How 'Spider-Man: No Way Home' Dooms Tobey To A Horrible Fate

The magic affected him too—and he has no idea what he's in for.
How 'Spider-Man: No Way Home' Dooms Tobey To A Horrible Fate

At the end of Spider-Man: No Way Home, dozens of villains from other universes are about to come to ours and rip reality apart. A spell drew them because they know their own universes' versions of Peter Parker, and to stop the incursion, Tom Holland's Pete makes a sacrifice. He asks for a new spell that makes everyone forget Peter Parker—not just the villains, not just those in the vicinity, but everyone. The movie closes with a glimpse of his new sad solo life.

However, this spell isn't limited to Tom's universe. We only see its effect on his universe, but let's think through what the spell must actually do. To work, it has to include other universes, to hit those villains who are about to come here. And when Strange makes “everyone forget who Peter Parker is,” that can't make these invaders forget just Tom, since they never knew Tom in the first place. If this memory spell has any effect on those villains at all, it must make everyone forget their version of Peter Parker. That means all the other Peter Parkers, including Tobey and Andrew Garfield, are also forgotten.

The other Peters will be even worse off than Tom. Tom is just a teenager and has the rest of his life to forge a fresh path; at the end of the film, we already see him studying for his GED and grabbing a no-questions-asked apartment. Tobey, on the other hand, is pushing 40, when starting from scratch is harder. More importantly, at least Tom knows what he's in for. Unlike Tom (or, say, a 40-year-old Cuban sneaking illegally over the border and who must live off the grid), Tobey has no idea he must prepare for living with no established identity. 

He'll show up at the Daily Bugle and discover no one knows him. Maybe he'll suspect he was sent home to the wrong universe, as his situation's much like No Way Home's Norm Osborn, wandering New York confused. Except Tobey has no Marisa Tomei to seek out for help, nor anyone else. He may seek out Osborn, if the man's now alive, 20 years after his averted death—the two never had a chance to talk after that stabbing incident and then Norm turning good—but that's no use since Norm too will have forgotten him.

Then Tobey will go see Mary Jane. They worked things out and became a couple again (Tobey earlier told Tom this), capping an on-and-off romance that spanned decades. That's all gone now. She no longer knows him, as he'll learn during a meeting that probably ends with her calling the cops. That's a bit sadder than Tom losing his girlfriend of four months.

Yeah: It might seem like an epic love story, thanks to sweeping music, and because we've watched them since Zendaya was just weird Michelle whom Tom wasn't interested in, but at the end of No Way Home, Tom and his MJ have been dating only four months. At the start of No Way Home, they've been dating just one week. Losing touch with the girl you dated for a bit senior year isn't a tragedy, Tom, it's actually pretty typical. A tragedy is what you didn't realize every other Peter experiences. Of all of them, Tom had the least to lose. 

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