- The Falcon and The Winter Soldier -'The Falcon And The Winter Soldier' Fixed That Stucky 'Endgame' Plot Hole
We might not know where the hell Steve Rogers went (Did he die? Is he in hiding somewhere? Is he the President of the United States?) but at least now we know he didn't completely abandon Bucky Barnes. In its fifth episode, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier finally addressed a heartbreaking Endgame plot hole that has had Stucky fans calling foul for years.
In the last moments of Avengers: Endgame, Captain America passed the shield on to Sam Wilson after disappearing back in time to be with Peggy Carter. It was all very emotional, and very sweet, but also very disrespectful to his other BFF, Bucky, who didn't even get so much as a wave goodbye — Bucky, the best friend he almost died for in Winter Soldier, the one he betrayed Tony Stark for in Civil War. Needless to say, the lack of acknowledgement of the Stucky relationship in Endgame is one of the most unforgivable sins of the Marvel Cinematic Universe — up there with Hawkeye's mohawk and everything going on in Thor: The Dark World. But now, fans can rest easy, because one line of dialogue in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is here to tell you that Steve didn't ghost Bucky after all.
In the series' penultimate episode, "Truth," Sam and Bucky reunited stateside in Louisiana at Sam's childhood home after fighting John Walker and retrieving Cap's shield. This entire season, Bucky hasn't understood why Sam was so hesitant to take up the Captain America title, but in Friday's episode, he finally acknowledged that Sam, as a Black man, would have a different relationship to the superhero title. "When Steve told me what he was planning, I don't think we understood what it felt like for a Black man to be handed the shield," he said.
This is, essentially, something we already knew from interviews of Sebastian Stan, who told The Hollywood Reporter last year that Bucky "knew what he was going to do with the shield." But, still, it's nice to have it confirmed in the MCU. Based on Bucky's line, it's clear that Stan was right. Bucky knew exactly what Steve was going to do, and he knew why he was going to do it. There was no ghosting, just a mutual understanding among bros that Cap needed to do this and Bucky was going to respect his decision.
But Bucky's line about Cap also reveals something else: a rare Captain American flaw. "I don't think we understood what it felt like for a Black man to be handed the shield," he says. Is it surprising that Cap and Bucky wouldn't have any understanding of modern racial politics? No, it most certainly is not. One of them lived in a SHIELD bubble, the other was a mind-controlled assassin up until just a few movies ago. But it's still kind of surprising to see the MCU admit that Steve Rogers had some pretty glaring faults. Even America's Ass can make mistakes.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier season (and potentially series) finale will premiere on Disney+ Friday, April 23.
Image: Chuck Zlotnick/Marvel Studios