Unless you’ve lived under a rock or locked away your social media, if you’re a Marvel fan, you know what happened to Steve Rogers in Endgame. He went back in time to return the Infinity Stones and then did something for his own piece of mind. He went back and lived the life he had wanted with the love of his life Peggy Carter. Whether you agree or disagree with his decision, it is not debatable that he deserved that happiness.
When he reappears, he is an old man and passes on the Captain America mantle to Sam Wilson. It makes sense and it has been done before in the comics. What was missing was the conversation that had to or should have happened with Bucky Barnes. Bucky was his ride or die. The closest thing Steve Rogers had to a brother. It would be appropriate if Steve discussed his decision and reasons for them with Bucky before giving the shield to Sam. In the film, Bucky seemed to know what was going to happen, and he appeared at peace with it. But what WAS that conversation? Here is how I imagine it:
Steve: Buck, we need to talk.
Bucky: Sure, Kid. What’s on your mind?
Steve: You know I’ve agreed to take the Infinity Stones back to where they belong. I’ve been thinking a lot about things lately. About Tony, and the family he built, and how happy he was with his life. It occurred to me, I never really had that chance. Once I put that plane into the water and was frozen, that chance was over. I tried to learn to accept that.
Bucky: You did, did you? Is that why you still carry that compass around with Peggy in it? The love of your life is like your best friend. They don’t come around often. When they do, you need to grab on with both hands. Just like you did with me. You never gave up on me. Even when everyone said you should. Even Sam and Tony thought so, and perhaps…they weren’t wrong.
Steve: You know I couldn’t do that. I was with you to the End of the Line. Always will be.
Bucky: So what are you trying to tell me?
Steve: Buck, after I deliver the Infinity Stones, I’m going to find Peggy. I’m going to try to live the life that Tony said I should find. I don’t know if that’s selfish or self-centered but it seems right.
Bucky: Selfish? You have given your life a million times over for other people. You have done your service. No one deserves some happiness more than you. Go for it! Scoop that girl in your arms and do not let go. I’m happy for you, Pal. I really am.
Steve: Thanks, Buck. One more thing. If this works out, the next time I see you, I’m probably going to be pretty old.
Bucky: You were already old…Methuselah. I will still know it’s you.
Steve: When I do see you and Sam, I’m going to give Sam the Shield. Please don’t take that wrong, Buck. You are my best friend and if I didn’t know Sam, you would be my first and only choice.
Bucky: But??? (knowing there’s more)
Steve: You and I know the Winter Soldier has done some horrible things. I know it wasn’t your fault. You had no control but it still doesn’t reflect well on the image, the symbol that Captain America should stand for. Understand?
Bucky: (After a pause) I understand. You’re right. The Winter Soldier has been responsible for a lot of damage. Eventually, I will not be that guy. But I understand why you would come to that decision. Really, Steve…it’s ok.
Steve: I knew you would, Buck. You’re a good man, you always have been. As for Sam, he is a good man too. I’ve watched him since I met him. He has no Super Soldier serum to rely on. No powerful mechanical arm to fight with but he jumps into a fight knowing, more often than not, he’s out-matched. He doesn’t hesitate. He puts himself in harms way because it’s the right thing to do. Doing the best he can. Every time. That is the kind of man that Dr. Erskin was looking for when he created the serum, when he created me. I just wanted you to know.
Bucky: I appreciate that Steve. But don’t worry. It’s fine. Will you tell Sam?
Steve: No. I don’t think so. If something goes wrong I don’t want him with all of this on his mind. You can steer him in the right direction when and if the time comes.
Bucky: I’ll miss you Steve. Where else will I find someone who knows the entire constitution word for word and the BoyScout handbook? (Smiling slyly)
Steve: You know those are both available on the Internet, Buck…so helpful. I’ll miss you too Buck. Don’t do anything…
Bucky: Don’t say it. Let’s save that for when you leave. (The two longtime friends embrace) Now go get that dance.
The other conversation we missed was the one on the other end. What was said when Steve showed up on Peggy’s door? I would imagine that this would be a shorter conversation and might require something Steve has proven not to be great at. A little bit of lying. I envision this:
While Steve is waiting by the door he is still rehearsing what he is going to say in his mind. What will her reaction be.
Peggy: Just a minute.
That minute seems like an eternity when the door opens.
Steve: Hello, Peggy.
Peggy: Steve…. Steve?? Oh my God. Steve???!!!
Steve: I have missed you so much, Peg..
He never finished the sentence because she socked him hard on the jaw. Not hard enough to normally knock him off his feet, but he wasn’t expecting it.
Peggy: You died…We had your funeral….and you’re still alive? (The tears welling up her eyes)
Steve: I’m so sorry, Peggy. (Slowly climbing back to his feet) When I put the plane down, it was in the ice. The plane froze and sank, and so did I. (That part was true). The next thing I knew I was in a hospital bed. Apparently Dr. Erskin’s Serum somehow saved me. I’m not sure how I was found. All I knew was I had to get back to you. I love you. (Showing her the compass with her picture on it).
The tears were free flowing now as Peggy embraced him. He took her face in his hands and kissed her like he hadn’t seen her in forever. (Which for him, seemed like that). He smiled down at her.
Steve: I had to come see my best girl. Besides, you owe me a dance.
Peggy looked at him drying her eyes.
Peggy: But you’re late! (Taking him by the hand and leading him into the house).
The rest is history. At least the history they now have made. Are there other Missing Pieces that you feel need further explanation from End Game or other films? Share YOUR Missing Pieces with us at GVNation.
I am a 50 something child of the 70’s who admits to being a Star Trek/Star Wars/Comic Book junkie who once dove head first over a cliff (Ok, it was a small hill) to try to rescue his Fantastic Four comic from a watery grave. I am married to a lovely woman who is as crazy as I am and the proud parent of a 15 year old boy with autism. My wife and son are my real heroes.