Where 'The Falcon and the Winter Soldier' Fits in the Marvel Timeline

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is the latest piece in the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline. The Disney+ series, airing from March 19, is the streamer's second MCU original after WandaVision.

That series was set after the events of the Avengers: Endgame movie, with Wanda (played by Elizabeth Olsen) trying to deal with her grief over the death of Vision (Paul Bettany) by building a fantasy world.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is also set after Endgame and shows Sam Wilson (or Falcon, played by Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (the Winter Soldier, played by Sebastian Stan) dealing with their own form of grief. The show begins six months after the reversal of the "blip" that had wiped out billions of people, bringing them all back.

"Everything narratively was informed by that event for us," director Kari Skogland told the website Collider. "It meant that we're just past the shock of it. We're just past the joy of it—because we're imagining that there would be a lot of joy, in people returning. Now we're into the reality of it, which is complicated."

Viewers already got a sense of this complexity in WandaVision Episode 4, which showed Monica Rambeau returning post-blip, only to find that her mother had died in the months she was gone.

falcon and the winter soldier mcu
'The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,' starring Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan, takes place six months after the events of 'Avengers: Endgame.' Disney+

As well as dealing with the implications of billions of people returning just as their loved ones had begun to move on, the Disney+ show follows a crucial moment in Endgame (spoilers ahead for that movie and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier).

At the end of Endgame, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) decides to stay in the past and live out his years with Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell). In one of the movie's final scenes, set in the present day, an elderly Steve visits Sam and gives him his famous shield.

"He's proven his courage, loyalty and reliability over multiple films," Evans told Variety when asked why Captain America gave Falcon the shield. "Sam has given so much, and he's also lost a lot too. He believes in something bigger than himself, and that type of humility is necessary to carry the shield."

In the Endgame scene, Sam says: "It feels like it belongs to someone else." Exactly who is a crucial plot point for the Disney+ show. Creator Malcolm Spellman told USA Today: "If people think this show is about Sam carrying that shield and being Captain America, it is not."

The character that most fans think will be the next Captain America is John Walker (Wyatt Russell), a marine who teams up with Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

However, it seems things will be not that simple. "John Walker wouldn't be in this series if he was causing everything to go well," Russell told USA Today. "There's a dynamic he adds that somewhat complicates the relationship of everybody involved."

According to Spellman, "Walker speaks to this idea of American exceptionalism and the necessity we have in questioning it." This suggests that, although the marine may take up the shield at some point, he may not be the final person to do so.

Russell added: "The shield doesn't itself represent something that's singular. It represents what somebody puts on it. So one guy puts his own version of what Captain America is on it and another person puts a version of what it is."

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is streaming from March 19 on Disney+.