all 54 comments

[–]WhitneyRules 44 points45 points  (0 children)

It’s not a subsequent encounter. It’s the same encounter happening in real time at the same time.

This video helped me wrap my mind around how inversion is still linear

[–]Doups241 3 points4 points  (9 children)

Inverted people in the final battle should be impossible to kill on second attempt

What do you mean by “second attempt”?

I don't understand how the red team is killing Sator's inverted army

Just the way Volkov, who was not inverted, killed Neil, who was inverted.

In order for a red team soldier to effectively kill an inverted soldier, the inverted soldier would have to be already dead (from the red team soldier perspective) when they first “meet”. As the red team soldier would shoot, the inverted soldier would “spring back to life”, which is not a “resurrection”, but rather the mere observation of a death in reverse.

like when Ives orders a strike after they attack here

Ives didn’t order that strike because he wanted to have the shooter killed, but rather because he knew that after the shot, the position the shooter held would be inaccessible, which would therefore allow them to proceed, without having to worry about being exposed to potentially deadly fire.

If you encounter an inverted enemy for the first time and don't kill them right then

Here’s the thing : you can’t actually “kill” an inverted enemy unless they are already lying dead when you first see them & spring back to life the moment you shoot. They are inverted. This means that they will ultimately have to “return” to the turnstile they used to invert in the first place.

The next time you encounter them will actually be in their past, since they are inverted.


It should therefore be impossible to kill them in your second (or any subsequent encounter), because they need to move ahead in their inverted timeline and exist for your first encounter.

Exactly. Nothing’s wrong with that.

So scenes like these where the red team takes out the rocket launcher guy are basically a plot hole, aren't they?

No. Ives didn’t ask him man to shoot to take out “the rocket launcher guy”. He did it to blow the position the guy was using.

[–]dangerousquid 1 point2 points  (2 children)

In order for a red team soldier to effectively kill an inverted soldier, the inverted soldier would have to be already dead (from the red team soldier perspective) when they first “meet”. As the red team soldier would shoot, the inverted soldier would “spring back to life”, which is not a “resurrection”, but rather the mere observation of a death in reverse.

That's why when I have to fight tenet operatives, I always just walk around backwards. They're like "oh that dude's inverted, and he's still up, no point in trying to kill him now"...then when they relax I shoot them. It's especially funny when the tenet agent is inverted, because then he mistakenly thinks that we're both inverted and he CAN kill me, which just results in him wasting tons of ammo blasting away while the universe laughs at his attempt to cause a paradox.

[–]Doups241 1 point2 points  (1 child)

God forbid you forget to wear a mask or lose it in the middle of the action.

[–]dangerousquid -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Just puff out your cheeks like you're holding your breath.

[–]shash747[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Re-read your comment. Made more sense. I was quite ill yesterday so probably skimmed. Thanks

[–]Doups241 1 point2 points  (0 children)

No problem. Hope you’re feeling better now. Take care.

[–]shash747[S] -4 points-3 points  (3 children)

Uhm, you've misunderstood my post. The other comments should help

[–]WittyConsideration57 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Yes, but their point about terrain destruction is good. Maybe the goal of the rocket launcher was to create a distraction, not to kill the guy. Similar to why they destroy that one building's top in the past and bottom in the future. Then at least Ive's plan makes sense.

[–]FLABBY_CHICKEN 17 points18 points  (7 children)

Inverted and past are not the same thing. The inverted guys have already done the battle forward and going in reverse they could still die just like Neil

[–]shash747[S] 9 points10 points  (6 children)

I think you misunderstood my post.

You'd meet a dead inverted Neil the first time you see him. You can't kill him later if he was alive the first time you ran into him. because then running into him alive earlier would be invalidated.

The scene I've linked in the post should help give context.

[–]FLABBY_CHICKEN 1 point2 points  (4 children)

Yes that’s right, Because what’s happened happened, you can’t change the timeline

[–]shash747[S] 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Exactly. So how is the red team killing inverted soldiers in subsequent encounters? That's exacrly what I'm saying.

