The Falcon and The Winter Soldier ended on a bit of a head scratching moment... The series had been focused on the arcs of Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes, seeing Sam accept the mantle of Captain America and Bucky learn to move past his trauma of having been the Winter Soldier. In the final moments of the series, the title card which read "The Falcon and The Winter Soldier" to start each of the six episodes was changed to "Captain America and The Winter Soldier" to close out the series. According to the show's creator and head writer Malcolm Spellman, this title card at the end of the series is not a representation of Bucky's current status as the Winter Soldier, which is now behind him.
"I hope people will forget that end title card as being an indicator of a commitment from Marvel," Spellman told ComicBook.com in an exclusive interview. "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?"
From the start of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, Sebastan Stan's Bucky Barnes was trying to make amends for his actions. Although those events were out of his control, Bucky remembers all of it and had been carrying the guilt with him. "That was Bucky's identity coming in here, loaded with trauma on top of the fact that he doesn't feel like a citizen of any era," Spellman explained. "We took him on this journey of trying to find ways to redeem himself and learning that avenging right is not the same thing as redemption. It is not the same thing as sort of a making amends or whatever, right?"
Bucky's mental health was aided by Ayo in Wakanda, as he was left there following the events of Captain America: Civil War. He would go on to be freed of the brainwashing planted in his mind by HYDRA and reunite with Steve Rogers and the Avengers in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Still, he had to free himself of the guilt and learn to fit into the world, which was his central arc in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.
"I think Bucky enters this thing truly believing he is kind of the Winter Soldier no matter what anyone says," Spellman said. "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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