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The Russo Brothers Try to Explain That Final Avengers: Endgame Scene

It doesn't make sense. I love it, but it makes no sense.


The Avengers assemble on a poster for Marvel's Avengers: Endgame.

**I’m going to keep putting spoiler warnings before all these articles until you all see this movie.**

One of the biggest questions that remains after Avengers: Endgame is what kind of time travel rules were broken by Steve Rogers by staying in the past to get his dance, and his life, with Peggy Carter. Did Steve erase Peggy’s family from existence? Did he sit back and watch as horrible events unfolded for years? The Russo brothers have some answers, or at least, a debunking of a popular theory.

“If Cap were to go back into the past and live there, he would create a branched reality,” Joe Russo told Entertainment Weekly. “The question then becomes, how is he back in this reality to give the shield away?”

This shoots down the theory that Steve was always Peggy’s husband and living in the world’s weirdest time loop, and instead opens up a lot of doors for more theories and potentially a return from both Steve and Peggy at some point, probably on Disney+. If Steve’s reality-hopping at such an old age, and he has his shield back, then clearly something has happened that’s waiting to be told.

The question becomes, then, what medium will this story be told in, if it’s told at all? Marvel is doing an animated series inspired by the comics’ What If? series, which explores different alternate realities. The first episode will focus on Peggy taking the mantle of Captain America and the super soldier serum. Could the episode end with Steve joining her in that timeline? Or will there be an entirely separate episode about Steve returning to the past and creating an alternate reality with Peggy where they stop Hydra sooner?

We could also get a later miniseries centered on Steve’s alternate reality, where he takes down Hydra with Peggy, finds Bucky earlier, and gets a happy ending without having to risk not having done anything to prevent horrible events throughout the course of history. Audiences would certainly pay to see that, especially if it resolved some of the issues of Steve’s characterization that audiences struggled with.

The interview also confirms that Bucky knew what Steve was going to do, while Sam did not. “Especially when [Bucky] says goodbye,” Joe Russo said. “He says, ‘I’ll miss you.’ Clearly he knows something.”

Many fans of Bucky and the Steve/Bucky relationship were frustrated by the lack of interaction in the film. Could an upcoming scene in the Falcon and Winter Soldier TV series be a flashback to Bucky either meeting with Older Cap earlier in the timeline, or Bucky and Steve having a farewell conversation where Steve explains what he’s going to do? While it wouldn’t make up for there being no major interaction between Steve and Bucky in Endgame, it might undo the fan assumption that Steve bailed on Bucky without any sort of farewell.

I’m not about to try to parse the time travel logic. I suppose this means that Steve Rogers might have more to do in the MCU, but do we need more Steve stories when his arc is concluded? Still, there are questions that remain unanswered, and it would be nice to get them answered in some form. Hopefully they’ll be satisfactory and not just thrown together quickly to appease fans who didn’t like Steve’s ending.

(via Entertainment Weekly, image: Marvel)

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Kate (she/her) says sorry a lot for someone who is not sorry about the amount of strongly held opinions she has. Raised on a steady diet of The West Wing and classic film, she is now a cosplayer who will fight you over issues of inclusion in media while also writing coffee shop AU fanfic for her favorite rare pairs.