The ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Directors Open Up About That Confusing Captain America Scene

Marvel Studios

WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame.

People are so averse to potential spoilers for Marvel’s latest tentpole that The Daily Show is lampooning them. Even so, consider this your final warning, because Entertainment Weekly‘s interview with Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo got deep into some very murky spoilers. Specifically, the brothers discussed Captain America’s (Chris Evans) final scene in the film, which has both delighted and confused moviegoers.

In the final minutes of Endgame, Bruce Banner prepares to send Steve Rogers back in time to return the six infinity stones (and Thor’s hammer Mjolnir) to their rightful places in the timeline. Why? In order to avoid splitting reality into a myriad of decimated branches, per the Ancient One’s warning to Banner. Sam Wilson offers to help, but Steve turns him down. Meanwhile, Bucky Barnes says goodbye to his childhood friend in a way that suggests that he’s not coming back.

And he doesn’t. Instead, Barnes notices an old man sitting in a nearby bench. Wilson goes over to talk to him and discovers that it’s a much older version of Rogers. Turns out the good Captain decided to reconnect with Peggy Carter for that dance, get married and have a life. “Wait a minute,” you’re probably thinking. “Wouldn’t that screw up the timeline per the Ancient One’s warning?” According to the Russos’ interview with EW, yes:

“If Cap were to go back into the past and live there, he would create a branched reality,” Joe explained. “The question then becomes, how is he back in this reality to give the shield away?”

The brothers smiled.

“Interesting question, right?” Joe said. “Maybe there’s a story there. There’s a lot of layers built into this movie and we spent three years thinking through it, so it’s fun to talk about it and hopefully fill in holes for people so they understand what we’re thinking.”

If that’s not weird enough for you, remember Bucky’s reaction to the older Steve? The Russos do. “He says, ‘I’ll miss you.’ Clearly he knows something,” said Joe. Meanwhile, “Sam doesn’t know something.” Whether or not this moment is setting up the upcoming Disney+ series Falcon and Winter Soldier remains to be seen, of course. Considering the Russos’ coy responses to EW‘s questions about this chronologically confusing scene, however, this probably won’t be the last time it comes up in the MCU.

(Via Entertainment Weekly)