The Falcon and the Winter Soldier made big strides in its penultimate episode as it approaches its endgame. The latest installment showed fans the consequences of John Walker's public execution of Flag Smasher member Nico while also giving a glimpse at Sam's heroic transformation into the MCU's new Captain America .
In addition, the fifth episode also resolved the plot thread of Daniel Brühl's Zemo by confirming that Wakanda's Dora Milaje will bring the villain to justice by sending him to The Raft, the super-max prison that was featured in 2016's Captain America: Civil War . The identity of the Power Broker remains unknown, but this chapter hinted that it may indeed be Sharon Carter after all .
With so much to unpack, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier managed to include one more surprise in the form of the MCU debut of Julia Louis-Dreyfus' Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine .
Now, a brand-new look at the renowned Marvel Comics character has surfaced.
FALCON AND WINTER SOLDIER'S PENULTIMATE CHAPTER
Disney officially released the second batch of stills for the fifth episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, "Truth."
Julia Louis-Dreyfus made a stunning entrance as the MCU's Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine in this official still.
Contessa tries to convince Wyatt Russell's John Walker that what he did with Nico was right. After that, Contessa gave Walker a blank calling card, seemingly hinting that the former Captain America will be contacted by her soon.
John Walker walks out of his trial with the belief that he is still the rightful owner of the Captain America mantle.
Sebastian Stan's Bucky takes a peek at Steve Rogers' shield in this official still from the episode.
Bucky and Sam talk about the complicated legacy of Captain America's shield in this image from the episode.
Anthony Mackie's Sam Wilson studies the basics of wielding Captain America's iconic shield.
The final standoff between Bucky and Zemo is showcased in this official image from "Truth."
Sam contemplates his decision to become the Star-Spangled Avenger.
MADAME HYDRA'S MCU FUTURE EXPLAINED
These photos should serve as a reminder of the character-driven fifth episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier .
While there were fewer action scenes in the latest chapter, the emotional moments of the heroes should be more than enough to prepare viewers for an explosive finale since it helps them understand the different motivations of these individuals.
It's no secret that the arrival of Julia Louis-Dreyfus' MCU character is a game-changer, and the fact that she would have originally debuted in Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow further amplifies that notion. Still, it remains to be seen how Madame Hydra will impact the existing Avengers moving forward.
The MCU is best known for giving its own spin to its characters, so it would make sense if Contessa drops the Madame Hydra alter-ego altogether. Instead, Contessa could be working for Leviathan, a rival organization of both HYDRA and SHIELD.
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige previously said that there is always an “inherent need” for shadowy organizations in the MCU, and Leviathan definitely fits that billing.
It's possible that Contessa is recruiting super villains for Leviathan, starting with John Walker. By keeping a close eye on dangerous individuals, there's a strong chance that the group is working towards building a dark version of the Avengers to potentially challenge Earth's Mightiest in the future.
Whatever the case, it's nearly guaranteed that the finale of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will give some answers, thus making it a must-see for every MCU fan.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is now streaming on Disney+, with the finale set to arrive on April 23, 2021.