Heading into the weekend, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier delivered one of the most stunning opening sequences ever in its penultimate season one episode; giving the Civil War vibes all over. The trio, Sam, Bucky, and Walker, fighting over that shield finally made us understand why it is so significant. It may have different meanings for different people, but it sure isn't to be put in some museum as a memorial piece. The legacy of Captain America, within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is way beyond a single person.
But, talking about legacies, the show subtly included the inception of two new superheroes (and a villain), or say three individuals transitioning into new identities. These three people were Anthony Mackie's Sam Wilson, Wyatt Russell's John Walker, and Danny Ramirez's Joaquin Torres. While we are definitely going to see both Sam and John donning new mantles in the next episode or at least a glimpse of it, it might take time for Torres to head to his superhero future. Still, it was a pretty awesome nod to the comics, and once again marks another charismatic move for Marvel Studios to include new superheroes in a modified way into the MCU. Let's take a look at those three super individuals Marvel Studios' The Falcon And The Winter Soldier teased in Episode 5.
Sam Wilson Becoming Captain America
While Sam and Bucky handled the fight against Walker pretty well and managed to take the shield with them, the show delved deeper into Sam's confusion and reluctance to take up the mantle. While he was already struggling with keeping up the standards Steve had set as a perfect patriot, he further drifted away from the concept of being America's favorite superhero after meeting Isaiah Bradley, a Black super soldier who was imprisoned for serving his nation. But, eventually, Sam realizes that it's now more important than ever to take up the mantle to prove to the world how a man of color can be capable of handling responsibilities a white man couldn't (Walker) and trains himself with the shield. He learns how to use the shield, throwing it and grabbing it back, in combat, and embraces Steve's trust in him.
Towards the end of the episode, Sam learns that the Flag Smashers are planing an attack on a GRC meeting to rebel against an act that would displace people who moved across borders after the Blip, into their countries of origin. Preparing himself mentally for the upcoming battle, he opens up the box that Bucky gave him, courtesy of the Wakandans. Though we didn't get a look at what's inside, a really little glimpse, like a fraction of it, showed that it's Falcon's new costume, most probably in new blue and white colors to match the shield.
It's not confirmed whether Sam will fly in the new costume or not, but it's quite evident that he will. Firstly, flying is his nature. He has flown in those wings long before becoming an Avenger. Also, since he is not a super-soldier, the wings will give him a significant advantage over the supervillains in future combat missions. And with that, when Sam will wear the new colors, wielding Captain America's shield, flying across the battle arena, he'd have turned into a new Captain America.
Joaquin Torres Becoming Falcon II
One of the classic nods to the comics in this show was the introduction of Joaquin Torres, played by Danny Ramirez. Torres is introduced as Sam's aide in military operations. He is Sam's point man and trusted confidante, helping him gather info and evidence on threats and other sorts of conflicts. He is also Sam's tech guy, marking enemy locations, tracing tracks, and connecting the dots for him. In the latest episode, Torres visits Sam Wilson after their fight with Walker. He explains the situation to Sam and how the authorities in America are going crazy over Walker publicly murdering an unarmed man.
Torres then takes a look at Sam's destroyed wings from his Falcon costume. Though Sam asks Torres to find a way to repair the wings Torres is unsure when and how he can fix the severe destruction of them. When Sam starts departing with Cap's shield, Torres asks Sam to take the wings too, to which Sam replies, "Keep Them".
Joaquin Torres is an important character in the Marvel comics, who takes up Sam's mantle of Falcon and becomes Falcon II. Though in the comics, Torres was actually turned into a human-bird hybrid during experimentations by mad scientist Karl Malus (the character has appeared in Jessica Jones, but was seemingly killed in an explosion). Saving Captain America's life, he gained the position of new Falcon, becoming Cap's sidekick. It's possible that Marvel will take a new approach with the character and would probably include him in the future development of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Notably, Joaquin Torres allies himself with Ironheart in the Secret Empire storyline; Ironheart is being developed for Disney+ as well. So, we might see these young superheroes unite to form New Avengers.
John Walker Becoming U.S Agent
John's storyline in this miniseries has been an unfortunate one. First, he was made to believe that being Captain America was to uphold American values and principles but wasn't told that they will conflict with his principles as a soldier. The war veteran, unaware of what he is up against, faced defeat and humiliation until he realized how power could change his stance and help him become the true Captain America he is expected to be. His decision to take the serum, however, backfires as his anger and frustration towards those undermining him take a toll on him which is further amplified by the grief of his war buddy's death. And then, he was, in a way, betrayed by the politics which he believed worked on the same values, further plunging him into hopelessness.
All of that piled up with his frustration over his failure to protect his best friend and his obsession with becoming a superhero, Walker begins to design his own shield. He is seen using hammering tools and the same colors as Cap's shield to create his own persona. He even engraved the shield with the US military pin from his uniform. Given the sudden turn in his character arc and his meeting with the "surprise guest" in the episode, his character is certainly going down a villainous path and we can't wait to see Wyatt Russell's stunning performance as U.S. Agent in future MCU installments.
The Falcon And The Winter Soldier has significantly expanded the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Besides these three teases, the show has also teased Eli Bradley, who in the comics becomes Patriot and in this version is the grandson of Isaiah Bradley, the former Captain America. The MCU is further introducing characters like Kate Bishop, Iron heart, Miss America, Ms. Marvel, and possibly Stinger/Stature (Cassie Lang). We might be looking forward to New Avengers in the future, but who can say for sure?
The Falcon And The Winter Soldier will conclude next week with the sixth and final episode of the show, streaming exclusively on Disney+.