This article contains spoilers for the first episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
You know how sometimes, you have two really good friends, and you love them both, but they don’t necessarily like each other?
And then, you know those times when you get the opportunity to go back in time and grow old with the love of your life, leaving your two best friends behind to have to deal with each other while you retire at the age of 105? That’s basically what’s happening on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: You are Captain America and your two best friends are Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), and now they have to hang out without you.
The show takes place a few months after the events of Avengers: Endgame and the Blip, during which half of the population of the universe (including Bucky and Sam) was erased and then restored five years later. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) has retired and disappeared, and the whole world is wondering where he went.
Meanwhile, Sam has turned Cap’s shield over to be put in a museum, and both he and Bucky are trying to move on with their lives in some way. Sam’s working with the military and trying to help his sister keep the family boat, and Bucky is trying to make amends for all the people he killed under mind control.