Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Hail Hydra! Captain America the Winter Soldier & the New World Order

After the fiendish plot of Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford) and the new HYDRA has been revealed, Captain America, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) gets on the loud speaker to announce to all SHIELD employees that the time has come to take sides, and the lives of more than 20 million people are at stake to introduce a new world order controlled by socialism; "Cap" tells his fellow Americans that he's willing to sacrifice himself for freedom, and he knows others are, too, and he's right. This "announcement" is a subtle, yet powerful, literary device to us, the audience, so that we know the time of taking sides is at hand, that we have to choose what is going to happen to us and our country. From start to finish, it's clear that "pirates" have overtaken the "ship of state" and it's not a compromise that can save us, rather, it's the utter devotion to the very highest ideals and standards of American patriotism.
One of the means by which to distinguish a good film from a bad film is when inanimate objects--such as Rogers' shield, or Nick Fury's eye patch--takes on importance and becomes its "own character," which is exactly what happens in Captain America the Winter Soldier (CAWS). With the shield, there are at least two ways we can interpret the red coloring. We know red means either love--because you love some one so much you are willing to shed your red blood for them--or anger--because they have angered you so much, you are willing to shed their red blood to appease your sense of justice. We know Cap is willing to die for America, he says that on the intercom system at SHIELD to his fellow workers, however, Cap doesn't die. We also know he has the chance to kill Bucky Barnes, the "Winter Soldier," but Rogers' commitment to his friend wins over and he would rather die for Bucky than for Bucky to die for America; but, I ask, if this were what Cap's shield meant, why would the red be "eroding," or "disappearing" from the shield? I would like to suggest that the shield is "converting from the red," that the virtue of love is good, but silver is better, and the red disappears as the silver reveals itself. What does silver mean? Traditionally, silver symbolizes the Word--because in Hebrew, the word for "silver" is so similar to the Hebrew word for "word,"--so whenever you see a Crucifix, the Body of Jesus is usually silver, to denote He is both God and the Word of God--that silver became the symbol for Word. Even though "God bless America," would not be unusual to hear Steve Rogers say (remember, in The Avengers he said, "There's only one God and he doesn't dress like that," and Loki has him start to say that before Thor covers his mouth in Thor the Dark World) I don't think the Christian Word of Scripture is what we are meant to think about. I think the "Word" we are meant to associate with Steve Rogers, Captain America, is the Constitution Of the United States. He would make the greatest sacrifice for his country, and for the Constitution, and he calls upon his fellow SHIELD agents to do the same, and he calls upon us through the medium of the film. The appearance of Rogers' shield, then, is not that the red is eroding, or fading, rather, that the silver is converting the red-of-love to the silver-of-the-Word of the laws and Constitution of this country. Anyone could fight against Hitler in World War II, where we first met Steve, but only a great patriot would do what Steve did in this latest adventure which serves as an example for us all, that is why the star in the middle has always been silver: it symbolizes Steve's heart--the reason he was chosen--but it also symbolizes that he is our role model and we are to follow his lead in upholding the standards of the country (like the Wise Men following the Star of Bethlehem to the Christ Child's Nativity). We have to remember, however, that the star is surrounded by blue, the color of both wisdom and sadness, because the road of wisdom is paved with sadness, as Steve is experiencing, and probably always will.
When the film opens, we see Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) jogging alone, and then Steve Rogers fast approach from behind and say, "On your left," to alert him that he's coming, then Rogers passes Sam; a few seconds later, Rogers is running so fast, he does it again, then a few seconds later, he does it again, saying, "On your left," each time. Towards the end of the film, when Steve is in the hospital recovering, he has been "out of it," but Sam dutifully stands guard by his bedside, listening to Marvin Gaye; when Steve sees Sam, he says, "On your left," again.
Why?
It's a political encoding.
