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Avengers: Endgame was designed to bring Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to a close, and while it largely left fans satisfied, that's not to say it didn't leave fans with a few questions as the credits began to roll. One of those questions had to do with Captain America's decision to remain in the past, rather than return to his present, and live out his days with Peggy Carter. Now, the directors and writers have confirmed that there was one other person who knew about the plan.
When Cap fails to materialize at the appointed time after returning the Infinity Stones, everybody seems shocked. Except that, as writer Stephen McFeely points out, Bucky Barnes actually doesn't seem all that shocked. In the commentary track to the Avengers: Endgame Blu-ray McFeely seemingly confirms that Steve Rogers told his old friend what he was planning on doing. According to McFeely...
Yeah I think it's clear from Sebastian's performance here that he's been clued into Steve's decision. Why would he say "I'm gonna miss you" if it's gonna be five seconds?
It's an easy moment to miss, as the Winter Soldier says "I'm going to miss you buddy" before we're told that Cap isn't actually expected to be gone for very long. Some might have missed it, but even after Steve fails to reappear, Bucky doesn't look worried, he looks content. It's clear that he already understood what had happened, but now we know it's because Steve told him.
Director Joe Russo also confirms that, from his perspective as the director, the Winter Soldier is clued in on all this, at least to some degree.
He knows. Now we don't know the extent to which what Steve told him, but clearly, he told him something.
This also helps to, at least somewhat, answer another question that fans had. While many suspected that Steve Rogers would be hanging up the shield following Avengers: Endgame, the question of who would take it up was open. Both Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes have become Captain America in the comics, so which would it be in the MCU?
It turned out to be Sam Wilson, and Bucky Barnes seems to know this too. When Bucky sees the older Steve sitting on a bench, he sends Wilson to him. He appears to know what's about to happen. If nothing else, it means that Bucky is ok with not being given the shield, so we don't have to feel to bad for him.
Of course, there's still a lot more to be seen from these two. Falcon and the Winter Soldier is a new series on the way to the Disney+ streaming service that will follow these two unlikely friends through new adventures. How will Falcon's status as the new Captain America work into the next phase of the MCU?
Avengers: Endgame is now available in Digital HD and comes to Blu-ray August 13.