Avengers: Endgame directors are leaving one Captain America question up for debate

Marvel Studios' AVENGERS: ENDGAME..Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans)..Photo: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2019
Marvel Studios' AVENGERS: ENDGAME..Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans)..Photo: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2019 /

Joe and Anthony Russo answered some of Captain America’s most asked questions for Avengers: Endgame. But they’re leaving some mysteries up in the air.

Warning! This story contains major spoilers for Avengers: Endgame.

Directors Joe and Anthony Russo introduced a game-changing mechanic into the MCU through Avengers: Endgame, but it’s starting to cause more confusion than necessary. Unfortunately, the Russo brothers being their typical Russo brothers selves still want to keep some things a mystery.

To backtrack, in the movie, Tony Stark perfects time travel through the Quantum Realm, and the heroes end up saving the day by going back in time to borrow past Infinity Stones. But that isn’t the most complicated part. By the end, Captain America returns the borrowed Infinity Stones to their rightful places in time, but he stalls his mission by a few decades to spend the rest of his life with Peggy Carter.

The merit of the ending itself has been up for debate among fans, but the logistics of how that’s even possible is causing massive rifts between fans as well. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, the Russos tried to offer their best answers to those time traveling questions, one of those being, “Did Steve Rogers end up living in another dimension?” Joe Russo answered:

"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?Interesting question, right? Maybe there’s a story there. There’s a lot of layers built into this movie, and we spent three years thinking through it, so it’s fun to talk about it and hopefully fill in holes for people so they understand what we’re thinking."

So yes, technically, Steve Rogers did live through an alternate timeline where he and Peggy lived a sweet, married life. But if Steve ended up in an alternate universe, as Joe proposes himself, how did his timeline converge back to the present-day one that he left?

With the brothers unable to answer their own question, the clever nature of their time-traveling planning feels like it just took a nosedive. Yes, the Russos really tried to cover their bases in the movie to ensure there’d be no plotholes. But when they’re unable to answer their own question about how Captain America’s two worlds collided, it still feels like a plothole has been left open.

At the same time, the brothers also addressed the rather out-of-character moment at the end where Bucky doesn’t approach Old Man Cap on the bench. For two BBFs who care for one another, Bucky didn’t seem too concerned that Steve had appeared many years older. According to EW, the brothers say Bucky knew that would happen all along.

This was another moment (or plothole) they teased with not much information. Joe Russo hinted at it by saying: “Especially when [Bucky] says goodbye. He says, ‘I’ll miss you.’ Clearly he knows something.”

If you were looking for any more information on how Bucky would have known, that’s all they could say on the matter. Perhaps the answer is being saved for The Falcon and The Winter Soldier on Disney+. And if that’s the case, the Russo brothers will get a pass for now. But being silent on Bucky’s strange intuition on the matter doesn’t really add to their credibility in telling this story, especially now that they have the freedom to reveal as many spoilers as they want.

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Dealing with time travel in a movie is never easy, and while watching Endgame, I did appreciate that the movie tried to explain how time travel works so as not to open up any plotholes. But in the end, it seems like the movie still fell victim to the storytelling conundrum, despite their best efforts.