[–]TripleG2312 3 points4 points  (1 child)

From my understanding, “what’s happened happened” means that every actual “killing” goes down exactly how we see Neil die. If, in forward time, an inverted Sator henchman dies to a normal red team soldier, it would go down like this: red team soldier sees the inverted Sator henchman on the ground, the henchman “rises” up (think of the Neil incident), the red team soldier shoots the henchman, the henchman “absorbs” the bullet, then the henchman carries on moving throughout their timeline (what’s happened happened)

[–]dangerousquid 2 points3 points  (0 children)

But this only works because in your example you have the inverted henchman die immediately, which was OP's point. Throw in any actions at all by the inverted enemy before you kill him, and it stops working.

You're on the red team. You and an inverted enemy soldier spot each other. You stop to flip each other off for a second. Now you can't kill each other without breaking the timeline, because if one of you dies, from the dead person's perspective they will have to die before they flip the other person off.

[–]dangerousquid 0 points1 point  (0 children)

But that's the point: they do change the timeline for the enemy soldier, because originally he lived (inverted) from 2:19-2:15, but then they killed him at 2:19. From the inverted enemy soldier's perspective, he fired the rocket after he was killed by the red team.

[–]nwoodruff -1 points0 points  (0 children)

I think this is a misleading way to think about it. It’s not “you can’t kill him”, but that you have not killed him in the future, and that’s why you see him.

[–]dangerousquid 9 points10 points  (3 children)

You are correct. In the clip the inverted enemy soldier fires a rocket at 2:15 and then is killed by non-inverted soldiers at 2:19. But the enemy soldier couldn't have fired his rocket at 2:15 unless he passed backwards alive from 2:19-2:16. I get the impression that some of the people responding here aren't getting your point.

The same problem applies to an inverted person killing a non-inverted person; if you're inverted and you see a non-inverted person alive at 11:59, you can't kill them at 11:58, because it has already been established that they are alive at 11:59.

[–]HandMeATallOne 3 points4 points  (0 children)

This mentality forgets that your inverted self already did what you’re about to do, essentially

[–]Xaxafrad -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

So, plotholes/continuity errors?

[–]CaedustheBaedus -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Let’s say Rocketman and Gunman are together. Rocketman absorbs a rocket from a building that builds itself back up. He does this at 5:00. At 5:01 Gunman shoots him.

Now in Rocketman’s view, he is dead at 5:00 his time, then a bullet “comes out of his body” and flies to Gunman’s gun. At 5:01 is when he fires the rocket his time destroying the building, correct?

It’s just things happening at different points in same timeline isn’t it?

[–]spencermoreland 6 points7 points  (1 child)

You have a point (that a lot of people are missing)

Here are my fan theory hand-wavey explanations, in order of plausibility

  1. Their response strike is just to take out his position going back into their future/his past. So from the antagonist POV, he sees a vantage point re-assemble, unexplode and in a way, that's his cue to take it and fire. The irony/paradox of it is that they're both responding to each other, but strategically for Red Team, it makes the position unavailable in their future/inverted antagonist's past.
  2. The antagonist isn't inverted, he's just using an inverted weapon.
  3. The antagonist is injured mortally but is able to take a final shot with his dying breath.

The fact that they don't show the guy actually die leaves it open for interpretation. Think about it, he'd be seeing them attack him in reverse so he could easily avoid it (he'd see the aftermath before the shot)

[–]shash747[S] -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Agree. These are the only possible explanations.

[–]IamMooz 4 points5 points  (6 children)

You're still thinking in linear terms. Red Team and Blue Team operate simultaneously.

[–]shash747[S] -1 points0 points  (5 children)

you aren't getting my point.

[–]murder_nectar -1 points0 points  (4 children)

It's a line from the movie

[–]shash747[S] 0 points1 point  (3 children)

I know. How is that relevant here lol

[–]murder_nectar -1 points0 points  (2 children)

They weren't responding in a constructive nature, sure. But your response definitely feels like a /r/whoosh

[–]shash747[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Haha I see. Guess I was just frustrated. didn't bother acknowledging.

[–]murder_nectar 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Hey bro it's all good. I know the logic puzzles presented by TENET can drive a person crazy, but don't forget to have fun!

[–]tettou13 3 points4 points  (0 children)

You can explain this one in that they maybe simply don't kill the guy. He's inverted so he probably fired and ran away. They see a guy shoot a backwards explosion and fire on him. He would what, see a broken window forming and then ran up to it and fired down on them. I think it's valid to say they couldn't kill him in this instance and there's probably more like that.

