Some People Actually Really Hated the End of Captain America’s Story
When Avengers: Endgame came out a year ago, one of the parts that touched fans the most was the very last shot. Just as this very bombastic movie had opened on a quiet note with Hawkeye and an archery lesson, it closed with a simple shot of Steve Rogers finally getting that dance he promised Peggy Carter.
What some thought was ideal didn’t seem so ideal to others. They thought the ending had some troubling implications and actually undercut his story. This actually makes the Sam vs. Bucky debate seem mild by comparison.
The case against Captain America
Fans debated the matter on Reddit in a thread about “genuine criticisms” of the MCU. One fan had this to say about Captain America’s ending:
“I honestly really hate Cap’s ending, him going back in time to live with Peggy completely undermines his entire arc and all his growth (not to mention glosses over what his real losses were, and how miserable this would actually be).”
Other fans concurred, with one saying, “Agreed. I hate Cap’s ending in Endgame. So he went back in time to be with Peggy and all day he stayed inside her house hiding while she worked and Steve lived by sponging (off) Peggy’s money. He can’t go outside because everyone will notice who he is.”
This is an offshoot of an argument that Captain America shirked his responsibilities as a hero by going back to be with Peggy, letting disasters like 9-11 happen.
And this meant that Peggy’s kids were actually Steve’s? That made the charming scenes between him and Sharon Carter in The Winter Soldier seem a little creepy. Darned time travel
The case for Captain America
Still, other fans lept to Endgame’s defense, with one saying “It’s a complete in character decision and it entirely makes sense in his overall arc. His entire arc was about coming out of this puppet role for the government to do what he thinks is right and protect humanity how he wants it not how the government wants it.”
In other words, the fan reasoned, hadn’t he served his time and deserved his happy ending?
Another fan said, “He lived in an alternate timeline with Peggy. I believe he laid low and lived a very fulfilling life, but at the same time he took down Hydra, saved Bucky and feeded secret info to Peggy and the SSR to prevent a major world crisis. And he also did his best to make the new world a better place to live in!”
What did Peggy Carter think?
One person who was satisfied with the ending was Peggy Carter herself, Hayley Atwell. After her character got a promising start in The First Avenger, she got her own Agent Carter series, but it lasted only two seasons. So for Atwell, this was a fine way to wrap up her character arc.
She told The Hollywood Reporter:
“I thought it was a fitting end to a story that has affected so many people. I thought it was very endearing, innocent and wholesome in the way that it keeps those characters in their time. I thought it was quite beautiful and very tasteful of Marvel to finish this 10-year story in a very simple storyline about two human beings — and one of them doesn’t even have any superpowers. So, I thought the tone of it, to end there, after some extraordinary things of trauma, action, effects and powers… to just have two people slow-dancing was very beautiful.”
Carter will get one more shot at heroics in the Marvel animated series What If …? In an episode that shows what happens if Peggy had been the one to take the super-soldier serum.