it gets me here how well bucky does know steve, sees right through him, in fact.
steve might be this little ball of idealism and pure spirit, but his stubbornness was born from years of being disregarded and underestimated, losing every fight he’d ever started.
steve doesn’t even respond because it’s true. his virtue might be his morality but his sin is stubborn, defiant pride, and both are larger than his sense of self-preservation
and bucky sees this and he’s afraid
Let’s also talk about how this is Bucky’s last night before shipping out. And what he wanted was to take his best friend out, have a double date, and have a good time. It’s unclear at this point whether they’re living together, and unclear whether Bucky intended to go home with his date, but regardless of that, it’s his last night. And he wanted to spend it with Steve.
And Steve vanishes in the middle of that good time, caught up in his own pursuits, in his own determination to prove himself, to join up. I’m all for Steve Rogers. I will fight you that Steve is a good guy who means well, who means it when he says he doesn’t like bullies. He’s probably even a little desperate, at this point. Bucky is shipping out, Steve is being left behind, and that has to suck. He wants to prove himself, but he also doesn’t want to be the one at home, waiting for Bucky’s closest relation to tell him that Bucky died in combat.
So when I watch this scene, I can see that yeah, Bucky might be scared here of the consequences of what Steve’s doing. Scared that this time Steve might get caught, or maybe the next time, and Bucky’s going to go overseas and won’t be able to rescue Steve, to finish the fights Steve starts. More than that, though, he just seems frustrated that Steve can’t put his own shit aside for one night. Bucky might never come back, and Steve can’t give Bucky one last night to be stupid and young and have a good time. So Bucky’s bitterness here seems beyond justified. He knows absolutely that this moment is about Steve.
It makes Steve human. Steve Rogers is flawed, has a chip on his shoulder, is selfish. I love this scene so much, because it humanizes Steve. It makes their relationship real, it makes them both fully realized characters, and it makes the sheer desperation Steve has to get Bucky back later in the movie an added layer of nuance.