The bar sign in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has just opened up the MCU
It is hard not to read too deep into something that is literally lit up in neon.
While the MCU movies have taken us into the deepest depths of space and beyond, whenever they're on Earth, the amount of fictional locations is usually pretty limited.
Unlike the DC universe, which gives us Gotham and Metropolis and the likes, Marvel's take on Earth is pretty close to reality, with one or two exceptions: Wakanda and Sokovia, for two prime examples.
So far in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, that has also remained the case, with the action flying between USA, Germany, Latvia, and a few other hotspots here and there.
But the third episode does bring us somewhere new, and somewhere fictional, with the South-East Asian island of Madripoor.
On the latest episode of TBR Spotlight: The Falcon and the Winter Solider [LISTEN from 12.30 below] Rory and Eoghan break down the importance of Madripoor, and the role it plays in the MCU overall.
When the first trailer for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was released, and we all got to see a semi-futuristic skyline, we predicted the show would be taking us to Madripoor, and that bringing us there might be introducing us to some new characters.
While the third episode didn't go so far as to actually make those introductions, once Sam and Bucky and Zemo delve into the Low Town area of Madripoor, the episode does make a subtle but very important reference to the wider MCU at large.
As the trio make their way towards Selby (Imelda Corcoran), we get some close-ups of some of the neon signs for the bars in this dingier side of the crime-filled island.
On their way to their final destination - which houses that giant Brass Monkey sign above - we see another bar sign...
... for The Princess Bar.
And you know who owns The Princess Bar?
A guy called Patches. Or at least that is what he calls himself in Madripoor. To most other people in the world, he's known as Wolverine.
Yep, this subtle nod nod wink wink moment is, in fact, setting up that the Avengers and the X-Men are now a part of the same storytelling universe.
Now, the last time a Disney+ seemed to be setting up a crossover with the X-Men, it managed to completely pull the rug out from under us, so we're not saying for 100% definite that this will mean Wolverine will pop up before the end of the Falcon and Winter Soldier series.
But it does show that the folks at Marvel are still leaving these little breadcrumbs behind for us to follow down the rabbit holes all on our own...
Or maybe Wolverine will definitely show up in the next episode, when it airs on Disney+ on Friday, 9 April.