It’s been over a month since the finale of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and though the show is over, viewers still have some important questions about the old Captain America. Specifically, where is Steve Rogers? Is he alive? Is he dead? Is he on the moon? Is he at the end of the line? Well, the answer may come from Marvel’s next show, Loki.
When we last saw Steve Rogers he was on a park bench, handing Sam Wilson a shield, aged dramatically from spending decades in the past with Peggy. And what happened to Steve Rogers after that scene, we as an audience have no real idea. The characters in Falcon and the Winter Soldier constantly refer to Steve, occasionally joking about conspiracy theories that Steve has been sent to the moon and Sam bluntly tells Bucky that “Steve is gone” in Episode 5 but the characters speak so vaguely about him that it feels like they don’t even know where he is.
And maybe they actually don’t know where he is, because Steve is currently a fugitive from the Time Variance Agency.
Loki hasn’t premiered yet but we know from the trailers that the Time Variance Agency (TVA) plays a huge role in the show. The TVA’s mission is to “protect the proper flow of time”, something Steve has definitely disrupted by committing a time heist and not returning to his own timeline. We also know, according to Luke Wilson’s character Mobius, that Loki “broke reality” simply by picking up the Tesseract when he was not meant to, causing the TVA to hunt Loki down and imprison him. Considering how deeply Steve has meddled with the timeline it would only make sense for the TVA to come after him as well.
After all, Steve spent several decades in either the past of the prime timeline or a branched timeline (Endgame’s writers and directors can’t agree on which) but either way he definitely affected the proper flow of time in several notable ways. He appears on the bench in Endgame with a new shield for Sam that he did not have when he left as a young man. So even if Steve was laying low in some timeline at the very least he caused time variants by being with Peggy and doing whatever he did to get a new shield, and knowing Steve he did a whole lot more than that. He’s not exactly known for laying low and not interfering in events.
If Steve knows he’s a time fugitive it might explain why he’s so secretive about his location and exactly what he’s done in the past. In that same scene in Endgame, Sam spots Steve’s wedding ring and asks if Steve wants to “tell him about her” to which Steve replies, “No, I don’t think I will.” Now Steve isn’t obligated to tell Sam anything, but it does seem strange not to tell your best friend anything about your wife, that’s level one friendship access right there. If Steve won’t tell his friends about his wife and life, it might be for very good time travel reasons. Like being on the run from the TVA. And Steve’s no stranger to being on the run (he spends most of Winter Soldier and Civil War with the law after him), so this would honestly be the most in character explanation for why no one seems to know where he is. His secrecy about his past and current location would likely be to protect both his life with Peggy and his friends in the current day from getting mixed up in his fugitive problems… again.
There’s little chance of seeing Chris Evans in the MCU again, but there is a greater chance we’ll get answers about Steve’s fate on Loki, which deals extensively with the TVA, and we’ll be watching closely for any clues about just where, or when, he is.
Loki premieres on Disney+ Wednesday, June 9th, 2021.
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