Avengers Endgame: Steve’s Past, Or His Future

If you haven’t seen the Avengers: Endgame trailer by now, then drop everything and take a moment to inhale this heroic humanity…

Aside from Scott Lang being the delightful goober that he is (I would have died of misery if I hadn’t had his comic relief during Ant-Man and the Wasp to ease the tension of this year’s movies)…

…the best part of this trailer to me is Steve and Nat.

I was originally very disappointed with Infinity War as I felt that everything was off.

For the large variety of unique and beloved characters the Russo Brothers had at their disposal, I felt like some characters were given all the spotlight while others (like Steve and Nat) were left backstage. Add to that the ridiculous melee that took place in Wakanda that was in complete opposition to that country’s entire infrastructure, I was unimpressed.

Some time has caused me to view a few aspects of the movie more gently.

No, there is no excuse for that ridiculous melee. Sorry, Mr. Russos’, there is no excuse. The most basic military strategy available is to NOT pile all of your warriors and resources in one big mass and yell “charge” at the enemy!

infinity war melee

I don’t care if you have a Force Field or people with powers. It was a gross misuse of your resources and insulted my intelligence. You made it even worse by placing the world’s greatest soldier, Captain America, and the King of the World’s most advanced technological and military nation, T’Challa, at the head as leaders.

king and captain

That was an insult. I don’t care if you thought it looked glorious, especially Thor’s stunning entrance, it was insanity and we all knew it. Here’s another article that shares some (not all) of my sentiments regarding this film.

But, there is nothing I can do about that now. The mess has been made. People are gone (PETER PARKER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). I have read a few articles since then that have given me a bit more perspective.

I now know that showcasing characters like the Guardians, Tony Stark, Dr. Strange, and Bruce Banner was a conscious choice.

They are reactive characters and when something happens, they react immediately. Characters like Steve, Nat, Falcon, etc tend to dig in and deal with the problem at hand, saving their reactions and or breakdowns for after the fact.

Therefore, as was shown by the trailer above, and confirmed by an article I read, we will actually be getting more of The First Avenger and The World’s Greatest Spy, Steve and Nat, in Avengers: Endgame.

It’s been theorized and practically confirmed that time travel will be the solution to defeating the Mad Titan and getting half of the universe back. Actors have been spotted in their Battle of New York costumes from the original Avengers movie, which leads us to the conclusion that we are going to be blasting to the past to save the future.

Natasha: This is gonna work, Steve.

Steve: I know it is, cause I don’t know what I’m gonna do if it doesn’t.

These dramatic and beautiful lines come right on the heels of a quick scene where we are shown Steve looking at his old compass from the 1940s, the one containing a cutout picture of Peggy Carter, his first love.

Mixing this highly emotional moment with the idea of time travel obviously leads many fans to this question: after he saves the world (again) will Steve choose to return back to his original time and be with his first love for a lifetime? Will we actually get to have that dance?

My answer?

No.

And…yes.

the nomad

First, on a practical note, both Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter have been major power players, forces of good in world history. To misplace them, to change their destinies would be to rearrange the Marvel Universe as we know it.

Peggy Carter’s story was continued in the brilliant series Agent Carter that was ended far too soon. Oh, yeah, Dear Disney, if you are looking for another pet show that needs a renewal on your streaming service, LOOK NO FURTHER THAN THE QUEEN OF MARVEL HERSELF! It’s ridiculous that this show hasn’t been renewed already.

Peggy Carter

In the short 2 seasons that the show was allowed, we saw just what a huge impact Agent Margaret (Peggy) Carter was going to have on the world. She runs circles around literally everyone else. She’s faster, stronger, smarter, and has the best lipstick in the business.

Peggy would go on to fight Hydra as well as forces from other worlds her entire life. She created SHIELD. She was vital to keeping the world as stable and safe as it was by the time Steve awoke from his chilly beauty sleep. In Agents of Shield, Season 2 during Hydra’s big “coming out party” (contemporary to The Winter Soldier) it was revealed by high-level Hydra baddies that the one reason they hadn’t revealed themselves sooner is that they had to wait for Peggy Carter to retire.