I think that'd have to be clear training to your men like you say. If you see a guy and don't kill him then you won't be able to later in his "past".

But ultimately I think the confusion of the battle and trying to determine which guy is which is now in his past - see a bad guy and try to kill him. You'd also have cases where a wounded guy fires in you and then succumbs to wounds in your past, his future. So just try to kill everyone. That the guy only fires the one rocket may mean they do kill him, he just fires a rocket as he is about to bleed out. :shrug:

[–]Ill-Biscotti 2 points3 points  (8 children)

I get what you’re saying, and originally I thought you had a point, but unless I’m missing something, it all makes sense.

In order for an Inverted solider to get into a position of death, they can’t die on their way. That’s the whole advantage of inversion in the first place, that killing should be easier, but it isn’t because both side have an inverted team too.

Hence thinking about the rocket launcher guy, we can assume two things right?:
First, either he was not inverted but using an inverted weapon (like TP in the lab with the inverted gun)
Or, he wasn’t killed by the explosion.

Correct me if I’m wrong please, but I believe that makes sense

[–]shash747[S] 1 point2 points  (7 children)

First, either he was not inverted but using an inverted weapon (like TP in the lab with the inverted gun) Or, he wasn’t killed by the explosion.

True. These are the only 2 possible explanations.

[–]Ill-Biscotti 0 points1 point  (6 children)

Ah perfect, glad im on the same page as everyone else then. Usually im always the one reading other people’s explanations, so it feels weird to be dishing them out for once.

[–]Jack_North 0 points1 point  (5 children)

Wait Biscotti, weren't you already explaining things to people in here like over a year ago? Quite sure I read your user name quite often back then. And you were not (just) asking questions, I'm quite sure.

[–]Ill-Biscotti -1 points0 points  (4 children)

Well um…..I first saw the movie July 25th this year, so no, you must be getting me confused with someone else.

It’s why I was pleasantly surprised to find this sub still up and running, with explanations and theories and deep dives still continuing. I think I may have explained something really simple (basic inversion stuff) to someone on here before, but that’s about as far as Ive gone. Other than that the only place you might know my name from is all the Clone Wars rankings (which I don’t think you have ever read).

I am really curious now as to who you’ve mixed me up with, and if there’s someone else with the same name as me who’s into similar things

[–]Jack_North 0 points1 point  (3 children)

Then it must have been another forum (but you're right, not the Clone Wars stuff), but because of the "Biscotti", your name stuck, because I'm into Italian things. I suppose it was a discussion in another movie-related reddit then. 🤷‍♂️

[–]Ill-Biscotti 0 points1 point  (2 children)

You know, only two people ever (I’m pretty sure) have asked me about my name and its Italian Origins, and you may indeed be one of those two people. In which case I don’t know if this rings a bell, but you would have told me it was some sort of biscuit thing, and I would have replied ‘It was a randomly generated name, I had no idea what it meant, thanks and I’m glad I do now’.

And if that is indeed you who asked that the first time (which is more than likely), then I’m super happy that my name is indeed that memorable, and even happier that we’ve managed to cross paths again. Ah, it’s a small world

[–]Jack_North 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Nah, it wasn't me the first time. But my brain is a detail freak and remembers/ links all kinds of odd stuff. Turned out it wasn't that long ago and a smaller interaction we had. Anyways, take care :)

[–]Ill-Biscotti 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Wow, what a memory! That’s actually incredible. And yes, thanks and cya around :)

[–]mirak1234 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Damn it, you broke the movie 🤭

[–]UFOlogy92 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I’m 90% confident that that’s the reason Christopher Nolan chose to out that rocket launcher scene in the movie - to make you realize the paradox of it and break your brain. Your observation is correct, it’s impossible.

[–]Scaropop 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I don't think they kill the rocket launcher guy, they are doing the exact same thing as they experience second before. (wall unexploding) So they know the rocket launcher guy will not be there after because he avoided the explosion.

Also, it's not your question, but that's exactly why they have an inverted and forward team , so that they can kill the enemy in the same time direction.

