After six weeks and a lot of explosions, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has come to an end. The finale answered some of our burning questions as well as leaving us with a lot more. While it wasn’t one of the biggest weeks for Easter eggs, there were some relevant references and little nods. So, of course, we’re here to break it all down!
New York, New York
Sure, a whole city can’t really be an Easter egg. But New York is a key part of MCU lore, so we’re assuming this wasn’t a coincidence. In the cinematic universe this was the location of the Battle of New York… well, duh. It’s also the home of the ex-Avengers Tower, which we’re still hoping/thinking could become the Fantastic Four’s Baxter Building.
It’s Captain America
After the Wakandans gift him a new suit and wings at the request of Bucky, we finally see Sam as Captain America. It’s an impressively comics-accurate costume, head sock and all. If you’re wondering where it first appeared, it was in Captain America vol 7 #25. The suit was designed by Carlos Pacheco and introduced into canon by Stuart Immonen and Rick Remender.
The Bird vs. the Leaper
Sam’s first big one-on-one fight as Captain America is with Batroc. Georges St-Pierre’s French Canadian villain was big mad, but Sam had the shield. There’s precedent for these two to rumble. Most notably it happened over the issues Captain America #149-150. However, we’re not sure if “a chair” is canonically as strong as the shield, but hey.
Sadly, Redwing is still not a bird
Some of us—me, it was me—were hoping that with evil army drone Redwing dead we might get a real bird sidekick. Alas, that was not the case. Instead, it’s revealed during the helicopter dogfight that the Wakandans made Sam a new killer drone!
Was that an Echo of a Hawkeye reference?
During that very dogfight, we see a huge container ship. The boat is named Echo. Now, of course, that could just be the real name of the boat. But with the Hawkeye show recently wrapped and it being set in New York, we’re hoping this is a nod to the show’s new character, Echo. The Deaf Indigenous hero is being played by a Deaf Indigenous actor named Alaqua Cox. In case you couldn’t tell, we cannot wait to meet her!
“The Black Falcon”
This is a little callback to the Baltimore kid in episode two. If you don’t recall, the young boy called Sam “the Black Falcon.” Sam corrected him, but here we see an older Black man get corrected by a younger Black man who says, “No, that’s Captain America.”
Sharon Carter is Power Broker
Sure, you probably already knew this, but now it’s confirmed. Sharon Carter is Power Broker. That’s why she had to use an Android phone and not an iPhone. We don’t learn much about that role here, but she did seemingly mentor Karli in Madripoor. Why she tried to have Sam killed, though, we still don’t know.
“I’m not interested in power or an empire”
When Karli faces down against Sharon she says this powerful line. While it’s obviously a commentary on their relationship, it could also be a reference to Sharon’s larger plan. In the comics, Secret Empire begins as a political branch of HYDRA. Could that be what Sharon is planning to build? If we look to the stories they were invented to infiltrate multiple parts of society, it would make a lot of sense for Sharon as she just became a government official again.
There’s also another empire we should expect to see become very integral to the MCU. That is, of course, the Skrull empire, which is at the heart of the Secret Invasion storyline. With current MCU shows seemingly building up to that “invaders in plain sight” plot, could Sharon also have a connection to the lumpy-chinned aliens?
“I’m not gonna fight you”
As Sam fights Karli, he tells her, “I’m not gonna fight you.” It’s a nice and emotive callback to what Steve says to Bucky in Winter Soldier. There, Captain America added they were friends. While the new Cap can’t say the same to Karli, he did clearly care, which makes her death at the hands of evil Sharon Carter even worse.
Time to read a comic
On a screen during this sequence we see FS105B. It’s likely referencing Captain America #105. The issue is called “In the Name of Batroc!” Naturally, he’s a key figure here. Interestingly, it also features the death of Sharon Carter. Foreshadowing perhaps?
Michelangelo’s statue is of the most famous pieces of biblical art ever. It is also one of the most homaged images in comic books. Some of the most famous iterations include Crisis on Infinite Earths, Death of Superman, and Batman: A Death in the Family. Obviously those DC stories are not what TFATWS was referencing, but Marvel has done their fair share of La Pieta too (see The Death of Captain Marvel for one of the most accurate versions). So when Sam is carrying Karli out of the building, that’s what we get. It’s also a near direct visual recreation of Captain America and the Falcon #8, which shows Cap holding the dead body of the Anti-Cap.
Who killed the Flag-Smashers?
Thought Zemo was a cool guy with good dancing? Did you forget he killed a ton of people at the UN? Murdered T’Challa’s dad? Well, if you did, then you likely remembered as it was revealed he brutally killed the recently captured Flag-Smashers. Just as it seemed they were headed to the Raft to potentially become the Thunderbolts, they were blown up. The culprit? Zemo’s own weird evil Alfred butler. This is messed up on a ton of levels, not least as Marvel could have done with a few more superpowered people of color. R.I.P. HOT DOVICH! I love u.
When we saw Zemo’s evil little smile, we also saw the Raft. The superpowered prison first appeared named the Raft in Alias vol 1 #26. We’ve seen it in the MCU before in Civil War. It’s also likely where Zemo will begin to build his evil-superteam, the Thunderbolts.
Contessa is back, baby!
Just when you thought there wouldn’t be a special cameo this week, we got one. It was the return of Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Yep, Contessa is back and she’s scheming. Turns out killing someone on camera doesn’t mean you have to go to prison or anything. Instead, John Walker is now working for this shady woman, wearing his U.S. Agent suit. He first put it on in Captain America #354. Here it has a little less impact as in the comics Cap wore a black suit first as part of his rejection of the U.S. government.
“We’re not gonna need Captain America, we’re gonna need a U.S. Agent”
In case the suit wasn’t enough of a hint, Val actually said the words “U.S. Agent” to John. It was a very on the nose moment and one that hinted at the “craziness” to come. Whether we’ll see John follow his comics route—joining the West Coast Avengers, which seems unlikely—or be a pawn for Val’s scheme is yet to be seen.
Time for a mid-credits sequence
Ah, dramatic irony! Once again, Sam Wilson makes a big mistake by getting Sharon Carter a full pardon. Now she’s Agent Carter AND the Power Broker. Looks like big trouble to us. But who was she talking on the phone to? It seems like it could be Val, but we can’t know for sure.
New creator thanks
In the final selection of new Special Thanks we get some shout-outs to the people who first originated the Sam Wilson Captain America suit! Crediting creators is good and important!
Carlos Pacheco: Designer of the Sam Wilson Captain America costume
Rick Remender and Stuart Immonen: Creators of the comics where Sam Wilson became Captain America
Featured Image: Netflix