Tonnes Of Time-Twisting Tenet Thoughts and Theories (Spoilers)

Seen Tenet? Good. Not seen, Tenet? Look elsewhere. This is the kind of article that spoils the ending of Tenet right from the beginning. It looks at some of the consequences of the revelations in Tenet. And given Christopher Nolan's obsession with this kind of thing, probably all played for and got.

The sequel to Tenet will be pretty dull and depressing. Of course, Tenet is a sequel and prequel to itself. But given that The Protagonist set up the institution of Tenet to do what he already saw had been done, and had lived through, he will have had to reverse himself for decades. He will live another twenty years going backward wearing a mask, or locked in a shipping container and staying out of everyone's way, before somehow turning himself back the right way and recruiting everyone he needs. What kind of life is that, stuck inside for ages and ages, having to wear masks when you go outside and having to avoid close contact with anyone just in case…

Tenet Has a New Release Date So IMAX Released a New Poster
The official Tenet IMAX poster. Credit: Warner Bros

Hmm. Christopher Nolan, are you sure you didn't live through coronavirus, write the script, then reverse yourself to a point when you could a) make the film and also b) know that it would be released in theatres? Anyway, I have a few questions a few weeks later. Commentators, feel free to pitch in.

Who installed the glass in the reversal chamber in the airport Freeport vault? Did they not notice it had bullet holes already in it, whether in the installation, purchasing, or manufacturing? Or that there were fresh bullets embedded in the walls that they built the vault with? Or, was Tenet involved in that building, knowing the role they would eventually play and that everything would turn out fine, and specifically commissioned said glass or walls from items that had backward radiation already?

Why do you need masks anyway? If, as a reversed person, you can shoot a bullet or blow up a building, and from the normal perspective it looks like catching a bullet or bringing a building together, why can't you breathe normally? And just from a normal perspective, it looks like the air goes into the lungs before the breath is taken? Just that carbon dioxide in the air is replaced by oxygen? Is it breathing in air that has the wrong temporal radiation that's the issue?

Oh, and talking of which, if you can shoot things backward and blown them up backward, why can't you set things on fire backward without turning things into ice? That seems to be the only really ridiculous aspect of Tenet. Backward fire isn't ice, just as a backward explosion doesn't implode further, or a backward bullet caught by a gun doesn't keep going out the back of the gun.

For the temporal pincer movement assault, why do you need two teams, two helicopters, two shipping containers? Can't you just use one of each? Drop the team off and pick the reversed team up at the same time, then drop the reversed team off later, picking up the original team, only to reverse themselves later, with the same helicopter and shipping container? In case Tenet wants to be efficient about things?

When The Protagonist first encounters Sator in the backward car, with a gun to the head of Kat –  at that point, given The Protagonist has had enough experience with temporal physics. He can see the car traveling backward, could he not have worked out at the moment that he doesn't have to hand over the case as? Given that Sator hasn't shot Kat in the head, he won't be shooting her in the head; whatever the Protagonist does or doesn't do with the case, his immediate future is Sator and Kat's past? And that Sator is counting up, not down from his perspective?

And finally, was the car the reversed Protagonist got into reversed, or did he have to drive by putting the gears into reverse? As Dave Lister said… unrumble!

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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