‘What If?’ Season 2 Episode 5 Recap & Ending Explained: What Happened To Steve Rogers?

The Watcher doesn’t usually revisit a story from the multiverse because of the vastness of these alternative realities. But in Episode 5 of What If? season 2, the Watcher narrated the story of Peggy Carter, who became the super soldier Captain America, instead of Steve Rogers. In this parallel universe, Captain Peggy Carter once again crossed paths with her lover, Steve, whom she knew to have died in 1953. However, Steve turned out to be living inside the armor of a Hydra Stomper, under the control of someone more sinister and powerful. Let’s find out who was mind-controlling Steve to eliminate the Avengers.


Spoilers Ahead

How Did Captain Carter Meet Hydra Stomper?

Episode 5 opened with the fight between the Avengers and Loki that we’ve previously seen in 2012’s movie, The Avengers. But instead of Captain Steve, there was Agent Carter, who was the Captain America of this universe. Captain Carter defeated Loki and won the fight, but that’s just the beginning of the story. The Watcher picked up the story from here, saying that his decision to revisit the story of Captain Carter was not without reason. Following the battle in which Ultron was defeated by the Avengers, each of the Avengers came back to their usual places, including Captain Carter, but she had no idea that she was going to play a vital role in the multiverse of the Avengers.


In this universe as well, Captain Carter was the best friend of Natasha, the Black Widow, who always wanted the best for her. On a mission, Natasha and Carter reach a ship, where they’re attacked by a Hydra Stomper. However, Carter was shocked to learn that Steve was inside the Hydra Stomper, which was after their lives. Carter realized that Steve didn’t die in 1953, but he had been living inside armor since then, which might have caused his memory loss. Carter and Natasha managed to get themselves to safety and confronted Fury, asking if he knew that Steve was still alive. Carter found out that both Fury and Natasha knew about it, but they didn’t want to break her heart because Steve might not return to his normal self ever again. Carter was emotionally vulnerable regarding the case, so Fury asked Natasha to take over. They learned about Hydra Stomper’s next mission, which was to kill the US government official, Bucky Barnes, who had now grown older. Natasha was tasked with preventing the attack, but Fury had also commanded her to kill Stomper if needed. However, Carter intervened to stop Natasha from killing Steve. When Hydra Stomper aimed to finish off Bucky, Carter let him know that it was their very own Steve inside that armor. Bucky decided to take the plunge and confront Steve in order to bring him back to reality, but it was not easy for anyone to convince Steve until he was out of the armor. As Hydra Stomper aimed to kill Bucky, Carter managed to stop him and get out of the building, taking to Steve with her. Carter found herself and Steve in the vast sky, with no parachute to land, so in the meantime, Natasha came to their aid by taking them in her aircraft.

Who Was Controlling The Hydra Stomper?

Natasha took the Hydra Stomper along with Carter to Scotland, which S.H.I.E.L.D. had no idea about. But, as they discussed it between themselves, Natasha told Carter that due to the Hydra Stomper suit keeping Steve alive and young, it was impossible to get him out of this armor, as he might die outside. So Natasha suggested that Carter take Steve to the Red Room, where they might get some help. In the Red Room, Natasha, Carter, and Steve arrive at a town created by the Russians. This town was filled with robotic people who would remind you of a horror movie set.


Meanwhile, Natasha lets Carter and Steve have some alone time to catch up with each other. It seemed like Steve was gradually rebooting his memories, which was helping him recall those days when he was in love with Carter. They were about to share a kiss when all the robotic townspeople began to pull out their weapons and started shooting at the three of them. Meanwhile, Natasha found out that the Red Room was closing in on them and found Melina, Natasha’s mother, a supervillain and major Red Room operative, approaching them with their team. Carter was shocked to learn that Melina was Natasha’s stepmother, who was the brains behind this entire town and its people. It was Melina’s plan all along to capture Captain Carter and bring her to the Red Room with the help of the Hydra Stomper. As Natasha stood in Melina’s way to stop her evildoing, Melina had already commanded Steve to attack Carter and capture her. While Natasha fought against Melina, Carter Negan fought Hydra Stomper with all her strength, but eventually, she became tired of fighting against her lover. She realized that it was impossible for her to bring Steve’s memories back, so she put down her shield and surrendered to Steve.

What Happened To Steve?

Tired and heartbroken, Carter told Steve that she wouldn’t fight anymore, especially with someone she loved. Steve also couldn’t bring himself to attack Carter anymore, seemingly because of his ability to recall those moments with Carter once again. Steve, who finally realized that he was fighting against his lover, Carter, stopped himself and flew away to the Red Room to destroy himself. Carter tried to stop Steve, but not only did he decide to destroy himself, he also took Melina along with him. Both of them arrived in the Red Room, which eventually exploded, probably claiming both Steve and Melina’s lives.


Carter was again heartbroken and devastated, but she couldn’t believe that Steve could die. After a few days, when Natasha and Carter were both back in S.H.I.E.L.D., Carter was all set to embark upon her journey to find Steve. She still strongly believed that the Red Room had not taken Steve’s life and that he was alive somewhere. But before Natasha could stop Carter, a red light flashed from within the floor, and in the blink of an eye, Captain Carter vanished. It seemed like she had been kidnapped by someone. In the concluding scenes of the episode, we saw Carter open her eyes and find that she was shifted back to the 15th or 16th century, where Nick Fury and Wanda Maximoff, dressed in ancient clothing, waited for her arrival. Wanda let Carter know that they needed her in this universe. Probably in the upcoming episode of What If? We might see the rest of the story regarding the ancient Avengers and learn how Carter would become a necessary part of their world.

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Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda hails from a medical background, yet her journey is to cross the boundaries of medicine and survive in the cinematic world. The surrealistic beauty of cinema and art has attracted her from a very young age. She loves to write poems, songs, and stories, but her dream is to write films someday. She has also worked as a painter, but nothing attracts her more than cinema. Through her writings, she wants to explore the world of cinema more and more and take her readers on the same ride.

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