Falcon and Winter Soldier finale — 3 biggest twists explained

Falcon and Winter Soldier finale — the 3 biggest twists explained
(Image credit: Marvel Studios via Disney Plus)

Now that we've watched the Falcon and Winter Soldier finale — sound the Spoiler Warning horns — we're pretty sure where the future of this show lies. Yes, it seems like Falcon and Winter Soldier season 2 feels inevitable, thanks to the big changes of this season. Except it probably won't be called that. 

From a new title for the series, to a big character reveal and a rebranding for the man everyone loves to hate, The Falcon and Winter Soldier finale had a lot to digest. So, it's time to break it all down with the three biggest twists we just saw. And what they mean for the future of the MCU.

1. It's now Captain America and The Winter Soldier

In the Falcon and Winter Soldier finale we saw Sam Wilson, with the iconic vibranium shield and a brand-new uniform, be the leader that the moment needed. Whether it was fighting the bad guys, rescuing the Global Repatriation Council or being a more active voice in international politics. 

The people watching and talking to him questioned who he was, and while some still said he was The Black Falcon we all knew what was up. Sam finally accepted the mantle of Captain America.

It's been the big thread of the entire season of Falcon and Winter Soldier, and Disney Plus practically just said that Falcon and Winter Soldier season 2 is coming with a different name. A picture can say a thousand words, but this one title card made us pump a fist in the air out of a feeling of victory. 

This may not have been a twist to some, but the changing of the title was not something we expected so soon:

Falcon and Winter Soldier — Captain America and Winter Soldier

(Image credit: Marvel Studios/Disney Plus)

The Falcon and Winter Soldier finale felt pretty conclusive with Sam deaing with the history of there being a Black Captain America. Here he returned to Isaiah Bradley, one of the Black men who was a test subject for potential super soldiers. 

While the two argued throughout the season, Bradley was able to find some peace when Sam took him and his grandson to the Smithsonian and see the latest addition to the Captain America exhibition: a room dedicated to the Black soldiers who were a part of the super soldier testing (at least it appeared to be for them), and a statue for Bradley.

What it means for the MCU: We have a new Captain America, who could lead the next Avengers.

2. Sharon Carter is the Power Broker

I'm not going to say I saw it coming, except I totally did. In my synopsis for Falcon & Winter Soldier episode 5, I noted that it seemed like Sharon Carter wasn't the goodie-goodie she once was. 

Yes, the woman who once tricked Captain America into believing that she was just a hospital employee who lived next door, and not an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., is now confirmed to be the Power Broker.

While episode 5's appearance only teased the possibility, the Falcon and Winter Soldier finale confirmed it, with Karli Morgenthau calling Carter the Power Broker in a stand-off. And not only did she not deny it, Sharon gave a brief explainer about how she gave Karli an opportunity when she came to Madripoor. Carter's secret identity was then re-confirmed immediately, so we all definitely got it, when Batroc (former MMA champion Georges St-Pierre) arrived. 

Falcon and Winter Soldier finale

(Image credit: Marvel Studios/Disney Plus)

Then, Carter killed Batroc after he threatened to reveal her secret identity. By the end of the episode, many of the loose-ends that could have revealed Sharon's secret were eliminated. Fittingly, she closed out the episode in the post-credits scene, by getting a pardon from the U.S. Government, and even an invitation to go back to work on the inside. 

Of course, Carter immediately leapt back into Power Broker mode on her phone, telling someone else to get ready to sell all the government secrets, prototypes and more. Who was on the other line? Was it Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine? We shall see.

What it means for the MCU: We have a new big bad whose secret identity is still a secret.

3. John Walker is finally USAgent

Speaking of the Contessa (we're not calling her Val), another late-episode scene felt oddly familiar to anyone who has followed John Walker's history in the comics. The name USAgent is as associated with Walker as Captain America was with Steve Rogers, and during the lead-up to the series. there was speculation about whether he'd eventually take up the mantle.

Then, in what appeared to be the same building where John Walker first met Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, he put on his new uniform, setting up what's to follow the Falcon and Winter Soldier finale.

Falcon and Winter Soldier finale

(Image credit: Marvel Studios via Disney Plus)

As Walker described it, the US gent armor is like his old Captain America armor, "but black," as it's got red and white stripes, with all black everywhere else. Then the Contessa christened him as the USAgent, saying "things are about to get weird," and that people are going to need his help.

The big tease involving USAgent, if you talk to fans, is that he could be a villain for an upcoming (and unannounced) Thunderbolts project. The USAgent once joined a group called The Jury to fight the Thunderbolts — a team that at one point included Baron Helmut Zemo.

The Contessa's remarks, though, suggest that UAgent might be a pawn on the side of evil, helping people that could be unleashed by her side of the equation. Yes, that's vague, but so was she.

This could also potentially be a pivotal moment in formation of the MCU's Dark Avengers, with The Contessa taking on the Nick Fury role, and USAgent standing in for Captain America. 

What it means for the MCU: John Walker is still in play as a potential bad guy, but he still thinks he's good.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.