Any time someone is running--a race, jogging, for their life in a horror film--it's a metaphor for how they have lived their life, and how well they run indicates how well they have lived, so someone in a horror film who can't outrun Jason because they trip and fall, has "fallen" in their life through bad moral decisions, and their heart has become weighed down by sin so they cannot escape the justice and punishment coming after them. In CAWS, the opening scene is one of running: in Washington DC, Sam and Steve are the only ones out running (the only ones, metaphorically, trying to "run the good race" and stay in moral shape). If we in the audience are lucky, we are in Sam's position--not able to even pretend to keep up with Steve--but at least we are out there trying, and the purpose of this scene isn't to make Sam look bad, or Steve to look good, it's to show what socialists would never admit: everyone has a talent, and even those who are no where near the top, still have an important role to play in society (Cap and Widow need Falcon to help them, they can't do it by themselves, but they can as a team, with each contributing their unique, individual skills. If Sam hadn't been out jogging that morning, he wouldn't have met Steve, and Steve wouldn't have remembered him so he could go to him when he needed help later on.
Running through the Washington Mall (with the Capitol building behind them, as we saw in Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters), it's inevitable that such a word like "left" would take on a political meaning, rather like "satellite" taking on a political meaning in Gravity (please see Gravity: Buddha & Da Vinci fore more). Do we normally associate Cap with the Liberal Left? No, he's everything that's good about the conservative Right, which means, this is a foreshadowing technique throughout the film: Cap keeps telling Sam "on the left" because that's where the film is going to take place, in the issues, problems and conflicts created by the left. So, if Cap is running circles around Sam, why does Sam even bother helping?
Because of us.
When Sam and Steve first meet, Sam talks about how it's hard adjusting to civilian life because "the bed is too soft" and this is clearly a judgment about how suffering and roughing it builds up our character. No one likes to suffer, it's true, but conservatives recognize that there is value in suffering, whereas the Left does not, and Sam discussing it with someone who is suffering so much--Steve Rogers--is a validation that his time in the paratroopers built up his character, but also that it caused problems, like what we hear the vets discussing in the support group meeting Sam holds. It's the character building which poses the biggest problem to HYDRA, as we shall see below, because weak people willingly surrender their freedom, however, people of strong character will never surrender their rights.
Sam offers some great comic relief throughout the film, like when Cap and Widow have come to his place and Sam walks in and says "Breakfast is ready, if people like you do that sort of thing," and that line summarizes his entire role: to show that this isn't a fight just for "people like" Cap and Widow, rather, all of us normal, breakfast-eating, Constitution-loving Americans have to join in this fight. We see this in the controller who, after Cap makes the announcement about HYDRA and their plan, refuses to launch the three helicarriers that will employ the algorithm to determine who would oppose HYDRA before the plan is even revealed. That controller, not used to such life-or-death decisions, made a stand not to aid HYDRA even at the imminent risk of his own life. HE is the example most of us should follow, because there are Agent 13s, Widows, Falcons and Caps that will do the rest for us, which now leads us to who and what exactly HYDRA is,....
Before the release of the film, the Russo brothers who directed it, mentioned that Robert Redford's Three Days Of the Condor inspired certain decisions they made. In that film, "Condor," played by Redford, reads books to distinguish patterns and sees if something is cropping up in novels that they can use as material in the CIA, or if someone outside has gotten ahold of CIA material (think of Tom Clancey's novels). In CAWS, it seems to be reversed: the Russo brothers, and Stan Lee, are hoping the White House watches the film to pick up that we the people know what the White House is doing. When Alexander Pierce (Redford) dies, he first falls through some glass, symbolizing meditation, and he says, "Hail Hydra," with last breath, saying, ultimately, that he regrets nothing of what he has done to bring about the demise of America. Now, it's a theory of mine that films such as CAWS are casting well-known liberals as villains in films so audience members will think of those people (like Jamie Foxx in The Amazing Spider Man 2, Ben Affleck as Batman in Superman vs Batman and the entire liberal cast of Christopher Nolan's upcoming Interstellar) and associate the villain they are portraying with their liberal ideologies. Likewise, from Three Days Of the Condor, at the end of the film, Condor has told the New York Times what had happened--that the CIA killed some people to protect US oil interests--and Condor hopes the CIA will be punished/dismantled as a result; we see Natasha do the same thing when she dumps the internet files online, including her own (more on that below). Another element shared is that, in Three Days Of the Condor, Condor runs from an assassin, but in CAWS, he tells the assassin to go and get Rogers, and gives Bucky a timeframe similar to the one used in Condor. Why is this important? In many ways, it highlights the differences between the liberal agendas and conservative: nota  single person should lose their life, however, to bring about the world liberals want would require the murder of upwards of 20 million people.
