With next week being the finale, and this week’s episode bringing in a fresh face (played by a famous face), we’re expecting everything to come to a head in a major way as Sam and Bucky are set to, once again, collide with Karli and John Walker. Is Walker out to kill Karli or does he have his sights set on Sam and Bucky? Either way, he’s a hazardous wild card of the highest order who still sees himself as Captain America (even crafting his own shield in the series’ first mid-credits scene) despite being unceremoniously stripped of that honor due to his (very public) murderous actions.
And then there’s the lingering issue of the Power Broker. The “man” with the plan in Madripoor. Will that get resolved by the end of this series or is it meant to extend out into the MCU, much like Zemo seemed to do in “Truth” when he was hauled off to the Raft by the Dora Milaje? Technically Zemo’s still out there, free to return someday, though his actions with Bucky in this episode seemed to suggest that he still longs for death on some level.
Meanwhile, Sam appeared to arrive at a very important decision this week – the choice to stand tall and proud and trust in Steve that he could be Captain America. The idea is that you can only change things if you keep fighting, and that it doesn’t mean you also have to ignore all the evils of America, or try to bury them the way Isaiah Bradley had his life take away from him for doing, basically, what Steve Rogers did back in World War II when he rescued Bucky.
So read on for some fun behind-the-scenes theorizing that we’ve been volleying back and forth here at IGN in the wake of Episode 5. To be clear: We do not know what is going to happen. These are just guesses. Oh, and be sure to drop your own take on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier in the comments — and don’t forget to vote in our poll at the bottom of the page!
Theory: Sam’s Wakandan Suit Is a Falcon/Cap Hybrid
Sam may not have been sure about Steve’s choice for him to inherit the mantle of Captain America, but Bucky’s been right on target. Sure, at first it was because Bucky wanted to believe in Steve the way he always had but now, after this adventure with Sam, Bucky truly knows the character of the man and is confident that Sam is the only man worthy of the shield.
But was Bucky so confident that Sam would figure it out for himself that he had the Wakandans literally make Sam a new… Captain America suit? Like, the Cap suit with Falcon wings that Sam used in the comics? There has to be a reason we didn’t see the full get-up in the case at the end of the episode, and a reason why Sam was so taken aback by it.
It’s a safe bet that the case contains a Cap suit of some sort, but if somehow it doesn’t, we’re still pretty sure we’ll see Sam in a Cap suit by episode’s end. Also, if the Wakandans did make a Cap suit, it’d be sweet if it was vibranium through and through, like Black Panther’s garb. And extra points if it also absorbs and expels energy.
Theory: Sharon Is Now Too Obvious to Be the Power Broker
Ok, we go back and forth on this. In the end, it could be that Sharon Carter is the Power Broker. Done and done. It just wouldn’t be much of a twist at this point. In fact, seeing her contact Batroc this week, in order to aid Karli, almost felt too obvious. Like, now the series blatantly wants us to think she’s the Power Broker. So much so that she just can’t be now. Though, we were correct about her being the one who was helping Karli (and probably being the one to give Karli all the information about Sam’s sister).
Power Broker or not, Sharon’s actions this week were definitely a dark turn. She’s shifted from a shady player in Madripoor dealing in stolen art to someone literally giving Karli a mercenary who wants to kill Sam. That’s more than just self-preservation or survival in exile; she’s disturbingly fine with Sam being dead. We guess if she was willing to give up Sam’s family history to Karli, she’s capable of most anything.
Theory: Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Val) Is the Power Broker
In a hugely entertaining bit of casting, Julia Louis-Dreyfus made her way into the MCU this week as Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, an enigmatic woman running a shadow recruiting scheme like a bizarro Nick Fury. So is Val the Power Broker? She seems to go after fallen heroes so perhaps she already roped Sharon into her web down in Madripoor and that’s why Sharon’s sort of doing the Power Broker’s bidding. Is she the woman behind the woman?
We mentioned a few weeks ago that the Power Broker was most likely someone we’d met already. With one exception. That exception was if the character was new to the MCU they would have to be played by a famous actor. Well, there you go. Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s Val could be the one who was out there trying to make Super Soldiers. Heck, the serum is the main reason she’s interested in Walker.
Theory: John Walker Will Debut as US Agent in the Finale
As much as John Walker tries to be Captain America, or even unintentionally emulate Tony Stark’s metal shop hammer banging, he’s a broken and disturbed man now. But with Zemo getting a slight redemption this season and Walker finding himself getting the cold shoulder from his own government, there’s been a lot of Thunderbolts talk throughout these past five episodes of Falcon and Winter Soldier.Thunderbolts, very quickly, are a Marvel comics hero team (with various rotating members and incarnations) comprised of reformed villains. Not only was one iteration of the team led by Zemo in the comics, but Val popping up on the scene this week, handing out business cards (well, kinda) and looking to recruit someone hero-adjacent, also felt like a possible Thunderbolts tease.
Regardless, Walker’s path seems to be that of US Agent, whose costume is very much meant to evoke Captain America. So with the crude construction of the shield mid-credits and Val basically offering Walker a Super Soldier-type job, we’ll probably see Walker as US Agent in some form in the final episode – whether it happens during his showdown with Sam and Bucky or it’s saved from another mid-credit scene.
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