Scene Breakdown: Portals and Emblematic Returns in ‘Avengers: Endgame’

Portals reopening and emblematic reunions in Avengers: Endgame
Source: Marvel

I have come to the conclusion that there is no way to actually put this scene into words. There is no way to properly do it justice. I have heard a lot of fair and valid criticism towards Avengers: Endgame, but I have not heard a single person say that they didn’t appreciate this scene to the fullest.

At its core, this might just be the most hopeful scene in the entirety of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For a moment, while we didn’t know what would come next, we had hope that everything would be okay again. The heroes had a tremendous chance at winning—our favorite characters were home again.

And that’s what that scene ultimately is, a homecoming of sorts—a moment of pure, indescribable joy. A cinematic masterpiece in every way.

We don’t agree on much, but perhaps we can all agree on the effect this scene had in evoking otherworldly escapism. If you watched it in theaters, I bet you’re transported right back to that first viewing and you could hear the crowd’s reaction again.

When the Avengers Assemble, the world feels like a safe place again.

From the moment you see Steve Rogers adjust himself, bloody and beaten, to prepare facing Thanos and the opposing army before him, your attention is fully grasped. And then it all starts from there—every entrance, every beat, every single element is carefully placed to slowly build up and construct the intended eleven-year playoff that brilliantly brings a shiver down our spines.

Visually, Captain America’s solitary stance evokes a grim outlook—that even without the Infinity stones, Thanos has wiped out the team until there’s one man barely standing. All of this occurs with ominous music, which only deepens the feeling of helplessness. However, it is also a moment of seriousness that cements Steve Rogers’ character. In the films leading up to Avengers: Endgame, we’ve heard the line uttered from his stubborn mouth stating, “I can do this all day.” A line which has become so synonymous with the character that earlier in film it was jokingly referenced. But at this moment, the viewers realize the extent of the truth in that line—he does not mince words and it’s not stubbornness, it’s wholeheartedly meant and valid. Even at the lowest point, you realize that Steve Rogers can and will fight for everyone as long as he draws breath. And you appreciate just how much of a hero he truly is.

And then we hear Sam Wilson’s incoming voice as he informs Steve “on your left.” It’s a moment that begins to shift everything. In the silence, we, like Steve, have a moment of disbelief as we strain our ears to hear Sam’s voice until the first portal opens to the sound of beating drums as T’Challa, Okoye, and Shuri step out, a resolute look in T’Challa’s eyes as he exchanges glances with Steve, silently affirming that Steve is not alone in the fight. From there, more portals open, showcasing each Marvel hero that had been snapped, all ready to come together as one and to defeat Thanos. (Peter Parker deserving of his own little write up, as well.) And we finally a sigh of relief from Steve, not only because he is no longer alone, but because all that was endured in the past five years and all that was lost would be vindicated. It’s not about every character getting a cool fighting shot or how long they are on screen, it’s about knowing they have come together, that when they walked out of that portal, in that moment, they were an Avenger.

As more heroes join, so do the different elements of orchestra in the music. Alan’s Silvestri’s score amplifies the scene beautifully, it’s timed so well with the characters and scenes; the music keeps building and building and then transitions perfectly into Avengers theme as the heroes line and charge along with the Avengers’ battle cries, blaring loudly to engulf the room with hope and a sense of unity that can only bring us chills. We’ve gone from Steve bracing himself in silence to deafening screams of the Avengers,whose screams resonate with all the pent-up rage towards Thanos, signifying that they won’t go down quietly.

This scene encompasses eleven years worth of growing with these characters. We’ve laughed, loved, cried, and grieved with them. As an audience, although those moments may have different meanings to us individually, together we’ve shared those moments. It’s a reminder that we can always be a part of something bigger in our cinematic experience with Avengers: Endgame. As those portals opened and the music played, we were all Avengers together. It’s for that reason this scene is one of the most beloved moments in comic book movie history.

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