Will Helmut Zemo survive his time-jump to 1920's Germany -- and a crushing confrontation with his Grandfather and father? And if he does -- how will he ever return to the present when he has been using the blood of the Zemo lineage as his "temporal anchor?" There is no Zemo blood in our present day besides Helmut... is there...?
Final issue in this great mini-series.
Zemo finds himself overlooking his fater's lab with Hitler and some men inside. They bring in a "patient" to test out their his father's latest weapon. He sees Hitler's bodyguard and thinks there's something familiar about him but he doesn't recognize him. There is also a civilian scientist there. He is protesting using a human as a test subject for the prototype weapon. Zemo then recognizes him as Dr. Abraham Erskine, the man that created the Super-Soldier Serum and thus "fathered" Captain America. Testing the prototype doesn't seem to kill the man. They appear to need more power to completely incinerate him. Erskine asks for a medical kit to see to him. He questions why they need a "death-ray" when they could be trying to enhance the human physique. Hitler responds that they do not need to use chemical enhancements because they are born better than others. Zemo thinks how he could simply take care of Erskine now before he is able to escape to the United States to create Captain America. But in doing so, he will never be able to become who he is today.
After everyone leaves, Zemo checks out his fathers work. He is disappointed at his father's brilliance that is being impeded by his stupidity. Then his father returns, mistaking him for a janitor. Noticing that Zemo was admiring his work, he begins to talk about it. Zemo is reminded of when he was a child and his father would go on and on just to hear himself talk. The sound of his voice was like "granite laced with confidence." He realizes that his has become similar. Now he does not care for the sound of his own voice. He reaches for his gun, reminded of all the rules that were pounded into his head over and over again. His father kept going on about the supremacy of the Aryan race.
When his father asks him if he agrees, Zemo finds himself saying no. He takes off his mask asking that if he was born looking like that, would that make him inferior. His father is outraged that this man would raise his voice to a Baron and slaps him. Zemo stops him before he can slap him again and follows with a punch to the face. His father calls for the guards. Zemo thinks it would be fitting for him to die here but it is not his time. He throws his mask at his father telling him to keep it as a reminder for the day when others think less of him and hopefully will strive to become something more.
In the present, Wendell Volker stands in the Zemo estate. He thinks about how he had plans to be a teacher or something more. Those dreams were before he found out about the blood. There was Zemo blood flowing, deluded, through so many all over the world. It is his hope that all the blood he has spilled here will be enough to bring Zemo back. His final act is to cut himself and drip his own blood in the circle of corpses he has made.
In the past, Zemo is fighting off his father's men. He's not sure if he'll be "jumping" out of this time. He wonders what would happen if he jumps and there's no one there for him. Arriving in Castle Zemo, he sees the bodies lying on the floor. Wendell stands behind him with a gun to his head. Wendell tells him that he brought him back with blood, his blood too. Zemo responds that he is disappointed in himself for not seeking out his relatives because he didn't care before. He never understood the importance of family. Zemo asks Wendell if he can change out of the Nazi uniform he is in as he does not wish to die in it.
Wendell thinks Zemo is mocking him when he mentions being disgusted for having Zemo blood in him. He tells him how he has met every one of his ancestors and has seen all the lies and beliefs he's been fed his entire life. He is ready to die now that he has changed. Wendell is shocked that Zemo would die so easily. Zemo says that if that will pay the price for all that his family has done, he is okay with it. He has tried to be better but doesn't know if trying is enough. By denouncing the blood in him and having saved the world, that shows that he cannot be the horrible man Wendell believes him to be. He tells Wendell the only way to fix things is to let him try. Wendell cannot deal with this and decides to shoot himself. Zemo stops him. He says he does not wish for any more Zemo blood to be spilled in his home. He says it is unfortunate that so many had to die to bring him back. Wendell tells him that there are others out there but Zemo says to leave them be. They do not need to be punished for his sins. Wendell agrees that he needs to be punished too. Zemo will punish himself and Wendell's punishement will be to stand by his side and help him prove his point.