The Surprise Cameo at the End of 'The Falcon and the Winter Soldier' Episode 3 Means Big Things For Marvel

Brady Langmann
·3 min read
The Surprise Cameo at the End of 'The Falcon and the Winter Soldier' Episode 3 Means Big Things For Marvel

We've gone way too long in our Marvel adventures without hearing from Wakanda. It's been three years since Black Panther debuted in theaters. It's been almost three years, too, since we last spent any significant time in Wakanda, when Thanos waged war on the Avengers in Infinity War. That's all to say: We're missing Shuri, Okoye, Nakia, and all of Wakanda, especially since the passing of Chadwick Boseman.

Thankfully, Marvel came through with a surprise cameo at the end of this week's episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. At the very end of Episode Three, Bucky comes face to face with Ayo (played by Florence Kasumba), who is second-in-command in the Dora Milaje, and a key player in Captain America: Civil War. She tells our metal-armed friend that she's looking for Baron Zemo, whom we saw bust out of jail this episode. If you're familiar with the last five-ish (they're all blending together now) years of MCU stories, it's pretty clear why Bucky wasn't surprised to see her. More than that, though, Ayo's appearance hints toward what Marvel's planning for the future of Wakanda.

We first met Ayo in Civil War, when she was tasked with guarding King T'Chaka during his trip to Vienna to sign the infamous Sokovia Accords. Baron Zemo incites a terrorist attack during the meeting, leading to T'Chaka's death. From then on, Ayo defended T'Challa throughout Black Panther and fought in the Wakanda battle in Infinity War. Since Sam reminds Bucky earlier in the episode that Wakanda still has some vibranium to grind with Zemo, you can bet Ayo is looking for either the death or re-imprisonment of Zemo. And it makes sense that she'd start with Bucky, considering he sought refuge in Wakanda after Civil War. The nation hosted him for two years, rebuilt his arm, and even gave him a cute nickname—calling him the White Wolf. Knowing Marvel, you could probably see everybody (Sharon, Sam, Bucky, Zemo, Ayo) becoming buddies by the end of the next episode, in the fight to take down the Flag Smashers. But not before Ayo and Zemo come face to face, most likely.

As far as the MCU's long-term plans go, it wouldn't be too surprising, either, if we see more Black Panther-adjacent characters work their way into Marvel's Disney+ shows going forward. Black Panther II is coming sooner than you think, with a July 8, 2022 release date. Sometime after that, we'll see Wakanda on Disney+, which should continue whatever direction Black Panther II takes Wakanda in. Either way, given that Marvel introduced Ayo in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, she will likely be in the fold for years to come. Here's hoping we get to see her beat up on a Flag Smasher by the show's end.

Photo credit: Mike Kim
Photo credit: Mike Kim

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