They knew she’d kick their face in. So let that sink in, folks. Peggy Carter singlehandedly kept Hydra at bay for 70 bloomin’ years.

It is obvious that Steve Rogers will forever be a part of Peggy’s heart. Even as we watch her learn to let him go and move on with someone equally special and wonderful, we know that Steve lives on in her legacy.

The bond between Steve and Peggy is still deeply obvious in that beautiful and gut-wrenching scene in The Winter Soldier. Steve’s grief at Peggy’s funeral speaks of the still deep connection that is never going to end. We know how special these two were to each other, and how special they remain to us.

Sad Steve

I don’t need to tell you all how different the world would be if Steve stayed in the past. We’ve seen that play out before our eyes.

My point is this…it just doesn’t work to change the timeline. I am an avid Flash fan, believe me, peeps, I know what I am talking about.

steves smile

Point 2, Steve Rogers is not the same man he was in the 1940s.

The story of Steve Rogers is one of triumph and tragedy. The thought of being ripped away from your entire world and everyone you hold dear is horrifying, to some, a fate worse than death.

But of all things, we know that Steve Rogers is not a quitter.

i can do this all day

So he didn’t quit. He jumped back into the fight and kept going.

Steve has had a busy arc. He started out as the knight-with-shining-shield of his day, Captain America: The First Avenger. Next, he was a man out of time who tried really hard, Avengers. Steve integrated himself with the world following that event, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. He made some friends and kept fighting the good fight. But something wasn’t sitting right. He was told it was his problem, he needed to get with the program. Good thing Captain America is actually terrible at following bad orders because he ended up being right.

After that Steve wasn’t going to apologize for what he believed to be right. He also showcases a rather frightening belief that fighting is kind of his destiny. Avengers: Age of Ultron. There is no world for him outside of this never-ending battle. No picket fence, no wife, no mini Steves running around. It’s a natural place for his character to go. He’s tired.

Next up, Captain America: Civil War. Steve chooses what he feels in his gut to be right, and he chooses the person who needs him most over being the status quo Captain America. He drops the shield and goes to discover who he is outside of Captain America.

Tony Stark to Peter Parker : If you’re nothing without the suit then you shouldn’t have it.

The above statement is a good one for any hero. Having seen Steve from his slim beginnings, clearly, we all knew that Steve Rogers is more than just a suit. But I think Steve needed to remind himself of that.

Avengers: Infinity War. We didn’t get much of Steve, but we saw was quite clear. He is not apologizing anymore. He’s going to take care of this world whether we like it or not. #hot And he’s still a really, really nice guy. He looks a bit tired, and yet, there is burning energy that wasn’t there before. Perhaps he hasn’t accepted the fact that his future is decided yet? It’s like he’s freshly alive, freshly awake…

Future.

Steve is not the same man he was in the 1940s. I believe he loved Peggy Carter with all of his being, but that is a past dream. It just a beautiful memory now. He still has the same noble heart, but he’s tread different soil. He’s got family here. He’s made a mark on the world, and he may actually want to stick around to appreciate it.

cap endgame

I do think we may finally get our dance scene. It has been teased before and we have walked away disappointed. Despite the fact that Steve needs to move on, it would be appropriate to have one dance with his best girl. I believe Nat (whether she is just a friend, or more) would fully approve. Heck, she’d help him fix his tie and take photos for him on the dance floor!

nat and steve endgame

Life is not about trying to recreate every perfect and beautiful moment from the past. Our good memories are to be treasured, but life is about living in the here and now. It’s making the most of this moment that you are currently living.

If whatever “this” is actually works, and Steve makes it out (there are substantial rumors that he may not actually be leaving for good), Steve Rogers has a future here. 

