It seems like only yesterday that The Falcon and The Winter Soldier premiered on Disney+. But now the finale is here, after six incredible episodes. Titled “One World, One People”, the epic finale may be the best episode of the series. I bet it doesn’t need repeating, but just in case, here’s the biggest spoiler warning yet. Seriously, if you haven’t seen the finale yet, go watch it! I promise you won’t be disappointed.
The majority of this episode focuses on the confrontation with the Flag-Smashers. They’ve successfully interrupted the GRC vote and intend on taking the entire panel of senators hostage. Karli also tells her companions that, if push comes to shove, they’ll kill the hostages in order to send a message. Their movement is big enough now that if anything were to happen to her, there would still be people willing to carry on the fight. Though hesitant, all of Karli’s friends agree to continue with the plan. It shows the new divide between Karli and the other Flag-Smashers; she’s been driven into a corner. She feels desperate, and despite saying that the movement would continue even without her, she’s still in a leadership position. Karli and the Flag-Smashers are fighting for something bigger than themselves, but at the end of the day, Karli’s the one rallying the troops. She doesn’t seem to realize just how powerful her individual voice is.
As the plan is underway, Bucky and Sharon Carter arrive on the scene. They’re soon joined by Sam Wilson, decked out in a new suit and donning Captain America’s shield. Though he still wears his Falcon wings, he is now officially Captain America. He announces himself as such and quickly demonstrates that his training with the shield didn’t go to waste. The trio’s goal is to rescue the hostages, but Bucky and Sam get caught up in stuff that leads to the hostages getting driven out of the GRC building. Karli gives Bucky a call, trying to convince him to join her. I saw this as a strange attempt at stalling Bucky, but in the end, it worked. Bucky wasn’t having any of it, but he arrived too late to stop the hostages’ vans from leaving. Sam, meanwhile, gets caught up in a fight in the board room and almost misses a helicopter departing from the rooftop. Some of the Flag-Smashers and a few more board members are with them. Both heroes get locked into a chase scene shortly after.
Sam’s scenes are short and sweet. He’s able to identify one of the hostages on the helicopter and determines that she has experience flying. So he knocks the Flag-Smasher pilot out of the helicopter and sends him to a watery demise. The hostage takes over flying duties, and Sam quickly goes to reunite with Bucky. Meanwhile, Bucky chases down the vans and starts fighting Karli and some of the Flag-Smashers. Backup arrives in the form of John Walker, now with a new (though not as durable) shield. Karli promptly kicks his butt and tosses Bucky off a bridge. Though one of the vans was emptied and the hostages saved, the other van dangles off the same bridge. In a moment of redemption, Walker chooses to save the van of hostages instead of chasing after the other Flag-Smashers. That redemption is short lived, however. The Flag-Smashers took offense to Walker not leaning into his dark side and kick his butt again, and everyone tumbles off the bridge. Sam flies in at the last second and saves the van before it joins them down below, too.
Afterwards, Karli and the Flag-Smashers make a run for it. Karli gets intercepted by Sharon and the soldier who fought Sam back in the break room. It’s here that Sharon reveals that she’s the Power Broker, the shady Madripoor dealsman we learned about back in episode three. It’s a shock, to say the least, and incredibly well executed! A tense conversation later, Sharon shoots the soldier and kills him. Karli then shoots Sharon, though not fatally, before Sam comes to the rescue again. Sam and Karli get into a huge fight – or should I say, Karli gets into a huge fight? Sam chooses not to fight back because he doesn’t want to hurt her. But Karli, enraged and desperate, continues to punch and kick and fight. She knocks Sam down and reaches for her gun. Just as she’s about to shoot, Sharon’s the one who comes to the rescue. Though heavily injured, she shoots Karli from behind. Sam holds a dying Karli in his lap as she apologizes, and Sam looks genuinely defeated.
Walker and Bucky, meanwhile, catch up to the other Flag-Smashers. Walker issues a one-liner from Lincoln, and in a surprise twist, the police surround the Flag-Smashers. Looks like Walker agreed to let the cops handle this one, instead of enacting his own revenge. From here, things start to wrap up. Sam meets with some of the board members and gives what’s perhaps the greatest monologue in Marvel history. He speaks of power and choice, begging the senators not to go through with the vote. Once again he establishes that he’s Captain America, and based on the entire series, he’s more than deserving of that role. Bucky even agrees, calling him “Cap” with a smile.
After that night, Bucky completes his journal. He visits Mr. Nakasima and tells him about how, as the Winter Soldier, he was responsible for his son’s death. Sam returns home, but not before visiting Isaiah Bradley and revealing that he’s forged a spot in the Captain America memorial just for him. That scene almost brought tears to my eyes! As for the Flag-Smashers, Zemo had the last laugh. He issued one last command to his butler, and the van with the Flag-Smashers was promptly blown up, killing everyone inside. With Val’s help, Walker makes his full transition into U.S. Agent. He wears the same suit, but it’s black now – edgy, right? And last but not least, a sneaky end credits scene reveals Sharon’s fate. She got her full pardon and her old job back, but after the meeting, she calls a colleague and tells them that super soldiers are out, government secrets are in. Who knows how much someone will pay for that?
Overall, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier – or should I say, Captain America and The Winter Soldier – is a masterpiece. It’s full of fun banter, it tackles deep themes, and it has Zemo dancing awkwardly at a party. Can you ask for anything more? This series has solidified Sam as one of my favorite Marvel heroes of all time. I really hope there’s a sequel series in the works. Come on, Marvel, I gotta know if Bucky takes Sam’s sister on a date!
What did you think of the series finale? What are your thoughts on The Falcon and The Winter Soldier as a whole? Sound off in the comments or send us your thoughts on Twitter!