While the Marvel TV shows and the Marvel Cinematic Universe are technically connected to one another, they've remained fairly separate entities. The arguable exception to that is Agent Carter, the series that followed Peggy Carter's story after the events of Captain America: The First Avenger for two seasons on ABC. Taking place in a post-World War 2 1946, the series helped to establish how Peggy helped create what would one day become SHIELD. However, given some of the universe-altering events of Avengers: Endgame, the events of Agent Carter have come into question,
Warning: Spoilers for Avengers: Endgame from here on. As they are pretty big spoilers, if you don't want to know, you should back out now.
Avengers: Endgame is in unique in that it actually acknowledges the television portion of the MCU. In an attempt to acquire the Space Stone, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) go back to 1970 to early SHIELD headquarters. The sequence gives fans a great little Easter Egg -- James D’Arcy as Jarvis -- as well shows Peggy working as SHIELD director, while Steve looks on undetected. The moment is clearly emotional for him and, later, once the vanished have been restored and Thanos beaten, Steve opts not to return to the present. Instead, he goes back to the 1940s and reunites with Peggy and it's an elderly Steve the makes contact with Sam/Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky (Sebastian Stan) in the future, passing on his shield and the Captain America title to Sam having lived a happy life. The final moments of the movie are Steve and Peggy finally having their dance in the living room of their home back in the 1940s.
It's beautiful, but it's also a huge change. Part of why Peggy continued her work and went on to found SHIELD was Steve's perceived death in Captain America. Steve not "dying" would, theoretically, change that motivation and thus, change Peggy's story and, thus, change everything about Agent Carter, right? The answer? Probably not.
While there's a lot of debate about Steve's actions at the conclusion of Endgame -- even with some solid explanations of how Steve's going back doesn't wreck the MCU there are still some lingering issues about details like the replacement of the Infinity Stones, Pym particles and how many there actually were, and why he ended up on a bench and not the Quantum Platform -- Endgame directors the Russo Brothers have more or less explained that Steve creates a "branched reality" when he goes back to Peggy. With that in mind, this creates a brand-new timeline that we've never seen in the MCU. In this timeline, Steve may have never gone into the ice and was, instead, able to make it home to Peggy. Perhaps in this timeline the pair even go on to found SHIELD together with a whole new set of adventures. Or, maybe, Steve played stay-at-home dad as writer Christopher Markus suggested to Fandango.
Whatever that reality looks like, it's one that allows for the preservation of Agent Carter's story, giving fans the best of both worlds: Peggy's solo adventures and the happy ending she and Cap have always deserved.
Avengers: Endgame is now playing in theaters.
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