The Marvel Cinematic Universe has just gotten a lot bigger, and a whole lot weirder in all the best possible ways. Captain Marvel managed to burn through a whole lot of story in a fun, fast-paced adventure that sets up some exciting things for Avengers: Endgame.
But a movie jam-packed with this much awesome stuff might be a little tough to follow from start to finish. If you're looking to make sense of it all, look no further: let's photon blast our way through the plot of Captain Marvel and explain just what the ending might mean. Strap in: major spoilers ahead.
Captain Marvel begins on Hala, the homeworld of the Kree. We're introduced to Vers a member of the planet's group of Starforce warriors, and she's been having nightmares. During training sessions with her mentor and commander, Yon-Rogg, we learn that Vers is being trained to suppress her emotions, stop questioning her mysterious past, and fight without using her powers, which seem to consist of having super-hot hands. But Vers sucks at emotion suppressing, and she loves that whole hot-hand thing, so after a few too many photon blasts, she's sent to be admonished by the Supreme Intelligence, the artificial intelligence leader of the Kree. The Supreme Intelligence appears differently to everyone, and in Vers' case, it appears as a mysterious woman. Good thing, too, because the Supreme Intelligence is actually butt ugly and also supremely gross.
Soon, Vers, Yon-Rogg, and the rest of Starforce head off on a mission to rescue an undercover Kree operative. But the whole thing turns out to be a Skrull ambush and Vers is captured and interrogated with a mind-scanning machine. That's where we conveniently catch more glimpses of Vers' hidden memories, and the life she used to live as an Air Force pilot on Earth. After mustering every ounce of willpower, Vers escapes captivity, busts up a Skrull ship, and zips down to Earth in an escape pod, followed by a squad of Skrull warriors, led by a guy named Talos. Their mission: find a hidden lightspeed engine developed by scientist Doctor Wendy Lawson.
After crash-landing into a Blockbuster video, Vers finds herself stuck on Earth. So she places a long-distance call to her Starforce buddies to tell them she's going after the Skrulls. It isn't long before Vers encounters the local law enforcement and the feds in the form of Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD. Just as Fury and his partner, Agent Phil Coulson, are about to arrest her for the crime of busting holes into video stores, she's attacked by a Skrull sniper and gives chase. Fury and Coulson likewise chase the chaser, and we soon discover that the guy riding shotgun with Fury isn't Coulson at all...but a Skrull now dead who took his place.
Once the chase ends, Vers seeks answers from her recently unlocked memories, while Fury joins her in her quest to discover the location of Doctor Lawson's engine. Meanwhile, SHIELD has been infiltrated with at least one Skrull operative — Talos — who's impersonating Fury's boss, Agent Keller. Fury and Vers head to Project Pegasus to learn about Lawson's work. There they encounter Lawson's cat named Goose a photo of Vers as a human fighter pilot, and also those darned Skrulls. A fight ensues, and Vers and Fury steal an experimental flight craft and head to Louisiana, where they hope to get more answers about Vers' former life from Maria Rambeau, who was the last person to see Lawson — and Vers — alive on Earth.
With six Infinity Stones floating around the edges of 21 different movies, no one would blame you for having a hard time keeping track of all of them. As such, you probably weren't the only one to gasp in recognition and confusion when the Tesseract showed up in Mar-Vell's secret floating space lab. The last time we saw that thing, it was sitting pretty on Thanos's Infinity Gauntlet, having been liberated from Loki's possession at the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War. And before that, it played important roles in the first Captain America and Avengers movies. So how'd it end up in Mar-Vell's possession...only to later be swallowed and coughed up by an alien space cat?
For those who don't recall, the Tesseract zapped Red Skull into space at the end of Captain America: The First Avenger. Later, Howard Stark recovered the Tesseract on the bottom of the ocean while searching for the lost Steve Rogers, and eventually it was given to SHIELD for safekeeping. The next time the Tesseract appears is in the Avengers film, when Loki breaks into SHIELD headquarters to steal it. Its appearance in Captain Marvel fills in some blanks in terms of the Tesseract's importance in shaping the MCU's future. Keep watching the video to watch the ending of Captain Marvel explained!
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A Marvelous recap | 0:31
Not just a girl | 5:43
What the Flerk? | 6:51
Making a difference...or not | 8:09
Danvers' Marvelous Future | 9:42