So lets talk about all the SPOILERS for CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER! The movie has been out for a few days now in the UK so its seems like a good time to talk SPOILERS.
So more than just discussing all the plot points I will be going into the easter eggs and references to other characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe! Easter Eggs and References:
In the scene where the three Helicarriers are locating their targets we see a glimpse of Stark Tower in which we see the name "Anthony Stark", this is Tony Stark/Iron Man so one of HYDRA's aims was to eliminate the Avengers. This tower is now AVENGERS tower, the base of operations for the superhero team.
Steve's To Do List
Near the beginning of the film where Steve and Sam first meet, we see Steve has a little notebook containing all the things he's missed because of him time as a 'capsicle'. This list contains such things as Star Wars, Star Trek, Steve Jobs, The Moon Landing, The Berlin Wall, Nirvana and The Rocky Movies, its a nice little touch because we see a lot of monumental moments from history.
Batroc The Leap
This was just a small nod to the comic books as Batroc is a Captain America villain that had a slightly ridiculous looking costume. The Russo brothers paid homage to that by toning down the costume but still giving him his signature colors.
When Nick Fury tells Captain America of Project Insight. He shows him the three huge Helicarriers underneath the Triskellion. During this scene he mentions that the flight tech was upgraded by Tony Stark. Stark uses Repulsor technology for flight and combat in his Iron Man suit and he has upgraded SHIELD's flight tech to avoid another incident like the one that happened in The Avengers.
Steve's love interest from the first film makes a very poignant cameo in this sequel. Steve goes to visit Peggy Carter who of course has aged over the years while Steve still looks incredibly young. He mentions to Peggy that she still owes him a dance, which was the last thing Steve said to Peggy in the first film. We also discover later on that Peggy had helped found SHIELD.
When we first meet Alexander Pierce played by Robert Redford he asks Nick Fury for a small favor. He asks Nick to get Iron Man to come by his niece's birthday party. This is a nice little line that makes us realize that The Avengers are now celebrities as well as heroes.
When we discover Nick Fury is still alive, the audience and the characters are wondering how the hell he is still breathing. He admits that he had taken Dr Bruce Banner's (Hulk) serum that slows the heart beat down to one beat per minute. This is a little nod to the on going struggle Bruce Banner has with his anger issues. If his heart beat meets a certain number per minute he will transform into the HULK involuntarily. The serum had apparently failed for Banner but worked fine for Nick.
As you may recall, a character from Iron Man 2 makes a quick cameo. Senator Stern played by Gary Shandling makes an appearance and is revealed to be working with HYDRA!
Cap and Widow go to the very first SHIELD base, set underground Steve's old boot camp. We then discover in this scene that HYDRA controls SHIELD. Arnim Zola, the scientist working with Red Skull in the first film is now an AI, he is a super computer. This hearkens back to the comic books where Zola does indeed become a robot and follows up on the nod in the first film where we see Zola's blueprints of a robotic suit for him.
Howard Stark's assassination
During the scene with Arnim Zola, he reveals that The Winter Soldier has been performing assassinations for over 50 years. One of which was Iron Man's father Howard. Howard helped found SHIELD so he was considered a threat to HYDRA and The Winter Soldier was ordered to assassinate him. This closes a plot line from the comics where it is referenced that Howard Stark was assassinated but by an unknown killer.
MARVEL geniuses, Stan Lee, has to make his cameo! In this film he is a janitor at the Smithsonian museum in Washington. After Steve retrieves his suit from the museum and Stan Lee fears he will be blamed for its disappearance.
Ed Brubaker is the man who created the character of the Winter Soldier. He also wrote the story that this film is based on. In the scene where Winter Soldier is getting his memory erased, we see Brubaker is playing one of the scientists that is performing the procedure. Ed Brubaker is also given a thankyou credit in the end credits.
Black Widow's romance
Black Widow and Hawkeye other than being a team were once romantically involved. We see a hint to this in this movie as Black Widow's necklace has a little arrow on it. I hope in the later movies this relationship is explored more.
In the comics, Winter Soldier/Bucky does indeed become Captain America after Steve is killed by Crossbones. We get a nod to this when The Winter Soldier picks up Cap's shield and holds it in quite a heroic pose. This is also a reference to the first film where Bucky awkwardly attempted to use Cap's shield that ultimately led to his demise.
In the scene where Cap, Falcon and Widow are interrogating Jasper Sitwell, and we discover more about Project Insight and some of its targets. Jasper tells Cap that Project Insight is going to eliminate all possible threats to HYDRA's plans. These threats include "Bruce Banner" and "Stephen Strange". Stephen Strange is the man who becomes Dr Strange and this mention surely solidifies his place in the MCU. We already know that eventually we will be getting a [Doctor Strange](movie:559685) movie but this mention got me very, very excited.
Brock Rumlow played by Frank Grillo is to us comic fans, Crossbones. Towards the ending of the film, we see that Rumlow has sustained a lot of burns in his fight with Falcon and is on the brink of death. His body is covered in burns but his signature crossed straps across his chest. It was revealed that MARVEL do have plans for Crossbones in future films so possibly he could be the villain for Captain America 3? Crossbones is the villain who kills Captain America in the comics so could we see that in Phase 3? This accompanied with the hint of Bucky as Captain America surely makes an interesting theory.
Nick Fury's Grave
Samuel L Jackson is most famous for his incredible performance in Pulp Fiction. In Pulp Fiction, Samuel L Jackson's character is a very religious man and reads some scripture in one scene. On Nick Fury's fake grave we see the words "The path of the righteous man… Ezekiel 25:17.” This is a nod to Jackson's most popular performance.
The End Credits Scene
So at the very end of the credits we see Bucky/Winter Soldier going to the Smithsonian and discovering his true identity. There is a memorial for James "Bucky" Barnes at the Captain America exhibit that features a picture of Bucky and a biography on him. This certifies that Bucky will be back for more MARVEL movies.
The Mid Credits Scene
Okay, so this is the big one. This is the scene that had me jumping in my chair like a 10 year old boy. In the mid credits scene, directed by Joss Whedon, we see Baron Von Strucker, a Captain America villain from the comics who is a member of HYDRA. Strucker is in possession of Loki's scepter from The Avengers and is performing tests on it, probably trying to possess its power. But he is in possession of something even more incredible. He has imprisoned The Twins. For those of you who don't know, The Twins are Pietro and Wanda Maximoff or [Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch](movie:1081109). We see the twins locked up in separate cells performing their powers. Quicksilver is manically running around his cell and Scarlet Witch is using her telekinetic powers on some wooden blocks that she then destroys with her powers. Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are both in [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](movie:293035) as well as Baron Von Strucker. So it will be Baron Von Strucker who uses The Twins to try and kill The Avengers but we all know they will inevitably end up being on the team as heroes. In the comics Wanda and Pietro are the children of Magneto, who is of course an X-Men character. Because of a deal MARVEL and FOX have, both studios have the rights to the characters. But FOX own the rights to Magneto and Mutants. So in the MCU, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch cannot be called Mutants or the children of Magneto. In this years [X-Men: Days Of Future Past](movie:203942) we will see Quicksilver but in no way is that connected to next years Avengers: Age Of Ultron. The design of these characters in this mid credits scene is absolutely spectacular and had me in awe and I can't wait to see them in The Avengers: Age Of Ultron! So that's all the Easter Eggs and References that I got from [Captain America: The Winter Soldier](movie:254973).