4 Huge Secret Problems With Avengers: Endgame's Ending
WARNING! You are about to ascend SPOILER MOUNTAIN for Avengers: Endgame. If you do not want to see the view from up there, stay at base camp and hang with the Sherpas until you're ready to climb.
In the final act of Endgame, Past-Thanos' ship annihilates the Avengers Compound the way Endgame has annihilated other movies' box office takes. Captain America looks skyward, wondering how it could have happened. Iron Man says something to the effect that if you mess with time travel, it will mess back.
Well, we couldn't agree more. We'll even go a step further and say that when you undo an Angry Space Grimace's snap, it also messes things up in very weird ways. For example ...
What Happened To All The People Who Weren't Snapped But Died Anyway?
Here's a question that has been plaguing us since the moment we peeled our thighs from the three-hour butt sweat that kept us stuck to our seats: Where exactly do you get placed when you're snapped back into existence?
Presumably it is the exact spot you were standing (or pooping) when you were turned to dust. But if that's the case, it opens up a whole score of logistical issues.
What happens if you're on the street, and then five years later, there's an open manhole cover where you were standing? Do you fall to your doom, drowning in the neighborhood's turd water? What if you were snapped during the middle of a flight? Are you now 31,000 feet in the air, falling to your death? Heck, what if someone is standing exactly where you were standing and the re-snap occurs? Have you now been phased into each other, cursed to share genitals for the rest of your lives?
At least that helicopter pilot won't be one of the millions who blink back into existence mid-masturbation in front of their apartment's new occupants.
Maybe through Marvel movie magic, you're snapped into a "safe" location close to where you left that also doesn't violate the Pauli exclusion principle. Like, maybe you're placed next to the manhole cover. Maybe you're placed next to the person who was standing where you were. Maybe you're placed in the wreckage of that plane crash, because holy crap your pilot got snapped and all of those innocent, un-snapped people who died in the crash are never coming back ... and oh, right, that's an even bigger problem, isn't it?
There are tons of people who would have died following the aftermath of the snap. A conservative estimate would put it about one million fatalities from travel-related incidents alone. Then think about all of the people in critical care who suddenly are without a doctor, or anyone else dependent on others for care. Here's something to bum you out the rest of the day: Imagine what happened to all of the babies being held by their parents after all of those parents got zapped into nothing. Sorry.
What Happens To Businesses? What About Politics?
Imagine you're a small business owner. Let's say it's a sandwich shop. The world always needs more of those. Then the snap happens.
Half your employees are gone, and so are half your customers. You're going to struggle for business and for staffing -- you lost the one guy who would clean the bathrooms. But you grind it out and, one delicious hoagie at a time, you somehow manage to keep things afloat. Then snap II: the re-snappening happens, and all those the customers and employees are back, standing in front of you, ready to go on in a delicious sandwich world like nothing happened.
You've ordered less flour to make the bread (and that's the most important part, no matter what anybody says), less meat, less everything. Those supply chain and staffing problems aren't going to go back to normal, but it's a small-scale operation, so you probably make do as best you can.
But what about the situation at big corporations, like agricultural giant Cargill, which is probably part of that sandwich shop supply chain? Cargill has 150,000 employees, and is a complex operation with a dizzying number of moving parts that would all be disrupted because of the snap. Corporations don't stand pat, especially in times of crisis. Those 75,000 Cargill employees who snap back into existence will find a very different workplace than the one they left -- one in which they were replaced, if their jobs weren't outright eliminated.
Politics would experience similar problems. Most people would agree we could do just fine with half of politicians disappearing, but what happens to a newly elected senator who gets snapped bye-bye at the start of their six-year term and returns five years later? Is that person still the senator? What do you do with the person who won the special election to replace them? It's not like you can send them down to the sandwich shop for a job; Dewey from Cargill just got the last one cleaning the bathrooms.
Insurance Prices Are Going To Skyrocket
Life insurance policies are like wetting the bed -- something that you don't really want your parents to bring up to you as a kid, only worry about when you're drunk in your 20s, and eventually accept in old age.
But everyone who lost a loved one (read: breadwinner) in the family is going to have made some kind of claim after the snap. But what happens when they all come back? Do those claims have to be refunded? How do we tell what's fraud and what isn't? Do they get to keep the grief jet ski they bought?
Worse, since the snap is a catastrophe that has happened once, and we've now established that time travel exists, an already-cautious industry known for gouging the general public is going to freak out. If it's happened once, it could happen again, which means insurance companies are going to want to be prepared for it.
Well, the way insurance companies are going to be inclined to handle the threat of another snap is going to be to raise prices. Those ads on daytime game shows telling old people about it costing as little as $0.25 a day? Say goodbye to that kind of pricing.
And expect the insurance lobby to go hard on time travel restrictions. You think GEICO is going to insure your quantum van, Ant-Man? Not a chance.
The Five-Year Age Difference Is Going To Mess Up Every Type Of Relationship You Can Conceive Of
There's a five-year gap between the two snaps, and the aftermath of the return snap kind of gets glossed over. But think about it: For half of all people, five years have passed, while for the other half, no time has passed at all. We get a glimpse of the implications of this in the subplot of Ant-Man, who gets freed from the Quantum Realm after five years which are only five hours for him, but the weirdness of his tiny daughter now being an adolescent is mostly skipped.
We view the family snap situation mostly through the vantage point of Hawkeye. He gets his family back and they can pick things up right where they left off. After all, to his wife and children, the jump from Hawkeye being an early 40s white guy with dad hair to a mid-40s white guy with a skater hawk and tattoos is pretty negligible. (Maybe he listens to metal and drinks more Red Bull now, but that's pretty much it.) But for most people, there are a lot of interpersonal relationships where those five years mean everything.
Imagine you're a 13-year-old boy with an 11-year-old younger brother, and then you're snapped. Well bam, now you're back, and that booger-eating nerd is the one driving you to basketball practice and telling you what kissing girls is like. The fundamental nature of your entire relationship has been changed forever. Or take a high school couple that is madly in love, but then the snap and snap (remix) happen. Now one of those high-schoolers is halfway through college and stuck explaining statutory rape laws to a very confused and heartbroken 15-year-old.
Really, we could do this all day. There's the woman who got dusted on her wedding day, only to get snapped into a new world in which her fiance married her maid of honor, and she gets to learn this while still wearing her wedding dress. There are the senior citizens who are snapped back into existence, only to find that their entire social group has mentally deteriorated or died from the olds. There's even the baby who for the first five years of their life only knew a mom, when suddenly some dude shows up saying he's their dad ... actually wait, that last one sounds pretty good. (Dad, please come home.)