 HYDRA, rather like COBRA in the GI Joe franchise, is depicted as a snake with multiple heads (it's possible we will see a hydra in Hercules and the Thracian War this summer with Dwayne Johnson). Since it was founded just after World War II to protect America and the world, SHIELD has been infested by HYDRA agents creating international catastrophic events to create a fascist New World Order; in real-world terms, that's employing Agenda 21 to decrease the world's population and take complete control over humanity's rights. We just saw this in Noah last weekend: the "flood" is just a metaphor for the massive destruction about to be unleashed to destroy all those who won't live according to NWO principles. And there is something important they have in common,....
This is truly a great scene in the film, not just because of the intense action, but its metaphorical significance as well. As men slowly fill the elevator, after Rogers has met with Pierce and refused to tell him about the flash drive Fury gave him before Fury "died," Pierce has declared Rogers a fugitive and orders him to be killed. What is this a metaphor for? The Tea Party and genuine conservatives. Just like Rogers making the announcement later in the film about who has really been running SHIELD, so Tea Party members have tried to tell fellow Americas who is really running America and in what direction they are trying to take us. In exchange, just like Rogers, we have had hand-cuffs put on his through the excruciating application of political correctness, so that half of our discourse isn't even allowed and, like Steve being electrocuted with the cattle prods, we, too, are being treated like animals because liberals like Bill Mahr and Sean Penn are permitted to call for the mass execution of conservatives, whereas conservatives can't even present facts without being accused of being racist, as most of you know. This is the same elevator that Fury took Steve up in earlier, but now Pierce is sending Steve down in; what is the significance? "Up" symbolizes higher conscience, whereas down symbolizes the appetites, or at least a dulling of the senses, a lack of sharpness. Pierce orders the attack on Steve because he doesn't think Steve is as sharp as Pierce himself is (funny, that's the same mistake made in Three Days Of the Condor, Condor isn't given credit for being very sharp by his assassin). How does Steve get out of this situation? After properly putting everyone in their place, Steve can only break through the glass of the elevator--like we will see Pierce breaking through glass at his death--but Steve lands on his shield and survives the jump to escape. How? Why? The shield is symbolic of the Constitution, and Steve knows that his rights are protected only as long as everyone's rights are protected, and that's the purpose of his breaking through the glass, that "reflecting" on how he got in that situation and the protection of rights must be absolute or it doesn't exist at all to "catch us."  
Snake skin.
Remember that "relic" from Noah, the skin the serpent in Eden shed that was passed down through the line to Noah? Well, that snake is probably a metaphor for Satan, yes, Satan. Please recall, during the Democratic National Convention of 2012, the Democrats publicly (on national TV) booed three times and denied making God a part of their platform! There are undoubtedly Democrats who are Christians, however, the party itself has definitely made its platform that it is anti-God (not to mention all their other positions which are against God's teachings). So Noah wants to look like the party of the "Creator" (they never say "God" in the film) but in reality their creator is Satan, identified by the snake skin "relic," which is exactly what we have with HYDRA which leads us now to the Winter Soldier, Bucky Barnes.
