Clang! Clang! Clang! If you kept the newest episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier running through the credits, you might have heard the sound of a hammer banging steel. Unfortunately, it’s not Iron Man. It’s something much scarier, as Falcon and Winter Soldier delivers its first post-credits scene.
Warning: Spoilers for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode 5 ahead.
What’s the Falcon and Winter Soldier Episode 5 post-credits scene?
In the fifth episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, “Truth,” Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) successfully retrieve Captain America’s shield from John Walker (Wyatt Russell).
While the shield is Sam’s possession — apparently ownership of the shield is “kind of a legal grey area,” according to Valentina Allegra de Fontaine — Walker receives an other than honorable (OTH) discharge from his duty and is forced to retire without his rank.
Walker soon comes into contact with a very interesting new character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but “Val” still doesn’t give Walker a new shield.
So ... he builds one.
Just as WandaVision featured a major post-credits scene in its penultimate episode, so too does Falcon and Winter Soldier.
In this scene, we see Walker hard at work. The world’s newest super-soldier builds himself a new Captain America shield, Iron Man style. Unique to him, Walker sears his medals onto the back of the shield, a reminder to Walker that no one can take away his service — not even America.
John Walker’s Captain America shield has a major weakness
It’s important to bear in mind is how Walker builds this new shield.
Vibranium, the material used to make Cap’s original shield, is a rare and valuable metal found only in Wakanda. When the U.S. military got hold of some (somehow) during World War II, they turned it into, well, a shield.
(Still one of Ultron’s best quotes from Avengers: Age of Ultron: “The most versatile substance on the planet, and they used it to build a frisbee.”)
It is unlikely Walker has access to vibranium, let alone know how to mold the metal into a shield.
But traditional iron and steel are easier for Walker to access, and speaks to his blue-collar American roots. But there’s a reason Captain America’s shield flies and bounces the way it does, and it’s because of its vibranium construction. Expect Walker’s shield to be inferior to the real shield the next time Walker and Sam Wilson cross paths.
What’s next for John Walker?
Walker’s new shield is the culmination of several episodes of build-up.
It’s a symbol for the man’s whole arc: Walker isn’t giving up without a fight. The government no longer recognizes Walker’s status as Captain America, but he’s refusing to let one mistake undo everything he’s built.
Though Walker lacks the character to properly fill the boots of Captain America, his stubbornness to still be a superhero at any costs comes through in his efforts to build his own shield. Even if Walker is an inferior Captain America compared to either Steve Rogers or Sam Wilson, that doesn’t make him less willing to take a punch.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier streams new episodes Fridays on Disney+.