The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is set to become the first Disney+ TV show set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While we know that the series will take place after the events of Avengers: Endgame, there’s still a lot to unpack about the plot. With Sam Wilson being replaced by U.S. Agent as America's hero, a new leak may reveal exactly why Falcon never becomes Captain America at all.
Warning! Possible spoilers for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier below.
In the final moments of Avengers: Endgame, Steve Rogers bestows Falcon with his Captain America shield, effectively passing on the mantle to the man who has stood by his side since Captain America: The Winter Soldier. However, when it was revealed that new character U.S. Agent was to become the next Captain America in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, many fans wondered what events transpired that prevented Sam from officially wielding Cap’s shield.
We may finally have an answer to that question. A recent leak from Reddit user Long_Figure offered a few substantial clues regarding what to expect from the series’ pilot episode. Now, these rumors are about as trustworthy as Loki himself, but according to the leak, Falcon will be held responsible for violating the Sokovia Accords, which attempted to regulate the Avengers’ actions under government restrictions. (Apparently, getting blipped out of existence for three years doesn't get you out of hot water with the United Nations.)
However, it seems Sam is offered the chance to be pardoned for violating the terms of the Accords. He'll also get the chance to formally become Captain America, but only if he agrees to undergo the super-soldier serum procedure. If you’re thinking that sounds familiar, that’s because it’s the very same procedure Steve underwent in the very first Captain America movie. Unlike Steve Rogers, Sam declines the offer, though he allegedly considers it pretty seriously first.
If the leak proves to be true, then it certainly explains why Falcon isn’t Captain America in the Disney+ series. It seems that U.S. Agent is the one who undergoes the serum procedure in Sam’s place and, in return, is bestowed with Cap’s official mantle. It also reveals that U.S. Agent could be an even bigger threat than we thought.
According to the leak, another new MCU character Isaiah Bradley — who may or may not be played by Carl Lumbly — plays a pivotal role in dissuading Sam from trusting the government's program, revealing himself to be a survivor of the serum procedure. With that in mind, it’s a safe bet that Sam will remain in defiance of the Sokovia Accords as well.
It’s possible Sam and Bucky will continue to operate outside government supervision puts them in danger and sets up the course of the entire series. It might even explain why Sam is seen in a chase sequence with Hydra villains in previous trailer footage.
Elsewhere in the episode leak, Steve’s pal Bucky seems to be stuck between a rock and a hard place. We know that while the Winter Soldier recovered in Wakanda, Shuri was able to remove the trigger words implanted in his brain. However, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier might reveal one last and undetected trigger that could set Bucky off (the trigger word is allegedly “Sputnik”).
For now, we trust all these leaks about as far as we could throw Cap's shield — which is to say, not very far at all. But assuming there's some truth to this, it's pretty astounding to think about how much will happen in just the first episode of Marvel's first Disney+ series.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will be available on Disney+ in August.