Chris Evans as Steve Rogers has been one of the absolute best parts of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and while I was happy and impressed with most of his story in Endgame, his final scene left me feeling a bit …meh.
***Spoilers for Endgame***
Now, full disclosure—I don’t ship Steve with anyone. I cape for Sam/Steve only because they are under-represented in the queer corner of fandom as a valuable ship, and so I root for it. That being said, I never saw Steve in the MCU canon as anything other than a heterosexual dude with a soft touch of demi-sexuality. The relationship he had with Peggy Carter was good for what it was, a star-crossed romance between two very beautiful white people, but it died before it could ever really be anything. Which is why Steve calling Peggy his soul mate/true love and deciding to give up his life in this timeline for an idealized version of Peggy Carter in the past feels unfulfilling.
Let’s start with the fact that these two people barely know each other. They never even got to have a first date, and their images of each other are mostly locked in time. They are in love with the possibility of each other. Peggy feels a sense of sorrow that she couldn’t save Steve, and has helped build an entire organization around the iconic weapon he carried.
Meanwhile, for Steve, the feelings he has for Peggy are both those of lost love but also lost time. He doesn’t have the connections to this time that he had then. According to the film version, Steve was 27 years old when he went under. Which means he lived his entire adult life in one time and has only been in this timeline for a decade and change, most of that time without his closest friends or companions. He loses both Bucky (for the third time? Fourth?) and Sam in Infinity War, yet those reconciliations in Endgame are too short and too brief, even with how iconic “on your left” is.
To be clear, I have no problem with Steve having feelings for Peggy still. But he visited her when she was older, was a pallbearer at her funeral, saw the full happy life she lived without him. So his kind of deciding to create an alternative timeline where none of that happened feels kind of … selfish and shitty. Steve had important bonds in his life, maybe not romantic ones, but that doesn’t make it less important. (Our Kaila Hale-Stern also reminds us that Endgame totally erased Sharon Carter.)
Steve tore the Avengers apart to get Bucky back and now he is just leaving Bucky? Leaving Sam? Leaving all the team members who need him after something very traumatic happened. Should Steve Rogers get a real life? Absolutely, but that doesn’t mean stealing away Peggy’s life.
Steve and Peggy don’t really know each other. This isn’t Pepper/Tony or Peter/Gamora where their stories have been about them growing together as people. Peggy and Steve’s love is fossilized in amber. Beautiful, but it never got a chance to live.
True love doesn’t always mean endgame, it sometimes means you ended up a better person because you’ve met them. I think that’s true for Steven and Peggy, and it doesn’t mean they need to be together.
Also now this means that he made out with his own niece.
What do you all think of Peggy and Steve?
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