(Gifs by pinkmagnets. Used without permission, I just wanted to add a bunch of commentary on this scene without cluttering up their post)
Can I just say for the record that I find it fucking disgusting that Bucky’s name is on the wall of causalities at SHIELD? Not just at the headquarters, but at EVERY facility?
I get that it may have been Peggy’s idea to honor him thus, along the lines that he was an inspiration for SHIELD. It may have also just made sense for the show to recall Barnes in the context of his importance in-universe.
But in every other way it’s fucking disgusting. Bucky didn’t join SHIELD. SHIELD didn’t even exist as a twinkle in Peggy’s eye when Bucky died. Sure there was the proto-SHIELD, the WWII operation. There was the Howling Commandos tasked with taking down HYDRA.
But claiming that this means 1) Bucky was a member of SHIELD 2) that Bucky would have WANTED to be a member of SHIELD (when Bucky only ever stated he was following Steve, and Steve expressed skepticism in SHIELD) is appropriation in the grossest way. It’s appropriation even if SHIELD is what they said they were, some sort of force for “good” in the world that grew out of the fight against HYDRA.
But then there’s the truth of it. SHIELD wasn’t a pure force for good. They weren’t even fighting HYDRA so much as they were a nesting doll for its activities, giving shelter to HYDRA’s top minds and unwittingly hiding their operations in their midst.
What does this mean for Bucky?
It means every day SHIELD agents walked by that goddamn wall and saw James Barnes’ name up there, thinking they had a right to this man’s legacy. And that’s the good ones. Because there were also the other agents, the ones who knew that somewhere in a frozen chamber, the real Bucky wasn’t dead at all. They saw that name, no matter what facility they were at anywhere in the world, and laughed up their sleeves because the real Bucky was being tortured and brainwashed, and sent to kill for the very people he lost his life trying to defeat.
Basically, Bucky’s name on that wall is, at best, SHIELD claiming another man’s heroism as their own without his consent.
At worst it’s a snide, self-congratulatory pat on the back for all the agents of HYDRA in their midst. They killed James Barnes, and now they use what’s left him for their own ends while walking by a memorial to their accomplishment every damn day.
This. This so very very much.
It always rubbed me wrong that Bucky’s name was on the memorial for Shield. If Bucky’s name should have been anywhere, it should be on a WW2 memorial or a memorial for soldiers who gave up their lives for the greater good. It shouldn’t have been put up anywhere on any agency’s memorial that did not in fact have Bucky officially associated with it.
So I agree 100% with Avelera on how gross it is in the universe that they’re using Bucky’s name like that even before we add in Hydra bullshittery.