Steve Rogers in Avengers: Endgame

Help, These Captain America Endgame Theories Are Hurting My Brain

What is the truth?!

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SPOILER ALERT: We’re talking all the Avengers: Endgame deets, people.

In terms of MCU characters I relate to in Avengers: Endgame, I feel like Scott Lang and I are one in the same. Not in the sense that I’m a lovable ex-con with a shrinking super suit, but in the sense that both of us find our brains completely broken by time travel. Granted, our knowledge of time travel is based entirely on Back to the Future, which means we’re already off to a rough start.

Case in point: I still don’t understand what happened to Captain America at the end of the film. Yes, I know that when traveling back in time to replace the infinity stones, he takes a detour to the 1940s, to share a dance and a life with his one true love Peggy Carter. Which, as a Cap/Peggy shipper, was a very satisfying and well earned ending. But did this happen in our prime timeline or did Steve created an alternate branch of reality to live in domestic bliss?

And it looks like Endgame screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely and directors the Russo brothers have conflicting ideas about what happened. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the Russos endorse the branched reality theory, with Joe Russo saying, “If Cap were to go back into the past and live there, he would create a branched reality … The question then becomes, how is he back in this reality to give the shield away?”

Meanwhile, Markus and McFeely are sticking to the prime timeline. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter,”It was always our intention that he was the father of those two children. But again, there are time travel loopholes for that,” said McFeely. Markus followed up, “It does introduce the idea that there are two children who have somewhat super soldier DNA.”

Both the Russos and Markus and McFeely have supported fans interpreting Cap’s fate either way, which is a totally valid position. I mean, what do we fans love more than endlessly speculating about the fates of our favorite characters? I feel like Cap’s journey may become the next “Greedo shot first” geek debate. My favorite “did they or didn’t they” cinema debate is whether or not Dottie dropped the ball on purpose at the end of A League of Their Own.

And while the vagaries may leave my brain in knots, it’s these unanswered questions that keep these films alive long after they’ve ended. It engages generations of future audiences and nerds, making us feel like we’re a part of these films that we love. And that’s actually pretty sweet, if you think about it.

What do you think happened to Cap at the end of Endgame? Are you Team Branched or Team Prime?

(via The Hollywood Reporter, image: Marvel)

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Author
Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.