Falcon and the Winter Soldier Director Explains How John Walker Ruined Captain America's Legacy in One Moment

The final episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier debuts on Disney+ this weekend, putting a cap on a buzzworthy bit of new storytelling within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The six-episode event has been filled with a number of memorable moments, ranging from the epic to the downright shocking. One of the biggest examples of the latter occurred in Episode 4, as John Walker (Wyatt Russell) used the Captain America shield to brutally and publicly murder a member of the Flag Smashers. The moment definitely surprised audiences — and according to series director Kari Skogland, that was deliberate.

"I wanted it to be provocative and shocking," Skogland explained in a recent interview with The Toronto Sun. "It had to be as horrific as you imagined … It couldn’t just be the death of a superhero. It had to be the death of something iconic, and that was the shield. So, we put blood on the shield and tore apart its legacy in that moment."

That shocking moment played a major role in John Walker's fall from grace, going from the relatively-beloved new Captain America to a bit of a public pariah. Along the way, Russell's portrayal of John Walker has been praised by fans — all while the actual characteristics of the character have drawn ire.

"It's kind of part of the character and it was part of the draw, was being able to play someone like that and try to do it convincingly," Russell told ComicBook.com in an exclusive interview last month. "But it was fun to be able to be set up as that character. Normally everyone's always trying to make you likable, or more vulnerable, or whatever it is. And this was a different thing for me to be able to do. And I had a blast doing it."

Going into this week's finale, Walker's increasingly twisted mindset is expected to only continue in "dangerous" ways.

"He only ever knew one family — and that was the United States Military," Russell recently told Esquire. "He cared and he fought for them and he loved it, but now they've taken it. They've used him, and he feels used and doesn't feel understood. Everybody has now turned their back on him, which is very dangerous to do to a person like that who now has Super Soldier Serum in his veins."

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