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Falcon And The Winter Soldier: Episode One Easter Eggs, References, And Things You Missed


Hopefully you’ve had enough time to decompress from the finale of WandaVision, because it’s time for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Episode 1 of the new MCU streaming TV show has hit Disney+ and, while it has a vastly different style and tone compared to Wanda and Vision’s sitcom magic, it’s sure to have a similarly massive impact on Marvel’s Phase 4 as things progress.

Episode 1 gives us a clear idea of what both Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson have been up to since the dust settled in the wake of Avengers: Endgame–and neither of them is having a particularly great time. Sam has been working with the Air Force again, running covert missions that require his specialized skill set while Bucky has been getting himself to therapy (finally) and trying to make amends for his past in his own way. The two of them don’t actually meet up in this episode, but that’s bound to change soon.

Of course, since this is an MCU TV show, there were plenty of Easter Eggs, references, and callbacks to both the comics these stories are based on and the movies of Phases 1, 2, and 3. Here are the biggest ones you should keep in mind as you prep for .

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Batroc’s back

Our good friend Batroc (the Leaper) is back in the MCU for the first time since Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Ironically, he’s doing basically the same thing he did in that movie–trying to hijack a big top secret military vehicle–but this time he’s graduated from a ship to a plane. Also, he’s wearing a uniform that more closely resembles his comics-based purple and yellow.

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Redwing’s also back

Another happy return: “Redwing,” Sam’s robotic helper, has made a comeback. You may remember him from Captain America: Civil War, where he was introduced. This little drone is based on Sam’s literal falcon sidekick in the comics. For a while, he was even afflicted with vampirism despite being a bird. No, we’re not kidding.

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Joaquin Torres

Sam’s new pal is Joaquin Torres, who comics readers will recognize as the character who takes up the Falcon mantle after Sam becomes Cap. He’s also a mutated bird hybrid in the books, which we’re guessing will be changed for this version of events, but who knows.

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Flag-Smasher

The Flagsmasher organization is based on a Cap villain of the same name, who in the comics was not a cool high tech group of people but rather one (technically two, after a mantle change over) guy who kind of looked like Space Ghost, if we’re being honest. The name Karli Morgenthau (listed in the credits of Episode 1) is a direct reference to the original Flag-Smasher, Karl Morgenthau. Apparently in the MCU, the group believes that the world was better during the Blip.

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Moon base

No, Steve isn’t currently on the moon like a certain percentage of the population seems to believe, but he has commissioned various space station-type bases for the Avengers in the past in the comics. The Secret Avengers used one called The Lighthouse for a time, and there’s also been a deep-space monitoring station (which is admittedly a bit further away than the moon) that was populated for a while.

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Oh hey, Rhodey

James Rhodes, AKA War Machine, is like Sam–a career military man who also happens to be a superhero on the side, so naturally he’s the perfect choice to offer Sam some insight in this scene. Unfortunately we don’t get much of a hint about what Rhodey is up to after Endgame outside of working with the government, but there’s an Armor Wars series on the way to fill in those gaps.

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The museum exhibit

The Cap exhibit at the Smithsonian has been given a bit of a face lift since we last saw it in Winter Soldier, but it’s still rocking the same artifacts–like the Howling Commando uniforms seen back in The First Avenger.

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Farewell, Steve

The exhibit has been updated with the title “Farewell, Steve.” A conversation with Torres in the previous scene lets us know that the general public still doesn’t know what happened to Steve–and, unfortunately, neither do we. Old Steve could be dead, in hiding, or may have gone back into his alternate timeline. All of which is to say it’s probably too early to start counting on a Chris Evans cameo.

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Flashbacks

Our perspective of Bucky’s time as the Winter Soldier is fairly limited and told exclusively in flashbacks, but one thing is certain–he never left any witnesses, even if they were innocent bystanders.

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Sleeping on the floor

Sam and Steve had a conversation about being unable to sleep on a mattress after their time in the military because they felt like they’d sink into the cushions. Here we see Bucky living that reality, sleeping on the floor of his apartment as he suffers through his nightmares.

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“A condition of your pardon”

Bucky’s history as a HYDRA operative and wanted terrorist didn’t just go away–he’s currently in therapy as part of his pardon, which we can assume was hard won after the events of Endgame. In the comics, Bucky went through a complicated trial (largely orchestrated by villains) that eventually left him extradited to Russia where he was sent to a gulag.

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Bucky’s list

Remember when Steve kept a list of things to follow up on in pop culture that he missed? Turns out Bucky’s using a similar system–for a much darker reason, however. Bucky’s list includes the memories he can piece together of his time as the Winter Soldier to help track down remaining HYDRA operatives and the families of people he harmed while brainwashed.

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Rescuing people in alleyways

There are plenty of parallels between the first episode and the earlier Captain America movies, but this one is a throwback–Bucky was introduced back in The First Avenger rescuing his ornery pal skinny Steve Rogers from an alleyway fight. Here, he’s introduced to the show stepping in between a confrontation in similar circumstances for a new friend with a similar temperament.

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Sarah Wilson

Sam’s sister does exist in the comics, though the family fishing business was invented for the show.

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“Someone whose kids die”

He isn’t in this episode, but it’s important to remember that Zemo will be back for this show–and while this line isn’t directly referring to him, he’s also a person who lost his kids.

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US Agent origins

He’s not actually named in the episode, but we can make an educated guess that the new Captain America is actually John Walker (Wyatt Russell), AKA US Agent, a character from the comics with a tricky and villainous past. As a government-selected Cap imitator, Walker tends to represent dangerous nationalism. We’ll see how he turns out in the MCU.



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