Marvel Cinematic Universe fans weren’t best pleased at the number of references made in last week’s episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier to Steve Rogers being gone, especially when his ultimate fate was left open-ended at the conclusion of Avengers: Endgame. Is he dead? Alive? On the moon? We don’t know, but if you ask us, it’s nice to enjoy a little bit of mystery every now and again.
However, one major feat accomplished by the lengthy interactions between Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes where they both let their respective guards down and opened up to each other about the legacy of their mutual best friend and his iconic shield is that it finally explained away a plot hole from Endgame that’s irked many MCU enthusiasts for close to two years.
Old Man Steve showed up and handed his vibranium frisbee to Sam Wilson, leading many folks to ask why he hadn’t bothered telling Bucky about his plans for the mantle of Captain America. Not only were they best friends dating back roughly 80 years, but the majority of Steve’s arc was driven almost entirely by his relationship with Bucky, right from the beginning when he joined the Army in The First Avenger.
Luckily, all it took was one line of dialogue from The Falcon and the Winter Soldier to see it all tied together, when Bucky admits to Sam that he was fully aware that the shield was heading his way. In typical MCU fashion, it joins the dots directly to Endgame, as the former Winter Soldier isn’t surprised in the slightest when Steve doesn’t return from the Quantum Realm, whereas Sam starts freaking out. Not only that, but it’s Bucky who points out the old man sitting on a bench that Sam needs to talk to, so everything’s wrapped up nicely in a neat little canonical bow.