Look, Marvel didn’t have to devote screen time to Bucky’s healing. They didn’t. They could have dethawed him in Infinity War without ceremony and given it a throwaway line about a fully successful deprogramming. They could have done that.
But they took actual screen time to show the transition—him waking up to curious and laughing children in a soft, peaceful, domestic setting. He steps out of the hut in loose-fitting robes (not binding leather), and there’s no sign of the metal arm. That weight is gone and he seems perfectly natural without it. He’s clean and he looks comfortable and at ease.
And Shuri asks him how he is.
And he says,
“Good. Thank you.”
GOOD. THANK YOU.
And Sebastian Fucking Stan delivered those lines like the knife to the heart he knew they were. He delivered them like he delivered, “I know. But I did it,” and “But I knew him.”
No one else could have delivered those lines. Period.
And my heart is so full and happy for Bucky because this is the first peace he’s had since Zola got his hands on him in Azzano. For once, a scientist getting their hands on him meant that he was healed—he was put back together instead of being torn apart.
I hoped we’d have a scene like this at the end of the movie, but I didn’t even dare to dream it would be so soft and understated. At least for a little while, Bucky gets to be safe and whole. It’s such a gift.