Falcon And The Winter Soldier Episode 5 Recap: What We Learned From "Truth" And What's Coming Next

The series finale of Falcon and The Winter Soldier is only one week away. Here's what you need to know.

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We've reached the penultimate episode of Falcon and The Winter Soldier, which means the series finale is just one week away. Still, despite the clock rapidly ticking down, we've got plenty of mysteries and unanswered questions left swirling around the show to dig into--so many, in fact, that there's a real chance we may not get resolutions for all of them in only one episode. But the potential for a second season or any number of spin-off shows or movie cameos for the cast remains on the table, of course. This is the MCU, after all.

This week picked up in the aftermath of John Walker's homicidal meltdown. After a knock-down-drag-out fight, Sam and Bucky were able to wrangle the shield from him leaving him to return to the US for court martial. Walker is given an "other than honorable" discharge and basically left to slink off with his tail between his legs--that is until a mysterious newcomer, Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), arrives to make Walker a strange and inscrutable offer of support along with an apparently blank business card.

In the comics, the Contessa is a spy-slash-femme fatal who originated back in the '60s for a Nick Fury solo comic book series. She would typically show up to complicate issues for both Nick and his teammate, Dum Dum Dugan, and then eventually went full villain and became Madame Hydra--a moniker used by specific HYDRA leaders in the comics. HYDRA has been mostly inactive in the MCU since the aftermath of Winter Soldier, which exposed their roots in SHIELD, but they could potentially regroup and make a comeback. It's unclear if this incarnation of the Contessa will be spearheading that movement, or if she represents the interests of another group we haven't met yet.

While Walker continued his descent into villainy, Sam and Bucky took some much needed downtime in Louisiana, helping Sam's sister figure out next steps with the family boat. A substantial part of the episode dealt with Sam's complicated feelings on the legacy of the shield, a problem exacerbated by a visit with Isaiah Bradley who told him in no uncertain terms that no "self respecting Black man" would ever want to be part of that legacy. However, after working with Bucky and spending time with his nephews, Sam began to see things from a different perspective and decided to undergo a full-on Rocky training montage during which he learned to handle the shield like a pro.

Meanwhile, back in Madripoor, Sharon continued to pull strings to some unknown end. It's still looking like she's actually the Power Broker (though Contessa may be another possible suspect now--we simply don't know enough about her to make a call yet.) It turns out Sharon is the one who sent Batroc to hijack the planes back in the first episode and now wants to send him to the Flag Smashers to offer weapons. And speaking of the Flag Smashers, part of their plan was also revealed--they intend to disrupt an upcoming GRC vote about "repatriation" of refugees who settled in new places during the Blip.

Of course, it would be strange for Sharon, if she is indeed the Power Broker, to suddenly want to help the Flag Smashers who stole her serum, but her actual motives could be more complicated and insidious.

Speaking of insidious, Zemo--who escaped during a chaotic fight in Episode 4--was quickly run aground by Bucky back in Sokovia. Zemo didn't actually seem that interested in trying to get anywhere or accomplish anything with his newfound freedom, and went willingly with the Dora Milaje, who told Bucky they would be taking him to the floating supermax prison the Raft.

Is this the last we've seen of Zemo in the MCU? It's too hard to call--but certainly people have escaped from the Raft in the past (like Steve's entire Civil War team, for example) so anything is possible.

The episode ended with a mid-credits scene of Walker having his very own "built this in a cave with scraps" style moment, bunkered down in what looks like a garage forging a shield all his own. It's clearly not vibranium, but considering Walker is now a super soldier, it's likely to still be a very formidable weapon.

Things to remember as we head into the finale:

  • Bucky had the Wakandans make something for Sam--likely a vibranium Captain America costume, or at the very least a new set of wings--but we haven't actually seen it yet.
  • Joaquin Torres was given the old wings by Sam after they were badly damaged in a fight with Walker. Torres will likely use his tech prowess to fix them up and become the new Falcon.
  • Isaiah Bradley's grandson, Eli, had a brief cameo in this episode--he's definitely one to keep an eye on if the MCU ever decides to build a Young Avengers team.
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