Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Everything I Love About Captain America in Avengers: Endgame (Part 1)

After breaking down the Captain America and The Avengers films, we're finally reaching the end of my series, which has been an ongoing tribute to Steve Rogers and his arc throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

In Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos did exactly what he was going to do: wipe out half of the galaxy. Now the Avengers are left to pick up the pieces after losing everyone they loved. Steve Rogers and and the team reunite one last time to track down Thanos and the Infinity Stones to bring everyone back.

The only way I could feel it would be right to finish the franchise is to go out with a bang. Because Avengers: Endgame itself is such a massive finale to culminate the past twelve years of Marvel, this post will be split into two parts. I hope you sit back and relax 3000 as we track Cap into the future and stroll down memory lane. (This post is very picture-heavy. Credit can be found by clicking on the images.) Spoilers to the entire MCU is ahead.

Shout-Out to Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel's post-credit scene ties to Endgame with Steve, Nat, Bruce, and the rest of the surviving Avengers powering Fury's pager (which they happened to find on a random crumbled New York City street) to find out who was on the other end of the signal. What really matters is just the beard. It was a thing of beauty before the following happened in Endgame.

YES, I'd like to report a MURDER

We figured Marvel had no shame by ending Infinity War by dusting half of the damn universe. But Rogers's first re-appearance is shaving off THAT GLORIOUS BEARD. Yes, I have a lot of questions: number one, how dare you KEVIN FEIGE....I still love you bb. BUT THAT BEARD.

The start of the full-circle moments

They've come a long way since the first battle in The Avengers.

Also, I don't want to read too much into this, but it's interesting that Tony tells Steve "he lost the kid", but he also lost the Guardians and Doctor Strange. They were practically strangers who got on Tony's nerves for the few hours they knew each other. You'd think after spending almost a month with Nebula, he'd feel different about the people she lost. However, Steve says "he lost" and can't even mutter the rest of it - included Bucky, Sam, everyone. They're both talking about family here.

Are you incapable of letting go of your goddamn ego for one second?

This scene reflects two big moments Age of Ultron and Civil War.

The first nail in The Avengers' coffin was Tony creating Ultron without running the idea past the group. He (and Bruce) produced a murderbot they couldn't control, and it resulted in thousands of people dying in Sokovia. Because SHIELD disbanded in The Winter Soldier, The Avengers were free agents and just went home afterwards. So it's understandable why the U.N. enacted the Accords, but that document, as Steve says, just lets Tony shift the blame wherever he wants as he always does.

This is not only true in Civil War when he projects his guilt about Sokovia onto The Avengers, but also the moment in Age of Ultron when Tony defends creating Ultron by reminding everyone he risked his life in The Avengers. Once again Tony reminds everyone about his 'suit of armor' around the world, which failed with Ultron and then Vision.

Steve was wrong. His die-hard optimism was fruitless. They didn't lose together. No matter how much Tony might regret his actions, I'm always frustrated that he takes it on Steve. He's always the genius who could save everyone, but his impetuous need to act is never to blame. It's frustratingly passive-aggressive. Like Nat said, he never lets go of his ego for one second.

Talking about Ultron / Thanos

There are a vast amount of moments between all the Cap movies where Chris and the directors naturally replicate body language or the ambiance of certain scenes. I don't know how they pulled it off, if it was intentional or not, but Steve and the team talking about how they failed to kill Thanos is similar to the team fighting over the creation of Ultron and his attack.

Lets Get 'Er Done

In the words of Mantis, Cap's ready to kick names and take ass. This moment is the perfect lead-in to the title credits and The Avengers theme song. Whedon's version of Cap not cursing can't come to the phone right now.

Who's been to space before?

Steve once puked on a rollercoaster at Coney Island.
The last time Steve had this much urgency while flying, he crashed the Red Skull's bombs to save thousands of lives. And he ended up losing everyone. 

Now, a raccoon is telling him not to vomit in the Benatar.
Steve is going into space for the first time with the hope of bringing back everyone the universe lost. 

Poetic cinema.

Is this a test?

In Captain America: The First Avenger, when Steve's asked about why he wants to kill Nazis, and jumps on the dummy grenade during training, he asks Erskine if what he was going through was a test. The moments captures why his moral compass makes him the right choice for the SSR's project. 

