The Falcon and the Winter Soldier – Season 1 Ending Explained


The Debrief

The adventures of Bucky and Sam comes to a close in suitable Marvel fashion, with Karli and the Flag Smashers stopped from carrying out their plan. All of this while showcasing a brand new Captain America (more on that to come!)

In this final episode we also received some pretty big reveals, along with some clues over where the universe will be going next. To read our full recap for episode, feel free to click HERE for a more in-depth analysis of everything that took place over the 45 minutes.

So who died?

Karli and Sam square off at the end, with the latter unwilling to throw a punch or hit back against this angry teenager. With both characters at a stand-off, it’s Sharon Carter who makes her presence felt. She shoots Karli dead, making sure her secret remains that way for the time being. At the end of the series, the final scene of Karli sees her taken away in a stretcher.

Who is Power Broker?

Sharon Carter is the Power Broker, hiding in plain sight and presenting herself as the mystery mastermind behind criminal island Madripoor. She’s also responsible for giving the Flag Smashers their super-soldier powers.

During a mid-credits sequence at the end, we see Carter pardoned in a courtroom. She eventually walks away and takes a call from a mystery man or woman (or even alien!) outside the government building.

There, she confirms that they now have full access to government secrets, prototype weapons and more. This makes it clear that Carter is going to play an integral part in what’s to come in the MCU’s Phase 4 plans.


What happened to John Walker?

Well, John Walker sort of redeemed himself in this final episode. With the choice between killing and saving lives, John chooses the latter. It’s a good bit of character development for the man and something that doesn’t go unnoticed by the higher authorities.

John dyes his Captain America costume black and red, officially signifying his part in stepping down from the Captain America podium. He’s approached by Val (Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine) and told that “things are about to get weird.” She also tells him they’re going to need a US Agent when that does happen.

Now, Val’s history is a secret but the comics hint toward her being a Russian sleeper agent. For now, we’ll have to wait and see where the MCU goes with that. However, John Walker looks to be on the road to redemption.

What happened to Zemo?

The final shot of Zemo occurs near the end of the episode. The floating Wakandan prison known as The Raft plays host to our former Hydra man. Is this the last we’ll see of Zemo? It seems unlikely, but we’ll have to wait and see. At a guess we imagine he’ll show up in Black Panther II but that’s just a guess and in no way confirmed.

So who’s the new Captain America?

After last episode’s training montage and the constant back and forth between Bucky and Sam, we finally catch a glimpse of the new Captain America.

Sam’s gift from the Wakandans happens to be a new set of wings and a brand new shield. He also has Redwing by his side and highlights his arrival with a big speech about the future of America and the world as a whole.

His costume actually sticks pretty closely to that of the comics, complete with the stars and stripes as expected.

How does season 1 end?

Sam returns to Isaiah Bradley, one of the country’s first black Super Soldiers. He reveals himself to be the new Captain America and remains determined to lead the country forward.

Sam and Bucky patch up their differences too, eventually bringing Isaiah to the Captain America Exhibit in Washington. It’s an emotional moment for Isaiah, as he sees the museum have honored his memory with a gold statue.

What could happen in season 2?

At the time of writing, a second season is still very much unknown. Given the way the MCU is structured, anything could theoretically happen in a follow-up. It could well be a direct continuation of the story we’ve been given here, or take into account events from the following Marvel projects. At this point, it’s still difficult to tell.

Thanks for reading our Ending Explained article! What did you think of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s ending? Do you have any ideas where Phase 4 is heading? Will there be a follow-up season? Let us know in the comments below!

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