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The Falcon And The Winter Soldier's Creator On The John Walker Sin Everyone Ignores

The first episode of "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" ends with a glimpse at a mystery man who is shockingly taking over the role of Captain America — and every person watching knew, whoever that dude was, he was bad news. But the beauty of the man in question, John Walker (Wyatt Russell), is that he isn't a cookie-cutter villain so much as he is a soldier lost to his own ambitions.

The thing about the role of Captain America is that it's not so much a thing you choose as it is a thing that chooses you. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) didn't know what the super soldier serum would do, and he certainly couldn't have guessed he'd wind up frozen in ice for several generations — Steve just wanted to be in the fight. And Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) actively denies the role of Captain America, partly because he doesn't feel worthy and partly because he's not sure America is worthy of him, either.

John Walker may have his doubts, but he wants to be Captain America. And, later, when he has the chance to steal a little super soldier serum for himself, he barely hesitates in using it. We all know how that story ends — with Walker brutally bashing a member of the Flag-Smashers to death with the iconic Captain America shield.

Murder is probably the worst of John Walker's sins, but showrunner Malcolm Spellman thinks there's another choice Walker makes that's worth noting — and it's one he feels people don't talk about enough.

John Walker's lie of omission

Steve and Sam both have Bucky (Sebastian Stan) as their partner. John Walker also has a partner in the form of Lemar Hoskins (Clé Bennett). Lemar is Walker's gut check, his North Star, his compass when the path to being the best Captain America he can be is unclear. It is never more clear just how much Walker needs his partner than in the events that follow Lemar's death.

When Lemar dies, it sends Walker into a rage that leads him to kill one of the Flag-Smashers. Murder is not really a Captain America move to begin with, but it's made so much worse by the fact that the man Walker kills in revenge isn't even the person who killed his friend in the line of duty. After all is said and done, after Walker makes his crucial error for all the world to see and has the mantle of Captain America stripped from him, he visits Lemar's family — and this is where he commits a sin Malcolm Spellman thinks we don't speak about enough.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Spellman talks about Walker's conversation with the Hoskins family. "Everyone focuses on him killing that person, but that motherf***er went and lied to Lemar's family," says Spellman. "John Walker is misguided at times and righteous at times, and we let all of that be part of the stew that is that character."

What makes Walker's decision to lie to Lemar's family fascinating is that it is both selfless and selfish. On the one hand, the pain of their loss would be even worse if they felt justice had not been served. On the other hand, building a narrative around the idea that murdering a Flag-Smasher was justified feeds Walker's ability to keep believing he is a good soldier and a righteous man.

"The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" is available to stream now on Disney+.