Steve starts the show by wearing the "new uniform," pictured on the right; when they decide to go after SHIELD and Pierce, Steve visits the Captain America exhibit at the Smithsonian and "steals" the original Captain America uniform he wore in the first film in which he was fighting Hitler and in The Avengers when he fights Loki who is identified as Hitler by Steve. When the Smithsonian guard walks in and sees that the Captain America uniform has been taken, the guard says that he's going to lose his job; that guard is portrayed by the film's producer, Stan Lee, who also made a similar appearance in Thor the Dark World (the man in the ward who asks for his shoe back after Eric Selvig uses it to explain the Convergence). So, does Stan Lee just like appearing in films? No, these are very poignant appearances. The "old suit" of Captain America that was used against the Nazis has been brought out again because once again, we are battling the Nazis who just happen to be occupying the government the way HYDRA (which is led by a former Nazi officer who we meet in the end-credit scene, von Btrucker) occupies SHIELD. Lee's statement that he's going to lose his job over this is potentially prophetic: not because the suit has been "stolen," but because of what the suit symbolizes, and Lee standing for that, i.e., being against socialism; Lee is fully aware of the way Obama uses the IRS to target anyone he doesn't like, and Lee could potentially be thrown out of Hollywood for this pro-America, anti-Obama film. All of this matters because of history, which the Left is desperate for us to forget, but Rogers is always "on your left" to bring the weapons to the fight that are going to win the fight. You can't defeat your enemy if you don't know who your enemy is, and Cap wearing the same suit from World War II communicates to the audience that he knows he's fighting the same socialists again.
Why is he called "The Winter Soldier?"
Because he is a soldier of the Cold War between the capitalist West and the socialist East. We know Alexander Pierce is mentally unstable when he says, "Your work has been a gift to mankind," but he says it to Bucky, not to Cap, like what we expect him to say from the trailer, and that's why the trailer was sequenced so that way, so when the film came to that part, there would be maximum shock value so we could clearly understand how perverse Pierce and HYRDA really are, and what they represent in the real-world, which now leads us to question how Bucky is controlled.
Why does the Winter Soldier appear? This is a standard question to be asked in every narrative about the villain arriving on the scene and how the villain will be overcome, because it reveals to us the most about the main character. In this scene aboard the ship taken by the pirates, we get our answer. Rogers fights Georges Batroc in the scene above, and before the actual moment of the fight pictured, Rogers had been using his shield to fight the formidable foe. Batroc tells Rogers, in French, "I thought you were more than a shield," and Rogers responds, and then puts his shield on his back and fights without it, and that, dear reader is why the Winter Soldier appears in this film: the WS is the symbol of pride that has started to grow in Rogers' heart (again, the good heart which was why he was chosen to become Captain America). To a selfless heart, it doesn't matter "how" you fight to free hostages, as long as you don't do anything dirty or corrupt, it just matters that the hostages are freed and everyone unharmed; Batroc makes it personal, which is why Rogers removes the Captain America helmet he was wearing. Hair and hats symbolize our thoughts, because they are close to the head, where our thoughts originate; when Steve takes off the helmet, he stops thinking like Captain America and thinking of the hostages, to think about himself. This isn't that different at all in the way Rogers accuses Natasha of doing her own mission when she goes to save the hard drive, because Steve proving he can beat Batroc is Steve's own personal mission, which means he isn't serving his country, rather, himself. Again, this is an act of pride, and had Steve not committed this "sin," the Winter Soldier wouldn't have appeared, but villains can only appear because of weakness exhibited by the hero/main character.