Characters have to keep moving forward or they become stale. Steve is moving forward, and if he has a future in this world, it’s going to be here and now with either Sharon or Nat (please be Nat, PLEASE BE NAT).

Welcome home, Captain Rogers.

steven and nat endgame

 

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Civil War: Natasha Romanoff, Steve’s Friend

“The truth is a matter of circumstance. It’s not all things to all people all the time. And neither am I.”

“That’s a tough way to live.”

“It’s a good way not to die though.”

“You know, it’s kinda hard to trust someone when you don’t really know who that someone is.”

“Yeah. Who do you want me to be?”

“How about a friend?”

This scene is so amazing in revealing aspects of both Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanoff’s characters. Not to mention the lighting is just right (just take a look at Scarlett’s eyes!). Steve is the guy who always knows who he is and where he stands. Captain America: The Winter Soldier was the movie where Steve decided once and for all that he wasn’t going to let the world around him change who he was or what he believed. Even if he uses a cell phone now instead of a telephone booth, Steve Rogers is essentially the same man that he was in ’45. Good thing, too, otherwise he wouldn’t have been around long enough to star in Civil War.

This scene is incredibly revealing of Natasha as well. She appears chipper, throwing in cute smiles and digs about Steve’s good-guy mentality. But after some conversation, a bit of the veil drops and we see the truth of who Natasha is.

(1) She’s a survivor.

You would have to learn how to be a survivor to make it out of the Red Room *shudders* The places that Nat has been, the things that she has done, the things that she has had done to her, they are unthinkable. She has had to reinvent herself so many times, she probably wonders who she is anymore.

(2) She’s lonely.

You can hear it in the soft and husky tone of her voice. There is an emptiness in both her eyes and her smile that break your heart just a little bit. She has an almost longing expression as she and Steve drive down a peaceful road in the warm, evening light. How much do you want to bet that the only person Natasha actually counts as being her friend is Hawkeye. And he is busy with a growing family, something that she knows she can’t have. You can practically see what is running through her mind as she talks to  this clean-cut and sweet guy who would like to count her as a friend. Why would he want her as a friend? Why would he trust her? Nat still feels pain for the bad things that she has done, her heart is still deeply grieved. And sometimes, she has trouble believing that she is worth anyone’s time, especially Captain America’s. After all, he’s the poster boy for goodness and doing the right thing.

(3) She’s scared. She’s been running to stay alive her entire life. Trust is a luxury she could never indulge in. And now, here she is yet again, running for her life with next to no one to trust….except Steve. But a life of mistrust cannot be switched over in a single moment. She wants to trust Steve and accept his friendship, but her finely tuned instincts are holding her back.

You know what happens next. Zola does his big reveal that Hydra is about to have their coming out party. Hydra sends a missile their direction and Steve saves Nat and covers her with his shield (an action that he also performed in The Avengers when fighting side by side with her #foreshadowing).

The next big Steve/Nat friendship milestone happens when they are cleaning up for breakfast at Sam’s. Seriously, by now how many of us dream of eating breakfast at Sam Wilson’s?

“I thought I knew who’s lies I was telling. I guess I can’t tell the difference anymore.”

“There’s a chance you may be in the wrong business.”

“I owe you.”

“It’s okay.”

“If it was the other way around, and it was down to me to save your life, now you be honest with me; would you trust me to do it?”

“I would now.”

Nat trust

Take a moment to explore that look of shock on Nat’s face. Captain America just said that he trusts her with his life. Her.

In this moment one of the best friendships in the MCU is formed. I saw the beginning of it in The Avengers, and I have loved watching this friendship bloom. We have never seen the backstory behind Natasha and Clint’s friendship, that was something which was already established by the time we were introduced to their characters.

But Steve and Natasha we have gotten to watch the whole way through, from the very first, “Ma’am.” “Hi.” we have been present to see two very opposite, and yet, very similar people bond.

