“The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” ended its first (and hopefully not only) season by tying up all the storylines and posing just enough questions to leave us hungry for more. And we’re going to get more, with the just-announced “Captain America 4,” starring Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan.
With a hearty “spoilers ahoy,” let’s see where the show left our sprawling cast, and what questions those endings pose.
It seems he’s finding a way to live with his Winter Soldier crimes, as he occasionally smiles now. Thank Sam and his “tough love” talk for pointing him in the right direction. He’s still not ready for the shield, though, which may be in his future (as it was in the comics). He seems to be willing to remain Sam’s sidekick for now. Also, he better not flirt with Sam’s sister, if he knows what’s good for him.
Sorry, he’s dead. Sharon killed him before he could rat her out as the Power Broker. That’s OK by me — in the MCU the “Master of La Savate” is an interchangeable bald bad guy. He’s a lot more fun in the comics, where he bounces around like a deranged soccer ball and has a comical Pepe Le Pew accent.
Au revoir, Leaper.
I hope you cheered as I did when we saw Wilson had ensured that Isaiah’s story gets told, and honored in whatever museum that is. This happened in the comics, too, only it was Steve Rogers who discovered Bradley was experimented on by the government and exposed it to the world. Anyway, in the comics Bradley is suffering from dementia, thanks to the serum, so he’s permanently benched. In the MCU he’s certainly lucid, and he might suit up somewhere down the road.
But the more likely path involves his nephew Eli (Elijah Richardson). In the comics, the younger Bradley becomes the second Patriot, a founding member of the Young Avengers. Since other Young Avengers have been established or are on their way, it seems some version of “Avengers: The Next Generation” is inevitable.
Yes, as we all expected but dreaded, she’s the Power Broker. She didn’t get a “Sharon All Along” theme song (dang it!), but she was the background Bad throughout, hiring (and killing) Batroc, hiring (and killing) Karli Morgenthau (Erin Kellyman) and financing (but letting Zemo kill) Dr. Wilfred Nagel (Olli Haaskivi). This development means she could potentially show up in any MCU property as, sadly, a double-agent supervillain, especially now that she got her pardon.
I’m holding onto the vain hope that this Sharon is really a Skrull.
Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine
Just who is this woman, and what is she up to?
If we look to the comics, we may get some clues. Val was introduced in a 1967 “Strange Tales” as Italian jet-setter-cum-secret agent in an iconic run of the “Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.” strip by artist/writer/stage magician Jim Steranko.
“You know, lady, yer just about the most unlikely secret agent I ever saw,” says Dum-Dum Dugan. “Yes, I know,” she replies. “That’s what makes me a good one, wouldn’t you say?”
It wasn’t long before she and Fury (back when he was white) were an item. And she appeared off and on in S.H.I.E.L.D. stories for decades. But here are some interesting tidbits from that long history:
• She was reported dead and replaced by an LMD in “Nick Fury vs. S.H.I.E.L.D.” (She got better.)
• Val was replaced by a Skrull in “Secret Invasion,” which, by startling coincidence, is an upcoming Disney+ TV show. (Fury shot the fake Val in the face.)
• Val was revealed as a double agent and the leader of Hydra in the series “Secret Warriors,” which starred Quake, a major player in ABC’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”
• Val was revealed as a triple agent, secretly working for Russia’s super-secret espionage agency Leviathan. She isn’t even Italian! (Brain hurting yet?)
So, honestly, Val could be anybody, up to anything, in the MCU. Given that she dubbed John Walker “U.S. Agent,” she’s apparently working for the U.S. government …
… or pretending to.
All the ones with super-soldier serum are dead. However, a policeman surreptitiously recited the Flag-Smasher mantra, “One People, One World,” and it’s been established that there are a lot of Flag-Smasher sleeper agents.
We’re not done with them yet.
Sorry, Battlestar is still dead.
You might think Sam’s military liaison is a throwaway character, but in the comics he becomes the second Falcon. Say, Wilson told him “keep the wings,” didn’t he?
Yes. Yes, he did.
Just like in the comics, Walker washed out as Captain America and became the black-garbed U.S. Agent. In the comics he was specifically a government agent (hence the name), but it’s less clear in the MCU, since we don’t know what Val is up to. But lest anyone thinks he’s a good guy now for saving some civilians in the finale instead of getting revenge on Karli, don’t forget all the crimes he committed before that.
Also, he’s a bully and a jerk, and the super-soldier serum makes you more of what you are.
He’s Captain America, and he doesn’t need anyone’s permission to carry the shield. It’s going be rocky, though, if “Sam Wilson: Captain America” comics are anything to go by.
That sure is a snazzy outfit, though.
Baron Helmut Zemo
He’s locked up in The Raft, but not finished with manipulating events. He directed, from behind bars, his version of Alfred to blow up a bunch of super-powered Flag-Smashers. In the comics, Zemo goes on to create a fake superhero team called the Thunderbolts, and I can’t help but think that’s in the cards on screen as well.