If you have seen the film, you would know that Sebastian Stan’s character Bucky Barnes is always seen wearing a mask during his entire screen time in the film Captain America: The Winter Soldier. So, why did he go out against Chris Evans’ Captain America without it?
As it turns out, he did not wear his mask for a particular reason. The friendship between Bucky Barnes and Steve Rogers was one of the best things in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. It had gone through multiple stages as the superheroes had endured it all together.
The most painful time for Steve Rogers was when he had realized that his friend had indeed survived that fall in the film Captain America: The First Avenger, but his friend had been captured and brainwashed to be a hitman by none other than his nemesis HYDRA.
It is an undisputed fact that Captain America’s one true sweetheart has always been Peggy Carter. However, we have seen that Steve Rogers cares more about Bucky Barnes than anybody else in the world. His love and respect for his friend have almost cost him his life several times; one of the instances was his famous fight with Tony Stark.
Now, some fan theories have suggested that the love Captain America had for Bucky Barnes was well known to HYDRA; that’s why they had put the latter without his mask in his final battle with Captain America. They were hoping that since Captain yearned for his friendship, he will not be able to hurt him.
The Winter Soldier was wearing a mask in the film not to hide his identity but to give himself an inhuman like feeling. Only when he came up against Captain America that the HYDRA decided to uncover his face because they were sure that when Captain would see his face, his will to stop him would most likely get shattered because they knew he was not someone who would intentionally hurt his friend.
In all likelihood, putting Bucky Barnes without his mask was a ploy to make Captain America lose his concentration, which would, in turn, buy HYDRA a lot of time into successfully carrying out its dreadful Project Insight.
The Winter Soldier was, of course, unaware of what he was doing at that time because he had lost his true consciousness a long time ago. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, he was just a killing machine following orders.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier was the first film veteran duo Joe, and Anthony Russo had directed. They then went on to direct the third film in the franchise Captain America: Civil War.
Of course, they have also directed the final two Avengers films, both of which occupy the first and second position in the list of highest-grossing films ever made.