The Winter Soldier must be controlled with brainwashing because everything HYDRA wants Bucky to do is counter-intuitive so he has to be controlled on the deepest, most intimate level; no, this is not a mistake, because socialism believes it has the right to every single aspect of a person (because you are not a person, you are an animal to them because you do not have a soul). We just recently saw this in Divergent with Tris overcoming Four's brainwashing by holding the gun to her head, knowing he wouldn't be able to shoot her. Steve Rogers, in saving Bucky and then not fighting Bucky anymore, proves to Bucky that Steve loves him and there is a deep bond there, one that doesn't exist with HYRDA; for example, when Bucky shows up at Pierce's house at night, when the house-keeper is leaving, Pierce asks Bucky if he would like some milk. That's not an accident: milk is the nourishment we are given by our mothers to grow, and Pierce wants to give Bucky some good 'ole socialist doctrine for Bucky to "grow strong on." When Pierce shoots and kills his maid Renata he is, in fact, "nourishing" Bucky with the lesson that no one will stand in their way and life is cheap.
Why does Bucky, the Winter Soldier, have a metal arm? Why not two metal arms? Why not a metal leg, instead? Arms symbolize strength; the right side usually symbolizes our logic and ration, whereas the left side usually symbolizes our emotions, vulnerability and weakness.  The left arm being turned into something "unnatural," humans are not made out of metal, means that the inherent weakness in humanity is being driven out, right? In other words, by replacing what Bucky's left arm symbolizes--his weakness as a human being (and please recall, that when he reports back and tells the doctor and Pierce that that man on the bridge knew him, and Pierce orders more brainwashing, that's a testament to what the left arm symbolizes because brainwashing is also unnatural, and a typical technique socialists use to control people)--is replaced by the unnatural, the strong and the non-feeling. Johnny Depp's latest film, Transcendence, has the tag line, "Yesterday, Dr. Will Caster was only human," and that's because the left wants to divorce humanity from nature as much as possible (but wait! You might scream: aren't the socialists the protectors of the environment? It doesn't make sense that they want to divorce us from nature while protecting the environment! And that is a correct diagnosis of the situation. Socialists actually don't care about the environment, communists are always the largest and worst polluters because the government runs everything and there is no one there to enforce rules and laws over the government; further, the environment is a scarecrow issue socialists use to try and gain the support of the masses, because it can't gain support for most of its issues, but they use the environment. Because socialists don't believe in God, they don't believe in the sanctity of the human body--which is why they push sexual promiscuity, to destroy the idea that we are souls, and brainwash us with the idea that we are only bodies like animals--so the human body has to be manipulated and controlled so it becomes of the greatest benefit to the state in what ever way the state deems necessary). By giving Bucky a metal arm, they are starting the dehumanization process that will essentially culminate with the state of "existence" that we see in Arnim Zola, the guy who "lives" in the computer at the old military base where Steve received his serum injection (consequently, we saw something similar to this in Skyfall when Silva, trapped in the glass cage, takes out his jaw and his face "collapses," granted, he claims it was from the cyanide pill he took that didn't kill him, however, it's the same thing as what we see with Bucky; likewise, Bond and Rogers are both in the same battle to not become what they see in the villain). We should compare and contrast the two stars associated with Steve vs. Bucky: Steve's silver star is on his chest, Bucky's red star is on his arm. As we discussed above, the color "red" either invokes love, because you are willing to spill your red blood for love of the other, or it denotes anger because you are willing to spill the other person's blood to appease the wrong you think they have done. Being an assassin clearly means that Bucky's red star is a sign of his anger/the anger of those who control him and use him to aide them in bringing about the downfall of America.    
Let's pause for a moment and, before we leave Steve and Bucky, examine how both of them end up at the Smithsonian Institute. Why? We see Steve sneaking in early in the film, wearing a baseball cap, then later Bucky sneaking in during the second end-credit scene, also wearing a ball cap, looking at the Captain America display. The Smithsonian is the American conscience, it holds everything that tells us who we are and why we are the way we are. Material objects--like Cap's suit--hold meaning, they aren't just desirable because they are material and valuable, but instead, they serve a purpose (which socialists would deny). Both men are suffering identity crises and need something with which to identify themselves and understand the future through the past; we could say this is "mother's milk." We know hair and hats symbolize thoughts, so that both men are wearing baseball caps suggests they are learning/thinking about their position in "the game" as Pierce points out ("You know how the game is played," he says). The point is, whereas conservatives look to history to discover the truth that shapes the future, socialists want the truth destroyed and they do that by re-writing history (like Noah re-writing the Bible and Gangster Squad and King Candy in Wreck-It Ralph).
