Like many who have waited eagerly for a home release in the…oh, five days since the movie left theaters, I started watching Avengers: Endgame again last night. I’m not really spoiling anything to say that there are a number of qualified tear-jerker moments packed into that three hours of fan service, but the thing that really gets me the most isn’t part of the movie’s insane climax — it’s actually a moment near the beginning of the movie.
I’ve written before about my love of the relationship between Scott Lang and his daughter Cassie. Amidst all the ill-fated capers and general bad luck Scott’s endured through only three movies up to this point, the biggest constant in his life has always been his daughter. He’s only ever wanted to provide for her and live up to her expectations for him.
It’s no surprise then that after emerging from the Quantum Realm after an…eventful five years have passed on Earth, Scott immediately goes looking for his daughter. He grows even more fretful as he comes to understand just what happened in his absence — half the Earth’s population was wiped from existence. His search brings him to a house, and once Scott knocks on the front door and a figure emerges, it suddenly dawns on him (and us) just who this fully-grown person is.
What’s so heartbreaking about the reunion is the relief felt by Scott and Cassie (and, again, us) at finding that each of them survived “The Blip” is almost immediately replaced by a different kind of sorrow. Cassie looks teary-eyed at her father as Scott stares dumbfounded at the young woman in front of him, and suddenly we all realize that he just missed her most formative years.
I cannot imagine what it would be like to miss any substantial part of Miles’s life (as the very existence of this blog should clearly indicate). As much as I want to be a part of his life, I want him to be a part of my life. I want to help him learn and provide for him, but I want to witness everything he discovers on his own. I want to see not only who he eventually becomes, but how he gets there. The idea of missing any of that is absolutely devastating to think about.
Endgame doesn’t dwell on this reunion long — it really only accounts for seconds of the movie — but it still manages to deliver, for me, the biggest gut-punch in the entire movie.