How 'Captain Marvel' Credits Scenes Set Up The Future And Fill In The Past Of The Marvel Cinematic Universe

Captain Marvel is in theaters this weekend, and it's the last Marvel Studios movie before Avengers: Endgame arrives late next month. Fans are anxious to see how this movie sets up the next assembly of The Avengers, especially considering how the team was disastrously impacted by the mighty snap of Thanos at the end of Infinity War. So it should come as no surprise that one of the Captain Marvel credits scenes perfectly sets up the return of Captain Marvel in Avengers: Endgame. Meanwhile, the other one fills in one of the gaps in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with a funny gag. So let's dive into both below, but obviously, beware of spoilers.Captain Marvel is primarily concerned with giving the titular character a proper introduction to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and showing why she'll be such a big help to The Avengers when they decide to take on Thanos again. But it also needs to set up her return to Earth after leaving at the end of the movie to help the rest of the galaxy.

The credits scene for Avengers: Infinity War already showed us that Nick Fury had a special pager that allowed him to contact Captain Marvel in case of emergencies. Since losing half of the universe's living creatures is a pretty damn big emergency, he activated the pager just before he turned to dust after Thanos's big snap. The first Captain Marvel credits scene picks up after that.

Captain Marvel Mid-Credits Scene

The scene begins with a close-up on the aforementioned pager that Nick Fury activated, and the lights on it turn off. It's now situated at Avengers headquarters in upstate New York, where the surviving members of the team are monitoring the loss of life through their own computer system. It's a real doom and gloom situation that Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) are keeping a close eye on. Suddenly, James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) comes in and tells them the pager just stopped doing whatever it was doing.

The Avengers somehow ended up with the pager and they hooked it up to a power source since it was sending some kind of signal to someone, somewhere. Captain America tells them to reboot it, and Black Widow echoes his sentiments, knowing that this was something important to Nick Fury. She says, "I want to know who's on the other end of that thing."

She doesn't have to wait too long for an answer, because they turn around away from the pager and suddenly see a concerned Captain Marvel standing in front of them who immediately asks, "Where's Fury?"

As we know, Captain Marvel will be helping The Avengers try to rectify what happened at the end of Avengers: Infinity War. In fact, earlier this week some new footage shown at a Disney shareholders meeting revealed another scene involving the cosmic hero interacting with The Avengers and discussing the plan to seek out Thanos and kill him after what he did to the universe. But beyond that, it's hard to know what Captain Marvel's role will be at the end of this era of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

In the Marvel Comics story arc Infinity Gauntlet and Infinity War, Captain Marvel doesn't really play a big part in the proceedings. So there's a chance that after she goes off with The Avengers to kill Thanos, maybe that's all she does to help the team. The question is, if they succeed in killing Thanos, then what? There's nothing about that plan which reverses the deaths of half the living creatures in the universe. So will Captain Marvel even bother sticking around after that? Will she be called back to Earth later if The Avengers come up with some kind of plan to reverse the effects of the snap? Or will she be a key part in figuring out how to do that? These are all questions we don't have the answer to, but we'll find out next month.

One answer we do have is that this scene will likely be included in Avengers: Endgame, not unlike the Ant-Man credits scene featuring Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson keeping Bucky Barnes' metal arm in a vice. That ended up being a scene in the middle of Captain America: Civil War, and since this scene seemed to have footage from the teaser trailer for Avengers: Endgame, we wouldn't be surprised if this scene plays again in the first act of the movie.

Captain Marvel Post-Credits Scene

Finally, since this is a Marvel Studios movie, there's a second scene at the end of all the credits. This one isn't nearly as important as the mid-credits scene, but it's a funny little gag that also has a significant place in the timeline of one of the most recognizable artifacts in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

In Captain Marvel, we learn that the source of Carol Danvers' power comes from an explosion of a light speed engine that was created by her Air Force superior, Dr. Wendy Lawson (Annette Bening). Lawson was actually Mar-Vell, a member of the Kree alien race, and she was using the glowing blue cube known as the Tesseract to create these advanced engines. She also hoped that she could use the cube to help find the Skrulls a new home where the aggressive Kree could never find them, thus putting an end to their ongoing war.

When Starforce arrives at Earth to track down their rogue soldier, Captain Marvel, they seek out the cube for themselves so they can use it to destroy the Skrulls. It's on board Wendy Lawson's laboratory that has been camouflaged in space just above Earth. In the battle for the cube inside the lab ship, the cube ends up in the stomach of Goose the cat – or rather, Goose the Flerken. Just before the Kree get their hands on the Tesseract, suddenly Goose's mouth opens up into a much bigger jaw with tentacles shooting out of it. The tentacles grab the Tesseract, and it stays inside Goose for the remainder of the movie, until the post-credits scene.

At the end of Captain Marvel, Goose has decided to stick with Nick Fury at S.H.I.E.L.D. and is just lounging around in Fury's office. And like every cat out there, she has no problem puking on Nick Fury's desk. Except this isn't a hairball that Goose throws up. It's the Tesseract, all slimed up from Goose's insides.

That explains how S.H.I.E.L.D. kept the Tesseract in their possession, but it doesn't explain exactly how Lawson/Mar-Vell ended up with it. In fact, Captain Marvel actually makes the Tesseract's history a little more complicated, because everyone had already assumed S.H.I.E.L.D. was in possession of the item because Howard Stark found it at the end of Captain America: The First Avenger, and it was just sitting around until it "awakened" again in The Avengers, allowing the Chitauri to seek it out on Earth by sending Loki to retrieve it. The question is, why was it passed down to Wendy Lawson? There are still decades of time where we don't know what happened with the Tesseract or how/why it changed hands from Howard Stark to Wendy Lawson.

At this point, it's probably best not to worry about that kind of thing. Maybe we'll learn even more about the Tesseract's history as the Marvel Cinematic Universe expands. Or at the very least, hopefully we'll find out more about Goose and the pocket dimension she keeps inside of her mouth. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige certainly thinks there's a future for Goose, maybe at Disney+.