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Falcon and Winter Soldier episode 5 mid-credits scene explained

John Walker Falcon Winter Soldier
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 5 has a mid-credits scene, making it the first in this season to do so. Like Marvel's earlier TV show, WandaVision, it seems like the studio likes to wait for the later episodes of a series before it starts rolling out its famous post-credits stinger.

This one isn't very long, and it occurs just after the first set of cast and creator credits. Below, we'll explain what was going on in the sequence, and what it likely means for the season finale of Falcon and Winter Soldier. 

Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 5 mid-credits: what was happening?

Falcon and Winter Soldier mid-credits

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

The mid-credits sequence in this week's episode shows John Walker (Wyatt Russell) forging his own version of Captain America's shield. Naturally, this one isn't made from vibranium like the real thing – but it's pretty good for a knock-off. We saw him hammering the metal, and spray-painting it appropriately. 

There's not much more to the sequence, honestly. But the suggestion is clear: Walker is not out of the story yet, despite getting his ass handed to him by Bucky and Sam earlier in the episode – after putting up a pretty great fight, admittedly.

Earlier in the episode, we saw Walker get stripped of the Captain America mantle during a government hearing, and get dishonorably discharged. We then saw him approached by a new character – played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, sometimes known in the comics as Madame Hydra, who offers him her card and the suggestion of future work. But we'll have a separate explainer on her later.

The suggestion is, Walker is not happy to let go of the title just yet. That said, there's also the chance that this is how we'll see Walker assume his other Marvel Comics alias – USAgent, another shield-wielding patriotic hero. Perhaps this is how he'll be able to continue co-existing with Sam and Bucky in the MCU, and perhaps not.

Falcon and the Winter Soldier: what could this mid-credits scene mean for episode 6?

Our take? We think this could be misdirection. The forging of the shield suggests that Walker is preparing for a rematch in the final episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier with Bucky and Sam – we think it's more likely that John is going after the Flag Smashers, specifically Karli Morgenthau, who killed his friend Lemar Hoskins in combat.

Here's the thing, though – we think another murderous rampage would be a little too predictable for Walker. The show's writers and directors would be hard-pushed to top the fight between our heroes and this off-brand Cap seen in this episode. Having him turn up as an angry punching bag again won't be that much fun. 

Our hope: Walker's arc will end with some kind of redemption, but that he'll make way for the true Captain America – Sam Wilson. 

Samuel Roberts

Samuel is TechRadar's Senior Entertainment Editor, and an expert in Marvel, Star Wars, Netflix shows and general streaming stuff. He's previously spent six years at PC Gamer, too, so if you want to know which Command & Conquer is the best one, drop him a line.