Marvel fans have dissected Avengers: Endgame in every possible way over the past few months, analyzing every scene for easter eggs, foreshadowing or some kind of deeper meaning. Here’s a reading of one element of the storyline that hasn’t been pointed out before though, which adds a new dimension to Steve Rogers’ motivation in the movie. And it’ll definitely tug at your heartstrings.
Following the heroes re-assembling after the Snap and realizing that, for the first time, they’ve lost, things fast forward to five years later and we catch up on what the Avengers are doing now. Captain America, specifically, has a sideline in running a support group for New York citizens who are struggling to deal with losing loved ones. There’s no context given for why Steve started this up though, so we’re just left to think it’s something he did to help others.
This theory, though, suggests that he was actually inspired by his fallen friend, Sam Wilson. Reddit user u/JFT134 has noted that Steve may have established his group in honor of Sam’s support group for ex-soldiers, seen in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It’s a moving and plausible idea, and it could even have been something the filmmakers were thinking in the back of their heads. After all, writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely and directors the Russos all worked on TWS.
Of course, by the end of the movie, the fates of Steve and Sam have somewhat reversed. With the Infinity Gauntlet used to bring the Blipped back to life, Sam is back but Steve elected to travel to the past and spend his life with Peggy Carter, last being seen as a very old man. Old Man Cap gave his shield to Falcon, as well, further proving how much he respects his friend.
And we’ll find out what happens next for Antony Mackie’s Sam Wilson after Avengers: Endgame in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, coming to Disney Plus next fall.