Falcon and The Winter Soldier fans react to the "darkest moment" in MCU history

Falcon and The Winter Soldier episode 4 ending
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Nobody expected The Falcon and The Winter Soldier to go this far. The closing moments of this week’s episode saw a turning point, not just for a certain character – but also in how far Marvel is willing to push the envelope on Disney Plus.

Spoilers for The Falcon and The Winter Soldier episode 4 follow…

As might be expected, the collective fandom is in a state of shock. Not only did Battlestar (Clé Bennet) perish during a fight with the Flag Smashers, but John Walker (Wyatt Russell) has also gone rogue and killed one of the members of the revolutionary group – with Cap’s shield.

For many, it’s beyond the pale. The image of Walker holding the bloodied symbol while being caught in 4K – the episode is called "The World is Watching" for a reason – is going to live long in the memory.

Even looking beyond the MCU’s television output – which has already horrified with the likes of Vision’s colorless corpse jump scare in WandaVision – some are thinking this ranks right up there with some of the darkest scenes across all four Phases.

Now, attention turns to the next episode. Fans are gearing up for Sam and Bucky to take down John Walker. If the super serum-addled actions of this week are any indication, it could be a throwdown for the ages. 

Mercifully, Marvel is still keeping things light elsewhere. There’s now an extended cut of Zemo dancing the night away available to watch. Plus, the new Loki trailer is full of all sorts of timeline shenanigans from the smooth-talking God of Mischief. But the blood on the red, white, and blue won't be washed away so easily.

Catch up on the MCU story so far with our guide on how to watch the Marvel movies in order.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.