Steve’s first shield was neither the shield he had before he saved the 107th, nor was it the vibranium shield we’ve all become accustomed to.
Steve’s first shield was Bucky.
SHU T U P SHUT UP SHUT UP
And he was technically his last too.
It’s interesting to consider the parallels between FA and WS and how it seems to speak of some punishment from trying to upset the natural order of things. Bucky is Steve’s protector and savior. That’s the way the universe has seen fit to arrange things. Steve’s post-serum hero man persona started to flip this, but ultimately he couldn’t save Bucky because that is just not the way it works…that’s not his role and the punishment for trying to fit into it was failure.
And at the end of WS, you think the whole movie has been about Steve once again trying to save Bucky, but it’s not. Steve is the one lost and lonely and has nothing to make him happy. And then Bucky comes back. And, yes, Bucky is going to need some help (a lot of help), but essentially Bucky’s reemergence signals the start to Steve being saved. And at the end when Steve’s horribly injured and falling from the hellicarrier, that’s the moment the dynamic is starting to shift back to what it’s supposed to be and is, significantly, the thing that begins the Winter Soldier’s deprogramming.
And, even worse, Bucky is actually able to accomplish what Steve failed to do - save his friend from falling. Because that is the role he is supposed to play. That’s his “mission”, I suppose, in life. And while Steve can look out for Bucky and help Bucky, ultimately saving Bucky is not Steve’s mission.
But by letting himself be saved by Bucky, he is saving Bucky because he’s allowing them to play the roles they were meant to play, unlike what he did in FA. And that’s the only way either one of them can actually survive (and be happy).
Seriously though, this is brilliant.
Also *puts on reading glasses to continue my 3,000 word dissertation* I think Bucky’s natural role as savior and protector didn’t just extend to Steve (though Steve fit perfectly in place as his best friend because they complemented each other so well), I think Bucky, at heart, is this way with everyone. He naturally takes care of people and sticks up for people. It’s an intrinsic and inherent part of his personality.
Then you have poor Steve inadvertently messing with that in FA and it leading to tragedy.
Then, in WS, you have Hydra coming along and trying to do the same thing - twist Bucky away from his natural state of a giver/shield into someone who shoots through crowds of innocent people, if I’m recalling correctly, may have even murdered children (people more familiar with the comics can let me know if that’s hinted at like I’m remembering?) and, maybe most unnatural of all, is ordered to kill Steve. And they’re doomed to fail too because they’re upsetting the natural order of things.
Which is why I think - because so much of Bucky’s identity is tied up in saving/protecting, specifically Steve - that if Bucky has a brief appearance in AOU, it will be in some form of unexpectedly swooping in and saving Steve. Because I think he can hunt down Hydra and regain his memories, but he will never full be himself until he falls back into that role. Through shielding Steve, he will finally become who he really is at the core.
You are killing me with this. I hope the Russo brothers and Sebastian Stan are reading it.
do you ever just wanna message someone and say hi but it’s been like a couple months since you last spoke so it’s like awkward because you dont know if they even want to talk to you anymore anyway and just