Warning: SPOILERS for The Falcon and The Winter Soldier Episodes 3-5.
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier has set up a number of plot threads. The ambiguity surrounding the climax is natural. The show is an amalgamation of many emotions, displayed by every character perfectly. Sam and Bucky are dealing with their personal lives, with the Flag-Smashers wreaking havoc. The latter is driven by their desire of living in the Post-Blip world. Meanwhile, Sharon Carter is in Madripoor, surprisingly doing well enough for herself. Walker has now been stripped of his title as Captain America and is in a deep abyss after losing his best friend Hoskins.
In a serious turn of events, Bucky decides to take help from an acclaimed criminal. Yes, we are talking about Baron Zemo. He is responsible for killing King T’Chaka in Captain America: Civil War. As a result, he became a national criminal in Wakanda. But Bucky decided to take his help. He freed him from jail in Germany and teamed up with him for his adventure in Madripoor. This particular act did not fit well with the Wakandans. This is totally sensible as Zemo was the reason why their former King is not with them anymore.
Before all this, Bucky was not in the good books of Wakandans. But this turned around real quick. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) took him to Wakanda so that Shuri could use her super-science to purge him off of Hydra’s brainwashing. As theorized earlier, he spent almost two years in Wakanda, enjoying his momentary freedom. Shuri said that Barnes was a “broken white boy for her to fix.” As promised, the Wakandans reversed HYDRA’s actions on him. The transformation was stated successful by Ayo when she tested Bucky herself. Bucky was allowed to live in Wakanda after his deprogramming.
He was not the Winter Soldier anymore. His call sign was changed to “White Wolf” by the Wakandans. King T’Challa even gifted Bucky a new Vibranium arm as well. All this was too good to be true for him. This poised period did not last long. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier revealed that he has pretty much ruined his image in the eyes of Wakanda. This is because he helped Zemo escape from prison. To top it all of, Bucky even fought Dora Milaje when they came to take Zemo in custody with them. It was at this moment when he realized that his new Vibranium arm had a failsafe. This failsafe showed that the Wakandans still didn’t fully trust him. Hence, both the parties have tarnished mutual respect in a way.
Ayo still has respect for Bucky, and vice versa. Their relation is not truly down the drain. When she came to take Zemo away, she gave a brief period of 8 hours to Bucky. After that, she promised that Dora Milaje will take the criminal away. So, Bucky ultimately held his promise. He later allowed the Dora Milaje to take Zemo into custody in Sokovia. Ayo still warned him that “It would be prudent to make yourself scarce in Wakanda for the time being, White Wolf.” Several other factors prove that Black Panther 2 can still map out without King T’Challa. The character will not be seen again after the tragic demise of Chadwick Boseman.
With T’Chala out of the picture, Black Panther 2 has its window open to exploring other Wakanda heroes, and other MCU players. Bucky can easily top the list of such names, considering his history with the people and their culture. All the events that have unfolded in The Falcon and Winter Soldier can form an interesting plot for the sequel to focus on. The Dora Milaje took Bucky’s action as a personal insult. This elite group is too strict with its rules. Ayo and Bucky do share a relationship, and she felt personally insulted when she had to give him a grace period.
It is not just the Dora Milaje that feels betrayed. Ayo did something that surprised everyone in the room. Bucky was also hurt by the fact that his cybernetic arm had a failsafe. He wasn’t aware of that. Hence, he feels betrayed as well. All this could be explored in the sequel with new threats as well. For the moment, his future after the series is unclear. But it would be fair to say that the White Wolf can be seen in Black Panther 2, redeeming his name for freeing Zemo, panning out his future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier has introduced Dora Milaje, only to emphasize Bucky’s connection with the Wakandans. Hence, there’s more to it.
Here’s the official synopsis of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier:
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.”
Directed by Kari Skogland, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier stars Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson, aka Falcon, Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes, aka The Winter Soldier, Daniel Brühl as Baron Helmut Zemo, Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter, Wyatt Russell as John Walker, Desmond Chiam, Miki Ishikawa, Noah Mills, and Carl Lumbly.