The Falcon and the Winter Soldier<\/em>‘s Episode 5 Credits Scene, Explained

The following story contains spoilers for Episode 5 of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe hallmark has always been using credits scenes to tie up loose ends, or tease the future. That’s left The Falcon and the Winter Soldier viewers on their toes for the duration of its run, but until Episode 5 it’s just meant sticking around to see whether Anthony Mackie or Sebastian Stan’s name comes first in the closing frames (answer: their names switch off each episode between first and second, just like Elizabeth Olsen’s and Paul Bettany’s did in WandaVision). But Episode 5 finally gave fans of the series something to speculate on of the show’s Episode 6 finale.

Episode 5 went into detail on John Walker’s fall from grace following his brutal public killing of a man who had already surrendered. That meant public disgrace, and, more painfully for him, the stripping of his Captain America title. He lost the shield to Sam Wilson, and he lost his title to… no one in particular just yet. But it sure isn’t him anymore.

Wallowing in his sadness, he’s met by Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (“You can just call me Val, but don’t call me Val—just keep it in your head,”), who basically seems like a bizarroo world version of Nick Fury. She knows why Walker did what he did, and she’s on board with his taking the super serum. Picking up the phone when she calls—that’s Mr. Walker’s number one imperative. And given his other options of…well, right now hi other options are nothing, so you have to figure he’s at least interested.

And a little snippet scene at the end shows that the man formerly known as the New Captain America is up to something. We see him using that newfound super soldier strength to cook up something new. He’s doing a lot of melding, a little home-style tailoring, and making himself a whole new identity. He’s got a shield, and he’s putting one of his three medals of honor on it. A little personal branding never hurt when entering the vigilante game, right?

The Falcon and Winter Soldier Episode 5 credits scene showed John Walker’s transformation into U.S. Agent.

We’ve spent a lot of time over the course of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier‘s run talking about John Walker’s character arc in the Marvel Comics. In a nutshell: he starts off as a sort of nationalistic guy who’s super critical of Captain America. Eventually, he and his pal Lamar (spelled differently in the comics) Hoskins get a treatment from someone called The Power Broker (sound familiar?) and gets super-strength, becoming Super-Patriot and eventually a new Captain America. Like in the series, Walker’s Cap is a more violent, brute take on the persona than Steve Rogers; eventually, though, the two work together, and Walker turns the mantle back over to Steve voluntarily. Still supercharged with the serum, though, Walker eventually picks up the mantle of U.S. Agent. From here, he carries out justice in a vigilante manner, sometimes as a friend of Captain America and the Avengers, and other times as a foe. He’s a classic anti-hero.

That credits scene seems to be sending us directly down that path. Walker isn’t Captain America anymore. But now he’s a man with motivation, and a chip on his shoulder. Maybe he’s been recruited to a team of villains and doesn’t realize it yet. But he still thinks there’s good for him to do—even as he goes about it in a decidedly unheroic manner.

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