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Why The Raft In The Falcon And The Winter Soldier Is More Important Than You Realize

In episode 5 ("Truth") of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Bucky (Sebastian Stan) finds Zemo (Daniel Brühl) at the Sokovian monument, and Zemo is swiftly taken into custody by the Dora Milaje. Ayo (Florence Kasumba) lets Bucky know that they will be transporting Zemo to the Raft, a popular MCU location we first saw in Captain America: Civil War

In Civil War, most of Team Cap was sent to the Raft — a high-security prison in the middle of the ocean — as punishment for defying the United States government. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) ended up breaking out Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), Wanda Maximoff (Elizbeth Olsen), Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), and Scott Lang (Paul Rudd). It looked then like that might be the last we saw of the location. With one episode to go in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, however, some Zemo footage from a promo trailer makes it appear as though we'll be taken back to the Raft in episode 6.

First appearing in Alias #26, the Raft was known for housing supervillains, so Zemo will likely find himself among many future foes of the Avengers in his new home. He actually has a strong connection to the Raft in the comics, and we could see a very popular and important Marvel story emerge by The Falcon and Winter Soldier's conclusion.

The Raft was once the home base of Zemo's Thunderbolts

In the comics, the Raft was used for a plethora of purposes, one of which was to house the Thunderbolts, which were founded by Zemo. The group used the guise of being superheroes, while they were actually villains, to gain the trust of world governments while carrying out their own agendas. While the Thunderbolts are now reformed criminals working for good, that was not their intention when Zemo put the group together. He formed the team in an effort to take down Captain America. Unfortunately for Zemo, his recruits began to reform on their own and eventually turned against him.

In Thunderbolts #144, the United States government ran the Thunderbolts Program out of the Raft, which allowed serious criminals to knock time off their sentences by joining the group. After Zemo was removed as their leader, a handful of famous Marvel Comics faces took over as commander, including the Winter Soldier, Hawkeye, Black Widow, and Taskmaster. 

Based on the direction The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is going in just before its season finale, and the history the Raft has with Zemo the Thunderbolts, it's likely episode 6 will see the Sokovian form a new squad of baddies, who might very well be one of the biggest adversaries our Marvel Cinematic Universe heroes will face in Phase 4 and beyond.