When we first meet Steve Rogers in Captain America: The First Avenger, it’s clear that duty is important to him. He wants to fight for his country. And he’s willing to break the rules to do so.
In The Winter Soldier, we seem that same dedication to country and cause. After having fought with the Avengers against other worldly threats, Cap is back on his home turf in DC fighting terrestrial bad guys. But there are secrets being kept from him and while duty is a strong pull for Steve, the nagging feeling that things are off keeps coming back around.
The sequence of events in The Winter Soldier are pivotal for Steve’s very character. They teach him not to trust the system, but to trust his heart! Just like he did back in World War II, when the system wouldn’t let him join the army, but his heart told him it was the only way to truly serve.
With Hydra at the helm of S.H.I.E.L.D. and everything he and Natasha thought they knew crumbling to the ground, he has to return to that small voice inside. The voice that sent him to defy orders and track Bucky down across enemy lines. It’s no coincidence that Bucky is still a driving factor in Steve’s decision to break the rules. That follows him into Captain America: Civil War.
But guys…I’m still not over The Winter Soldier. This movie made Steve Rogers a better man. It made Captain America a better soldier and it sets into motion the ripples that will cause Steve to turn from the Avengers until the time is right for him to REturn to them.
For a franchise full of moments we’ve come to expect, like:
Jumping out of planes
The dead coming back to life
With all those predictable moments, the story of The Winter Soldier remains surprising and unpredictable. Each viewing brings new levels of revelation and understanding to what Marvel is trying to do for it’s characters. Sometimes they miss the bar, but with Captain America: The Winter Soldier…the fly over the bar and land on the other side of it. Superhero style!!