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Old 04-18-2014, 09:35 PM   #1
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Default How much free will did Winter Soldier have

Throughout the film, I was wondering if he's only capable of taking orders and completing assignments. One thing specifically that came to mind was when Pierce offered him milk and he didn't respond. Is the general idea that he *can't* respond because he wasn't programmed like that? Is he literally like a robot?

Other than being really strong, is he pretty much helpless…like, his superior officers have to dress him, feed him when necessary, etc?

And just a heads up, I'm completely ignorant of Marvel comics, so please forgive me. I mostly read DC books, but I LOVE the MCU. I literally didn't know Bucky was a real character from the comics until recently. I'm embarrassed

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Old 04-19-2014, 05:25 AM   #2
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Default Re: How much free will did Winter Soldier have

Yes, my impression was that he's completely controlled by the brainwashing. He can only do what they tell him to do. I'm sure basic motor functions are still there - he can dress and eat on his own - but only what they give him to wear and eat. He has no ability to think for himself.

And don't be embarrassed, I didn't know about Bucky being in the comics either!

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Old 04-21-2014, 02:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: How much free will did Winter Soldier have

None. He was under mind control. The mid-credits scenes implied Hydra was basing their technology off The Chitauri.

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Old 04-22-2014, 08:24 AM   #4
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Default Re: How much free will did Winter Soldier have

Originally Posted by Slushy View Post
None. He was under mind control. The mid-credits scenes implied Hydra was basing their technology off The Chitauri.
They might be basing their current technology off the Chitauri (and/or Loki's scepter) but remember, they've only had access to that for a couple years. WS/Bucky has been under HYDRA's control for the past 70 years and has been their assassin for at least the past 50.

I don't know that it's so much mind control (like what Hawkeye or Selvig was under) as it is simply decades of brainwashing and conditioning. As to the OP's question. I think there's some range of free will but very little of it. For example, I think that when going after a kill he's able to make the decision to adjust and alter his strategies if the situation calls for it. I'm pretty sure he can clothe/feed himself etc... I think it's more that in between the mission and being put back into cryo, he's probably treated very much like a prisoner (kept contained and monitored).

And none of that probably made sense *lol*

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Old 05-03-2014, 09:17 AM   #5
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Default Re: How much free will did Winter Soldier have

Personally I didn't think the film did the best job at showing off Bucky. If you wanted to know more, absolutely go read the comics, there's a series of Winter Soldier ones. To put it simply, no he didn't really have much choice. He had no memory and was trained to be an assassin.
Marvel did a slightly annoying but typical thing again: they made the film into a big international crisis. The Winter Soldier wasn't even the main antagonist, it was HYDRA, again. Ugh.
The film was a tad misleading and I'd say you'll have to do some more research into Bucky if you wanna know more about him. The film was more like HYDRA: Part II.

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Old 09-30-2014, 09:51 AM   #6
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Default Re: How much free will did Winter Soldier have

I think they need to give him a solo movie between this and Captain America 3, which would explain a lot more. Personally I think his mental state was a combination of brainwashing and severe trauma - this man hadn't just had his mind wiped, he'd endured years of torture and abuse, if the scene with Alexander Pierce was anything to go by. I got the impression the scene in the bank wasn't the first time someone had hit him.
Off topic but this is the first film Redford's been in where I really wanted to see him get his ass kicked!

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Old 06-19-2018, 10:17 AM   #7
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Default Re: How much free will did Winter Soldier have

In the movie it seemed like wiping and suppressing his memories was a key factor to keeping him in control. This seemed to indicate they had a lot of trouble controlling his free will with direct social conditioning and brainwashing.

He seemed to have a good amount of free will. The implanting of false memories seemed to be key in controlling him. When confronted with contradictions in his memory the memory of this had to be wiped which seems to further support this idea that memory manipulation was more key than direct control of will.

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