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How Do The Sokovia Accords Fit Into 'The Falcon And The Winter Soldier'?

- The Falcon and The Winter Soldier -
How Do The Sokovia Accords Fit Into 'The Falcon And The Winter Soldier'?

We're two episodes into The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, and Bucky and Sam's fight is just heating up. But instead of getting caught up in their odd couple banter, I cannot stop thinking about this huge plot hole in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Literally, I watched Bucky wake up shirtless in the middle of the night, and all I could think was, "WTF happened to the Sokovia Accords?"

For those who might not remember, the Sokovia Accords were introduced to the MCU in Captain America: Civil War as a way of monitoring superheroes. It required heroes to register with the government and only interfere in global or domestic affairs when called upon. This, in part, led to the breakup of the Avengers, with Cap, Bucky, Scarlet Witch, and Sam refusing to sign the Accords. As far as we know, they still haven't signed anything. After Thanos snapped half the galaxy's population out of existence in Infinity War, Cap and other remaining heroes helped the world keep turning, but it's unclear what their relationship with the government really was. And that murkiness remains in the post-Endgame world.

As a relatively rational person, I had assumed that maybe, after witnessing an alien come down from space and wipe out half the Earth's population, world leaders might be more sympathetic to Cap and other hero's point of view re: the Sokovia Accords. I assumed the government would want to tear up the Sokovia Accords and shoot the scraps into space. But I was wrong.

In WandaVision, Director Hayward mentions the Sokovia Accords in passing, saying that by using her powers on Westview, Wanda has violated the Sokovia Accords, suggesting they are still very much a thing. Furthermore, in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Sam hinted that Sharon Carter, aka Agent 13, was still on the run after fighting for Team Cap in Civil War. So, how are Bucky and Falcon superhero-ing all over the world willy-nilly?

Image: Marvel Studios

In the first episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, it was established that Bucky has court-mandated therapy as a condition of his pardon for past crimes. And while the very fact that he has a pardon suggests that he had to sign the Accords (like Hawkeye and Ant-Man), it's really hard to believe that he would do it. Steve Rogers literally became a fugitive to avoid signing, and there's no way Bucky would betray him like that. And the same thing goes for Sam, who also made the proactive decision not to sign the Accords and become a fugitive. And yet, here he is, putting on his wings as a contractor for the Army? Make it make sense.

Now, after Episode 2, which saw Bucky and Falcon go on a recon mission with government resources, you might think, "OK, it's out of character, but I guess maybe with Cap no longer around, Bucky and Sam signed the Accords so they could attempt to live normal lives." But that trip was also not exactly government sanctioned, at least it wasn't coordinated with the new, government-issue Captain America. And, it didn't seem like Sam had to get permission for Bucky to join last minute.

But the most explicit evidence that Sam and Bucky haven't signed the Accords came later, when Sam told the new Cap that he and Bucky had more freedom than he does because they are "free agents" and don't have to go through government protocol. And, reader, this is where I lost my mind.

Me, trying to hold onto what's left of my sanity. Image: Marvel Studios

If he hasn't signed the Sokovia Accords, how can Sam work with the government as a contractor? But if he has signed the Sokovia Accords, how could be be a "free agent"? WHAT IS THE TRUTH?

Please, Marvel, I'm begging you. I just want answers. Are the Sokovia Accords still being enforced? Does Sam have some kind of special exemption for government contract work? Can superheroes be freelance? Just tell me so that I can enjoy a shirtless Bucky Barnes in PEACE.

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Image: Julie Vrabelova/Marvel Studios

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