Unanswered Movie Questions That Have Answers
One of the defining characteristics of fandom is bitter, endless arguments over any and all unresolved questions. It can gnaw away at your brain to the point that you start wondering why the hell you even liked , to begin with.
So, allow us to definitively, once and for all, lay to rest these puzzling unresolved questions ...
Frasier Crane Was An Early Amazon Investor
The Question: In Frasier, how can Frasier Crane afford all the insane stuff he buys? He has a copy of Coco Chanel's Paris sofa in his apartment, paintings by Roy Lichtenstein, a baby grand piano, the head of Bart Simpson, etc.. The man lives like a tech bro, not a guy who hosts a psychiatry show on local radio.
The Answer: He kind of is a tech bro. Or, to be more precise, he made his money in tech. On Twitter, Frasier writer Joe Keenan explained that Frasier's ridiculous wealth had been the subject of many conversations in the writers' room. They settled on the explanation that Frasier is just a shrewd and/or lucky investor who cleverly handled the profits from his Boston practice -- maybe in a friend's Seattle start-up. This pretty obviously hints at Amazon, which was founded in 1994, a year after Frasier started airing in 1993 (and, presumably, when Frasier Crane began his radio show in-universe).
But hold on, you might say -- what about Maris and her immense wealth? She was Niles' first wife -- did Niles get rich through her, and then pass some of the money to Frasier? Apparently not. Keenan mentions Maris' wealth in passing, saying that it makes Frasier's money look paltry in comparison, but the only source of wealth he brings up for Frasier is intelligent investing. In other words, Frasier Crane is rich because he got in early on Amazon.
This means Frasier Crane is a guy who doesn't have to work for a living and for whom his radio show is just a hobby. If he'd moved to Seattle three years later, he'd probably have a smaller place and have to get his opera tickets *gasp* ala cart.
Also, think about the ethical dilemmas Frasier would have to be dealing with from the mid-2010s on. He'd have to reckon with the fact that his lifestyle was being funded by a company that regularly exploits its workers and, in 2020, made obscene amounts of money thanks purely from a global pandemic. We hope he has some of his colleagues on speed dial. Just sayin'.
At The Start Of Black Panther, N'Jobu and Zuri Were Planning To Spring Killmonger's Mom From Jail
The Question: At the start of Black Panther, we see Zuri and N'Jobu planning something big before T'Chaka shows up. What are they discussing, and does it even matter?
The Answer: Oh, it matters. Big time. According to Black Panther director Ryan Coogler, Zuri and N'Jobu are trying to figure out a way to break Erik Stevens' (Killmonger's) mom out of jail. Of course, since T'Chaka shows up and kills N'Jobu (since he knows N'Jobu is trying to share Vibranium with outsiders), that whole plan goes bust, and basically makes Killmonger who he is.
To start with, let's look at how Erik's mother changed his father, N'Jobu. She's an American woman whom N'Jobu met in Oakland and fell in love with, and that experience is what made him decide Wakanda should open up to the outside world. So, in a sense, she set in motion the events that led up to T'Chaka coming to Oakland.
But the fact that T'Chaka killed N'Jobu made her even more important. First, N'Jobu's death meant that she was Erik's only remaining parent. Second, once N'Jobu is gone, she has no chance to get freed, eventually dying in jail. That means Erik grows up an orphan and put into the system.
All of which makes Erik even angrier, for pretty understandable reasons, than he would be otherwise. T'Chaka's visit to Oakland completely destroyed his life, and he has pretty good reasons to consider T'Chaka, the person who murdered his father and his mother -- and who also did nothing to ensure he, Erik, would be taken care of in Oakland. T'Chaka could have, say, helped get Erik's mom out of jail, or found a family of Erik, but he didn't do either of those things. Basically, Killmonger's motives seem more and more justified the more we think about this, which is a pretty uncomfortable thought when you're talking about a guy who literally scars himself to show his kill count.
In The Dark Knight, Joker Escapes Bruce Wayne's Party In A Getaway Car
The Question: In The Dark Knight, the Joker crashes Bruce Wayne's fundraiser and drops Rachel from a window, which makes Batman rush to save her. So far, so clear, but when we last see the Joker in that scene, he's still at the party. Does he start causing chaos just for the hell of it, maiming or kill more people? Does someone try and capture him, forcing him to fight his way out?
The Answer: Neither. He just casually bails to his getaway car, actually (while everyone at the party is presumably frozen in shock). That's what clearly happens in the novelization of The Dark Knight: Batman and Rachel watch a black SUV, described as "almost certainly the Joker's getaway car," drive away. And, just to remove any doubt, the next scene is from the Joker's point of view: he's in his SUV, pretty excited, saying, "Batman will always try to save the innocent. And that will be his downfall!"
And that line makes this scene a lot more important than it looks at first. When the Joker crashes the party, he says he's looking for Harvey Dent, but apparently, that's just a diversion. That becomes obvious from the moment he escapes after he drops Rachel, instead of going for Harvey. But what he says in the SUV implies the real reason he came there: to see if Batman would drop everything to save an innocent life, as the Joker suspected he would. Since that's exactly what happens, the Joker can be pretty confident that baiting Batman into saving innocents is the way to destroy him -- and that's what probably gives the Joker the idea to set up his elaborate scheme with the ferries.
When Hulk Snaps His Fingers In Avengers: Endgame, Everyone Comes Back Safely
The Question: When Hulk puts on the Infinity Gauntlet in Avengers: Endgame and snaps his fingers, bringing back half of the world's population, what exactly happens to them? Do the people who vanished in unsafe situations -- say, on a plane in flight -- reappear where they were and instantly die?
The Answer: They all come back safely. The answer is pretty simple, explains Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige: Smart Hulk makes sure to wish for everyone to come back safely. You can wish for whatever you want, says Feige, and "because Smart Hulk is smart" he thought about this part. It sounds like a deal pretty similar to Aladdin's genie -- which means that millions of people survived largely because Smart Hulk was wearing the gauntlet and not ... well ... just about anyone else left in the Avengers. (Looking at you Ant-Man and Hawkeye.)
And we're pretty sure that would have led to even more deaths than you might think. Consider just how many scenarios there are in which you'd instantly die just because you reappeared in the same spot where you had vanished a few years ago. Sure, there's the example of a plane in flight, but a lot of people who dusted in everyday situations could have died, too. If you disappeared while crossing a parking lot, you could have reappeared in the middle of a parked car, which could have left a metal exhaust pipe in your flesh exhaust pipe. You could have just ghosted while making pizza rolls in your kitchen and reappeared in empty space 10 stories in the air because the building got demolished. Or maybe you could have just poofed while driving your car, and you'd pop back into existence on the freeway and very likely get run over by a car a moment later.
In other words, the MCU would have been a very, very tragic place if Hulk was still a dipshit.