I literally started crying in the cinema at this because seriously fuck you, Steve. There are so many people going ~SEXUAL TENSION~. But no. No. This is just cruel. And tony’s comebacks are in no way even close to being as mean; for tony they’re rather weak and stumbly. Because do you see his face there? Steve just fucking ripped him to shreds. And i’m crying now; this just breaks my heart. You’ve seen the footage, Steve? Really? Have you really? You’ve seen him as he watched kids being killed by his own weapons? You’ve seen him being tortured? You’ve seen the only person who believed in him as a person die in front of him? Do you actually get that there is a fucking hole in his chest? That the fact that he’s even alive is a fucking miracle like a hundred times over. One which he’s clawed into existence with his own hands and genius. You’ve seen the closest person he had to a father literally rip his heart from his chest? You’ve seen how he then had to kill that closest person he had to a father? You’ve seen how he was dying all alone and yet STILL attempted to save everyone around him? WITHOUT HIS SUIT Oh yeah you’ve seen the fucking footage haven’t you? I don’t think you get, Steve how much you can’t take those words back. Years from now they’re still going to be rattling around in tony’s head echoing every crappy thought he’s ever had about himself. It just makes me so mad. I love you Steve, but nothing justifies what you said to him. Nothing.
Okay, YOU GUYS KNOW MY TONY FEELS ARE LEGION, and of course this scene got me right in the sympathetic arc reactor and everything, RIGHT IN THE FEELINGS, but. I think, first and foremost, that this film reminded me of something I’d kind of forgotten in the last few months of FEELS FROM TRAILERS etc: these are people. Uh. Violent people? Who have killed…other people…I mean, in the name of justice, typically, but still. They don’t exactly operate the way other people do; in fact, their (and I mean the whole team, here) mutual tendencies towards being barbed, guarded, overdramatic, mistrusting and hinged, identity-wise, to the idea that they have to save people to have worth is kind of. Um. What makes them superheroes? And of course that doesn’t excuse the fact that Steve is verbalizing Tony’s worst fears here, but at the same time, he doesn’t KNOW they’re Tony’s worst fears, and also I think a certain amount of emotional carnage has to be tax deductible when you get a group like this together? So I don’t think it’s about whether or not Steve can/should be forgiven for this so much as whether he (and Tony) can recognize that he’s incorrect, which they both seem to by the end of the film, considering Tony DOES make that play.
And, secondly, from Steve’s end of things? This entire exchange is about Bucky Barnes. Probably all of the Howling Commandos, actually (don’t forget, Steve’s “Is this the first time you’ve lost a soldier?” is coming from a place of SERIOUS EXPERIENCE), but especially Bucky Barnes. We know he’s having flashbacks, because we see them onscreen; we know he’s not handling the future well, because we see it in his exchanges with Fury, with the punching bags; we know Bucky’s death ripped him apart, because we saw it in TFA. And we see that here. Allow me to translate:
- “I know guys with none of that worth ten of you” —> “MY BEST FRIEND BUCKY BARNES DIDN’T EVEN HAVE SUPER POWERS AND HE WAS AMAZING AND IF HE’D HAD A BIG IRON SUIT HE WOULD’VE BEEN ABLE TO FLY AWAY FROM THAT TRAIN AUGHHHHHH BUCKYYYYYYY”
- “I’ve seen the footage; the only thing you fight for is yourself” —> “THERE ARE ALL THESE VIDEOS OF YOU FIGHTING STUFF AND NONE OF MY FRIEND BUCKY BARNES AND I HAVE TO WORK WITH YOU AND YOU ARE NOT BUCKY, HOW DARE YOU NOT BE BUCKY AUGHHHHHHH BUCKYYYYYYYY”
- “You’re not the guy to make the sacrifice play” —> “BUCKY SACRIFICED HIMSELF FOR ME AND IT HAUNTS ME EVERY MOMENT OF EVERY DAY AUGHHHHH BUCKYYYYY”
- “To lay down on a wire to let the other the other guy crawl over you” —> “MY IDEA OF MODERN WARFARE IS STILL FAIRLY HEAVILY BASED ON MY EXPERIENCE IN WORLD WAR II WHICH I FOUGHT IN WITH A SQUADRON OF MEN I HANDPICKED AND TRUSTED TO DO THAT FOR ME, ESPECIALLY BUCKY WHO YOU STILL AREN’T AUGH BUCKYYYYYYYYYYYY”
- “Always a way out” —> “LIKE BUCKY DIDN’T HAVE AUGHHHHHH BUCKY.”
I mean, look, Steve’s totally being a bit of a bag of dicks here, no doubt, but he doesn’t actually KNOW Tony, really. He’s projecting. And these people are bound to be bags of dicks sometimes! So I think it’s less about excusing or not excusing their behavior and more about considering where it comes from, what it means, and how it’s going to affect things in the future. In conclusion: AUGH BUCKY.