The final shot of Avengers: Infinity War was a memorably chilling image. Having succeeded in wiping out half of all life in the universe, Thanos retired to his alien farmhouse and was shown to let out a smile, convinced that he’d done something good. It was the perfect way to end the movie…just as it was the previous two times Marvel had done it.
Yes, somehow we haven’t noticed it before, but all three Avengers movies conclude with Thanos smiling. You’ll recall that the Mad Titan made his first appearance at the close of 2012’s The Avengers, when he was revealed to be the organ grinder of Loki’s invasion of Earth. Likewise, 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron saw the villain arming himself with the Infinity Gauntlet and decreeing “fine, I’ll do it myself.”
Before the nitpickers out there say it – yes, we know that both Avengers and Infinity War have additional scenes – the comedic shawarma scene and Nick Fury and Maria Hill’s cameo. But both of those are all the way at the end of the credits. Let’s disqualify them for now then so that we can focus on this nifty bit of symmetry between the first three team-up movies.
What’s interesting about it is that the three scenes signify Thanos getting ever closer to his goal, until IW when he achieves it. It makes us hope in a way that Avengers: Endgame will continue the tradition, though presuming that the heroes defeat him by the end of the film, that seems unlikely. If he manages to make it out alive though, maybe he could end that one frowning instead.
Whatever conclusion Marvel‘s cooked up for Avengers: Endgame, let’s have faith that it’ll round out the first decade of the MCU in a way that’ll at least make us smile, if not Thanos.