Warning - This article contains spoilers from Episode 5, "Truth," of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier .
Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is on the heels of another finale with The Falcon and the Winter Solder . "Truth," the series' penultimate episode, premiered on Disney+ and set the stage for an explosive finale.
After losing the shield to Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes, now ex-Captain America John Walker faced the consequences of his madman actions from the previous episode. However, that doesn't seem to have swayed his state of mind; Walker lied to Lemar Hoskins' parents about their son's death and is constructing his own shield as shown in a post-credit scene, signaling he isn't quite done with Sam, Bucky, or the Flag Smashers.
On top of that, Walker was visited by a surprise character - the mysterious Valentina Allegra de Fontaine played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus , who supported Walker's actions and gave him her seemingly blank business card.
Meanwhile, Sam and Bucky briefly separated to deal with their own matters. Bucky finally brought Baron Zemo to justice by turning him into the Dora Milaje , and Sam went back to Louisiana to help his sister fix their parent's boat.
In the end, the titular duo reunited and departed yet again with Bucky leaving Sam a present from Wakanda. However, it looks like the duo has one last battle to fight in New York City with the Flag Smashers.
Now, a new batch of stills has been released, highlighting the bruises and healing showcased in the episode...
CAPTAIN AMERICA FALLS AND THE FLAG SMASHERS RISE
Disney released six new stills from Episode 5 of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier , "Truth."
Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes stand their ground with John Walker in an attempt to get Captain America's shield back.
Bucky Barnes holds steady against the brute of John Walker, now armed with the Super Soldier Serum, during the fight for the shield.
Bucky briefly meets up with Ayo and the Dora Milaje in Sokovia to turn Zemo in before asking a favor of them.
Sam and Bucky team up to help fix the Wilson family boat, and Bucky finally meets Sam's sister, Sarah.
Bucky reflects on where he's been and where he's going during his time spent in Louisiana with Sam and his family.
Karli Morgenthau, leader of the Flag Smashers, teams up with Batroc the Leaper, seemingly hired by Sharon Carter, to pull off one last stunt in New York City.
A NEW DAWN IS COMING IN THE MCU
From the start, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has strived to address the concerns of taking on the Captain America mantle. As seen through John Walker, it's not as simple as inheriting the shield, costume, or branding.
Much of what this episode set up is Sam Wilson's understanding of what it would mean for him to be Captain America, and ultimately if he should. After going back to speak to Isaiah Bradley a bit more , Sam realized that the world may never fully accept him in the role due to the color of his skin. In the end, though, that doesn't seem to be stopping him from doing what's right and saving innocent lives .
And it looks like Sam will have plenty of lives to save. Karli Morgenthau has been pushed to her breaking point, and in conjunction with Batroc the Leaper who wants nothing more than the Falcon dead , she's setting the stage for a thrilling showdown in New York City.
With Sam well aware of this, in the series finale, it's likely he'll be giving a Bucky a call to stop the Flag Smashers once and for all, at least, not if John Walker gets to them (or the duo) first.
Sam has his family on the line, and Bucky has his gradually optimistic future. With Karli having already used Sam and his family as leverage and John Walker overpowering Bucky and his vibranium arm, this fight will surely be far from easy .
In the end, the MCU will be forever changed; someone will bear the mantle of Captain America, someone will go down, and someone won't be happy with any of it. And Julia Louis-Dreyfus' Valentina might be waiting in the shadows for whatever outcome is reached.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is streaming now on Disney+. The series finale will premiere on April 23, 2021.