Marvel is known for character development and interconnectivity. The storylines are well-knit that it doesn’t take much time for the fans to connect the dots. Let’s talk about Marvel’s Phase 4. It started off with WandaVision. For the first time in 6 years, Wanda was referred to as the Scarlet Witch. And now, it is Sam’s turn to embrace the mantle of Captain America. He was Falcon, but now he will pick up the shield and take on a new moniker.
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier came in response to Steve passing on the legacy to Sam. He believed in him. The series focuses on Sam and Bucky six months after the events of Avengers: Endgame. The series has leveled up exponentially. Just like WandaVision, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier has also established many new characters. This only proves how far the Marvel Cinematic Universe can go.
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier had put their viewers in a twist. Sam gave up the shield, only to realize the big mistake he has made. The government took no time to choose John Walker as the new Captain America. But when Walker injected himself with the super-soldier serum, his anger got amplified. As a result, he could not control his emotions and ended up killing a Flag-Smasher. This really shook Sam and Bucky. As a result, they decided to take the shield back.
The shield is what symbolizes the existence of Captain America. Giving the shield in the wrong hands means jeopardizing the legacy. This is what Sam and Bucky believe. Sam Wilson is struggling to come to terms with the decision he made to give up Steve Roger’s shield. In the series premiere, titled “New World Order,” the voice of Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) asks Sam how the shield feels, to which he responds “Like it’s someone else’s.” In episode 2, “The Star-Spangled Man,” Wilson and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) meet Isaiah Bradley (Carl Lumbly), a Korean War veteran made super-soldier, who was the victim of 30 years of experimentation and torture by the U.S. government. But finally, after 5 episodes, Sam has decided to take on the legacy.
Kari Skogland, director of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier finally explains the reason for this. She sat down with EW to discuss why Sam is finally picking up the shield after five episodes of grappling with claiming that identity. Skogland and head writer, Malcolm Spellman, wanted The Falcon & The Winter Soldier to explore the meaning of what it means for a Black superhero to accept the historically white symbol that is Captain America’s shield.
“We wanted Sam to engage in both public and private conversation of what it means for a Black man to pick up such an iconic historically white symbol. By starting off with his acknowledgment of how important it is as a symbol, and that it is connected to a bygone era, Sam opens the door to the idea that what defines a hero today is not the same ideal as it was when Steve first picked up the shield… It is important that we explore all sides of its future as a symbol, given it represents the American flag and the deep history that comes with something that represents equality and freedom. It needs to be an ongoing discussion because those very coveted ideas that are the core to the American Dream are actually fragile and need to be protected from those that go down a slippery slope, no matter how well-intentioned, that actually puts freedom and equality in the crosshairs.“
Walker is no longer Captain America. When he is stripped of the title in episode 5, “Truth,” it becomes clear that he believes the act was justified, defending himself by saying, “I only ever did what you asked of me, what you told me to be, and trained me to do, and I did it. And I did it well”. As revealed earlier, Walker is an unstable military man who is driven by emotions. He revealed an uncomfortable truth about what happens when the shield falls into the wrong hands. This is exactly why Bucky was so angry at Sam for giving up the shield in the first place.
With only one more episode to go, it will be exciting to see what happens to the shield and how well Sam can don it. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier has many threads to conclude with only one more episode. Let’s see where the story goes from this point on. Stream now on Disney+.