Throughout the series, Steve has had to face more tests. What man could Steve have been after waking up from the ice and having his previous life ripped from him? or finding out Hydra had taken over SHIELD? dealing with the aftermath of Ultron or Bucky as the Winter Soldier? etc. No matter what he's faced, he's questioned his stance, but never refused to take action. Now he has to face the biggest test of them all and doesn't know what he'll do if they fail. Even Nat is a little taken back by seeing Steve looking unsure. It's rare to see Steve without an emotional back-up plan.

Natasha has always also had his back - no matter what. #justicefornat

Nice comic book move

The specific dialogue from the comic book isn't used, but the writers recreated the essence of it as they track down Thanos and interrogate him about the stones.

All Hope is Lost

The first glimmer was lost when Thanos destroyed the rings, and then it was sealed when Thor went for the head. Everyone's reactions show how much they thought they had a chance to win. After waiting a year to find out what happened to Thanos, his first death hits under the half-hour mark in the movie. Kuds to The Russos for almost pulling a Psycho on us. 

Support Group

The original Avengers represent one stage of the grieving process each, and they go through the whole motions throughout the movie: Hawkeye starts with anger, Hulk is acceptance, Tony is denial, Thor is depression, Natasha is bargaining, Steve is a mix of depression and denial. In order to deal with The Snap, Steve takes Sam's lead with a support group, but he's more or less saying what other people need to hear. On top of that, Steve's head space reflects the exact conversation he had with Sam after the meeting - if Steve got out of being an Avenger, he wouldn't know what to do with himself because he doesn't know what makes him happy on a personal level. Flash-forward nine years, and that hasn't really changed.

What do I do, now that they're gone?

Steve's representation of grief comes up immediately. Instead of talking about losing Bucky in The Snap (which is the main conversation for the meeting), Steve opens up about losing Peggy eighty years ago. This is a reference that Steve still hasn't coped with waking up after being in the ice for seventy years. He didn't process his emotions in 2012, and he's not processing them now by following his own advice - he has a habit of doing that. This is one of the most raw moments of Steve's arc (the first time I cried seeing Endgame last summer fyi), and one of the reasons why Chris's performance is a personal favorite of mine for 2019. The whole scene is truly touching.

People died....It's on me.

I'm freaked out by how much this scene of Steve and Nat talking about failing to live with their loss reflects Steve talking to Wanda about the mishap in Lagos in Civil War.
Steve: People died...it's on me.
Wanda: It's on both of us.
Steve: This job...we try to save as many people as we can. Sometimes it doesn't mean everybody. But if we can't find a way to live with that, next time, maybe nobody gets saved.

How About A Friend?

There's a mass amount of parallels between Nat and Steve I could've used above. This conversation is such an evolution for Natasha. When Steve asks her to be a friend in The Winter Soldier, she says he might be in the wrong business as she can be all things to all people; truth and who she is is just a matter of circumstance. Then here she is, with her friend, running another SHIELD-like organization around the galaxy, and she's willing to bet her life on helping her family find happiness. She found this job, and this family, and a sense of her true self. *sigh* Not only did Natasha deserve better, but this friendship is so underrated. #justicefornat

A common thread throughout Cap and the Avengers movies is Steve finding a place to settle down. In Avengers: Ultron and Avengers: Infinity War, he calls the Avengers' compound home. Interestingly here, she asks if he's just there to do his laundry, and he replies 'and to see a friend'. So, Cap doesn't consider the compound home anymore? did he move out? This starts building a subtext that Steve has become a beardless nomad in a sense and ready to go back to Peggy *ahem* his real home.


His revived giddy optimism gets on Nat's nerves as much as it does Tony's.

"Even for You" in Avengers: Infinity War where Gamora died on Vormir is used here to foreshadow Nat's death. Here's a double whammy: "The Real Hero", the score for Tony's funeral, is also used in the film's beginning when Tony talks about dreaming of Pepper. "I will dream of you." / "You can rest now Tony." = right in the feels.

He's 1000% done

The group discussing a time machine and where to locate the Infinity stones is a nice callback to the original Avengers figuring out Fury's intentions with SHIELD. As smart as Steve is, it's still difficult for him to fathom the enemies and tech they have to contend with.

Tony's happy life

While everyone else is struggling to move on, Tony got a slice of that life he was always talking about. Steve's not jealous. He wants a piece of that for himself too. It subtly reminded me of Bucky leaving with his regiment in The First Avenger when Steve wants to join the war efforts.

In The Avengers, Tony returns home to Pepper as they launch sustainable energy in Stark Towers. While they're having 12% of a moment, Tony is unable to rest when Coulson brings him homework about Loki. This reminded me of Tony working on the time machine while Pepper is relaxing and reading about compost, and their daughter is going to sleep. Tony can't rest. (He was even building her a new Iron Man suit as an anniversary present even though there's nothing to fight against.) Like Steve, it's not in him to walk away.

