Much has been said about Captain America’s ending in Avengers: Endgame, with a debate raging on in regards to whether his returning to the past to live out his life with Peggy Carter was the perfect way to wrap up his arc or it actually ruined the movie. There’s also a lot of confusion over which timeline Old Man Cap’s been living in, though the Russos seemed to have cleared this up.
With all the attention being grabbed by Cap’s final scene, then, we’re overlooking the big mystery that takes place before it. Once Thanos is defeated and the Snap has been reversed, it falls to Cap to return the Infinity Stones to their proper places in time lest the various splintered realities out there fall into chaos. However, there’s one big problem with this: how the heck does Steve manage to drop the Infinity Stones back where they belong single-handedly?
If you’ll recall, the Time Heist took numerous heroes to pull off, as it involved a lot of infiltration and improvisation. Sure, returning the Time Stone is just a question of handing it back to the Ancient One, but Steve will surely run into trouble trying to return the Mind Stone to HYDRA in 2012 or putting the Reality Stone back with Natalie Portman on Asgard. Not to mention we’d love to see his awkward reunion with Red Skull on Vormir.
There’s also the question of how much the timeline would’ve already changed by the Stones being removed at those instances. For one, the formation of the Guardians of the Galaxy may never have happened, which means Ronan may have succeeded in destroying Xandar. Plus, Loki having the Space Stone in 2012 would undoubtedly cause a lot of trouble.
Sure, Cap’s quick replacement mission is Avengers: Endgame‘s way of tying up loose ends, but in reality, him belatedly returning the Stones just raises a lot more questions than it answers.