i know everyone considers captain america: the winter soldier to be iconic in terms of its fight scenes and tone, and it’s one of the reasons why many people rank it in their top three mcu films, but it’s also amazingly upsetting on a character spectrum.
because this is steve’s film, right, this is steve’s story. and it’s a story of adjustment, kinda, but—and here’s the kicker—it’s fundamentally concerned with the past, and on the character spectrum, it’s devastating.
because steve gets back the two most important people in the world but in the worst possible ways. because first there’s peggy, right, and she’s still alive and that’s amazing because he gets peggy back, but at the same time, he doesn’t, because this is peggy, yeah, but this is peggy nearly seventy years later (you’re late and is there any question why this is their recurring theme as perhaps the world’s leading authority on waiting too long ahAHAHAHA i hate everything) and she’s lived a life and she is old and forgetting and dying and she is a living reminder of everything he lost and how he can never go back, and then he gets bucky, right, the other most important person in the world, and he was a goddamned miracle to get back because steve probably never expected peggy to be alive and seeing her like that was heart-breaking but unexpected but bucky—he thought he lost bucky back in the war, and bucky is young and bucky is exactly how he was when steve last saw him, give or take some hydra garb and a bionic arm, and bucky is so important and steve finally gets him back and if getting peggy back was a reminder of all he lost, maybe bucky can be proof that he didn’t lose it all—but then bucky can’t remember him.
like????? this is literally so heartbreaking bc steve thinks he died saving the world and the people and then he didn’t die, and he has to live with the repercussions of this and bear it because he’s captain fucking america and then he gets peggy back but she’s dying and forgetting and he’s nearly seventy years too late and he gets bucky back too but bucky doesn’t even know him and it’s just like the train again, and he’s too late to save bucky, and the tragedy of steve rogers is that he is always too late, and isn’t that just the worst thing?