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Had a bit of a Boston jaunt for spring break the past couple of days, which was pretty fantabulous. While I was there, I saw The Winter Soldier twice, two days in a row. Needless to say, I was pretty jazzed about it, and walked out of the theater wanting to talk to all of you smart people about it.



Okay, so here was my thought: you know that scene, the one inside Hydra, right before they wipe Bucky’s memories again? Pierce is talking to him, and there’s definitely a negotiation going on where, yes, Hydra has the power, but the fact that Bucky has value to them at all is predicated on the assumption that he is highly dangerous, both physically and as a strategic thinker. There’s an element of needing him to go along with a plan before Pierce can get him to do what he wants. So yes, a lot of that is tied up in brainwashing and intimidation and cutting him off from memories of his former life, but there’s also a layer of persuasion that needs to happen.

So Pierce says “You’ve shaped the century,” and he phrases what he needs next so it’s almost like a request, will sound almost like Bucky has a choice unless he refuses, and then that illusion will have to go. But when Pierce is doing his persuasion spiel, the ultimate goal he brings up is that this is happening, “So we can give the world the freedom it deserves.”

Now, at this point in the movie, it’s not too far past the scene where Steve and Natasha get the Hydra rundown, and the whole idea behind it, the narration stresses, is that freedom is the evil Hydra has resolved to free the human race from. That’s the crux of the movie, isn’t it? The eternal battle between prioritizing freedom versus order. And Hydra isn’t shy about saying outright which side it falls under. There’s nothing sub-textual about Hyrda’s desire to eradicate freedom.

It is, I’ll grant you, possible that Hydra isn’t entirely consistent internally about its rhetoric, and “freedom” is just how Pierce describes the stability Hydra seeks. I don’t think so, though—it strikes me as the type of organization that doesn’t encourage creative thinking from its underlings about how they describe the group’s ultimate goal.

The conclusion that thought leads me to, if “freedom” is uncommon rhetoric for what they’re doing, within Hydra, is that it connects to that element of persuasion that makes it easier for them to use Bucky to do their dirty work. That is, someone in Hydra noticed, somewhere down the line, that it was easier to get the Winter Soldier to do something if you tell him it’s in the name of freedom.

Which, you know, is a hop, skip and a jump to not just a subconscious connection to his own values, but also to his memories of his life—no one can tell me elementary-school-aged Steve Rodgers didn’t come home from school every couple of weeks with a new bloody nose earned fighting for freedom.


Other thoughts:

Near the end, when Natasha hits the ground, and Fury thinks she’s unconscious or badly injured, and he’s calling, “Natasha!”—the first thing she does to indicate she’s alive, even before she opens her eyes, is a sarcastic little eyebrow-raise, and holy shit you guys I just love her so much, ScarJo has totally brought her to life, down to the tiniest detail.

Sam, Sam the flying man, every word out of his mouth made me grin.

Knowing that Sharon is Peggy’s niece, or great-niece, or whatever, means that the first thing that pops into my head whenever anyone says her name is Sharon Carter which, I think, is far too close to “Aaron Carter” for anyone’s comfort.

There are an absurd number of Chevys on the road in that movie, no one in the world drives that many Chevys. I think I maybe saw a Ford or two, did they only use American cars in it? That would be weird, but oddly sweet.

NATASHA’S ARROW NECKLACE, that thing is not insignificant, she is a spy and she keeps wearing it, even though it’s an identifying feature, that is such a gesture, it does ~things~ to my heart.

The bit where Steve pulls both Sam and Natasha out of the exploding car and they sled down the highway on a door? SO PRICELESS. Sorry about your car, Sam.

Both times we saw it, when Bucky's mask came off, I gasped and put my hands up to cover my mouth so fast I smacked myself in the face.

Peggy, Peggy, can we talk about Peggy? Because if Hydra infiltrated SHIELD really early on, and Howard and Maria Stark found out about enough that they were killed for it, how much does Peggy know? There was at least a bit of guilt involved in that early conversation with Steve, but not a ton, and I can't imagine she'd have ever left SHIELD that compromised and holding that much power if she knew much. Thoughts?



There are lots of other things I'd like to talk about, too—Nell and I had a pretty thorough post-mortem at a diner after we watched to movie the second time, and she took notes from that conversation, so maybe she’ll post those? Or we can just chat in comments about other things, I’m not feeling quite coherent yet about anything else.

this entry was originally posted at http://thewrongkindofpc.dreamwidth.org/7023.html. Comment wherever you prefer.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
just_ann_now
Apr. 5th, 2014 11:03 am (UTC)
Can't look can't look can't look but glad you had a fun spring break! Gah! I don't think I can look at anything on the interwebs today.
psuedo_catalyst
Apr. 7th, 2014 04:18 am (UTC)
:D come back when you've seen it, I'd love to hear your thoughts!
just_ann_now
Apr. 7th, 2014 08:08 pm (UTC)
I noticed all those Chevy's too; they must have been thinking "Product Placement YAY!", and then everything came crashing down on them with the ignition switch stuff last week. I wouldn't buy a Chevy now if Steve Roger personally gifted it to me (which he wouldn't because he'd be sorely shocked and disappointed by all that ignition stuff too.)

Natasha is the awesomest of awesome. As is MARIA HILL OMG. I had no idea! I guess I pretty successfully avoided spoilers! Though it's really hard to take any major character's death seriously in these movies any more, isn't it?

All that "Hydra has access to everybody's everything and is analyzing it to figure out who's going to be trouble later" is so NSA, isn't it. Very creepy.
psuedo_catalyst
Apr. 7th, 2014 10:20 pm (UTC)
Verrrrrrrrry creepy. Interesting, though, and actually I was pleasantly surprised by the way it acknowledged a bunch of the things that have been bothering me about Agents of SHIELD, so I was pretty pleased they went there.

And yeah, Hill kicked ass, it was so fun to get to see her be more of a person than I'd seen in previous appearances!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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