Why the Surprise Guest in 'The Falcon and the Winter Soldier' Is So Important

Wakanda is here.


Wakanada has arrived in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. The series-which marks the second expedition of the Marvel Cinematic Universe on Disney+ following WandaVision earlier this year-has made a habit of revealing a new character at the end of each episode, first the debut of Wyatt Russell’s John Walker as the new Captain America in Episode 1 and then the return of Daniel BrĂĽhl’s Baron Zemo in Episode 2. But Episode 3 held a bigger surprise: Florence Kasumba as Ayo, the imperious member of Dora Milaje, Wakanda’s elite bodyguard unit.

We’ve been waiting for Kasumba to get a chance to shine in the MCU ever since she made her debut in Captain America: Civil War, when she told Black Widow to “move.” Now it finally looks like she’s getting a chance to play a major role. Ayo has made her way to Riga, the city in Latvia where Bucky, Sam, and their enemy-turned-ally Zemo are looking for Flag Smasher Karli Morgenthau (Erin Kellyman) and her stash of super soldier serum. But Ayo’s not really interested in their mission. She wants Zemo.

Sebastian Stan’s Bucky finds the Kimoyo beads Ayo has dropped around the cobblestone streets, which leads him to a back alley where she’s been waiting. He doesn’t seem all that surprised to see her. While they haven’t shared much screen time, it’s implied that these two know each other pretty well. After all, Bucky spent time in Wakanda healing from the events of Civil War. That’s where he got his vibranium arm and became known as the White Wolf.

The Wakandans have good reason to be pissed that Sam and Bucky would be teaming up with Zemo: He caused the explosion that was responsible for the death of T’Challa’s father, T’Chaka. Now, clearly, Ayo is out for some sort of justice. Kasumba went on from her memorable bit part in Civil War to have a bigger impact in Black Panther. She had a smaller role in Avengers: Infinity War, but didn’t get to show up for the big “all together now, ladies” fight sequence during the Endgame finale. Her presence here adds another wrinkle to an already complicated plot, but we sure are happy to see her.

Esther Zuckerman is a senior entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @ezwrites.


Where to Celebrate Lunar New Year 2023 in Australia

And what it means to be in the year of the Rabbit.

where to celebrate lunar new year australia

Starting with the new moon on Sunday, January 22, this Lunar New Year ushers in the year of the Rabbit. We’ve put together a guide on celebrating the Lunar New Year in Australia.

What is special about the year of the Rabbit?

As you might know, each year has an animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac, which is based on the moon and has a 12-year cycle. This year, we celebrate the year of the rabbit, known to be the luckiest out of all twelve animals. It symbolises mercy, elegance, and beauty.

What celebrations are taking place and how can I get involved?

There are plenty of festivals happening all around the country which you can get involved with. Here they are per state.

New South Wales

Darling Harbour Fireworks
When: Every year, Sydney puts on a fireworks show, and this year, you can catch it on January 28 and February 4 at 9 pm in Darling Harbour.

Dragon Boat Races
When: Witness three days of dragon boat races and entertainment on Cockle Bay to usher in the Lunar New Year. The races will commence on January 27 and finish on January 29.

Lion Dances
When: Catch a traditional Lion Dance moving to the beat of a vigorous drum bringing good luck and fortune for the Lunar New Year. The dance performances will happen across Darling Harbour on Saturday, January 21, Sunday, January 22, and Sunday, February 4 and 5, around 6 pm and 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at Cirrus Dining
When: Barangaroo’s waterfront seafood restaurant, Cirrus, is celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with a special feast menu. Cirrus’ LNY menu is $128pp with optional wine pairing and is available from Saturday, January 21, to Sunday, February 5.

Auntie Philter
When: Hello Auntie’s owner and executive chef, Cuong Nguyen will be dishing out some of the most classic Vietnamese street foods with his mum, Linda. All of Philter’s favourites will be on offer, as well as Raspberry Pash Beer Slushies and other cocktails being served at the Philter Brewing rooftop bar on Sunday, January 22 and Sunday, January 29.


Lunar New Year Festival
When: Ring in the Lunar New Year with food, music, arts, and more on Sunday, January 22, from 10 am to 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at the National Gallery of Victoria
When: Celebrate the year of the rabbit at the National Gallery of Victoria’s festival of art, food, and art-making activities for everyone from 10 am-5 pm.


BriAsia Festival
When: From February 1-19, Brisbane will come alive with performances, including lion dances and martial arts displays. There will be street food, workshops, comedy and more.

South Australia

Chinatown Adelaide Street Party
When: Adelaide is set to hose a fun-filled day celebrating the Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 28, from 12 pm to 9 pm.

Western Australia

Crown Perth
When: Across January and February, Crown Perth hosts free live entertainment, including colourful lion dances, roving mascots, and drumming performances. The restaurants will also throw banquets and menus dedicated to the Lunar New Year.

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