Tenet the end explained

“Tenet”: the end explained

“Tenet” is a film that has to be seen in the cinema, but at the same time – as usual with Christopher Nolan – not a shallow popcorn cinema. In this article you will find our explanation of the events at the end of “Tenet”.

Warning, spoilers for “Tenet” will follow!

Warning, spoilers for “Tenet” will follow!

We don’t even want to pretend that we understood every aspect of “Tenet” the first time we saw it and that we were able to fully understand the winding paths that the nameless protagonist (John David Washington) and his partner Neil (Robert Pattinson), especially in the bombastic one Taking finals through time.

The algorithm is held up

It is different with the twist or the big resolution at the end: The protagonist, Neil and Ives (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) have successfully acquired the algorithm with which the humanity of the future could wipe out the humanity of the present.

Now the three men split the device between themselves so that nobody has the entire algorithm and thus (intentionally or not) again endangers humanity. However, Neil then hands over his part of the algorithm to the protagonist because he still has one task to perform:

Neil opens the door

In order to get to the algorithm in the first place, the protagonist and Ives had to go through a locked door, which was only opened when a mysterious figure appeared. It is about Neil, traveling back in time, who dies in this heroic deed by intercepting a bullet intended for the protagonist.

a locked door that was only opened by the appearance of a mysterious figure. This is Neil traveling back in time

Before that, in the middle of his inverted mission, he had left the blue team traveling back in time to warn the protagonist and Ives (in vain) about the mined entrance. Only in this way could he then free the two men and the algorithm (now traveling forward in time again) from the underground space (including the algorithm) YESmovies. After the supposed happy ending, Neil undertakes another inversion, knowing full well that he will die in the process.

After the supposed happy ending, Neil undertakes another inversion, knowing full well that he will die in the process.

Paradoxical time loops

But nevertheless it is (depending on the point of view) only the beginning of a wonderful friendship (here Nolan bows before “Casablanca”) between the protagonist and Neil. Because as Neil reveals in the final minutes of the film, Tenet was founded in the future by the protagonist (Tenet is not only the title of the film, but also the name of the secret organization that tries to prevent the war of the times).

Tenet was founded in the future by the protagonist

So Neil and the protagonist have known each other for years, at least from Neil’s perspective. Because it turns out that the protagonist of the future has recruited Neil himself so that this Neil helps the protagonist of the present with his mission – one of the many (apparently) paradoxical time loops in “Tenet”.

the protagonist of the future Neil recruited himself

“Tenet” soundtrack released: Here you can listen to the music of Ludwig Göransson

Among other things, it is revealed here that Neil was already seen in the first scene of the film: during the fight in the Kiev Opera, a hooded figure can be seen wearing the same eye-catching red tag and already saving the protagonist’s life there .

Two parallel storylines

Parallel to the events in Russia around the protagonist, Kat (Elizabeth Debicki), who has also traveled back in time, on the yacht in Thailand must prevent the villain Sator (Kenneth Branagh) from taking his own life and thus detonating the bomb that spills the algorithm .

Kat (Elizabeth Debicki), who also traveled back in time, has to prevent the villain Sator (Kenneth Branagh) from taking his own life on the yacht in Thailand

In the end, she kills the hated Sator with her own hands, but only after the protagonist, Neil and Ives have brought the algorithm to safety. Kat, who has traveled back, jumps from the boat, which the Kat observes from the past, which the jumping woman, however, believes to be a lover of Sator – another time warp.

“Tenet” has been in German cinemas since August 26, 2020.

“Tenet” has been in German cinemas since August 26, 2020.

“Tenet” in the podcast

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