Sam Wilson’s speech to Bucky in Episode 5 of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier proves that he is the best candidate to lead the MCU’s next team of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in an eventual Avengers 5 movie. Steve Rogers, Tony Stark, and Natasha Romanoff are gone. The MCU now needs a revamped lineup of Avengers. The number of enhanced individuals will not be a problem if we consider the number of new heroes making their debut in Phase 4.
But only a handful of them will end up as the core members of the team. Only one among them would take the role of leader. Sam Wilson started out as a former pararescue airman who befriended Steve Rogers. He proved himself a great fighter with his EXO-7 wings. He then became the hero “Falcon” and an official member of the Avengers by the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron. Sam did not have any superpowers. But he managed to hold his own against the likes of the Winter Soldier, Ant-Man, Spider-Man, Iron Man, and Thanos’ army.
In The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Sam fights with more than one super soldier. This also includes an enraged John Walker. But apart from all these, he has also shown his leadership, courage, and empathy on screen. Tony Stark said in Avengers: Age of Ultron that the man inside the Iron Man suit just paid for everything, designed everything, and “made everything look cooler” while Steve Rogers actually spearheaded the Avengers. In the same way, the next iteration of the team might benefit from Jane Foster’s might, Shuri’s intellect, and Doctor Strange’s mystical power, Spider-Man and Shang-Chi’s youth, and the joint leadership of Sam Wilson and Carol Danvers.
Both Black Panther and Captain Marvel might not be present at all times. So, Sam Wilson could be the force that keeps them tied together. The fact that he is ready to lead was seen during his scene with Bucky at the end of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 5. He guided Bucky to find his way out of the well he was drowning in. He told Bucky to actually put in the work when correcting the errors of his past. When Sam tells him “you weren’t amending, you were avenging”, he is prioritizing his friend’s wellbeing over the typical act of fighting bad guys.
Sam offered Bucky some tough love when he told him that he won’t make any progress by putting away the people he enabled as the Winter Soldier. He has to provide closure to the ones that he actually harmed, and be of service to them. Sam could have let Bucky take the slow way towards redemption. But he chose to confront him and advise him to make amends by reaching people and be of service. He grabbed the Captain America shield with confidence while providing his advice. Now we know that Steve was really good at inspiring people with his pep talks. Sam, Rocket, and Scott have praised that in the past. And now, Sam has also shown that he is capable of doing the same. After all, his conversation with Bucky ended with Bucky saying, “Good Talk!”
Now it seems that Steve Rogers was always right in his decision to pass on the mantle to Sam Wilson. Even Sam didn’t know that he had it in him. But he has learned it the hard way. After giving up the shield and witnessing Captain America’s legacy be tarnished by John Walker, learning about the pain that Isaiah Bradley went through, and having to let the Flag-Smashers slip away from him, he is now ready to prove that he is perfect to be the next Cap from The Falcon and the Winter Soldier through Avengers 5 and beyond.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier premiered on March 19, 2021, on Disney+. The series is directed by Kari Skogland. It features Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Wyatt Russell, Erin Kellyman, Georges St-Pierre, Emily VanCamp, Florence Kasumba, Adepero Oduye, Danny Ramirez, Daniel Brühl and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in the lead roles. The miniseries is a part of Phase Four of the MCU.
The sixth and final episode of the series is all set to premiere on April 23, 2021. Here’s the official synopsis of the series:
Following the events of “Avengers: Endgame,” Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) team up in a global adventure that tests their abilities—and their patience—in Marvel Studios’ “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.”