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Falcon and The Winter Soldier ending explained: your biggest questions answered

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

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier ending has come and gone. All told, things were fairly definitive. Season-long arcs were wrapped up, mystery identities were uncovered, and the villains of the piece were pretty handily dealt with.

But there are still lingering questions – and doubts – that could soon blossom into a roadmap for the MCU’s expansive future. Below, we’ll go through them all. We’ve scoured social media and interrogated our own on-site experts to wrangle up all of the big talking points from Falcon and The Winter Soldier episode 6, its aftermath, and what could come next.

Of course, major spoilers for Falcon and The Winter Soldier follow. You have been warned.

The new Captain America is…

Sam Wilson new Captain America

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Will the real Captain America please stand up? No, it’s not Black Falcon or even Captain Falcon (Nintendo’s lawyers might have an issue with that second one). Sam Wilson is now Captain America – and, boy, is he worthy of the mantle. The fans love him too.

He’s even got a fancy new white suit, complete with a pair of new Redwing robots. The new look, however, doesn’t change the man underneath. His impassioned televised plea to the GRC stands to be Captain America’s most defining moment – no matter who is wielding the shield.

The third-act title card, too, seemingly canonised Sam Wilson as Captain America. The world now knows what Steve knew in Avengers: Endgame: Sam is the right choice for the new Captain America.

Who is the Power Broker?

Falcon and The Winter Soldier ending

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

It was Mephisto all along! Only joking. Much like Agatha’s reveal in WandaVision, the identity of the Power Broker was fairly straightforward both in who fans theorized it would be and its execution.

The post-credits revealed that, yes, Sharon Carter is the Power Broker in Madripoor. The early signs were there, too. She owned all that fancy art, and even took down one of the Flag-Smashers with a nasty mercury device that melted their skin.

Now, the Power Broker has plans – and they involve selling government secrets to the highest bidder. In essence, it’s secretly a perfect setup for a potential Falcon and The Winter Soldier season 2: new Captain America versus a former ally with a tangled web of contacts and criminals available to her at the push of a button. Sign us up.

Who killed the Flag-Smashers?

Falcon and The Winter Soldier ending Flag Smashers

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

This is one that has caused a fair amount of confusion. The Flag-Smashers were being transported to the Raft, but not before one of the guards revealed that they, too, supported the cause. Except it all went up (quite literally) in flames. An elderly man was the cause of all the carnage, before it cuts to Zemo hearing about the car bomb via radio in his prison cell.

So, who was the old guy? You may not remember, but he’s appeared before. It’s Zemo’s butler, Oeznik. Presumably, it was all done on Zemo’s orders. Speculation that he didn’t want to share his Raft cell with a Super Soldier is currently unsubstantiated.

Bucky’s list

Falcon and The Winter Soldier ending

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Bucky has finally managed to do the one thing he set out to do at the beginning of Falcon and The Winter Soldier: cross off every name on that list. The list, which included people Bucky needed to forgive or otherwise reconnect with, was slowly thinning out towards the finale. Some were obvious – such as Zemo – and others, such as Yori Nakajima harken back to his past murderous life as the Hydra agent, The Winter Soldier.

Nakajima, the father of the man Bucky killed overseas, finally gets the truth in the finale. Bucky meets the elderly man at his home and reveals that he “had no choice”. Now feeling fully unburdened, Bucky sends his therapist the list.

But the moment is still tinged with sadness. Bucky sees Nakajima at the bar with Leah, the girl he briefly dated in the premiere. Instead of going in, Sebastan Stan’s performance painted a picture of a man who cannot fully let anyone else in just yet. Instead, he silently nods and walks away.

John Walker's new US Agent gig

US Agent

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Don’t call him Captain America anymore, that’s for sure. John Walker is now US Agent – a name that will mean more to comic fans than the general MCU audience (for now) but still an interesting change of title.

In the comics, US Agent is used as a tool for the Commission for Superhuman Activities and occasionally operated beyond the usual means of a superhero to get the job done. It remains to be seen whether that will be the same in the MCU – his persona has seemingly shifted to someone more awkwardly goofy than an outright killer, so perhaps the serum has worn off – but one thing is for certain: he’s officially the US Agent now. 

What is Valentina setting up?

Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Oh, Contessa, what are you doing? Episode 5 saw the character, played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, introduce herself to John Walker and his wife. She got an encore in the finale, both bestowing the name of US Agent unto John Walker and also teasing her future plans.

Not only did she hint that she was in cahoots with Zemo, Val pointedly told Walker that "things are about to get weird." She continued: "When they do, we’re not gonna need a Captain America. We’re gonna need a U.S. Agent."

Our best guess? Val is silently putting together the pieces for a new supergroup. Zemo and Walker appear to be the first two recruits. Anyone could be next – so be sure to stick around during the Black Widow post-credits, as that’s when we’re most likely going to get a tease and, maybe, even a name. Thunderbolts or the Dark Avengers are both names being highly touted; expect one of them to get rubber-stamped this July.

What's next? Here's the latest on Falcon and The Winter Soldier season 2.

I'm the 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.