The release of Captain Marvel is the final step before Avengers: Endgame–the finale of Phase 3 and effectively the MCU to date. As such, no one can blame you for waiting with bated breath all the way through to the credits. After all, Infinity War concluded with the ultimate tease in its after-credit sequence, as the rapidly disintegrating Nick Fury frantically sent a page to who we could only assume was the still-not-officially-introduced Captain Marvel.
With her movie finally here, this is do-or-die time, and our last real chance to get some information before the final showdown with Thanos happens in Endgame when it releases this April. These may be the most highly anticipated post-credits scenes in MCU history for that reason alone–and we're happy to make sure you're getting the absolute most out of them. Here's how many scenes you can expect to see during and after the end credits, as well as exactly what happens in them. Also be sure to check out our Captain Marvel review and recap of what, as a prequel, Captain Marvel reveals about Nick Fury and the Avengers and the significance of how the MCU uses Skrulls.
That said, there are obviously spoilers to follow, so proceed with caution if you're the sort of person who wants to head into either Captain Marvel or Endgame totally blind.
There's a pretty major time jump between the final scene of the movie and the first post credits scene–all the way from 1995 to post-Infinity War. We're not exactly sure how long post-Infinity War, but we have to assume it's relatively soon thanks to the presence of Steve's beard (while Cap was fully bearded when Infinity War ended, he's been clean shaved in both Endgame trailers so far). So, right after Infinity War is where we join Steve, Nat, Bruce, and Rhodey in the Avengers compound for Captain Marvel's first of two post-credits stingers.
There are several important things to note here. One, they're monitoring the situation in the post-Snap Earth as best they can–but, as Steve points out, it's a "nightmare," and they're not really getting anywhere. Two, they've found Fury's pager, and and they've been monitoring it for some time. How exactly they found it after it was just left on a random street in New York is pretty unclear, but we'll give Fury the benefit of the doubt and assume his car had some sort of tracking device they were able to follow in order to investigate his disappearance once they left Wakanda. Regardless, they've got the pager and they've been running it nonstop–but they have no idea what it does, so they're playing it relatively safe and keeping the whole thing under wraps.
But that doesn't actually seem to matter all that much because–surprise!–just as they're starting to debate whether it's worth trying to send the mysterious signal again, Carol shows up. That's right! One second she's not there, and the next she is, right smack dab in the middle of the Avengers compound, which she apparently infiltrated instantly and in complete silence. So that's how Captain Marvel arrives on Earth–one major question down, about a million more to go.
The most striking thing about Carol's sudden arrival is that, assuming we're right about the time elapsed between this moment and Infinity War, this means Carol actually shows up pretty early on in the process–in all likelihood, before the footage we've seen in both the Endgame trailers. So where was she during the trailers? Will she actually have a role in the team's plan to save the world like we all assume she will? Or is there something else going on?
More importantly, if Carol isn't the lynchpin of whatever plan Steve and co are cooking up, who or what is?
The scene doesn't go on long enough to give us any real answers–we don't get to see how the team reacts to Carol or how Carol reacts to the team, what that dynamic will be like, or if they're even able to trust each other under the circumstances. Looks like we'll be waiting until April for that.
The second post credits scene is, unsurprisingly, a gag bit–sort of in the vein of Ant-Man & The Wasp's giant drumming ant, or Guardian's Howard the Duck cameo. We see Nick Fury's desk with everyone's favorite cat, Goose, coughing up a "hairball" while Nick isn't around. Of course, the "hairball" is actually the Tesseract, which Goose swallowed earlier in the film to keep it away from Yon-Rogg.
Now, there might be some confusion about this scene, since Nick's absence makes it actually look like the scene might be set post-Infinity War at first glance. But it's not, don't worry. Notice the giant, clunky CRT monitor on Nick's desk? This scene is definitely still in the '90s, long before Thor picked up the Tesseract in the first Avengers film. So put those tin foil hats away–Thanos destroyed the Tesseract and got the Space Stone for the Infinity Gauntlet. Goose wasn't somehow keeping a bonus Tesseract secret from everyone all this time.
…Unless he was? In the comics, Flerken have the ability to access pocket dimensions, which could mean that, if the Russo Brothers totally ran out of ideas, he might actually be able to access some alternate reality version of the Infinity Stones and spit one out.
Probably not, though. But it might be something to keep in mind if you want to get deep, deep into the conspiracy theory well before Endgame releases on April 26. You've gotta pass that time somehow, right? And we certainly won't judge you.