As The Falcon and the Winter Soldier wound down, it introduced a new, but familiar figure to the MCU, the new Captain America , Anthony Mackie's Sam Wilson. Though Mackie's Falcon is a fitting choice for to become the new Cap the character struggled throughout the show with the complicated legacy of the shield, and to a greater extent, the history of the country it stands for.
Even with the show's first season complete, the future looks bright for Sam. Rumors about a fourth Captain America film lit up the internet shortly after the finale's release, something Mackie himself recently addressed .
Though Mackie has professed excitement for his new role as iconic hero, his character had a more complicated journey to accepting the name, something that the actor has recently shed some light on.
THE MOMENT WILSON BECAME CAPTAIN AMERICA
Speaking to USA Today about his part as the new Captain America, Mackie discussed Sam Wilson's hesitancy to embrace the role. Responding to a question about when Sam began to see himself as the Star-Spangled Man, Mackie pointed to "a cathartic experience" in the penultimate episode:
"It was the training scene with Bucky, when they were throwing the shield. America struggles with acknowledgement, specifically acknowledgement for Black Americans and their contributions to what this country has become. It meant a lot to Sam just simply for Bucky to say, "I never considered what it would mean for a Black man to become Captain America." That was the huge turning point for Sam. It was a cathartic experience, and his ability to release that pain and frustration in that moment turned that character completely on his head and moved him in the direction of accepting the idea of being Captain America."
THE LEGACY OF THE SHIELD
The scene Mackie brings up is definitely a powerful moment within the series. It makes a great deal of sense that it functions as more than just a key moment in the relationship between Sam and Bucky, but one that helps to reconcile the relationship between Sam and the shield. Much of the show concerns buried racial histories and silenced stories, so Bucky addressing the question of race and the legacy of Captain America tracks as an important turning point for Sam.
Mackie's comments about acknowledging Black Americans also reflects the larger concerns of the series. Exploring the fictional ( though not wholly imagined ) racial history of the super-soldier serum, the series introduced Isaiah Bradley, an unwilling subject of American superhuman experimentation.
A heroic Black super-soldier, Bradley was scrubbed from the history books and locked away for thirty years. Wilson was extremely troubled by this development and ended the series by securing a monument to Bradley in the Smithsonian.
Mackie clearly has a deep understanding of the character of Sam Wilson, reflecting his interest in accountability and honesty. Only time will tell if and when he will be able to don the shield once again, though, if rumors are to be believed, it may be across the silver screen rather than on Disney+.