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Sam Is and Has Always Been Worthy of the Shield

Sam Wilson and Karli Morgenthau

Sam Wilson has been worthy of the shield. He was worthy before Steve Rogers gave it to him and he sure as hell has been worthy throughout the entire run of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. The only person who really needed to be convinced of this fact was Sam himself.

On the most recent episode of Falcon and the Winter Soldier though, we were given a beautiful scene between Sam and Karli Morgenthau that really drove home why Sam should have the shield and why he’s the one the world needs behind the symbol. For the most part, Sam was the only one who saw Karli and her views and understood where she was coming from. He didn’t label her a threat and try to “take her down.” He knew she could be reasoned with and spoken to instead of going in guns blazing like John Walker wanted.

He was only given ten minutes with her and it was enough for Karli to realize she could trust Sam, and even when she went over his head and contacted his sister Sarah, Sam still knew that Karli was willing to talk with him and work with him. Sam Wilson motivates himself with his compassion and his empathy. Doing the right thing comes easy for him because he’s driven by his desire to help people and to understand the struggles that so many face.

When talking about Karli, he points out to John that he used to counsel soldiers dealing with trauma, that he understands Karli and he knows how to talk to her. And when he does go in to have a conversation, Karli is willing to hear him out because Sam doesn’t come at her from a place of aggression.

Sam Wilson just talks to Karli. That’s it. He meets up with her and they have a conversation, and it isn’t about who can fight who or anything else. He points out where people are coming from when they fear her and the Flag-Smashers, and she explains why she’s doing this. They are seeing each other, and that compassion and openness is something that was so incredible to see onscreen.

There’s a reason that Steve Rogers got the super-soldier serum and it didn’t “corrupt” him. And that same reason is why he chose Sam to take on the shield. Steve saw that Sam’s heart was in the right place and that he was driven to help in whatever way he could because, at the end of the day, Sam Wilson is a good man. Abraham Erksine says to Steve Rogers, “Whatever happens tomorrow, you must promise me one thing. That you will stay who you are. Not a perfect soldier, but a good man.” And, for the most part, Steve did. Captain America isn’t about being the perfect soldier like John Walker thinks. Being Captain America is representing what a good man who stands up for everyone looks like. And that’s why Sam Wilson not only deserves the shield but is the Cap we need.

It’s not about the shield. Yes, the shield is a symbol and one that John Walker just completely tarnished, but being Captain America is about the man behind that shield and what he represents. Steve Rogers picked Sam Wilson because he knew that Sam was a good man—not perfect, but someone with a good heart, and that’s MY Captain America.

I have my hopes and dreams for Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and what I want most of all is for Sam to take back that shield, tell John Walker who’s really Captain America (Sam, the answer is Sam), and I want him to be the symbol the world needs. I love Sam Wilson, and I can’t wait to see him take the shield back.

(image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast.