By AHLORA SMITH
Endgame: the name that has been in the spotlight of the world’s attention for months.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has built the most splendid and bustling movie franchise in history over the past decade, destroying box office records and blowing the minds of viewers of all ages. All this has led up to the internet destroyer that is Avengers: Endgame, which was released April 26, six days shy of the 11 year anniversary of the original MCU release: Iron Man.
Now, Endgame was a giant roller coaster of emotions, as expected, so here are the top moments from the film for six infinity types, in honor of the six infinity stones.
There will be spoilers, and you have been warned.
Scott Lang’s taco
Everyone’s favorite Ant-Man is simply sitting and enjoying his hard shell taco when Nebula and Rocket touch down in the Milano outside of the Avengers headquarters. Because of the wind from the ship’s turbines, all of Scott’s fillings flew from the taco, leaving him with a mere shell. Bruce then walks out and gives Scott two new tacos to compensate for his loss.
Professor Hulk takes a picture
This moment had audiences reeling, with a few of the Avengers sitting in a diner booth when the newly introduced Professor Hulk gets approached by a few young fans asking for a picture. After Scott takes it, he asks the kids if they would like a photo with him, since he is Ant-Man. The conversation then morphs into an entirely awkward but hilarious exchange when Bruce pushes the kids to take a picture with Scott while all three parties go in a circle of denials and encouragements. The exchange ends with the perfect button: “Hulk out!”
Thanos is killed in the beginning
Endgame was supposed to be the epic saga leading up to the return of the decimated and ending with the death of Thanos, right? Wrong. Within the first 15 minutes, the Avengers tracked down Thanos and chopped off the gauntlet. After this, he revealed that he had used the stones to destroy them. In disgust and opportunity, Thor decapitates him and falls into a deep depression.
5 years later
Generally, Marvel speculators theorized that there would be some sort of time jump from Infinity War to this film, but the shock in the air still remains when the black screen flashes “5 years later.” This means a completely different movie than it could have been had the time jump been shorter or completely nonexistent. It means that the characters have now lived in a world where the decimation has simply been a part of life, and they can move on, although this is not the case for our Avengers.
Scott reunites with Cassie
After returning from the quantum realm five years after he went in (thank you, Mr. Rat!), Scott rushes around the destroyed San Francisco after he finds out what happened while he was gone in hopes to find his daughter, Cassie. Of course, the five-year time jump means that Cassie is now a grown teenager, so the girl who opens the door to Scott is almost unrecognizable. Despite this, the pause that both actors take to completely give in to the moment is simply bliss for the audience, reminding them of their own dear relationships.
Tony’s last interaction with Howard
Over the past decade, audiences have seen flashbacks to the ever-complicated relationship between Howard and Tony Stark. We have seen a lot of emotional trauma and confusion in Tony’s life, but there is the everlasting love and attention that Tony wanted from his father that is so heart-wrenching. When he and Steve go back to the 1970s to retrieve the tesseract, Tony has a solid conversation with his father while his mother is pregnant with him. Funny, right? The conversation ends when Steve calls Tony over and Tony hugs his father, letting him know that it will be okay.
MCU Fan Easter Eggs
Cap in the elevator
This is a fun reference to Captain America: The Winter Soldier in which Steve was in an elevator with some Hydra agents. In the movie, Cap politely asks, “Before we get started, would anyone like to get out?” before absolutely destroying everyone in the elevator single handedly. In Endgame, Steve got into an elevator with the men, giving audiences the impression of an impending and epic battle. Instead, he whispered a “hail Hydra” in order to get ahold of Loki’s scepter, which had the mind stone in it.
The average Endgame viewer most likely did not recognize the lone teenage boy standing towards the back at Tony’s final send-off; however, for the keen MCU fans, this young man is recognized immediately. He is Harley Keener, a young boy from Iron Man 3. He finds that Tony broke into his garage after losing battery in his small town, and he helps Tony fix his suit and return home. The last that we see of Harley in that movie is Tony giving him a plethora of parts and robotics tools. It can be assumed that because he is at Tony’s funeral, they did continuously keep in contact, which is just painful to the mind and soul.
Bucky and Steve’s goodbye
In Captain America: The First Avenger, pre-serum Steve must say goodbye to his lifetime friend, Bucky Barnes, as he is being sent to fight in the war. In their final exchange, Bucky warns Steve, “Don’t do anything stupid while I’m gone,” followed by Steve’s “How can I? You’re taking all the stupid with you.” This exchange is reprised at the end of Endgame when Steve is about to go back in time, except the boys switch who say what. This makes the moment bittersweet for even people that wouldn’t understand the reference, but for MCU fans, it is the cherry on top of their epic companionship.
In an adrenaline-rushing sequence, the audience sees Clint Barton and Natasha Romanoff trying to exchange themselves for the soul stone while preventing the other from doing it. The push, pull and shock of the sequence already leaves audiences at least melancholy, since one of them is obviously going to die. In the end, Natasha slyly latches Clint to the top of the cliff while he desperately holds onto her arm, unwilling to let go. With a final “it’s okay,” Natasha uses the force of kicking off the side of the cliff to slip out of Clint’s hold, leaving Clint and the audience absolutely distraught as the camera pans down to her body.
Tony’s final moments
Now, this moment closed the book on Tony Stark’s epic character development, and it is completely devastating. Tony wields the stones and snaps his fingers in order to rid the universe of Thanos and his army before succumbing to the radiation of the power that rushes through his body. The audience sees the huge radiation gash on his face before he finally collapses with the help of Rhodey. During this, Peter is again a significant part of a death, and he again makes it completely heartbreaking with his “We won, Mr. Stark” and “I’m sorry, Tony.” Tony’s final words are “Hey, Pep” to his wife before she tells him that it’s okay and that he can go.
Captain America wields Mjolnir
This is the moment that audiences have been waiting for since the infamous party scene in Avengers: Age of Ultron when everyone was attempting to lift Thor’s hammer, which can only be lifted by those worthy to rule Asgard. Steve is able to slightly lift it but gives up, leaving a worried Thor in the background of the scene. In Endgame, Thanos is holding Stormbreaker, Thor’s axe, to Thor’s chest, creating a parallel with the first movie when the roles were switched. There is then an angle to Mjolnir being lifted, which some audience members assume is Thor summoning it. On the contrary, the hammer is thrown at Thanos’ head and returns to none other than Steve Rogers. Audience reactions are fairly similar to Thor’s immediate “I knew it!”, leaving huge satisfaction for those that have followed the MCU over the years.
Tony and Peter’s reunion
In the middle of the epic battle, Tony is down for an exhaust break when Spider-Man hops into the frame to tell Tony his story. The very excitable teenager goes on a long and winded tangent of how the events were experienced from the perspective of the dusted as they returned to where the decimation occured. Tony cuts off Peter by throwing him off guard and giving him a warm hug, to which Peter remarks “Ah, this is nice.” Their relationship during the MCU has been funny and warm at the same time, starting with an awkward “hug” when Tony was opening a car door for Peter and ending with them clinging to each other as Peter is dusted away. This reunion and hug assures that Tony and Peter truly love each other, and it is beautiful.
Steve Rogers’ introduction to the MCU came in Captain America: The First Avenger also followed his relationship with the beautiful and strong Peggy Carter. During a conversation in the middle of this movie, pre-serum Steve and Peggy have a conversation that Steve has never danced before, and he tells her that he “just [hasn’t] found the right partner yet.” After this, there was no doubt that Steve wanted Peggy to be his dance partner. At the concluding moments of the movie, Steve and Peggy plan their dance date as he flies an enemy jet into the ice, where he would remain for 70 years. Over the course of the MCU, it is obvious that Steve never gets over his true love, and neither has she, as seen in The Winter Soldier when the 93 year old Peggy Carter cries upon Steve’s presence. Fans’ desire for them to have their dance is only amplified in the movies closer to Endgame, and it is finally given at the close of the movie. The flashback sequence of Steve and Peggy dancing to “It’s Been a Long, Long Time” is both a tear-jerker and quite possibly the most satisfying ending that the Russo brothers could have given to Marvel’s Infinity Saga.