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Things Fans Want To See In The Falcon And The Winter Soldier

While it's hit some pretty big production snags, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is a highly anticipated show because it's essentially the next entry in the Captain America franchise, only without Steve Rogers. As shown at the end of Avengers: Endgame, Sam Wilson (played by Anthony Mackie) is gifted the mantle of being the new Captain America by an elderly Steve, with Bucky Barnes (portrayed by Sebastian Stan) nodding in approval. In other words, the show is going to go in some interesting directions.

After all, this is going to be a series about transitions. It continues Sam's journey from ex-soldier to outlaw to Avenger. Now, he's going to take over the most iconic superhero role of all, complete with the shield. How will he face all of these changes? As for Bucky, he's finally free of mind control, and he's his own man for the first time in 75 years. How will he adjust to the modern world? Both characters are returning to the MCU after both being obliterated by Thanos, and five years have passed since they disappeared. How will this affect their lives? How will the return of thousands of spies, terrorists, and criminals affect the world? The six-episode first season of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will have a chance to tell smaller but still exciting stories about the repercussions of cosmic events, and here's what fans would love to see from this Disney+ series.

The Winter Soldier is a man out of time

One of the best decisions the MCU made was making Bucky Barnes Cap's equal, not just a sidekick. Back in the '40s, he was even Steve Rogers' protector, back when Steve was still scrawny. And when he was captured, tortured, and brainwashed by HYDRA, he became one of the MCU's most tragic characters. This is compounded in Captain America: Civil War, when Zemo triggers his brainwashing once again, turning him into a merciless killer. Sure, he enjoys a moment of peace in Wakanda, where scientists free him of his capacity for being mentally controlled, but then Thanos comes along to ruin that brief interlude.

In other words, Bucky Barnes has no clue what having a normal life is like. Throw in the adjustment of living in a world where Thanos' "snap" happened and was then undone, and things seem unstable for him. A big part of the show should be devoted to him trying to find himself. How does he fit into this world? What kind of cultural gaps does he have? Is he able to live something close to a normal life, or is his identity public knowledge? Will this broken former ladies' man be able to find love? Marvel shouldn't let the action of the series get in the way of allowing the audience to get to know Bucky. 

The Falcon has a heavy mantle

Sam Wilson has a daunting job — replacing Captain America! This is the single most important plot thread of the entire show, both in how he handles the transition and what his peers and the public make of his work. Will Cap's former allies take Sam seriously in this role? What will the press make of Cap's successor? Sam has always been full of surprises, however, beginning with his introduction in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Never one to boast, he keeps his skills as a pilot of the Falcon suit secret until he's really needed. At every stage, he's an intensely loyal and capable friend and warrior. 

The series needs to show that despite this being the biggest challenge of his life, he's more than ready for this job. It's time to find out more about Sam's past. What led him to become part of the Falcon program? What was Sam like before he joined the military? What's his family life like? How do they react to him becoming a superhero and outlaw? 

Sam also needs to find a way to step out of Steve's shadow and truly become his own man, even as he takes up Cap's mantle. He excels at flying combat, and this should be the main focus of his fighting style as he incorporates Captain America's shield and continues to use his Redwing drone. His costume and identity will need to be a mix of old and new to inspire the public.  

Fans want an actual personality for Zemo

Baron Helmut Zemo (played by Daniel Brühl) is vastly different in the MCU than he is in the comics. In the comics, he's the son of one of Captain America's greatest enemies from World War II, and he blames Cap for his father's death and vows revenge. He nearly succeeds after creating a new Masters of Evil team and beating Cap to within an inch of his life. His later turn as leader of the Thunderbolts makes him a complex, narcissistic character who's hard to predict.

In the MCU, he's a Sokovian death squad member but also a family man. When the conflict in Age of Ultron kills his family, he's driven to seek revenge by driving a wedge between the Avengers and making them fight each other. However, the problem is that Zemo, while clever and resourceful, is little more than a plot device in the film. There seemed to be no point in giving him the name of such a big bad guy.

Slated to be a major villain in the show, the MCU now has a chance to do the character justice. Zemo needs to be charismatic, arrogant, and flamboyant in terms of plans and personality. Beyond simply revenge, Zemo needs to have a much bigger scheme in play and have a lot of dangerous people working for him. Given the five-year time jump, he's had plenty of time and opportunity to become a truly worthy foe for Sam and Bucky.      

