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Baron Zemo gets the last laugh in Falcon and Winter Soldier, but what’s next?

The most interesting character in Marvel’s latest show has a bright future ahead of him.

It was Zemo all along! Despite getting locked up in Marvel’s maximum-security prison (the Raft), everyone’s favorite dancing baron got the last laugh in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Season 1 finale. But how did Baron Zemo pull it off? And what’s next for the newly revitalized supervillain? Let’s dive deeper into Episode 6 of Falcon and the Winter Soldier. (Warning! Spoilers ahead.)

Did Baron Zemo kill the Flag-Smashers?

Short answer: Yes. Long answer: We’re 99% sure the short answer is correct.

Near the end of Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode 6, four arrested Flag-Smashers are loaded into an armored police van. Their final destination is the Raft, but they don’t make it very far.

First, Marvel misdirects us by having one of the cops whisper the Flag-Smashers catchphrase (“One world, one people”), suggesting he’s going to break them out. But before that can happen, the entire van explodes in a fireball. Who did it? The camera pulls back to reveal none other than Baron Zemo’s butler, who gazes at the explosion and then pulls out a walkie-talkie.

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Finally, in case you forgot who that old white dude was, the episode cuts to the Raft where we see Zemo reading a book while the radio plays the news. He learns that the four Flag-Smashers are dead and there are no suspects. He tilts his head and smiles.

So yes, Zemo definitely killed the Flag-Smashers, but the how and why are still up for debate.

How did Bazon Zemo kill the Flag-Smashers?

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As we learned in Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Helmut Zemo is a man of means. Even from behind bars, he clearly has the influence to pull off something like this. It’s possible he even laid out these plans before he was captured and sent to the Raft. Either way, this wouldn’t be hard for Zemo.

Why did Bazon Zemo kill the Flag-Smashers?

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Well, killing Super Soldiers is kind of his whole thing. Zemo spent much of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier laying out his philosophy. In his mind, there’s no difference between Avengers and Nazis. Any type of “supremacy” can only lead down a dark road, even if it starts with good intentions (see Zemo’s other favorite example: Ultron).

But maybe there’s another reason. The Flag-Smashers weren’t heading to just any prison, they were heading to the Raft, where Zemo is currently locked up. So beyond simply ridding the world of Super Soldiers, he may have been looking out for himself. The Flag-Smashers obviously aren’t fans of the guy who stomped all their remaining serum, and if Zemo wants to eventually rise to power in his current setting, it helps to be one of the toughest guys around.

Which brings us to our final question...

What’s next for Baron Zemo in the MCU?

Meet the Thunderbolts.Marvel

Helmut is locked up, but for how long? It’s likely only a matter of time before we see Zemo again, and the possibilities are endless. Thanks to The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, he’s blurred the line between villain and anti-hero enough to potentially lead his own Marvel show or movie. The most obvious option? The Thunderbolts.

The Thunderbolts are basically Marvel’s version of the Suicide Squad, a team of “reformed” criminals brought together to do good. In the comics, Zemo actually comes up with the idea for the Thunderbolts in the first place, and if the Netflix Marvel shows still count as canon in the MCU, there are at least two other supervillains already locked up in the Raft with Zemo: Trish Walker (aka, Hellcat) and William Stryker (aka, Diamondback).

Throw in a few more bad guys (U.S. Agent perhaps?) and you’ve got the Thunderbolts, with Zemo front and center.

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