Who Is the Real Villain of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier?

The second episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, 'The Star Spangled Man,' is now streaming [...]

The second episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, "The Star Spangled Man," is now streaming on Disney+ and featured the long-awaited reunion between Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan). After the premiere, it was assumed that the Flash Smashers were going to be major villains in the series and that John Walker (Wyatt Russell) AKA the new Captain America was going to spell big trouble for Sam and Bucky. However, the latest episode has us questioning everyone's motives and wondering who the show's bad guy really is. Warning: Spoilers Ahead!

We learned last week that the Flash Smashers want things to return to the way things were during The Blip, which includes eliminating borders. This week, we learned more about their leader, Karli Morgenthau (Erin Kellyman), who expressed disdain for the government, saying they care more for those who were blipped than the people who survived the last five years. She mentions wanting to remove those who resumed power after returning from being snapped. While Karli and her crew did give Bucky and Sam quite a beat down (and killed Red Wing), the episode was clearly trying to show Karli in a more sympathetic light. It's hard not to see her side of things, especially her hope for unification. The question is.... are the Flash Smashers actually villains?

As for John Walker, the character was introduced at the end of episode one, and fans found it hard not to instantly hate him for taking the role that should have gone to Sam. Everyone expected John to be a terrible guy right from the start, but he's introduced as an all-American patriot who is just trying his best to fill those big Captain America shoes. John tries to work with Bucky and Sam, but they aren't having it (understandably). While it's hard to imagine John won't take a bad turn along the way, it was surprising to see the episode begin by trying to humanize the man. The question is... will John Walker be a villain?

In the end, it's probably safe to assume that Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl) is going to be the show's big bad. We'll definitely learn more when Sam and Bucky visit him in prison in the next episode. However, even Zemo had somewhat noble intentions when he tried to take down the Avengers in Captain America: Civil War. It will be interesting to see where all of these potential baddies end up.

It's not exactly surprising that we're questioning the show's supposed villains after head writer, Malcolm Spellman, spoke about the intentions of the characters.

"All the villains in this series believe they are heroes," Spellman explained. "They can eloquate what they're fighting for in a way that even the heroes are like, 'Damn! That is a really, really good point,' because they all exist in a world that's very similar to the world we exist in today. Thanos has been dispatched and half the population has disappeared and come back. That's created a global crisis, just like the global crisis today. And from that global crisis are these various antagonists born, but they're responding to something the heroes also agree with and the citizens of the world are like, 'Hey, man, this is a tough situation. Maybe they're not wrong.' That conflict leads to some pretty amazing scenes because what do you do when the heroes identify with the villains?"

Who do you think the show's villain is? Tell us in the comments!

Watch The Falcon and the Winter Soldier on Disney+.

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