The main focus of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has been on Sam Wilson, played by Anthony Mackie, and his journey towards becoming the new Captain America. But another major storyline has occurred in the series regarding Bucky Barnes aka The Winter Soldier, played by Sebastian Stan. In an interview with Inverse, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier showrunner Malcolm Spellman revealed a crucial scene regarding Bucky that seems to have slipped everyone's notice.
"I will say, this is not at all an Easter egg, but one thing no one has caught and it's a failure in our writing I guess was when we were taking Bucky on his journey, we felt like the moment in Episode 6 where he frees the GRC members and one of them stops to say, "Thank you, you saved my life" - we always considered that Bucky's first hero moment. That was a huge deal to us, but I have not heard anyone mention it."
For most of his existence in the MCU, Bucky has been a bad guy, a brainwashed assassin working for Hydra to eliminate their enemies. Steve Rogers was finally able to break through his old friend's conditioning in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and remind Bucky of the honorable man he had once been.
But the fact that Bucky remembered his true self did not absolve him of his sins. He retired to live in solitude in Wakanda and joined the Avengers in their fight against Thanos. But The Falcon and the Winter Soldier showed that Bucky was still far from at peace regarding his past.
In The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, we see him undergoing therapy, and trying to make amends for the destruction that he had caused in his Winter Soldier avatar. According to Spellman, that scene in the final episode where Bucky saves the hostages in the van had been crafted by the writers to be a moment where Bucky finally allows himself to feel like a hero instead of an assassin.
"We were like, "That's it. Bucky is on his way to freeing himself from this burden of being the Winter Soldier. Now, he gets to go and be a hero for the first time." That's not to say that he hasn't been heroic before, but that's the moment when he allows himself to feel like a hero. Not many people caught that."
Now that Bucky has come to terms with his past, and embraced his new role as a hero, it will be interesting to see where his character goes next. His days of being the Winter Soldier are passed, and the mention of the phrase "White Wolf" on the show is a reference to his heroic alter-ego in the comics. Hopefully, fans will get to see Bucky in action again in Captain America 4.
Directed by Kari Skogland, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier stars Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Emily VanCamp, Wyatt Russell, Noah Mills, Carl Lumbly, and Daniel Brühl. The series is now streaming on Disney+. This news originated at Inverse.