The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Director Addresses Sam Wilson Picking Up the Shield

From the time that The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was first announced by Marvel Studios, fans have known that the series would deal with Sam Wilson's relationship to the mantle of Captain America. By the end of the show's penultimate fifth episode, it seems as though Sam has finally come to terms with the complicated legacy of the mantle, as well as the shield. Sam begins training with Cap's shield and, heading into the finale, it appears he's going to be taking on the title of Captain America.

This is a monumental moment for Sam, and it comes after the series has spent the better part of five hours explaining exactly why the Captain America mantle means something totally different in the modern era. Following the debut of the new episode on Friday, director Kari Skogland talked with EW about what it means for Sam to finally take up the shield.

"We wanted Sam to engage in both a public and private conversation of what it means for a Black man to pick up such an iconic historically white symbol," Skogland said. "By starting off with his acknowledgement of how important it is as a symbol, and that it is connected to a bygone era, Sam opens the door to the idea that what defines a hero today is not the same ideal as it was when Steve first picked up the shield."

"It is important that we explore all sides to its future as a symbol, given it represents the American flag and the deep history that comes with something that represents equality and freedom," the director continued. "It needs to be an ongoing discussion because those very coveted ideas that are the core to the American Dream are actually fragile and need to be protected from those that go down a slippery slope, no matter how well intentioned, that actually puts freedom and equality in the crosshairs."

Skogland went on to say that a major goal of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has been to modernize the origins of a hero. Sam is a man of empathy, a caregiver and protector above all else.

"I wanted the show to explore the redefinition of a hero who has traditionally been seen as a warrior/soldier to being a first responder and front line worker," Skogland explained. "To see a hero who has a strong moral fiber and yet is not rigid so is able to conciliate, include and discuss with the opposition with an eye to solving global issues because they are ultimately interconnected to our universal quality of life."

What did you think of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier's latest episode? Are you looking forward to seeing Sam take on the mantle of Captain America in the finale? Let us know in the comments!

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