The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has a nice nod to Cap's heroics in Captain America: The First Avenger

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
(Image credit: Disney/Marvel)

Warning: the following contains spoilers for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 2! Turn back now if you haven't seen the latest episode!

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier might be showing us a post-Steve Rogers world, but his legacy certainly hasn't been forgotten. Episode 2 included a throwback to one of his more quietly heroic moments – and what convinced Tommy Lee Jones' Colonel Phillips to accept Steve as the Super Soldier Serum candidate in the first place.  

In episode 2, neither Sam or Bucky are that enamored with the new Cap, Wyatt Russell's John Walker. Bucky asks Walker whether he's ever jumped on a grenade, and Walker answers that he has, four times – but it's got something to do with his reinforced helmet.

In Captain America: The First Avenger, Colonel Phillips lobs a grenade at the potential super soldiers in training. They all run from it but Steve, who dives onto the grenade and yells for everyone to get away. It turns out to be a fake, but Steve didn't know that when he jumped right in – so he thought he was sacrificing himself to save everyone else. It's this display of selfless bravery that makes Phillips accept Dr. Erskine's decision to give the Serum to Steve.

Walker's answer suggests he's doing something like testing his helmet's capabilities on grenades, which is pretty far away from what Steve did – and so won't convince Bucky that Walker is fit to carry Captain America's shield.

While so far Walker seems like a decent enough guy, we'll no doubt be seeing his darker side sooner rather than later, especially with Zemo coming into the mix in episode 3. In fact, that ominous "stay the hell out of my way" warning will surely be significant in the coming episodes, and it's a red flag that he views Falcon only as Captain America's wingman, too.

We'll have to wait till next week to see what happens next: The series drops a new episode on Disney Plus every Friday, and you can check out our The Falcon and the Winter Soldier release schedule, and the best Disney Plus deals and prices, right here.

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.