We Need To Talk About [spoiler] [spoiler] [spoiler].

Film Here we are then at the season finale of the MARVEL Cinematic Universe Season One and after watching it on the same day as that episode of Game of Thrones, I was pretty worn out for at least twenty-four hours.  Avengers: Endgame is a strident classic of its genre is something which should go without saying. As close as we have yet to the film equivalent of an event comic upon which the events in separate "franchises" will surely follow, it's also an incredibly "important" moment for those of us who've become emotionally invested in this universe and characters.

Try as I might, there are some things I've been cogitating about in the week since and although I'm sure you've read some of the following elsewhere (assuming you've seen this behemoth and not a masochist who likes to know everything about a film before you see the film because you don't like surprises) so apologies for the repetition.  Meanwhile, not having written anything length on a keyboard for weeks, I'm finding it surprisingly hard to get my bearings around the Querty.  So apologies for any typos and the like.  I'll try to catch them all.

Here is a necessary block for stuff for anyone who wants to look away.



That should do it.

Still here?  Right then, I'd like to talk about logistics, specifically in relation to those missing five years.

As is established by the climax of Endgame, unlike some of us might have assumed due to the presence of time travel, satisfyingly the Infinity Gauntlet (TM) isn't used to reset the timeline.  Everything which happened, happened.  Stark doesn't have to make the decision to sacrifice the existence of his own child in order to save the timeline, none of that mishegoss.  As he says himself, he wouldn't proceed with the plan unless the timeline remains intact and everyone seems fine with that, especially the audience who now won't have rewatch Infinite War knowing that it's about to be retconned out of existence in the next film.

Endgame creates its own rules about time travel even to the point of having its characters discuss all the usual permutations from films before being told it's all guff, that Back To The Future is bullshit.  Of course it stings that out of all the programmes and films mentioned, even Quantum Leap, that Doctor Who finds itself shunned despite the film featuring an actual companion actress in a starring role.  But disregarding the notion of paradoxes frees the story from any obligations change the future somehow or offer the chance of a universal do-over.  Whatever happens, happens, and there's no changing it.

Some have become quite confused about all of this, but everything is explained in the rooftop conversation between Banner and The Ancient One.  That removing the stones from the timeline won't bust open reality so long as they're returned to their relevant points, to do otherwise would create a separate reality or some such.  Ok, I'll have to watch it again, but the reasoning seemed sound on first consumption and explains why in the final moments, Steve takes Mj√∂lnir with him as well as the stones.  Something plenty of filmmakers forget is that its ok to create your own set of rules for a sci-fi or fantasy concept so long as you follow them yourself.

Anyway, as a result, by the close of Endgame, we realise that when Brulk clicks half the population of the galaxy back into existence, from their perspective its as though they never left and that they're entering a world were the other half are now five years older than them having reached 2023 the slow way by living through it.  Never mind that this is a superhero film franchise, that's a hugely interesting and faintly dystopian concept by itself, large enough to sustain its own film, let alone a television series.  It's essentially a rapture film in which the great one decides to send everyone back after five years because it didn't go as planned.

How does a planet, let alone a universe deal with billions of people who they thought were gone for good suddenly turning up again?  After the emotional realisation that your loved ones aren't dead, you're then left with the problem of what to do with them all.  There are all sorts of logistical and legal matters to attend to.  One does not simply disappear from existence for five years and then return assuming that you'll be able to carry on with your life as though nothing has happened.  Five years is a long time, even in a world in the grasp of collective grief.  For example:

Birthdates

You now have half a planet which is physically and mentally five years younger than the other half but who still have their originally birthdate.  Which means that people who're physically thirteen years old are now eligible to vote, watch In The Realm of the Sense and join the army, not to mention the mess it makes of retirement ages.

The state would have two options.

Either they'd have to redo all of the paperwork to give eligibility ratings depending on whether someone was clicked out or existence or not.  So some kind of mark on the voter rolls in polling stations and a BBFC classification would be 18-certificate (23-certificate for [insert euphemism for those who disappeared for five years]).

Or more radically artificially revise the birthdates of everyone who disappeared.  In the trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home, when Peter presents his passport, it doesn't have a date of birth on it, no doubt to hide the Endgame spoiler.  Perhaps when that shot's in the actual film, we'll see that Peter's DOB has changed to suggest he was born five years later than he actually was.

On the one hand, it means that everyone embraces a collective lie that at least on paper, there are people who lived on the planet five years longer than their date of birth says they did.  But on the other it saves on an awful lot more paperwork than having to just create new documents.

Assets and housing

Judging by the tone of the opening hour of the film, everyone who disappeared has been pronounced dead, which means that wills will have gone into motion and assuming the heirs also still exist, their assets will have been passed down and either sold off or kept.

The less well off, especially those who were renting will have had houses taken back by landlords and all of the other stuff which happens when someone dies without anyone to take care of their affairs.  Houses cleared of possessions, that sort of thing.

Not to mention everything happening at banks in relation to savings and investments etc.

After the initial shock, society moves on.  Governments make new laws to deal with the aftermath.

Then all of these people snap back into existence and everything they owned is gone.  Their house isn't there any more, either demolished, left empty and sold or rented to someone else.  Their assets have been seized and there isn't yet a legal framework in place for them to get it back.

Not to mention a job.  Apart from in some government departments, vacancies are not kept open for five years.

Perhaps that's were some of the people in the homeless shelter in the Spider-man trailer come from.

A lot of people'll be as lucky as Ant-Man and be able to walk back into their own life, albeit with suddenly having a teenage daughter to deal with.  But the rest might not have a life to return to.

Despite being alive again, they're completely fucked.

Relationships

You pop back into existence and discover that your wife or husband or partner has moved on with their life, perhaps even remarried.  Within perceptual moments you've gone from having a loving home to becoming the outsider no longer legally married, perhaps with a whole new family living in your house.

Or what if you're in a relationship with someone who lost a loved one to Thanos and that loved one suddenly turns up and you realise that your partner was making do.  How does that make you feel?

Also what if you were a young child when your parents went and you've been adopted?  Obviously you should go back to your own parents, but as we know, in custody cases it isn't also that simple.  If its a couple who are now poor, the court may decide the child is better off with the adopted parents.

Nuts.  Again, there's tons of dramatic mileage in this sequence of events on its own.

Premierships

Thinking about that final shot of T'Challa triumphantly returning to Wakanda: did his premiership not pass to a successor?  At all?  Did they wait around just in case?  The implication is that M'Baku or whoever has stepped aside now that the real King is back but will every country on the planet be as accepting of the new status quo?  Political change will have presumably come within those five years and there's bound to be wars and other controversies ensuing when powerful people attempt to retake thrones and dispatch boxes they assumed were rightfully theres.

Technology and the Arts

Just to give this lip service.  Half the planet return to find computers technologically better than they were and there are five years worth of television and film to catch up on.  Even if half the casts have disappeared, you can bet the Tommy Westphall universe is still going strong.  Will you still be able to even play your dvds (assuming they haven't gone to landfill).

Factionalism

Then there are the numpties who want to treat the returnees as second class citizens, who believe that the world was a better place post Thanos and feel like having them come back is the worst.  Not to mention those who thought it really was the rapture and have now been proved wrong.

Sigh, just sigh.

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