Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Explaining Bucky Barnes' History With Wakanda

In The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, we've seen some exciting callbacks to previous plot points. One of the most intriguing is Ayo (Florence Kasumba)'s appearance at the end of episode 3, "Power Broker." Not only was it a fun surprise, but her arrival ties an important backstory together — Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan)'s history with Ayo's home country, Wakanda.

We first met Ayo back in Captain America: Civil War, where we quickly learned that the fierce soldier was also fiercely loyal to Wakanda's king, T'Chaka (John Kani). Bucky was blamed for T'Chaka's death, kicking off his and Ayo's relationship — and we later learn that he was framed by Helmut Zemo (Daniel Brühl), who also reactivated Bucky's violent brainwashing. Once Bucky's innocence was proven, he made peace with the Wakandans and built an entirely new relationship with their country. Let's take a look at Bucky's long and complicated history with Wakanda.

Wakanda healed Bucky

After King T'Chaka's son T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) learns that Bucky was, in fact, not responsible for his father's death, he grants Bucky amnesty, and Bucky agrees to be put in cryostasis in Wakanda until they can find a way to undo Hydra's brainwashing. In the end credits of Black Panther, we got a peek of Bucky healing in Wakanda with Shuri (Letitia Wright)'s help. After getting his mind back, Bucky literally owes his life to Wakanda and defends it whenever he gets the chance (more on that later).

At the beginning of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier's episode 4, we flashback to Bucky in Wakanda — this time, with Ayo. The inside look into the moment Bucky realized he was free from Hydra's grasp was touching and made his gratitude to the Wakandans that much more tangible. It also makes Ayo's frustration with Bucky and Zemo's partnership more understandable, since she was so involved with healing Bucky's mind.

Bucky fought for Wakanda

In Infinity War, Bucky is still living in Wakanda, trying to find peace while working as a farmer. The calm doesn't last long — T'Challa recruits him to fight alongside the Wakandans in the impending battle against Thanos (Josh Brolin). T'Challa also gives Bucky a new prosthetic arm to replace his previous one, giving him some extra motivation to join the fray. Bucky, the remaining Avengers, and the Wakandans fight hard to defeat Thanos and his Outriders, but Thanos eventually delivers the snap heard around the world, and Bucky is among the many to disintegrate.

Thankfully, Bucky is also among the Avengers who are resurrected, and we meet back up with him in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier to see him still coming to terms with the many traumatic events he went through in his life. In yet another example of Bucky's relationship to Wakanda, he refers to his time there while speaking to his government-mandated therapist, saying, "This is new for me. I didn't have a moment to deal with anything, you know? I had a little... calm in Wakanda. And other than that, I just went from one fight to another for 90 years."

A "little" calm is accurate considering the extent to which Bucky's life was the polar opposite of calm, but the impact his time in Wakanda had on him is evident. We can't wait to see what other references to this period are revealed in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, as they're sure to be eye-opening.