This piece discusses how several of the characters in Avengers: Endgame finish their stories so be warned, it contains huge spoilers right from the start.
The end of Cap’s tale was just sublime. I had heard the ‘Steve will stay in the past and live out his life with Peggy’ theory before the film came out, from just one person; my eldest daughter. I hadn’t dared to hope it would be correct though. Mostly because it must really mess with the established timeline. Has he now been active as Captain America since the late forties? What difference would that have made to world history? Would there even be an Iron Man or a Hulk if Steve Rogers was around? Alternatively has he been in hiding? He’s pretty famous and pretty heroic so that doesn’t seem feasible. Either way this turn of events wipes out most of what we saw happen in the Agent Carter TV show. None of this matters though because he didn’t have to take a rain check on that dance after all.
Seeing Cap die would have been hardest of all and I’m so glad that they didn’t only spare us this but they gave him the happiest of happy endings. He certainly earned it, especially after returning all those stones by himself. How exactly did he sneak the Soul Stone back and did he meet his old buddy Schmidt while he was doing it? Poor old Jane Foster too, she must have had that sharp tool stuck in her for a second time in as many minutes. Whatever though, this ending gave me a nice warm feeling inside.
I needed that warm feeling too after seeing what happened to Tony Stark. His denouement was sad but it was beautiful and poetic and it was sealed in from the second Doctor Strange told him the victory wouldn’t happen if he knew about it in advance. The Doc’s right too. It isn’t that Tony wouldn’t have been prepared to sacrifice himself like that (picture me snapping my fingers) but he’d have tried to have thought a way round it first and you can’t hesitate when you are up against Thanos.
Of course the great tragedy is that Tony finally had something to live for. It’s not that he didn’t love Pepper but that never kept him out of the game. Little Morgan was his everything though. (Give me a moment, I’m welling up again.) It was nice that he got closure with his own father first. No longer having to make up for his own parent’s inadequacies must have made it easier for him to step away. His whole thing with Peter Parker was wound up in these same Daddy issues as well. He was a complicated fella but he found a pure sense of self in the end.
His funeral was a nice curtain call for all twenty two movies as well. ‘Hello Cobie, Marisa, Michelle? It’s Kevin. Clear your schedules. We need you for ten minutes of filming please.’ Did the Pym’s even know Tony Stark?
Where was Natasha’s funeral? Hers was in many respects the secondary death; Tony’s was supposed to be the big emotional gut punch, but I found the Widow’s demise more affecting. She wasn’t surrounded by comrades, she was millions and millions of miles away from home and it was all so pointless. She died because some mystical rule book decreed it, that’s not satisfying is it? Bloody Soul Stone terms and conditions! Also, they didn’t know it at the time (we did) but Cap sent his closest ally on a suicide mission and that’s tragic.
Of course it didn’t have to be her that needed to take the fall. The return to the cliffs of Vormir was nicely contrasted with our last visit, when Gamora was thrown off (turns out she really was dead) as here Natasha and Clint were fighting to throw themselves off. Clint wanted to go to pay for his recent sins but maybe hers were still worse. We were once told that she had a lot of red in her ledger but that’s all cleaned out now. That image of the first lady of the MCU lying motionless on that flat rock has stayed with me more than any other part of the film.
Hulk didn’t so much get an ending as the opening of another chapter. It was amusing to see him as a little bit of this and a little bit of that but to be honest I thought it stripped the guy of most of what made him interesting. Now he is just another muscular bloke with smarts and social awkwardness. He is basically Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character from Twins but with Elphaba’s epidermis. They couldn’t have sustained this change for another film, where is the drama? After this I’m kind of pleased to see him go. Question: if he thinks smashing things is so undignified then why did he work to keep his strength in the first place. Also, did anyone think he came across as a little more childlike than we’ve seen before. I suppose this would fit with the combination of those two personalities but it might mean he’s lost more than he’s gained. I mean, he couldn’t even work out time travel and his explanation of how it worked had nothing on Doc Brown’s. The old frowny, tortured Bruce could have done better.
Thor is another Avenger who went through huge personal development but didn’t really have his story wrapped up very neatly. Is he one of the Guardians of the Galaxy now or is he going to travel around space solving people’s problems as he comes across them like some ancient deity version of The Littlest Hobo? The Dog of Thunder, as it were.
I mostly liked what they did with Thor. It was a good gag but by its very design it is something they had to run with for the whole film and I kind of wanted the other guy back. I thought they might have gone a little far toward the comedy this time. Here’s the thing. Thor was played funny in Ragnarok but you were still able to take him seriously when you needed to. I couldn’t take him seriously here.
Still, at least I can say I’ve got body like Thor’s now.
Hawkeye opened the film then. You knew how that scene was going to go the second it started but it was no less powerful for this. It was right up there with Scott being reunited with Cassie in terms of heart rending family moments and this is a film that focused a lot on family moments.
I’m pleased he got his happy place back but I worry about how losing Natasha and the way that happened will effect him long term.
This guy, more than anyone, might just be living his best life. Simple guy, simple pleasures. The circumstances that were represented as rock bottom for Thor are perfect for the guy who is left sitting on his rock bottom.
So I guess that Thanos didn’t kill everyone on that ship at the start of Avengers: Infinity War then. I’m not quite sure where these guys all were while all of that was all going on but I’m pleased Valkyrie survived and I’m pleased she got her winged horse back. I can’t work out how either thing could possibly have happened but she’s queen now so that is nice from a feminist point of view.
Also good to see Pepper suit up for the same reason. I guess having her own powered armour means she’ll always have an important part of Tony with her. I, for one, would love to watch the further adventures of Iron Mum.
I have to say, I wasn’t expecting to see Thanos die in the first twenty minutes and it was a hollow victory but how great was it to see the remaining Avengers sweep in and kick his ass? He definitely had it coming. Nice to see thin Thor taking his advice going for the head too.
Equally as satisfying was seeing him dusted later on. I have no clue how this works from a timey wimey standpoint because it creates paradoxes and alternate realities all over the place. Nebula too. Lay it out for me again Bruce.
So Loki is back. Is Loki back? If he escaped with the Tesseract after the battle of New York then he didn’t go to prison. If he didn’t go to prison then he had no reason to help Thor against the Dark Elves. If he didn’t help Thor against the Dark Elves then he didn’t fake his own death. If he didn’t fake his own death then he didn’t return home. If he didn’t return home then he didn’t get the Tesseract. If he didn’t get the Tesseract then he didn’t face Thanos. If he didn’t face Thanos he didn’t die but he already had the Tesseract so did he face Thanos? So is he dead or isn’t he dead. I have no idea what’s going on. Get help!
This was Stan Lee’s final cameo and it was not one of the most memorable or witty. If you blinked you might have missed it. He was the latest in a line of MCU actors to be digitally de-aged though and this feels right. He lives on in our minds, ageless and speeding around with a cheer. I’ll go with that. Excelsior!