(‘The Falcon and The Winter Soldier’ spoilers ahead, be warned!)
Between the chaos unfolding with John Walker proclaiming himself to be Captain America and fans questioning why Bucky Barnes was not given the mantle instead (since he is an enhanced super soldier), let’s not neglect this one tiny, important detail: Steve Rogers personally chose Sam Wilson to be the next ‘Captain America’, and he had his reasons.
Sam was chosen not because he knew when to fight. He knew when not to fight.
Instead of violence, he requests some time to talk Karli down — unlike John who insists they go in with guns blazing. A reminder: it’s John’s hastiness that causes Karli to retaliate, and triggers a fight with the Flag Smashers. The result? Lemar Hoskins, John’s partner, pays the price when he is shoved into a pillar and presumably breaks his neck.
This sends John reeling into insanity, adding on to the fact that he was already corrupted by the serum and his supremacist ideals in the first place. He lashes out by killing an innocent member of the Flag Smashers, staining Steve’s shield with blind vengeance.
Still, when Sam and Bucky confront John about his actions, not once did Sam suggest they fight. He calmly tries to talk John into surrendering, which John refuses.
Sam is a counsellor who helps veterans with PTSD
He understands full well what it means to be a soldier, and knows the grief of losing a man on the battlefield when his partner Riley was hit with an RPG before his own eyes.
Remember when we see Steve leading a grief counselling group in Endgame? Perhaps, in some ways, Steve has always been the one to look up to Sam, instead of it constantly being perceived as the other way around.
What does the future hold for Sam Wilson in the MCU?
Judging from the last episode, Sam has made the decision to keep the shield. In fact, he has begun training to use it and is seen working out to be as physically fit as possible, so it’s safe to assume that he is finally ready to take on the mantle.
We can’t wait to see him stepping into his new role!
*Cover image via Marvel Studios