Honestly, when I heard that Widow was going to be on Team Tony, I was pretty upset. BUT WHY I wanted to know! That completely flies in the face of everything she and Steve have gone through together, he’s one of her favorite people in the world. He pushed Banner to give it a try with her, and she told him to ask Sharon out. She trusts him! And he trusts her! They both love each other dearly and are rooting for the other’s happiness and success.

So why the heck was Widow on Team Ironman? I actually answered that question earlier: she’s a survior.

It’s her instinct to survive, to adapt, to change faces in order to live to fight another day. When the Sokovia Accords hit the table her instincts kicked in. This is the best way to stay under the radar, to maintain a good image, to make people happy so they won’t cause further problems. She listened to her head first while trying to ignore her heart.

And yet, her heart wouldn’t leave her alone. She has come far enough by now that she has allowed herself to love people, to care about their well-being. The parts of her heart that the Soviets tried to sterilize have been awakening again, and Steve owns a piece of property in there.

Their entire interaction in this movie is one of two people who are highly attuned to each other. She comes to him at Peggy’s funeral because she doesn’t want him to be alone. He asks if she is OK before getting the details of the UN bomb. Despite them being on opposite sides, they still seem to dance around each other with cautious steps.

“You know what’s about to happen. Are you sure you want to punch your way out of this one?”

Funny thing, Steve and Nat never actually engaged in combat during the airport battle, even though she and Clint locked horns. Somehow, they managed to avoid it. I can’t even picture him throwing a punch in her direction, he’d rather have her hit him all day.

All throughout this movie we see Natasha struggling between her head and her heart. She wants to reason with Steve to bring him over to the same side that she is on, and yet, she wouldn’t respect him as much if he did change his beliefs. But she desperately doesn’t want to oppose him.

We also see her thinking, “Maybe something is missing here.” She’s too smart to completely buy into the idea that the Accords came about from only good intentions. So when Steve tries to tell Team Tony what’s really going on #assassins #stopbeinganidiottony guess who believes him first?

What happens next is the fulfillment and cementing of all of the Steve and Nat groundwork laid in The Winter Soldier. Bucky and Steve manage to make it to the hanger and the quinjet, only to be confronted by Black Widow herself. True to her sense of humor, she plays “bad cop” for a minute, but if you pay attention you’ll notice that Steve never really looks nervous. He almost looks amused. I can’t say the same for Bucky. 😉

Natasha proves her real allegiance with her next action: stopping Black Panther to save Steve and Bucky. #iknewit #natashaandsteve #takethatteamtony

Black Panther is literally the only person who came to this fight to kill. He doesn’t care about politics, and he has no happy past history with any of these people to keep him in check. He wants to kill Bucky and anyone else standing in his way. We saw Steve and Black Panther face it off a few times, Panther is very dangerous and could take Steve out.

We never needed to worry though, because Natasha’s heart and conscience won out over her head. And when it all came down to it, she’s not just Black Widow….

….she’s Steve’s friend. And he trusts her with his life.

Nat and Steve

I absolutely love the character of Natasha Romanoff. She is one of the most interesting and three-dimensional female characters to grace the screen. She is not a stagnant character, but she has revealed multiple layers and grown so much as a person. She is strong and can be lethal, but she has a very tender heart and a hint of a femininity that is refreshing. I hope to write more on her in the future. I love her interaction with Steve (honestly, I was shipping them for a bit). But I almost think the friendship that these two unlikely pals have created is more fascinating and engaging than if they had become a couple. I hope to see them side-by-side many more times before all is said and done.

Were you surprised by Black Widow’s choice of teams? Were you shocked when she defected? Do you enjoy her friendship with Steve? Would you have changed anything?

If you liked this article, you will like these articles below!

Civil War: The First Annual Avenger’s Football Game Civil War: Spiderman, Meet Steve Civil War: Why the Sokovia Accords Are a Waste of Paper Captain America: Civil War – Parental Review 5 Things We Will Miss About “Agent Carter”