Also, let's give thanks to that leather jacket.

Professor Hulk

In The Avengers, Bruce, Steve, and Nat meet for the first time on the helicarrier. At the time Bruce was doing everything he could to not break out into the Hulk, and the only gossip Steve cared about was if he could help them find the Tesseract. Now the trio's back together and Bruce has made peace with both of his identities....things are weird, to say the least.

Also, check out how big that bowl of eggs - not a plate, a bowl.


One of the best scenes of the whole movie. 1000% done face again. While I was not a big fan of Bruce's arc in Infinity War, Ruffalo really made up for it here with his comedic timing as the team gives their version of time travel a test run.

*Checks Notes*

It's outfits like this and a butt like that that gives me trust unrealistic relationship issues.

My father made that shield, you don't deserve it

Despite how much Steve and Tony have struggled to see eye-to-eye, they've had little convos about Howard Stark, Ultron, and The Accords. Apparently, Steve and Tony can't make amends unless it's next to a fancy car


The Avengers ends on a happy post-credits note with the team enjoying Shawarma (expect Evans). We all know how Endgame ends, so it's cool to see the team having a Shawarma-esque moment as they try to figure out where the stones are.

"Back in the day I had eyes everywhere, ears everywhere else. You kids had all the tech you could dream of. Here we all are back on earth and nothing but our wit and will to save the world." - Nick Fury, The Avengers. Or as Mark says in The Martian puts it so eloquently, they're gonna have to science the shit out this.

I Love Henleys

This is for me more than anyone else.

See You In A Minute

An Avengers movie wouldn't be complete without Steve having some sort of dramatic speech. He's come a long way from reading his lines on the back of his shield in The First Avenger.

However, the writers expect us to believe that they figured out time travel, but they couldn't figure out that Gamora "disappearing" after Thanos got the soul stone meant she died. I mean, Nebula tells them he murdered her. I can't tell if Steve has already figured it out here, or has a sneaking suspicion but is hoping for the best. Or maybe they were all hoping Hawkeye would take one for the team? YIKES.

Cap's Biggest Fan

If there was a Cap fan club, you'd bet Scott would be the President. I'd be co-president.


Wow, times have changed.

I mean, honestly....

Another great shout-out to Thor: The Dark World as well as a funny moment for Chris to play.

Before we start, does anyone want to get out?

Here's another 'the audacity of this bitch' face. This moment is freaking brilliant. Poor Steve's so disillusioned in The Winter Soldier, forced to realize that his team of soldiers is not a team at all; they've all pledged allegiances to SHIELD aka Hydra. Instead of punching his way out of this, he's going to have to do something different....

That little smirrkkkkkkk

One of the most controversial moments in Marvel history is when Steve revealed he was a secret Hydra agent in the comic books. Kudos to the writers McFeely and Markus for referencing and poking fun at that decision. But also, this is one of the most subversive scenes in the MCU. Instead of repeating the iconic elevator fight, Steve has to use his brains instead of his brawn to walk away without letting things get "personal."


A good two-for-one throwback from Age of Ultron: Steve fighting himself might be the weirdest thing science ever created, and Cap curses.

Who would win in a Steve vs Steve fight? 

Steve knows all of his own tricks and best moves. If you haven't already, check out the behind the scenes feature of how they choreographed this scene - most of the scenes, Chris did most of his own stunts throughout the series because he has such a particular way of moving, stuntmen can't copy him..It's brilliant, Scorsese.

Yeah, I know

Our Steve from the current timeline never says 'I can do this all day', not even when he's standing on his own against Thanos without back-up. Only the 2012 Avengers version declares this iconic line. I hinted about this is in another post as a subtle nod to our Steve coming to the end of his war 'career'. Maybe the part where he doesn't want to fight all day is outweighing the fact that he can.

Bucky Is Alive

How do you fight yourself when the 'other you' knows all your moves? Put yourself in the sleeper hold that you will use to subdue your friend-turned-supersoldier in the futureAlso, go for the weak spot, which in this case is Bucky. *Chef's Kiss*

That Is America's Ass


My true intention was to publish this last summer after I rewatched the movies again as a way of signing off on this series. Of course, life got in the way, which made finishing this take way longer than I expected. I appreciate anyone who waited for this and hope it lived up to the hype in some way.  Stay tuned for part two!

No comments:

Post a Comment