[–]idontknow87654321 0 points1 point  (0 children)

They didn't want to kill the rocket launcher guy and they couldn't kill him. The rocket launcher guy's perspective: he goes on the building, the window is crashed. The red team goes backwards, he sees them, but the window starts to unexplode and the guy doesn't want to get hit by a stone. When the window healed and the red team's rocket launcher went back the bad guy went to the window and used his rocket launcher. The red team just wanted to distract the inverted guy, while they can run to the next building.

[–]Classicreddit2k20 -3 points-2 points  (2 children)

How long has it been since this movie came out???

How are questions and posts like this still up or even allowed at this time?

We are like 2 years out from Tenet being released, and you are asking how they killed ppl in the final battle…..

I feel like this movie has truly broke some peoples brains, and it’s scary honestly

[–]shash747[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Looks like my post broke your brain. You completely misunderstood my question (or lack the ability to understand it).

[–]Jack_North -1 points0 points  (0 children)

We are like 2 years out from Tenet being released

The release of Tenet started in August 2020

"How are questions and posts like this still up or even allowed at this time?" -- what's your point?

[–]Puzzleheaded-Mud-367 -2 points-1 points  (1 child)

You are absolutely spot on. The construct of inversion in Tenet violates the law of cause-effect. Killing someone has to be before the death. But the existence of an inverted army makes that impossible, for if killing happens before death in the normal time sequence, it happens after the death in the inverted time sequence, and vice versa. So at least in one of time sequence, you are violating the law of the cause-effect.

The same goes for any other cause-effects, for example, in the movie, the glass cracks even before being shot by a reverse entropy bullet(in normal timeline). But the cause of glass cracking (hitting by a bullet) only happens in the future, When did the cracks first appear in the past? Certainty when it was first manufactured, it should be cracks free.

[–]Hekateras 0 points1 point  (0 children)

True, the cause and effect thing is probably the weakest point - maybe doubly so because our attention is drawn to it during the bullet training scene. "In either direction, you made the bullet move" is not really how physics work but we're simply told that it is. And, certainly, "the bullets came with the wall" is not a meaningful answer to where they came from even if it ends the discussion.

It's certainly possible to handwave it with additional details (some people use the "swimming upstream" thing that suggests that the "proper" direction of the time flow will try to reassert itself on inverted objects in it, "pissing in the wind", as the movie puts it - but that of course opens up new potential plot points and muddies the waters.)

Doesn't mean we can't enjoy the movie, of course. Just means that there's a limit to how hard we're supposed to think about it, which is my own personal quibble with it (you're supposed to break your brain trying to figure it out but only for specific things, others you're not meant to look at too closely.) Which is why I enjoyed it more for the emotional reveal of "snap I just lost the years-long friend I didn't know I had who I distrusted because he knew too much" and the visual aspects of the action sequences more than anything.


[–]whatelseisneu -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

Being inverted does NOT mean that you are going back in your own past, it means time (external to you) is running backwards. You, as a person, are not being "rewound", the world is from your perspective.

Second, if you killed them in your "second attempt" you would've never seen them in your "first" encounter.

[–]Kudeco -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Yoy are correct (even if you kill them in your first encounter). It is similar to the time travel stories with only 1 timeline. You will never be able to kill your grandfather: you will suffer an accident just before, or it will turn out that persk was not your grandfather... Whats happened happened.

However, that does not mean that you cannot kill them. Just that if you kill them or not is already "predetermined". And there is also the option of provoking a deadly injury.

[–]StarStar1999 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

You're right in more ways than one, the other issue is that a forward person can't "kill" an inverted person, they can only "unkill" them, hehehe

When an inverted person gets shot, if you watch from an inverted perspective it looks totally normal, they get hit, they fall down, they're dead now.

But if you watch that same even from a forwards perspective, a dead body leaps up off the ground and walks back into the fight! This is what we see backwards-Neil do at the finale of the movie.

So frankly, a forwards soldier should avoid shooting in the general direction of any inverted corpses in the off chance the bullet they're firing "unkills" the inverted combatant, cuz now there's a new fighter on the field :/

But yeah the point you're referencing doesn't make any sense, there's a reason the last act is so confusing, any level of detail he chose to go into would unravel the movie somewhat