New Avengers v1 #15 Cover by Frank Cho
He was starting to think they had a lot in common after all.
End of the Line (piano excerpt)
Artist: Henry Jackman
That piano music from CA:TWS that people keep asking about. Taken from track 17 on the soundtrack, “End of the Line”.
"But I knew him."
So much I can say about this, oh god.
I’ll just start with the sentence itself. It’s a short one, there are really only two things I can think of:
1) “But” - in itself an opposition or contradiction. He’s opposing what Pierce has to say. Bucky says “I knew him”, then Pierce gives him this whole speech, and he doesn’t care. His response to this speech is “But I knew him.” It’s all he cares about, that man on the bridge. He doesn’t care if his work has been a gift to mankind. This man, Steve, is the most important thing in Bucky’s mind right now.
2) “Knew” - “knew,” not “know.” You could make the argument that he’s saying that simply because the event was in the past, so grammatically it makes sense. But I think it’s more than that; I think he’s saying “knew” and not “know” because he doesn’t know, not anymore. He’s confused and alarmed and taken aback by what happened. You can see this immediately after the “Bucky?” “Who the hell is Bucky?” exchange, and the expression on Bucky’s face for a moment or so before he goes back to fighting. He’s so baffled by the idea of knowing someone who doesn’t work for these guys. He doesn’t know what to think.
Even so, he’s so sure that he knew Steve. He repeats the sentence twice, and his face says everything.
That thing he does with his mouth after speaking. He’s so absolutely confident in what he has to say, and he’s so determined. And yet look at him—look at the distant look in his eyes before he speaks. His mind is at a different point in space and in time. And then look at his face shift. Watch the determination and the pure tragedy on his face when he’s doing the mouth thing. Watch his eyebrows furrow.
He knows what’s about to happen. They’re aware that he knows too much, and they’re going to wipe his memory again. It’s happened enough times before.
He’s not exactly at peace with it, but he understands that there’s nothing he can do about it. He can’t fight these people; he’s tried before, to no avail. Even if he’s physically stronger, their manipulative and controlling actions have rendered him emotionally weak. There’s nothing he can do.
The overall tragedy of this scene is so beautifully executed by Sebastian Stan. The emotions he’s able to convey with just this single sentence are so powerful and they linger for a very long time in the viewer’s mind. In my opinion, this is one of the most poignant parts of the entire film. I’m so incredibly happy with how this scene turned out, and it’s so heavily influenced by just these four words.
Who the hell is Bucky? (x)
There’s so much about this scene that needs to be talked about separately because each time you see this scene again, something new pops into your head.
In some recent post-TWS fics, there are scenes where Steve calls him Bucky, but Bucky/WS adamantly refuses to be referred to as Bucky because as far as he’s concerned, that’s not him.
You know, in 616, we weren’t afforded this extremely interesting and character developing opportunity. The Winter Soldier never got to rediscover who he was. (The way the comics handled Bucky remembering was fine by the way. MCU just didn’t set it up that way, because film and other storytelling things, and also like it’s it’s own universe).
It’s interesting because it forces us to think of them as two different people, even though eventually they become one person (this combination of the cocky Brooklyn boy and the desensitized assassin). But at the end of CATWS, The Winter Soldier has one name to go on. And he seeks out this name, seeks out James Buchanan Barnes, learns of this person that Captain America insists is him. And what does he feel? A connection? Disconnection? We don’t know.
I mean, he’s allowed to be his own person now. He’s allowed to create an identity whether it be something completely knew or falling back on who he was. Is he angry? Does he feel a loss? Or is the only thing guiding him Steve? Like, we really don’t know.
It’s just so interesting. The Winter Soldier always became a blank slate after missions. This is a new kind of blank slate entirely.
There will never be a dawn that breaks the spell surrounding us.