What if the episode 9 credits scene is explained? The end of Captain Carter’s endgame

Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Marvel’s What If …? episode 9.

What if… from Marvel? Season 1 has come to a close, and the season finale ends with a curious post-credits scene that twists Captain America’s style. Avengers Endgame ending for Captain Carter. The animated MCU has been mostly made up of isolated and unique stories set in different realities of the Marvel multiverse, but Episode 9 brings together a team of characters from across the season to battle Ultron as the Guardians of the Multiverse. The kit includes What if …? Star-Lord T’Challa, Killmonger, Gamora, Party Thor, Strange Supreme, and of course Captain Carter.

The character of Captain Carter is introduced in What if…? Episode 1, showing a universe where Peggy Carter, not Steve Rogers, received the original super soldier serum. In that timeline, Steve dons an Iron Man-style mech suit called the Hydra Stomper to help Peggy fight the bad guys. As in the original Captain America movie, Captain Carter ends up being stolen from his time after defeating Hydra and moving to the present day, where he joins SHIELD and continues his heroic endeavors around the world.

After helping the Watcher defeat Ultron as part of the Guardians of the Multiverse, Captain Carter asks if he can go back to his original time frame and be with Steve. But Watcher denies her request. Instead, it puts her back where the What if…? season 1 finale – on the boat from the beginning of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. But after defeating the terrorists on board with Black Widow, Peggy discovers that Steve might be alive.

Clearly, the Watcher is not above breaking his oath of non-interference in the right situation. He steps in to defeat Infinity Stone Ultron, and places Black Widow in a different reality than the one she came from simply to make her happy. But when Peggy asks to go back in time, as Steve does at the end of Avengers Endgame, the Watcher says no. She makes her reason quite clear enough: Captain Carter’s current universe still needs her, and he’s likely to get in big trouble if he leaves. Sending her back to the 1940s would be too big of a change. On the contrary, in EndgameCaptain America has reached the end of his starring role in his timeline. He has given all he can, and his time as a hero is over, so there are no major ramifications for him to leave. Furthermore, the Avengers’ time travel was part of their core reality, not a divergence from it, whereas a change enacted by the Watcher would have been a major Nexus event.

Although the Watcher chooses not to send Captain Carter back to WWII, he surely knew what awaited him in his current timeline: an implicit reconnection with Steve. Natasha shows Peggy that the terrorists on the ship were looking for a particularly sturdy piece of cargo: a metal box containing the original Hydra Stomper suit, which, according to Black Widow, still has someone inside. The clear implication is that Steve is somehow alive and well, allowing Captain Carter to have a different king of Avengers Endgame ending up being reunited with his love today. However the What if…? The end of episode 9 also points to a darker twist: that in Captain Carter’s universe, Steve became the Winter Soldier.

Weather What if…? Episode 9 may not confirm that Steve is the Winter Soldier, it is very implied. The situation reflects the second Captain America film, which was about the decades of torment and control that Bucky Barnes endured as the Winter Soldier. It seems unlikely that Steve and Hydra Stomper would have been active without SHIELD knowing, unless he was being manipulated by some darker and more hidden faction. And since Hydra is likely still active in Captain Carter’s timeline, just like they were in the MCU’s Sacred Timeline, they could easily be behind Steve’s return.

However, the appearance of a Steve Rogers Winter Soldier is a little less clear. Given that the Hydra Stomper is still in use, it is unlikely that Steve was modified with Hydra’s Super Soldier Serum in the same way that Bucky was. A successful transformation would have made the Hydra Stomper irrelevant and better suited for a less super powerful operative. But if Steve wasn’t modified with super soldier serum, why would they have kept him around? In theory, anyone could learn to pilot the Hydra Stomper, and if it fell into the wrong hands, surely it would have been easier to teach someone on the evil side to use it than to try to coerce Steve. There are many inexplicable mysteries related to the apparent What if…? come back, and can be resolved into What if…? season 2.

A good portion of What if… from Marvel? Season 2 will consist of entirely new realities and character variants, including some from the MCU Phase 4. But there are also strong indications at the end of What if…? season 1 that some of its characters could be revised. The most obvious one to return to is Captain Carter, particularly due to the setting in the post-credits scene of What if…? Episode 9. But will the next season of the show really reveal the truth about Steve Roger’s implied transformation into Winter Soldier, or is it just a joke?

Captain Carter has been one of the most popular characters in What if…? season 1, so it would make perfect sense to visit her again in season 2. Since you now know that Hydra survives WWII thanks to her multiverse adventure with Black Widow, she could hypothetically stop the tragic events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier even to happen in your own universe. That in itself is an interesting story, and it would be even more compelling with a Winter Soldier story involving Steve Rogers. Is he really alive? Did you get the super soldier serum? Or is someone else using Hydra Stomper? I wish, What if… from Marvel? season 2 will provide some answers.


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