John Walker (Wyatt Russell) was built to be a supremely unlikeable character. From the moment the wannabe Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) first stepped onto the screen, fans railed against him all across social media. Six episodes later, the show gives him a little bit of a redemption arc, and director Kari Skogland hopes it's enough to get the new US Agent back in your good graces.
Speaking with io9, the filmmaker made sure to point out the fact Walker comes from an earnest place and honestly wants to make a difference, even though he goes about it in a haphazard way.
"He’s actually got a bit of an imposter syndrome. And that makes you go, 'Oh, he’s actually kind of damaged,'" Skogland tells the website. "So you kind of like him a little bit, even though then he goes on to do something horrific, but you at least understand where it comes from.
She adds, "Then when [Contessa] sort of picks up the pieces after he’s been stripped of everything, I think you hope for him and that’s the most important thing—you just hope for him. And the big point is when he makes the decision to abandon vengeance. He’s got Karli and he’s got the GRC guys who are about to die. What does he do? He makes the right choice for the first time in a long time. And so that’s a bit redemptive."
Speaking of Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), she wasn't always intended to debut immediately following Walker's expulsion as Captain America. Even outside the fact she was initially supposed to first show up in Black Widow, Skogland says they played around with where she could surface in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
"We decided that really waiting for that wonderful 'Click, click, click' down down the hall was the best way to bring her in," the director says. "So “The Boots Made for Walking” became our moment. But we did try other things and she just nailed the boots, which nailed her character. So everything else seemed to underserve that dramatic entrance."
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