Avengers: Endgame mistake, in many people's eyes, is finally resolved by The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and now everything makes sense.
As far as wrapping up the entire story arc is concerned, the original Avengers, Endgame did a lot of things well, but that doesn't mean the epic Infinity Saga finale was without flaws.
One thing that bothered us was Bucky's calm demeanor when Steve Rogers didn't immediately return from his journey back in time as he went on a mission to return the Infinity Stones. Or how Bucky just happened to know what Cap was up to with the shield when Old Man Steve turned up.
Watch: Captain America Gives Shield to Falcon - "I'll DO MY BEST" - Avengers: Endgame (2019) Movie Clip
It was claimed at the time that the most critical interaction between the two best friends took place off-screen, which co-director Joe Russo endorsed.
When Bucky says goodbye. I'll miss you'. Clearly, he knows something. Sam doesn't know something.
In the most recent episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Sam (Falcon) and Bucky (Winter Soldier) bond over restoring Sam's family boat after overcoming John Walker (new Captain America) in an intense, violent battle in which they reclaimed the shield.
Throughout the run of the series, Sam appeared to contemplate his new role as Captain America, something Steve desired when he gave him the shield at the conclusion of Avengers: Endgame (2019).
This featured Sam speaking to Bucky about the "complicated" history of the shield, and Bucky mentioned that he had a say in Steve handing the shield to him.
Bucky tells him,
When Steve told me what he was planning, I don't think either of us really understood what it felt like for a Black man to be handed the shield. How could we? I owe you an apology. I'm sorry.
It's always felt odd that we never got complete closure on what was perhaps Steve's most significant relationship in the entire MCU.
But it's good to have the assurance that the duo did have a chat prior to Steve's lifelong trip back in time – even though we didn't see it. Bucky didn't say when he talked to Steve about the shield, but there's a tiny window of time when it might have taken place.
Bucky was one of the superheroes who got turned to dust in Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and soon after he returned, Bucky, Steve, and the rest of the Avengers were pretty occupied fighting Thanos and his massive army.
Therefore, it can only have been after they won the battle, and Steve probably informed Bucky of his intention to remain in the past and retire.
We may not have got the opportunity to watch the exchange – and we'd love to see an unlikely reference in the finale of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier – but it at least corrects Endgame's error of not concluding Steve and Bucky's friendship.
It's now obvious why Bucky acted in the manner he did to both Steve's trip back in time and the move to hand Sam the shield, and we no longer assume Old Man Cap was disrespectful not to speak to his best friend.
Steve and Bucky had both exchanged their farewells. We'd have liked to see it, but at least now we know for sure it happened off-screen.