The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has received a lot of positive reception from viewers for many reasons, one of which has been the high-stakes action scenes.
The show's fourth episode, "The Whole World is Watching", had some big moments in this regard, most notably a major fight between the two leads , the Flag Smashers , John Walker, and Lemar Hoskins. This resulted in not only Hoskins' death, but Walker using his Captain America shield to murder one of the Flag Smashers out of what he believed to be vengeance for killing his friend, even though his victim was not the one personally responsible.
One of the most memorable moments of the entire series happened at the end of that episode. After using the shield as a murder weapon, Walker rises only to see a crowd of people (many of whom are holding cameras) has formed around him and the shield is now dripping with blood.
THE BLOOD-SPATTERED SHIELD OF CAPTAIN AMERICA
In an interview with The Toronto Sun , The Falcon and the Winter Soldier director Kari Skogland was asked about the creative team's intentions for the blood-covered shield in the aforementioned scene, explaining she wanted it to be "provocative and shocking" which meant they had to go in a direction the MCU hadn't yet gone with the Captain America shield and mantle.
"I wanted it to be provocative and shocking. It had to be as horrific as you imagined … It couldn’t just be the death of a superhero. It had to be the death of something iconic, and that was the shield. So, we put blood on the shield and tore apart its legacy in that moment."
Skogland was also asked what her favorite action scene of the series has been so far, answering "In Episode 4, just before the scene we’re talking about, they’re sneaking around this building, and we aren’t sure what the characters are about to face. It was a combination of mystery and action."
CONTINUING TO SURPRISE CAPTAIN AMERICA AND MARVEL FANS
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has played around with fan expectations a bit over the course of its run, ranging from dramatic lead-ups to action scenes such as the one Skogland mentioned to making viewers wait until the show's second episode before they got to see Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes reunite.
Skogland makes a good point in saying that simply killing a superhero wouldn't have been particular shocking to longtime followers of the MCU. Plenty of heroes have died over the course of the franchise, so these kinds of scenes need something extra in order to stand out.
Considering "the legacy of that shield" is one of the series' key themes, the image of it covered in blood was a bold but fitting choice to close out the episode in question, giving viewers a week to mull over how it would affect the public's perception of the Captain America mantle.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier 's finale will be available to stream on Disney+ April 23.