While The Falcon and the Winter Soldier's first season has officially come to an end, the events of the show seem likely to affect the future of the MCU greatly. The series sets up conflicts for many of the characters within the show, including Sharon Carter, Zemo, and John Walker's newly rebranded U.S. Agent.
The titular characters also seem bound for future adventures, having resolved their issues over the course of the season. Actor Anthony Mackie even expressed a desire to see the pair reunite, citing his and actor Sebastian Stan's clear chemistry.
Most notably, the action-packed series saw Sam Wilson take up the Captain America name, setting the character up for an exciting future. The character's journey towards acceptance of this role is a significant part of the show, even serving as one of the final moments of the entire season.
CAPTAIN AMERICA AND...THE WHITE WOLF?
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter about his work on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier's premiere season, head writer and executive producer Malcolm Spellman touched on the dramatic concluding note of the finale, wherein the last title card changes to read Captain America and the Winter Soldier.
Responding to a question about an alternative title card referring to Bucky as the White Wolf, Spellman talked about how the visual "really affected [him] emotionally":
"I got to see that moniker [White Wolf] in watching one of the cuts, and man, it really affected me emotionally...I believe they wanted the impact of Captain America and the Winter Soldier to land. And I do think that had they done Captain America and the White Wolf, it might not have been as emotional of a landing because it’s too much math and too much evolution. But I don’t know for sure what it was. I got blindsided by that while watching the cut — but I loved it."
WINTER SOLDIER NO MORE?
Spellman's comments are certainly interesting, providing insight into the writer's understanding of Bucky's journey in the show. Just as Sam is able to work through his issues and take on a new identity, it seems Spellman envisioned a similar arc for Bucky.
Even so, while the series does see Bucky work to shed the emotional baggage of his time as the Winter Soldier, his journey is less oriented around the Winter Soldier name. Instead, it is about embracing the pieces of himself that remain and working to return to the person he was before he put on the arm. Because of this, it makes sense that Marvel decided to focus the final title card reveal on Sam and his role as the new hero behind the shield, not Bucky's complex relationship with his own past.
The White Wolf name is also not as well-known, having been mentioned only a few times in the whole of the MCU. Deciding to opt for a rebrand of Bucky's character may have undermined the moment, forcing audiences to briefly rack their brains instead of reacting to the fulfillment of Sam's journey.
Even so, Spellman's idea is certainly intriguing, providing Bucky's character some well-deserved closure. Whether or not Bucky decides to drop the Winter Soldier name in the future remains to be seen, though fans may see the conflict resolved in the rumored Captain America 4.