Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Avengers: Endgame Twist No One Saw Coming

Well, that was unexpected.

One of the biggest, craziest twists in Avengers: Endgame — a movie chock full of them — came at the film's very end, and it involved none other than the Star-Spangled Avenger, Captain Steve Rogers. In case you haven't figured it out, we'll be moving into massive spoiler territory at this time, so if you haven't seen the movie, you may want to stop reading now.

At Endgame's climax, Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) pulled the ultimate fakeout, allowing Thanos (Josh Brolin) to think he'd acquired the Infinity Stones when, in fact, Stark himself had them. "I am inevitable!" Thanos declared, and snapped his fingers — realizing his mistake too late. "And I am Iron Man," Stark retorted, snapping his own fingers, dusting Thanos and his entire army, and mortally injuring himself in the process. After being reassured by Spider-Man (Tom Holland) that victory was theirs and by Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) that she and Stark's daughter Morgan would be fine, the Armored Avenger passed on peacefully, having saved the entire universe from destruction and conquered his unending fear that he was doomed to fail.

After a massive funeral with virtually the entire Marvel universe in attendance (including Harley Keener, his young accomplice from Iron Man 3, all grown up), we saw the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) seeing Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) off on his final mission: to revisit the points in time from which the Avengers had nabbed all of the Infinity Stones, and return them. At this point, it should be noted that Rogers had already shocked most of the film's audience by not dying, as Evans had made it pretty clear that Endgame would be his final go-round for Marvel before hanging up the shield. So when Cap failed to return after the allotted five seconds, we all began to fear the worst — until a lone figure was spotted sitting on a bench in the distance.

It was Rogers — elderly, sporting a wedding ring, and appearing utterly content with the mind-blowing choice he had evidently made. Cap had chosen to stay in the past, allowing himself to have the life of wedded bliss with Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) that he had been robbed of when his plane crashed into the ocean back in 1945. He was approached by his loyal pal Wilson, who seemed quite unsurprised by Cap's decision but was only bummed that he would now have to live in a world without Captain America — but Rogers, of course, had other ideas. He presented a humbled Wilson with his shield, indicating that he knew Wilson would do his best to live up to his towering legacy. After a solemn nod of approval from Barnes, Wilson accepted his destiny: to become the new Captain America, and allow Rogers to live out the rest of his days in peace, knowing he'd made the right call as always. The film closed with a brief trip back to the past and a little house in the suburbs, and in its final shot, Rogers and his bride were seen finally enjoying that dance he had promised her so very long ago.

It was the perfect ending to the Infinity Saga, and also a sly nod to a 2014 Captain America story arc in the comics, in which the Super Soldier Serum was eliminated from Rogers' body, causing him to rapidly catch up to his chronological age of 90-plus years. It was also a fantastic conclusion to the epic character arc of the MCU's Rogers; his failure to return to the love of his life at the conclusion of 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger has haunted him throughout his time as an Avenger, and even though he made stalwart alliances, saw his best friend Barnes return after being thought dead, and helped save the world multiple times, it's always been obvious that a part of him has always wished that he could return to the time from which he came to reunite with his beloved Peggy. Presented with that opportunity after vanquishing the threat of Thanos once and for all, he took it — finally getting to live the simple life of which he'd always dreamed.

The flick's ending also resolved a question that's been burning in the minds of fans ever since Evans started making noise about leaving his signature role behind. Both Barnes and Wilson have served time as Captain America in the comics, and it seemed like a foregone conclusion that after Evans' departure, one of them would be picking up the shield. We now finally know which one — but now, we have more questions. Forthcoming streamer Disney+ will be fielding a plethora of limited series set in the MCU and featuring the original actors returning to their roles, and among these series is Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which will feature Cap's two best buddies teaming up to crack wise and kick ass. But — since Wilson is no longer the Falcon, will this series be taking place in the past? Both heroes were dusted in the Decimation, so the five-year period in between Infinity War and Endgame is out of the question. Will we see the pair in action before the whole Thanos thing? In that event, Rogers would still be young and active as Captain America; is a guest appearance from Evans in the cards? Or is Disney faking us out with the logo reveal for the series that took place just a few weeks ago, with its actual title (we're thinking, oh, perhaps Captain America and the Winter Soldier) still yet to be announced?

We'll have to wait to find out, but for now, we're content to bask in the knowledge that Rogers finally got to live the idyllic life he had always craved, and that the mantle of Captain America is in Wilson's capable hands. We can't wait to see him slinging the shield around in some future MCU entry — but we'd also like to point out that there's an opening in the Avengers for the position of Iron Man which somebody really needs to fill. James Rhodes/War Machine (Don Cheadle) is getting a bit long in the tooth, and with Paltrow also finished with the MCU, Pepper Potts won't be suiting up as Rescue again. Perhaps young Morgan Stark will grow up to become the MCU's version of Ironheart? Or will a new, as-yet unintroduced character step up to take Tony Stark's place?

Every answer the MCU provides always seems to lead to more questions, but that's one of the reasons we love the franchise. Perhaps we'll get a clearer picture of what lies in store for the Avengers when the really, truly final film of Phase Three, Spider-Man: Far From Home, hits theaters in July. Until then, rest easy knowing that the world is safe, true believers... for now. Excelsior!