The penultimate episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier laid a lot of narrative groundwork, with the opening clash between Sam Wilson, Bucky Barnes and John Walker kicking things off with a bang, before the rest of the running time focused largely on the narrative and thematic undertow as opposed to the action-packed pyrotechnics.
That’s all set to change next week, though, with the finale setting the table for an epic conclusion. Sam got his own training montage, and it’s safe to assume that his surprise package from the Wakandans is going to be a Captain America costume all of his own, despite his intense conversation with Isiah Bradley creating even more self-doubt for the soon to be ex-Falcon.
We also saw The Falcon and the Winter Soldier‘s first post-credits sequence, with Walker hammering his own shield into shape, and after his meeting with surprise guest Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Contessa Valentina de la Fontaine, it’s looking as though he’ll be making it out of the series alive to return as a full-blown bad guy somewhere down the line.
However, one of the major talking points from this week’s episode was Sam and Bucky’s constant references to Steve Rogers being gone. It hasn’t been confirmed whether the original Cap has died or he’s simply retired to live the quiet life, but as you can see from the reactions below, fans are wondering what it all means given how frequent and heavy-handed the mentions were.
Spoilers for #TheFalconAndTheWinterSoldier
Am I the only one totally on the edge of my seat waiting for an answer of if Steve is still alive or not?
Why do they always gotta fiddle around with our heartstrings the way they do?
— Ricky Costa (@rickyQcosta) April 10, 2021
saying steve is gone is not helping my delusion of thinking he is still alive #TheFalconAndTheWinterSoldier
— jenna (@oswaldaae) April 16, 2021
It’s really fun for me to imagine @ChrisEvans’ Steve Rogers growing old in a comfy Indiana cabin, flipping on the news in 2024. He just watches the events of #TheFalconAndTheWinterSoldier play out and thinks “Ahhh, it’s all a part of the journey,” and sips his tea.
— Joshwa Walton (@joshwawalton) April 15, 2021
— Grag Ahse (@AhseGrag) April 16, 2021
— ⎊ JOHN WALKER HATE PAGE ⍟ (@lokiislit) April 16, 2021
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— GK (@GK123chris) April 16, 2021
— K I / G O 🇺🇬 (@thekigozimusazi) March 12, 2021
— Denise TFATWS SPOILERS (@basicdeangirl) March 27, 2021
— kristina | a fan account (@mylulllabies) March 19, 2021
Until I see a Stars and Stripes funeral, Steve Rogers is still alive in my book https://t.co/ZXSXJexvhh
— buck – spoilers (@buckybabez) April 17, 2021
There are no doubt going to be some fans crossing their fingers for a surprise Chris Evans cameo, which feels very unlikely at this stage. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is Sam Wilson’s show now, and the MCU’s new Captain America is set to finally step into the limelight, save the day from the bad guys and bask in the adulation that comes with his newfound status.