Some people consider Captain America: Civil War to be a little weaker with its plot as compared to the comics. But I am here to say that it totally wasn’t! Sure the premise of its ending was a little over the top because what if Tony would not have shown up in Siberia at the same time as Captain America and Bucky? Things could have been very different then. But the main goal for the Civil War was to split the Avengers, and it did exactly that!
And just for this, it was really important for Tony Stark to find out about Bucky murdering his parents right at the end of the film, because that is what had set up the entire plot of this film and Infinity War as well. Right from the beginning of the film, the big horrendous event of Tony Stark’s past was being set up as the basis of the film.
Sure the movie had to be about the accords and them causing a little rift between the Avengers, but the truth about Tony’s family was the right motivation required to break the Avengers apart, from the inside.
This is actually why people felt that the plot of Civil War was weaker. But if you think about it, the ultimate goal was achieved because Marvel wanted the Avengers to be divided in Infinity War and that is how the story would go forward.
The whole “united we stand, divided we fall” was to be explained through Infinity War and Avengers 4. Because the Avengers only lost in Infinity War because they fought the battle on two fronts and that won’t be the case in Avengers 4.
So all of this was initiated with Tony being shown the clip at the right moment and all that berserker rage taking over him. This would surely not have been the case if Tony would have found out that Bucky was the one who murdered his parents earlier in the film or his life. Reddit user cuddlebirb points out the same thing as he focuses on what Civil War co-writer Stephen McFeely had to say about this topic.
Here’s what this redditor wrote:
Since this was brought up in another post, and it always spirals back to the same argument between those who sympathize with Tony’s emotional attempt to kill Bucky and those who think he’s somehow evil for trying to kill an innocent brainwashed person, here’s a quote from screenwriter Stephen McFeely about Tony’s actions in the third act of the film, and why they wrote the sequence of events the way they did:
“ Stephen McFeely – But we knew we didn’t want to [reveal Bucky killed Tony’s parents] early. If you do that in the first act, and that’s why Tony Stark is running after Bucky Barnes, he’s got too long to think ‘Bucky Barnes has been brainwashed, he’s a victim in this in many ways, I’m a reasonable person,’ but if you structure the movie so that at the end of the movie Tony finds out very viscerally in a really well-directed, not gory, but emotionally intense scene, that Winter Soldier killed [Maria] and [Howard], he’s going to go nuts and he’s gonna snap and you’re going to earn that third act that we wanted. That meant the villain had to be sneaky and sort of in the background. So many decisions were based on wanting [that moment] there.“ (Collider)\
From here on the Redditor points out the importance of the timing where the truth gets revealed. Sure Tony being a sensible person would have understood that. And now having spent 2 years since knowing the truth, he has become a calmer person and he might have even forgiven Bucky somewhere in his mind. The Redditor goes on:
The screenwriters knew Tony would’ve had time to rationalize that Bucky was a victim if he found out at any point prior to the bunker. It’s why they even structured the movie the entire way they did so that Tony wouldn’t find out until the last moment in the most horrific way possible–and that Tony literally suffers a form of temporary insanity during the sequence.
Truth be told, I feel this is a “no duh,” but since this comes up a lot, I figured posting a quote from the writer himself would help clarify the scene. What happened between Stark, Barnes, and Rogers was supposed to be a tragedy–not a confrontation with a villain.
So you may wanna sympathize with Tony for what happened to him, but being the hero that we love, he has to understand the importance of taking an innocent life. So his entire arc post-Civil War was driven by the intense ending of the film where two brothers fought.