Entertainment

Where Can 'The Falcon and the Winter Soldier' Go From Here?

The finale's mid-credits scene hints at much more to come.

Marvel Studios
Marvel Studios
Marvel Studios

In its season finale (pointedly not a series finale), The Falcon and the Winter Soldier did pretty much what we all expected the show to do. Sam Wilson, who used to be the Falcon, has finally taken up the Captain America shield, and, as far as the world is concerned, is the new Cap. Bucky Barnes is still the Winter Soldier (guess we gave up on that White Wolf thing, huh?), but a version of the character who is finally doing the hard work to atone for his past. But the violent end of the Flag Smashers and a cryptically rebranded¬†John Walker are far from the neat little bow this show would have ended with if it had¬†truly been designed to be a miniseries.¬†The sixth episode’s mid-credits scene is proof of that.

At the very end of the finale, we see Sharon Carter finally receive¬†the official apology¬†she’s wanted from the U.S. government since being disavowed despite¬†doing the right thing by defying orders to help¬†Captain America in¬†Civil War. But this Sharon Carter is different than the one we know from¬†the movies-she’s a tougher, more mercenary character who knows what it’s like to have no one to trust but yourself. She is, after all, the Power Broker, the big string-pulling villain who’s been behind all this bad stuff from the beginning. (That the show set this up and revealed it in a¬†sloppy way is beside the point.)¬†After she accepts her reinstatement as Agent Carter (a nod to her aunt Peggy), she makes a phone call to an unknown person, brazenly chatting about all the government secrets and technology she’ll now be able¬†to steal and sell to the highest bidder.

That she could be talking to pretty much anybody (besides Zemo; I doubt cell phones are allowed on the Raft) indicates that this is by no means the last we’ll see of Captain America and the Winter Soldier-that very phrase shows up as the final title card of the season at the end of this episode. Unlike WandaVision, which we knew from the beginning would lead directly into 2022’s¬†Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, there is no officially announced next step for Cap and Bucky, possibly because they’re leaving things open hoping for a second season. According to Indiewire, the show will notably be submitted as a Drama Series for this year’s Emmys, not a Limited Series,¬†so that it won’t compete with¬†WandaVision, which also means that Disney is leaving open the possibility for more instalments.

“We’ve definitely kicked around ideas because we always like to keep thinking about where things can go, but we also, frankly, in the crush of the pandemic, we’re just trying to finish the show and make sure it got out in a timely matter,” Marvel Studios VP of Production and Development and Falcon executive producer Nate Moore told IndieWire. “Hopefully at the end of this season, you will see the potential for what we could tell in a subsequent season.” The same afternoon the sixth episode premiered, Marvel announced that showrunner Malcolm Spellman will be working on a fourth Captain America movie, starring Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan.

And there are plenty of directions a new season or a movie¬†could go, given Episode 6’s open ended conclusion. Our heroes have finally taken their places on the board, but they’re surrounded on all sides by potential baddies, starting with Sharon Carter, whom they still consider an ally. John Walker has given up his Captain America dream and accepted a new suit and title from the power-hungry Contessa¬†(played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus): U.S. Agent, a Captain America foil much more violent than his predecessor. Baron Zemo is imprisoned in the Raft, but probably not for long, as even from prison he managed to get his butler to pick off the remaining super-enhanced Flag Smashers.

Speaking of the Flag Smashers, what the heck happened there?? The show managed to strip the nuance from a metaphor for the global refugee crisis and turn it into a band of comic book baddies, unceremoniously killing off their leader Karli Morgenthau, a character who should have had every opportunity to be more interesting than she was. Perhaps if the show hadn’t tried to cram this stuff in, and instead focused on Sam and Bucky dealing with the bloody legacy of the shield, it would have felt a little more thought-through. Even the introduction of Isaiah Bradley, forcing Sam to reckon with America’s racist original sin, felt tacked on, a hint at a more interesting story found elsewhere.

That’s the problem with this series as a whole: There are so many fascinating angles to all of these characters, so many analogs to real-world affairs, so many visceral images onscreen (that shot of Walker holding the bloody shield is the most memorable of them all), but none of these things were given the time and attention to actually pay off. If this show gets another season, hopefully it will stop playing it so safe.

Emma Stefansky is a staff entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @stefabsky.

Entertainment

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.

Victoria

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.

Queensland

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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