Sam and Bucky will also have to fight the Power Broker, the mysterious person or organisation who made the Super Soldier serums. Fans are speculating that Sharon Carter may be the Power Broker and her phone conversation with Batroc the leaper only seems to confirm she is shady.
Even though John Walker was fired from Captain America, he will not give up easily on the mantle. He will either have a track of exacting revenge, or his story will continue in other Marvel ventures as US Agent or even a villain. Wyatt Russell has received a lot of appreciation for his work, even though his character is one of the most hated ones from the MCU.
It will also be interesting to see Sam and Bucky’s relationship at the end of the show. In episode 2 of TFATWS, Sam had said that he would like to never see Bucky again after their mission. In the 5th episode we saw them work through their issues, Bucky also apologised to Sam for being insensitive to a Black man’s issues when Sam decided to not take Steve’s place as Captain America. However, they are still not buddies but a “couple of guys” in their own words. Hence it will be nice to see what the show does with these two characters who have pollar opposite personalities.
On the other hand, we will get to see if the US Government will allow Sam, a Black man to be Captain America now that he is willing to take the responsibility. The show has been praised for showing Black people’s problems in America with sensitivity. Sam and his sister Sarah, and ex-supersoldier Isiah Bradley have been shown to face systemic racism and hence it will be almost anticlimactic if Sam gets to become Captain America with ease.
This can even be the set-up to The Falcon and The Winter Soldier season 2. However, the second season hasn’t been announced yet so we don’t know if Sam and Bucky will be next seen in their own show or future Marvel projects. Their fate is still uncertain, since Wanda is slated to appear in Doctor Strange 2 and Loki has already been ordered for a season 2.
It is also uncertain if the show will lead to other projects. The appearance of the Dora Milaje means that it is a reintroduction to the Black Panther franchise. However, it is unlikely that Bucky will appear in the films because Ayo has already told the White Wolf to stay clear of Wakandans for some time. By freeing Zemo, Bucky has deteriorated his relationship with Wakanda.
Finally, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier finale can also give a clarity about what actually happened to Steve Rogers. Bucky and Sam have said that he is “gone” but the rest of the world seems to be left in the dark. Now, does “gone” mean dead or living off the grid for the rest of his days, is a mystery. However, if this is to happen, it will not be through a Chris Evans cameo, as it is too big an expectation.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has been directed by Kari Skogland and created by Malcolm Spellman. The show also stars Emily Vancamp, Danny Ramirez, Daniel Bruhl and Adepero Oduye in pivotal roles.