It's being predicted that Agent 13 is one of those Marvel characters who will come out more in later episodes, but is being invested in now. Whether it's a relationship with Steve or a bigger role to play in later Avengers or Captain America films, we need to keep in mind the idea of her being a nurse and how she handled herself towards the end of the film. In the comics--but that doesn't mean in the films, but possibly--Agent 13 is the niece of one of the founding members of SHIELD, Peggy Carter, that's right, and Agent 13 and Steve Rogers are "together" at times in the comics, so we shall see.
On a different note, let's discuss Agent 13, Kate. We discover she was put across the hall from Steve to protect him by Nick Fury (more on him below). When Steve offers to let her use his laundry, she mentions--upholding her role as a nurse--that she had been in the infectious disease area of the hospital and doesn't want to leave germs in his wash. What does this mean? It's probably a reference to SHIELD and her being infected to the point that Steve won't trust her, or she is as blind as everyone else at SHIELD in not realizing what Pierce and HYDRA have done to the organization.
I couldn't find an image of Peggy Carter from CAWS, so this one from Captain America the First Avenger will have to suffice. It completely threw me for a loop that Steve went and saw her (that she was still alive). As we know, women symbolize the passive motherland while men symbolize the active economy/production. Young women will symbolize the future of the motherland, whereas older women will symbolize the traditions or culture of the motherland; Peggy is English, so we can say she, like M (Judi Dench) in Skyfall symbolizes the history/culture of England. Whereas Peggy has grown old (and appears to be ailing), Steve is even stronger than before. London has not faired well in films the last two years, always getting blown up, as in GI Joe Retaliation, Star Trek Into Darkness and Thor the Dark World. Is Peggy's illness and the state of England--which we also see in Skyfall with M's death--a commentary upon how weak England is because of policies it has adopted? What we can speculate upon is that Peggy will likely play some sort of role in a later film (either Captain America 3 or The Avengers: the Age Of Ultron).
What about Nick Fury?
This is quite a film for him. When he shows up at Steve's apartment, he tells Steve that his "wife" kicked him out, and Steve responds that he didn't know Fury had a wife, but Fury does have a wife: SHIELD, and in ordering the hit on Fury, his "wife" has "kicked him out" of the organization. Fury has devoted his life to SHIELD, which ties him in with Steve whose titanium shield is so important in helping him fight. With the death of SHIELD, we can say, Fury becomes another "Black Widow" because his life-long work appears to be finished, but it isn't. Several sources are making quite the ado about SHIELD being dismantled--because that applies to the television show Agents of SHIELD as well--but I don't think it's that serious of a situation, because now the Avengers and company are "invisible" to HYDRA and it's going to be harder for HYDRA to fight SHIELD if they can't see them, which leads us to how Fury "sees" and his eye,...
Pierce really pulls a fast one on Fury when Pierce tells Fury, "our enemies are the same, disorder and chaos," but the truth lies in how each side defines those terms: for socialists, "disorder and chaos" are analogous to individuality and people being allowed to do what they want, people not being controlled by the government; to conservatives, disorder and chaos is what we see in the image above: an abandoning of the law which is what Obama and his entire administration have done. When debating a liberal, just start asking them to define the words they are using, and then give specific examples of it and they will get flustered and give up, or change the topic real fast.
