We’re only one episode into The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but Sam Wilson has already been screwed over more than once. Despite saving the entire universe and bringing back the billions of people who vanished during Thanos’ Snap, not to mention the fact he’s one of the goddam Avengers, Sam can’t even get a bank loan to try and save his family business.
Not only that, but after wrestling with the weight of carrying Captain America’s shield, he graciously gives it up to a museum so it can live on as part of the Steve Rogers exhibit, only for the government to stab him in the back and name Wyatt Russell’s John Walker as the United States’ new star-spangled superhero just before the premiere cut to black.
The idea of legacy is already all over the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s second Disney Plus exclusive series, and while Chris Evans isn’t expected to appear in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, his shadow is set to loom large over the proceedings nonetheless. In fact, the opening installment was very careful to make sure that it didn’t confirm outright what’s happened to Old Man Steve since we last saw him in Avengers: Endgame.
He’s got his own museum exhibit, which makes it look as though he’s passed away, but Sam deflects any and all questions about his longtime friend, creating an air of mystery over his fate. Kevin Feige may have shot down the reports that Chris Evans was set for a return to the MCU, which was notable for the fact that he rarely ever gives a flat ‘no’ answer to anything, but Steve’s status has still been left completely open-ended, whatever that means for the future.