It's been a week since the release of the final episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe series is still leaving fans with a lot to discuss. The Disney+ show left its ensemble of characters on some unexpected and intriguing footing, the majority of which hasn't been officially forecast in the franchise's upcoming movies and shows. One particularly ambiguous endgame is that of Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), as the events of the series appeared to establish a new and different status quo for him. In a recent interview with The Direct, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier director Kari Skogland spoke about what she believes Bucky's future has in store, and argued that even though his trauma and his past aren't completely atoned for, he's definitely in a "better place."
"I would like to think that that is a happier place," Skogland revealed. "I think he'll always be troubled, because you can't go through what he's gone through and who he's had to be without having residual effects. So, I think he will always be coping with what that is, but he certainly is in a better place."
"I can say as a result of his time with Sam, and as Sam says to him, 'You've been avenging. What you really need to do is you need to make them feel good,'" Skogland continued. "You need to serve them. You've been talking about you, now go out and make them feel okay. And so as a result, he starts on that path. And, of course, we suggest he's gone through the book, and so he's on the path to heal."
This echoes comments that The Falcon and the Winter Soldier showrunner Malcolm Spellman recently made to ComicBook.com, where he argued that Bucky has emotionally shed his moniker of the Winter Soldier.
"I hope people will forget that end title card as being an indicator of a commitment from Marvel," Spellman explained. "I think he has slayed that dragon, personally, and I don't think I'll be in trouble for that. So when Bucky enters the series, he's never ever shaken what he believes, which is, 'I remember everyone, murders, which means that part of me was there, which means a part of the Winter Soldier is me.' And if even a fraction of Winter Soldier is you, you are an awful person. You know what I'm saying?"
"I think Bucky enters this thing truly believing he is kind of the Winter Soldier no matter what anyone says," Spellman added. "By the end, he has the moment with the old man, but more importantly, nobody has caught this... I've been saying it all day. In the scene with the Flag-Smashers in Episode 6, when one of those people gets out of that van and thanks Bucky, that's his first time being a hero. So by the end of this series, Bucky is emerging as having shed the burden of the Winter Soldier. He has found a new family, ironically, it's a Black family in Louisiana, you know what I'm saying? And he has tasted being a hero for the first time. And I think he's now free to become something amazing."
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