The eyes are, as everyone knows, the "window of the soul," and Fury has kept his covered; additionally, however, the eyes can symbolize our ability to "see" on a deeper level--like Fury being able to "see" that Pierce was a HYDRA agent, or Steve being able to "see" that the elevator filling up with men was an assassination attempt in the making--so when Fury lifts up his eye patch to reveal his blind eye, it's like Fury's confession that he has been blind to what SHIELD had become (we shouldn't be surprised, the same kind of thing happens with Thor and Loki [remember, Odin, too, wears an eye patch, because he turned a blind eye toward both Thor's bad qualities and Loki's past], and we can say--in light of what Sam tells Steve on the bridge--that Steve is "blind" as to what Buckey has become and won't let that deter his love for his best friend). Don't forget the all-too-obvious: the name of the program that Fury tries to stop is called "Insight." But there's another level to Fury's eye patch,...
Nick doesn't have such a good relationship with technology in the film: he can't access any of the information on the drive, then everything goes wrong on his car when he's under attack, except the air conditioning, then the medical equipment can't resuscitate him in the operating room (given, this was set up, but for the audience, they set it up with technology). This obviously isn't to say that technology is bad, but perhaps Fury has been trusting technology rather than trusting people. With Nick "going off grid" by the end of the film, it appears he has achieved a complete conversion and is more willing to trust those who have proven themselves loyal.
Nick has lost the ability to trust others, and we can say that the eye he "lost" is symbolic of that; with the dismantling of SHIELD, he now knows who his true friends are, his true "brothers in arms" and perhaps he has started regaining the ability to trust those who have proven themselves worthy. He doesn't see perfectly, and that's the point of him putting on the dark glasses: this gesture foreshadows that he will se the world in a darker view from now on, but he's going to do what needs to be done. This scene at Nick's "grave," is important for two reasons: first, as we predicted, Nick has obviously been resurrected (we saw Pepper Potts be "resurrected in Iron Man 3 after her fall into the fiery furnace, as well as Loki's "resurrection" in Thor the Dark World after he supposedly died saving Thor, not to mention James Bond's numerous resurrections in Skyfall, where he tells Silva that "Resurrection" is his hobby, the resurrection of both Khan and Kirk in Star Trek Into Darkness and the resurrection of the Nine and Sauron/the Necromancer in The Hobbit series) but we aren't just talking about Nick being resurrected from his surgery where he supposedly died, but as a director and team member of the Avengers, he has found a new will to live and a new purpose, which leads us to what is written on his tombstone,...
This is a better shot of the red star, which acts as a statement of ownership (like writing your name in a book you own, or embedding the name of the manufacturer on the product); this idea is accentuated by the face mask Bucky wears hiding his identity. Just as Fury takes off the eye patch, so Bucky takes off the metal arm, and both of them find freedom interiorly by the shedding of these exterior devices.
If you paid close attention to when Sam, Steve and Nick are standing at Nick's gravesite, there is a quotation on the stone from Ezekiel 25:17 (and no, this isn't what it says in the Bible), reading "The path of the righteous man," which, of course, is the "Scripture" that Samuel L Jackson recited as Jules in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction. There are at least three important reasons for this reference being made (which, by the way, is a perfect example of both reader response theory--the film makers know we have seen Pulp Fiction, so they include a reference to it--and the implied reader, because those who have seen Pulp Fiction are the implied readers for this scene because they have the necessary knowledge to "read" what is there).
Are the sunglasses worse than the eye patch, since the patch covers up only one eye, whereas the glasses cover up both eyes? We'll have to see about it, because we do know that Fury (pretending to be dead) looks at the world through "dark colored lenses," however, he's closer to people by the end of the film than he was at the start of the film, so only the next appearance of Fury can really tell us what has happened.
First, Nick Fury is a righteous man, we are not to mistake his troubles in the film as being his fault, he did his best; secondly, like Jules at the end of Pulp Fiction, we can understand that Nick will be going "off gird," as he told his car during the intense action sequence, to "walk the earth, and be a shepherd" specifically in Eastern Europe, specifically to look for HYDRA cells, and probably "shepherding" the likes of Thor and Iron Man. The third reason why the reference to Pulp Fiction is important is because in that film, Jules believes a "miracle" has happened, which leads us to the first post-credits scene and what exactly is happening in it (in Pulp Fiction, Jules and Verne were shot at several times but they weren't hurt, and Jules calls that a "miracle," prompting him to "wander the earth" until God puts him where he belongs).
