The Falcon and The Winter Soldier sees Sam and Bucky leading their lives after the events of Avengers: Endgame. The latest episode, “The Whole World is Watching” showed us how painful Bucky’s time as the Winter Soldier really was. He broke down in tears at the realization that he can’t be manipulated to become the Winter Soldier anymore. We saw a crucial flashback into Bucky’s life.
Steve Rogers’ early adventures as Captain America had him witness the supposed death of his best friend, Bucky Barnes, back in WWII. Bucky then resurfaced as a brainwashed killing machine. He became HYDRA’s biggest weapon. He was the main villain in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but he has managed to clear his name and turn his life around. It happened in such capacity that he earned a spot in popular tributes to the Avengers, as seen in Spider-Man: Far From Home. Bucky went through some intense psychological pain for several decades. He committed many heinous crimes like murdering Tony Stark’s parents and many more.
But the superhero battles come with a price tag. The Sokovia Accords were established in order to hold superheroes accountable for the collateral damage. This usually involves catastrophic chain reactions, such as Tony Stark’s wish to protect the world resulting in the rise of Ultron, whose rebellion, in turn, resulted in the destruction of Sokovia and Baron Zemo’s revenge. It was Zemo that divided the Avengers and made it so easy for Thanos to get the Infinity Stones.
Let’s compare the situation of Hawkeye with that of Bucky. He has been forgiven and is living a clean and noble life now. But Clint Barton, Hawkeye, turned into a maniac killer as seen in Avengers: Endgame. He took the title of Ronin and was killing people. The disappearance of his family turned him into a murderous vigilante.
Hawkeye decided to direct the pain of losing his family to Thanos’ snap towards delivering his own justice to the criminals of the world. He took the law into his own hands. This was a sensible reason for Hawkeye to sacrifice himself at Vormir, and he did confess to Black Widow that his death would help him atone for what he had done. Besides, Clint will have a chance to redeem himself in the upcoming Hawkeye Disney+ show. More than just training the Young Avenger, it will be interesting to see how Hawkeye deals with his traumas.
Bucky leaves his Winter Soldier personality behind, and Hawkeye leaves his Ronin personality behind. But if you compare the two heroes, Bucky is cleaner than Clint. Bucky had no choice while he killed for Hydra. But all the lives that Clint took as Ronin were his choice alone. It will be a thrill to see him redeem himself now. He will have to battle his inner demons.
As for Bucky, he will return in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier this Friday. Here’s the official synopsis of the series:
Following the events of “Avengers: Endgame,” Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) team up in a global adventure that tests their abilities—and their patience—in Marvel Studios’ “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.”
Directed by Kari Skogland, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier stars Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson, aka Falcon, Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes, aka The Winter Soldier, Daniel Brühl as Baron Helmut Zemo, Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter, Wyatt Russell as John Walker, Desmond Chiam, Miki Ishikawa, Noah Mills, and Carl Lumbly.