'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' ending: Sebastian Stan discusses Bucky Barnes' choice

captain-america-the-winter-soldier-poster-bucky-sebastan-stan-ending.jpg Warning: Spoilers for the ending of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" are contained in this article. Do not continue reading if you have not yet seen the film.

In something of a twist, the title villain in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" is not the one who was defeated by the end of the movie. Instead, it turned out HYDRA had infiltrated SHIELD, and that Alexander Pierce is the true enemy who needed to be taken down.

And so he was, but what of the Winter Soldier? He was neither defeated nor victorious by the end of the movie, and he made the move to save his former friend Steve Rogers from drowning. The second post-credits sequence showed Bucky standing in the Captain America Smithsonian exhibit, seemingly trying to remember his former self -- and leaving the door open for the character's involvement in future Marvel movies.

Zap2it spoke with Sebastian Stan prior to "The Winter Soldier's" release and asked how he interpreted the final scene in the film. He says he always viewed it as Bucky's decision to rediscover his identity.

"At that point, I think some time has passed since the ending of the movie. I'm not sure how much, but some time has passed," Stan says. "All that scene really is about is that, wherever we pick him up in that scene, he's obviously in a place where he's been starting to kind of question things and be aware of things he wasn't aware of before. And so, I don't know, that might be somewhere on his research into finding things out about himself. There's no particular time other than that's where we catch him when we see that scene. And I'd say the seed for that was planted at the very end of the movie."

He adds of the Winter Soldier's decision not to let Captain America die, "That's why he doesn't kill him. That's why he saves him. That end scene to me was always like: 'I don't know what this is, I just know I'm supposed to do this right now. Whatever this is, I'm supposed to protect this for some reason. There's something about it that's unexplored, and I'm going to figure it out.' And that's kind of where he's at at the end of the movie. It's not like he's going, 'Captain, Steve, let me take you out of the water,' you know what I mean?"

How did you view the final scenes in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier"? Would you like to see "Captain America 3" be about Steve and Bucky reuniting, as is implied?
Photo/Video credit: Marvel Studios