‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ Plot: How Will the Disney+ Series Intertwine with the Entire MCU?

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (TFATWS) premieres on Disney+ March 19, 2021. The show marks the second Marvel Cinematic Universe, Disney+ limited-series installment. And, it comes after the critically acclaimed sitcom-meets high-octane-spectacle WandaVision; thus, the series has quite the act to follow. 

Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan posing back-to-back
(L-R) Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan of ‘The Falcon and The Winter Soldier’ took part today in the Disney+ Showcase | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

TFATWS chronicles Sam Wilson (Falcon) and Bucky Barnes in the aftermath of Avengers: Endgame. They must literally and emotionally confront the fact that Steve Rogers is no longer wielding the shielding while teaming up — despite their apparent polar personalities — to take down the baddies. 

What will ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ be about? 

TFATWS will reintroduce Baron Helmut Zemo (portrayed by Daniel Bruhl) as the main antagonist. The series also adds the man behind the Fall of Sokovia as a primary villain.

The show will feature Sam Wilson’s Falcon (possibly a to-be Captain America) and Bucky Barnes against two primary villains and an entirely new anarchist organization: The Flag Smashers. 

Emily VanCamp will also reprise her role as Sharon Carter and, based on prior rumors, she could be one of the first female versions of Captain America in the MCU; the franchise reportedly wants a diverse group of characters (across gender, race, and sexuality) to carry the mantle at some point. 

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As for the Flag Smashers, they will be introduced to the franchise as an anarchist group on a mission to disrupt peace and wreak havoc. Erin Kellyman (Solo: A Star Wars Story, Don’t Forget the Driver, Life) will play one of the group’s members, Karli Morgenthau.

Who are the Flag Smashers in the comic books? 

One of the main Flag Smashers coming to the MCU, Karli Morgenthau, is based on the original comic book smasher Karl Morgenthau. If they keep Morgenthau’s origin story the same, she will be the daughter of a wealthy Swiss banker-turned-diplomat.

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In the comics, Morgenthau wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a diplomat. However, everything changed when his father got trampled in a riot at Latverian Embassy. Morgenthau then came to believe that countries and the concept of nationalism could only do harm, enforcing the idea that certain nations are superior to others. 

The group used terrorism to spread their anti-nationalist beliefs. A few people have led the group in the past — from Morgenthau to Guy Thierrault and others. The leader is usually skilled in hand-to-hand combat, a threat to the safety of humankind, and one of Captain America’s main adversaries. The series could use the Flag Smashers to kick Sam Wilson’s patriotism up a notch, transforming him into the next Captain America in ways beyond capable with the shield alone. 

Not to mention, the Flag Smashers also come up against the likes of Moon Knight, Punisher, Ghost Rider, and Deadpool in the comics. Thus, they could create a bridge to other shows (possibly Moon Knight) or serve as the connective tissue in team-up films.