In the world of Marvel, surprise reveals are routine. Ever since Nick Fury popped up out of nowhere to tell Tony Stark about a little thing called the Avengers initiative, twists and Easter eggs have become part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe formula, right alongside punching and one-liners.
But now that the MCU is more focused on television than ever before, the final-act twist is replaced with a late-in-season reveal. According to the show’s head writer Malcolm Spellman, Falcon and the Winter Soldier will have its own Agatha All Along moment — in the form of a huge character reveal.
The News — In an interview with Rotten Tomatoes TV, Falcon and Winter Soldier’s head writer Malcolm Spellman mused about his dream Marvel pairings since Sam and Bucky get along so well. His response was both cryptic and incredibly exciting:
“There are characters in our series who I would love to see partnered with like — it’s a very, very grounded character — partnered with one of the big world-shakers like Thor or someone like that. The personality is so strong.”
According to Spellman, this character will be introduced in Episode 5, meaning there are another 2.5 weeks until we find out who this character is — but anyone who would work well with a charismatic character like Thor is bound to be an instant fan favorite.
So, it’s Mephisto, right? — Okay, let’s relax. Before you get flashbacks to the heyday of certain WandaVision theories, this isn’t a vague tease like the “Luke Skywalker moment” or Paul Bettany teasing a dream actor that turned out to just be himself.
(Although wouldn’t it be great if this was just Bettany all over again? Vision in Falcon and Winter Soldier would certainly payoff the “wizards, aliens and androids” of it all!)
No, Spellman’s comments are a real tease about a real character, complete with an exaxt time of arrival — Episode 5 — and a description: being “very, very, grounded.”
“Grounded” is still pretty vague though. One of the major strengths of Falcon and the Winter Soldier is how it sheds light on the human side of the Avengers: Bucky going to court-mandated therapy, Sam trying to get a bank loan. These grounded moments give the characters room to flesh out their characters beyond their powers.
The Inverse Analysis — If the new character is “very, very grounded,” it’s likely they won’t be a superhero at all, but someone who boasts a big enough role in Sam and Bucky’s life to stand toe to toe with Thor, one of the MCU’s most developed characters. It’s quite the claim, so this should be a huge reveal. Just don’t expect it to be the Power Broker or another supervillain.
While huge reveals may be part and parcel with the MCU fan experience, not every single one of them has to be a comics character or some instantly recognizable name. Even though comics do often serve as inspiration, most of the MCU’s most recognizable moments come from original ideas. The “grounded” nature of Falcon and the Winter Soldier shows how television as a medium can allow these stories to become more accessible for us, the viewers. The shows are, frankly, far better for it.
Here’s hoping this mysterious Episode 5 character will add to this shift and show Marvel doesn’t just make great superhero TV shows; they make great TV shows.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is now streaming on Disney+.