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier should introduce the Thunderbolts

In the comics, one of Baron Zemo's greatest schemes was creating the Thunderbolts. During a period where the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, and other major heroes were presumed to be dead, Zemo hit on the idea of stepping into the breach with a new team of superheroes. He recruited old members of the Masters of Evil and changed their identities. They pretended to be good guys, gaining the public's trust, as part of Zemo's global mind-control plot. 

Given a similar loss of heroes for such a long time, what if Zemo in the TV series concocts a similar plan? Given that both Sam and Bucky have a history of being outlaws, one can easily see a scenario where his trusted Thunderbolts have the backing of the law against Cap's old comrades. Maybe this can be the big conspiracy that Sharon Carter has been trying to unravel. There are several actors cast in the series whose roles haven't yet been revealed, so they may well be Zemo's associates in such a scheme. In addition to bringing elements of a beloved comic book series to the screen, the Thunderbolts would give the MCU version of Zemo a storyline worthy of the original character. 

We want a real story for Agent 13

Sharon Carter, alias Agent 13, is a character bursting with potential who's received precious little screen time. Played by Emily VanCamp, she's introduced as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent assigned to watch over Steve Rogers in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Her connection to Peggy Carter, her aunt, makes Sharon's subsequent romance with Cap all the more complicated. But despite all this potential, the Marvel Cinematic Universe hasn't done a lot with her character. 

In the new show, she deserves her own meaty storyline. It's safe to assume she'll team up with Sam and Bucky fairly quickly, but it needs to be as an equal, not a plot device. The show should resist having her start a romance with either of the heroes, especially since both were so close to Steve. Plus, Sharon is noticeably absent in both Infinity War and Endgame. Did she get snapped out of existence by Thanos? 

Where she's been, what she's been doing, and most importantly, what she's going to do next should all be a crucial parts of the show. Is she tracking down old HYDRA agents? Is she on the run from the government after aiding and abetting Steve? Is she aware of Zemo's activities? Sharon driving the action rather than reacting to it would be a welcome change.  

There should be hints of Cap and Peggy in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

One of the biggest swerves of Avengers: Endgame was Steve Rogers deciding to go back in time and live a life with Peggy Carter. Being separated from Peggy was something in his past that he couldn't fix for the longest time, and the movie does a great job of reminding both the character and the viewer how much he misses her. However, one of the biggest loose threads of the film is how his decision to time travel affects the present day. 

Does Sharon grow up having an Uncle Steve? Does she understand the connection between her Aunt Peggy's husband (who's referred to but never named in the movies) and Steve Rogers? Will the now-elderly Steve Rogers appear and apologize to Sharon? Will he be around to offer advice to Sam and Bucky? And of course, will this marriage alter anything about the present-day universe, or has it always been a part of this timeline? All of this has to be explained at some point, both as a way of tying up the loose ends from Endgame and giving Sharon Carter closure.   

From frenemies to bromance

A fun running subplot in the Captain America movies is the developing friendship between Sam and Bucky. They start as enemies, with Sam becoming Cap's closest friend and staunchest ally against the psychotic killer known as the Winter Soldier. When Cap realizes not only that Bucky is alive, but that his true self is still buried underneath his HYDRA programming, Sam doesn't hesitate to help, even if it means becoming an outlaw. And when the Winter Soldier's mind is restored, Sam and Bucky compete for Cap's attention and friendship. By the time everything is over, Bucky makes a tremendous gesture in stepping aside when it's clear that Cap wants Sam to be his successor. On Sam's part, he looks for Bucky's approval before he accepts the shield.

At its heart, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is going to be about the two of them and their friendship. Their unusual connection to Cap and the Avengers gives them a unique bond, even if they're otherwise an unlikely pair. Their banter should be competitive but still affectionate as they develop a friendship outside of working with Cap. Both actors, Mackie and Stan, have strong comedic chops, and that should create plenty of opportunities for the characters to give each other grief. By the end of the first season, their chemistry should be solidified as a new unit, one where their differences become strengths. 

Fans would definitely love to see some shield training sessions

A key element of any MCU project is humor. Indeed, comic relief is a hallmark of even the darkest and most esoteric Marvel films. And heroes trying to figure out how best to use their powers is an easy way to get laughs. For example, the scenes in the first Iron Man film where Tony Stark yells at his malfunctioning robot helpers as he tries to determine the limits of his new suit are some of the most memorable in the whole series.

