The Falcon and Winter Soldier’s new Captain America wants people to love him too much. John Walker made his debut as Steve Rogers’ successor at the end of the show’s premiere episode, and Marvel Studios has since revealed more about his background to justify his selection as the shield’s wielder. While the government and the general public support him, Sam and Bucky, like the viewers, are opposed to him.
While Walker has not committed any acts of pure evil, his initial encounter with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier heroes in episode 2, titled “The Star Spangled Man,” was tense. Despite repeated attempts to convince Sam and Bucky to support and collaborate with him, they remain opposed, and one can’t really blame them. To begin, Walker and the government are once again using the Captain America mantle for public relations purposes — something Steve actively opposed. Additionally, they are both aware that Sam is the shield’s legitimate owner. For Walker, however, this was a devastating blow, and according to Russell, this serves Walker no purpose because he craves human love.
While the new Captain America is a moral man at his core, the actor revealed to TVLine that in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, he comes across as a little insecure, perhaps even narcissistic, in his desire for people to love him completely. As a result, when he encounters resistance from people like Sam and Bucky, who are essentially Avengers, it affects him greatly and may even motivate him to do things he would not normally do. Take a look at what Russell had to say about Walker below:
John is a man of strong principles, and he is adamant about not doing anything he considers to be wrong. However, as we are discovering, people’s definitions of what is wrong or right vary widely, and thus those lines can easily become blurred, even more so for someone desiring something as heinous as the poison of excessive love. When you desire too much love from others, you become someone you are not — and is that the path you want to take? That is the battle he is currently engaged in. Perhaps he will face that type of situation in the future, or perhaps he will not. However, he is currently attempting to do the best he can with the body he has.Wyatt Russel
At the conclusion of the latest episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Walker appears to have lost patience after Bucky and Sam rejected his offer once more. He instructed them to stay out of his way as they pursue the Flag-Smashers, a new terrorist organization led by Karli Morgenthau that advocates for a world without borders. Walker and the heroes are effectively pitted against one another, as the latter have no intention of abandoning the mission. They’re so convinced, in fact, that they’re willing to contact Zemo.
Given Russell’s aforementioned comment, it’s intriguing to speculate whether his desire to be loved will eventually lead him down a villainous path in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Replacing Steve Rogers is, understandably, a tall order, and it’s natural to have self-doubts — even Sam struggles with this. However, for Walker, this obsession may spell his demise as he becomes more focused on it than on performing his duties as Captain America.