Avengers: Endgame brings the story of a Captain America to a close, in a way that's both surprising and logical. The First Avenger to Winter Soldier to Civil War and each Avengers team-up – so it only makes sense that his story come full circle.
In doing so, it also closes the book on a long lingering mystery for its corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
[ Ed. Note: This post contains major spoilers for Avengers: Endgame ]
At the end of the film, Steve volunteers to drop off the Infinity Stones back to their respective movies they were taken from. But he decides to take the long way home, and when he returns to the present day after his mission is complete, he's an old man. As he declares his friend Sam "The Falcon", Wilson the new Captain America, the film concludes with the show that Steve took advantage of the time displacement to live the happy life of his ol 'friend Tony talked about. He returned to the past, presumably around the time he crashed-landed a Hydra plane into the Arctic waters. Why? To live out his days with the love of his life, Peggy Carter.
The Agent Carter's Mystery
In The Winter Soldier, Steve takes a break from saving the world to visit the Smithsonian Institution and look at the various memorials of his wartime efforts. A documentary showing Carter reveals that she later got married to an unnamed man who was saved by Steve from a HYDRA blockade in 1945. After the end of the WWII, she and the man were married and had two children together. (A son and daughter, of course, because the nuclear family tradition!) She would then, at some point, leave the Strategic Scientific Reserve to find SHIELD.
Throughout the film and TV installments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Peggy's husband has never been identified, leading to massive fan speculation and theorizing. For a time, many thought Peggy's solo series Agent Carter written by Avengers: Endgame screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, had enough nudged to make soldier-turned-spy Daniel Sousza the unspoken, but obvious, answer.
That never quite added up; Sousza lost his leg during the Siege of Bastogne in 1944, several weeks before Cap saved the platoon of soldiers in which Peggy's reported husband would have served in 1945. According to producer Michele Fazekas, Agent Carter which was canceled before the third season, we would eventually give "options" to the man in question, if not explicitly revealing the identity entirely. Even Haley Atwell, the star of the show, has never been able to give a definitive answer to the mystery of the husband. That should change after Endgame .
Steve got his dance with Peggy, time travel "plot holes" without damned
Avengers: Endgame drops the crumbs for Cap's eventual decision to stay in the past several times during the team's time heist. He keeps his compass with her photo on him at all times, even during his excursion to the New York Battle (causing 2012 Cap's jaw to drop, since "Loki" would not have that on his person), and gazes longingly at her when he's hiding in her office. Time with her is what he always wanted, and it's only natural he jumps at the chance to get it at the end of the film.
As we can assume from the ring on Old Man, Steve's finger, he and Peggy tied the knot in the past. He's coy about saying her name – both in the classic Hollywood and Marvel fashion, there's always a little mystery to their on-screen romance – but this is one of the happy endings. We know.
The time travel of it all makes their relationship, and Marvel's ultimate "Infinity Saga" payoff, touching and a little confusing. As Hulk says early, the present and future can not be changed, and when one travels back in time, it just becomes the past to the linear flow of time. So Cap and Peggy married and started a family. He kept his head down over the decades and let everything play out while he had his family, then grew in the moment. All the while, another Cap fought the battles we've seen before.
If Hulk's theory stays true, Cap is not the father of those kids he saw in previous movies. That does not negate their relationship. This is a time travel conundrum – and one that is happening off-screen, for maximum confusion. Are there multiple Peggys coexisting in the timeline too? Did Cap jump back in time before or after he rescued the father of his children? (And at what point in this zig-zagging, criss-crossing time jumping did Cap retrieve or rebuild his shield after Thanos' cracked it in half, another imperfection in the timeline that can not be undone?) Directors Joe and Anthony Russo don After Cap jumps, the camera glides over to find Old Cap, who, if Hulk and Tony Stark are right, have lived under cover this whole time, a happy married man. We just do not see the linear time logic that made it all possible.
For as many questions as the sequence raises, the emotional conclusion of all this seems to be definitive. Cap and Peggy get their dance. They get their life. Kitty Kallen's rendition of "It's Been Long, Long Time" plays them, and the film, off. Justin is a freelance writer in Kansas City, Missouri, and is on Twitter frequently, @GigawattConduit . He is also an avid lover of M & M McFlurries from McDonald's, and accepts that he has an addiction to them.