Avengers: Endgame was full of many emotional moments that had fans laughing and crying. While seeing the ending of the story for so many favorite characters had fans feeling invested, one aspect of Endgame left fans with a lot of questions.
Time travel plots are always messy and leave a lot more questions than answers, and this is definitely the case with Endgame. The time heist portion of the movie was a big part of the plot and allowed the Avengers to get the Infinity Stones and have a chance at getting the snapped people back. However, the time heist raises a lot of questions and had many plots holes that made no sense. Here are 10 things about the time heist plot that have us confused.
10 WHY DOES TONY INTERACT WITH HOWARD?
This point is less of a plot point and more of a character one. Having Tony interact with Howard and seemingly get a moment that proves Howard was actually a good man and dad seemed hamfisted.
This doesn't change the fact that Howard clearly neglected Tony and often made him feel bad about himself. More than that, Tony interacting with his father in the past could have put the entire plan at risk.
9 THE AVENGERS INTERACT WITH TOO MANY PEOPLE FOR IT TO NOT MESS UP THE TIMELINE
When it comes to time travel, there are always questions that come up about what happens when you change the past. While the movie wants you to assume that all of this time heist stuff already happened so it won’t change the future, this is somewhat hard to buy.
The Avengers interact with too many key plays in the MCU, and they do so in ways that would have changed future events drastically. The only way for their going back in time during the time heist to make sense is if they create branching realities.
8 THE THEORY OF BRANCHING TIMELINES NEVER QUITE MAKES SENSE
Fans of the MCU are now aware that Spider-Man: Far From Home is going to introduce the concept of the multiverse into the MCU. However, in Endgame itself, the explanation of the branching timelines doesn’t make a lot of sense.
When Hulk talks to the Ancient One, she explains that taking the stones will create a branching timeline, but it’s determined that returning the stones will fix this. However, this doesn’t make a lot of sense because the choices made by the Avengers in the past would change the future too much for there to not be other timelines created.
7 CAPTAIN AMERICA’S ACTIONS WOULD COMPLETELY CHANGE THE WINTER SOLDIER MOVIE
Getting into specifics about the actions of the Avengers, we can look at Captain America. When Steve Rogers goes back to 2012 and the Battle of New York, he encounters his 2012 self. During their fight, he tells 2012 Steve that Bucky is still alive.
He also interacts with Brock Rumlow and other HYDRA agents and makes them think he’s part of HYDRA. Both of these events would likely combine in a way that would make the movie Captain America: The Winter Soldier no longer make sense.
6 THE MECHANICS OF HOW THEY TRAVEL TO EXACT LOCATIONS AREN’T EXPLAINED WELL
While time travel obviously isn’t a real thing, some better explanations of how everything worked would have been helpful. Of course, when Tony Stark discovers the rules of time travel and how they can use the Quantum Realm to do so, audiences are willing to take some things with a suspension of disbelief. We don’t need to hear every detail and explanation.
But audiences are asked to take a big leap in believing that the Avengers can completely accurately show up in the exact places of both time and space that they want to.
5 NEBULA HAS AN ALTERNATE REALITY CREATED THAT ISN’T ADDRESSED
One of the biggest issues with the time heist plot is related to Nebula, Thanos, and Gamora. This whole storyline creates an alternate reality for Nebula as soon as Thanos sees the memory of future Nebula being projected from 2014 Gamora.
There is no way to get around the fact that the time heist would have completely created a new reality and branched timeline for Nebula.
4 THANOS WOULDN’T HAVE EXISTED IN THE SAME TIMELINE
Going further into the mess that is the Gamora, Nebula, and Thanos time travel plot, things get really messy. First of all, the actions of the time heist create an alternate reality where Gamora, Nebula, and Thanos from 2014 disappear to go into the future and never return.
Since Tony snaps them out of existence at the end of the battle, they obviously can’t return back to the past, so an alternate reality/ multiverse scenario is the only option here.
3 IS THE PAST THEY TRAVEL TO AN ALTERNATE PAST?
Any way you look at the mechanics of the time heist plot, it’s clear that alternative realities are created. Since this is basically somewhat confirmed by Far From Home's newest trailer, this is a safe bet.
However, this fact is not explained in Endgame at all and seems almost like it was added later after realizing that all of the time traveling had messed up the timelines too much. Either their actions in the time heist created branching alternative futures or they were visiting an alternate past that already existed.
2 WAR MACHINE KNOCKING OUT QUILL WOULD HAVE IMPACTED THE GUARDIANS MEETING
To get back into specifics about possible impacts of the time heist scenes, it’s worth noting that War Machine’s actions would have impacted the events of Guardians of the Galaxy.
When War Machine knocks out Peter Quill on Morag while he’s trying to get the Power Stone, this would have made it impossible for the events of Guardians of the Galaxy to take place and they likely wouldn’t have been able to meet each other. Or at least it would have changed the version of events.
1 LOKI ESCAPED WITH THE TESSERACT
This is a big issue that is not addressed at all in the movie. After Tony Stark gets hit by Hulk coming down the stairs and loses the Tesseract, Loki picks it up and uses it to escape from capture. This creates a reality where Loki is running around with the tesseract right after the Battle of New York.
Even if Steve Rogers does go back in time to return the stones, the only way to prevent this moment form creating a branched timeline is if he had stopped it while it was happening, which clearly isn’t the case.