Not being big into comic books myself, I found this morsel of information from Cineblend.com and wanted to share this with you:  Crossbones, also known as Brock Rumlow, has an incredibly important role to play in the saga and history of Captain America, and that ball really started rolling with Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Played by Frank Grillo, Crossbones is introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as an undercover field agent for S.H.I.E.L.D. who is actually allied with HYDRA and simply waiting for a moment to show his true colors. He is an important antagonistic force in the movie, with key battle scenes against both Captain America and Falcon, and his final scene leaves the character in a fascinating place. After HYDRA’s plan has fallen apart, Crossbones is left as a charred, barely-alive mess of a man – plenty of motive to look for revenge. The writers also mention how Red Skull--the villain played by Hugo Weaving in Captain America the First Avenger--was teleported off the planet by the Tesseract and they expect him to show up somewhere in one of the next, upcoming films.
The character we see speaking in the mid-credits or post-credits scene, is Baron von Strucker, the Supreme HYDRA commander (no one is above him) and a former Nazi officer who hates everything about freedom and now has Loki's scepter which Loki left on earth in The Avengers and von Struck somehow got ahold of. The power of Loki's scepter is part of the plot we will see in The Avengers the Age Of Ultron, but also part of the plot will involve the twins, the "terrifying miracles," as von Struck calls Scarlett Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson).  Now, the question is, what exactly makes these two "terrifying miracles" in a universe where there is a Loki, a Thor, Dark Elves and a American hero who can survive being frozen for sixty years?
A sign of a great director is the use of reflection to communicate what is or is not going on within a character. Throughout the entire film, especially in scenes within the SHIELD office, glass plays an important role about who is reflecting on what they are doing and who is not.
Quite simply, to von Strucker, Scarlett Witch and Quicksilver are "terrifying" because von Strucker can't explain them, they are abnormalities of science, which they didn't believe could exist (socialism is all about control, which is why they worship science, because it only reflects a world based upon their knowledge, there is nothing they can't know or control, unlike God who is beyond their control); they are "miracles," not because they prove the existence of God--they way miracles demonstrate God's interaction in our lives for Christians like myself--rather, they are, to von Strucker, exactly what HYDRA needs, at the exact moment, to destroy the Avengers and take total control over the world. IF, however, these two "miracles" are possible, that means other miracles are possible too, does it not? The problem will be if the twins become uncontrollable--like, they decide to join up with the Avengers to stop HYDRA--and then, of course, they will have to be destroyed. In Scarlett Witch's darkened eyes, we can all ready see the correlation to Bucky Barnes when his eyes were darkened, referencing their darkened souls and limited sense of self.
Natasha is in a bad position, to say the least. Having defeated the foe of SHIELD, she revealed her past that could land her in jail (this might happen in The Avengers: the Age Of Ultron). What are we to make of it? That the American system works. Natasha could not have gone straight had SHIELD not presented her the chance, and had America not existed so she could turn her skills and talents toward a greater good rather than just being a mercenary for hire. Given that Fury is "dead," it will be hard for her--if she's pressed by lawmakers--to prove that she shouldn't have to go to jail for past mis-deeds.
In conclusion, Captain America the Winter Soldier was far more than I dreamed it would be, but everything it needs to be in the next order of Marvel's line-up. I can see some--especially people from other countries--quaintly denouncing a film such as this as America's obsession with the comic book; that's far from true. It's not the comics selling at record pace, and if there were a lack of narrative technique or poor film making, the films would not do well. The powerful storyline, reflecting the troubling situation we face with our government today, and our frustrated will to do anything (even just the need to have our worst fears validated, that what is happening is actually happening, instead of the media and press lying for Obama all the time) is a massive, cultural-catharsis that makes this a top-notch film I can't wait to see again.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner