I survived The Red Wedding… twice. I had to read it and then I had to watch it which was all types of worse. There is zero doubt in my mind that George RR Martin made Rob’s wife pregnant in the show so The Red Wedding fully crushed one’s soul. Mission accomplished you bastard!
I survived Atrax drowning in the Swamp of Sadness, although I would argue that my childhood didn’t.
I survived “Not Penny’s Boat” and haven’t been able to look at a palm pressed up against a window the same way ever again. Not that I’m seeing a lot of palms pressed up against windows but whenever I do it’s like “oooh, Not Penny’s Boat”.
I survived the seventh Dark Tower book… “olan”. Yeah, I don’t want to talk about this one yet. Too soon. Too soon.
I survived season one, Michael Scott. Barely.
What I’m trying to get at here is, I’ve survived a great deal of pop culture trauma. Granted, a lot of this trauma can be associated with Game of Thrones, and I’m not just talking about how that final season was received, but the things we love in pop culture can oftentimes hurt us. That’s because we’re so emotionally invested which is the point of storytelling. A storyteller wants those reactions. They want us to feel like the floor has dropped beneath us and that nothing will ever be the same again. This is validation in their work, in the story their telling. I just wish it didn’t hurt so much.
With The Falcon and the Winter Soldier set to drop on Friday, I’m starting to wonder if Marvel is about to cause us some more pop culture-related trauma. This is saying something considering the scope of WandaVision and the recent loss of Iron Man.
[Author’s Note- Nothing from here on out is a spoiler. Yes, I’ve seen whispers on the interwebs about this but I’ve tried my best to avoid and all writings on the upcoming Falcon and Winter Soldier because I don’t want no spoilers. What follows are things I’ve picked up on based on trailers and a couple of released production images. If you don’t want to read further, I understand but feel free to come back after the first episode.]
Geeklings, I think we’re going to lose Steve Rogers. I kind of feel it in my bones and I’m not emotionally ready for this. Hell, I was barely emotionally ready to see him dancing with Peggy at the end of Endgame, I openly sobbed in the theater as the credits rolled. But the death of Steve Rogers? Yeah, I don’t’ think I can handle that. And I’m not saying that something nefarious is going to happen to the former Captain America. I honestly don’t think Zemo or some rouge Hydra agent is going to assassinate Old Man Cap, at least they better not, but I think we’re going to have a Peggy Carter situation on our hands here. Think about it, by the end of Endgame, Rogers had to be, what, at least one hundred seventy years old? At least. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that Cap will just go quietly in his sleep thrusting the MCU into a world without Steve Rogers.
Now, I’m sure some of you are wondering if that means the end of Chirs Evans in the MCU and I would argue no. The introduction of the multiverse certainly opens the doors to tons of different possibilities, #hydracap, and this is still a comic book universe. Dead never actually means dead. Unless you’re the Waynes or Uncle Ben. In that case, you dead.
From a storytelling standpoint, the possible death of Steve Rogers makes a lot of sense. For starters, if Rogers is out there then fans are going to want to see Sam interact with Old Man Cap or even take the Shield back, but if he’s dead… then the passing of the Captain America mantle is all the more poignant. All the more real. You could argue that as long as Steve Rogers is alive then Sam Wilson could never truly be Captain America. I don’t agree with that argument but it certainly can be made. Clearing Rogers off the board makes this fully Sam’s journey with the shadow of Steve Rogers hanging high above.
A possible death would also explain the government’s involvement in naming a new Captain America. Someone they can control a bit more. Someone a bit more in their pocket. Sam Wilson is clearly going to try and follow in Steve Roger’s legacy and after the Sokovia Accords, you better believe the government isn’t going to be too keen on that. No, they want the Shield to do what they want when they want. No questions asked.
Sure, it’s possible that Steve Rogers will quietly live out the rest of his days feeding ducks in the background of the MCU. Due to the fact that I’m not emotionally strong enough, I’m all for that outcome. I’ll even supply the bread. But the images of Sam Wilson holding that shield in the suit, at the podium speaking about Cap… it certainly feels like the death of Steve Rogers would be the catalyst to jump-start this new series and Sam Wilson’s new role as Captain America.
Don’t forget that half of this show also belongs to the Winter Soldier. Think of Bucky’s MCU track record, I wouldn’t say he has a lot of positive connections. Wakanda certainly had his back and Rocket is all about getting his arm, but outside of that who does he really have here besides Steve and Sam? And if Steve dies then it makes complete sense that Bucky would gravitate towards his frenemy. They may not get along but they share the pain in losing Cap and I don’t think Bucky really wants to continue his life living as an island to himself. Steve wouldn’t have wanted that for him.
Then again, maybe I’m reading the room dead wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time that happened. Maybe I’m looking for pain where there’s no pain to be found. Playing devil’s advocate, it’s hard to believe that Marvel would kill off Steve Rogers without Chris Evans being present and maybe the rumors about him reaching a new deal are true and we’ll get one more Steve Rogers adventure somewhere down the line. I don’t know. All I know is that the MCU is back and it’s got the wheel spinning.
What do you think Geeklings, do you think Falcon and the Winter Soldier is about to kill off Steve Rogers? How do you feel about that? Are you emotionally ready? Be sure to sound off in the comments below or throw me a line over on Twitter @iamgeek32. Let’s start talking this one out grief counsel style because with all this shared pop culture trauma, we could certainly use the support.