Similarly, Captain America's shield is incredibly powerful, but it's also one of the least intuitive weapons imaginable. It's made of an exotic metal that bounces weirdly, and it clearly took Steve Rogers a lot of practice to maximize its effectiveness. Seeing Sam Wilson learn how to use it is rife with comedic potential. We'd love a scene where he practices with Bucky and possibly winds up hitting the Winter Soldier, himself, or some innocent furniture by accident. Incorporating the shield and its odd ricochets into his ability to fly could also be part of the fun. 

Sam is going to make a lot of mistakes as he takes on Cap's role. His ability to work through these setbacks will be part of his journey as a hero. Making the shield his own and finding out ways to use it that even Steve never considered will be a powerful shortcut in depicting that journey. 

Wakanda forever

One of the most interesting open questions in the MCU is what's happening with Wakanda. At the end of Black Panther, T'Challa opens up Wakanda to the world for the first time, and it's implied the African country is about to become a major player on a global level, thanks to its sophisticated technology. And Bucky is forever indebted to T'Challa and Wakanda for freeing him of the mind control that plagued him, as well as allowing him time to heal physically and emotionally. 

So what happened to Wakanda after T'Challa and Shuri were both vaporized by Thanos? While Okoye stayed in touch with the Avengers in helping to police the world, it's unclear what role Wakanda played in the world in general and where it stands post-Endgame. Given the globetrotting premise of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Sam and Bucky should either visit Wakanda or encounter Wakandan agents in their travels. Bucky's everlasting loyalty to the country means that he'll drop anything to help them, and Sam has battled alongside their warriors enough times that he'll do the same. 

This could all link into instability in Wakanda after Black Panther's return. Who's been ruling Wakanda? Did they quietly give the throne back to T'Challa? Are there other forces conspiring against Wakanda's stability, perhaps stoked by Zemo? Any MCU series dealing with political intrigue should incorporate Wakanda into its story, and hopefully, that will be true of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.  

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier should have ghosts of S.H.I.E.L.D. and HYDRA

It's been several years since the fracturing of S.H.I.E.L.D. after it was revealed to be filled with HYDRA agents. But what were all those agents doing after Thanos obliterated half of humanity? How are the returning spies dealing with this new world? It likely took civilization five years to recover from the chaos of the Snap, and the return of the missing has undoubtedly caused as much chaos as it has joy. Chaos is something that masterminds like Baron Zemo thrive on.

If Zemo does indeed recruit a team of Thunderbolts, we expect many of them will be ex-HYDRA agents who are then given special equipment or even powers to mimic being superheroes. When Sam and Bucky are looking for allies, we also expect them to find a number of ex-S.H.I.E.L.D. agents across the globe who've become acclimated to their local environments. 

So it would be amazing to see Sam and Bucky encounter the S.H.I.E.L.D. cell featured on the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show. There hasn't been any real crossover between the MCU and the Marvel TV universe, but this would be a good place to start. Seeing Sam and Bucky interact with Daisy, Mack, Yo-Yo, and Simmons would be a blast. And watching them fight would be even more fun than their inevitable team-up. 

Fans have high hopes for the U.S. Agent

One of the most intriguing tidbits to come out of casting news for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is that Wyatt Russell has been tapped to play John Walker, the U.S. Agent. In the comics, he was a superpowered meathead originally named the Super-Patriot, who was recruited by the U.S. government when they stripped Steve Rogers of the shield and uniform. When Steve got his gear back after some time, Walker switched identities and became the U.S. Agent, a government employee with a really checkered history. 

Walker is a character who's evolved very slowly in the comics. He started as a far-right provocateur in fighting Steve Rogers, but he later empathized with Steve after realizing how hard it was being Captain America. And adding him to the cast of the show is a brilliant move. For one thing, it makes sense that the federal government would want its own superheroes after dealing with vigilantes like the Avengers and unpredictable organizations like S.H.I.E.L.D. Moreover, Captain America was created by the government as a propaganda figure in World War II. With Steve Rogers gone, it's no surprise that the government would try to create a new patriotic figurehead. How he interacts with Cap's preferred successor in Sam and wild cards like Bucky and Sharon will be a fascinating subplot. Will he join them in fighting Zemo, or will he be one of Zemo's men? Will he be as big of a jerk on TV as he is in the comics?