This article contains nothing but Spider-Man: Far From Home spoilers.
Spider-Man: Far From Home has been described as the true ending of Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. During the lead-up to Avengers: Endgame, people scratched their heads over that suggestion because Endgame was an almost unheard of modern cinematic event and the culmination of an entire universe told over the course of 11 years. Far From Home was about Spider-Man having a wacky European adventure, right?
Then the second snap happened and we suddenly understood. This was going to be an epilogue. Not only due to the complete quagmire of the universe’s new status quo, but because Tony Stark is dead and he’s been treated as Peter Parker’s father figure. As a result, Spider-Man: Far From Home is a nice, breezy superhero story that also gives us details on the intriguing aftermath of Avengers: Endgame.
The Spider-Man: Far From Home ending is pretty much a two-part process. The ending itself gives us what looks like a pure happy ending with a loose end or two mixed in there. Then the mid-credits stinger adds to it and shows that things aren’t as cut-and-dry optimistic as they originally seemed. But that’s for another article.
No, the initial ending is pretty straightforward at first. Spider-Man beats the bad guy, gets the girl, the grizzled higher up gives him a pat on the back, and he gets to go back to happily swinging around the streets of New York. But let’s take a closer look at the Spider-Man: Far From Home ending…
The MCU Multiverse is Fake (for now)
The moment Mysterio was revealed in the Far From Home trailer, it was the most obvious plot twist to any comic fan. Mysterio was no superhero fighting monsters. He was a villain and likely the one who created the monsters to begin with.
That Mysterio was almost exactly like his comic self was the real twist. We’re used to Marvel taking liberties with their villains, much like what we got with the Mandarin in Iron Man 3 and sympathetic Skrulls in Captain Marvel. Using Mysterio’s back story about another universe is a cute misdirection in itself, what with Spider-Man’s last starring role being in a movie about a multiversal team-up.
The thing about sci-fi/fantasy worlds like this is that it’s hard to be purely cynical. If you hint at the impossible, then the impossible will exist. Scooby-Doo and his friends spent years proving that there was no actual ghost, but then they went and did stories where they actually met ghosts. Agents of SHIELD spent much of its first season insisting that mind-reading is impossible, but it’s only a matter of time before Charles Xavier shows up in the MCU in some form. Even the MCU Mandarin was walked back with the reveal that there really is an evil overlord lurking in the shadows who isn’t a drunk loser putting on a performance.
Endgame brings up the idea of there being alternate realities, but those are ones born out of time travel weirdness. There’s a world where Loki escaped with the Space Stone. There’s a world where Thanos and his armies vanished one day and never returned. Nothing as radical as what Mysterio was pretending to be from, but with the upcoming What If series on Disney+, the continued weirdness coming in Doctor Strange 2, and whatever Marvel has in mind to explain mutants as eventually being a thing, I have to imagine that this fake backstory is merely a hint of what’s to come.
The Death of Mysterio
First off, I like that they found a PG-13 way to rewrite Mysterio’s comic book death. There, it was a self-inflicted gunshot wound as well, but it was explicitly a suicide. He even did it as part of a plot to successfully ruin a superhero’s life. Except in the comics, he was ruining Daredevil by setting up Karen Page’s murder.
Mysterio flat-out tells Spider-Man near the end that he’s all about contingencies. Spider-Man, and presumably the viewer as well, is tricked by this because Mysterio does pull off a climactic misdirection that completely fails. Then he dies from his gunshot wound. EDITH makes it clear that he is absolutely, positively dead.
And yet in death he’s more powerful than any giant fire monster. I’m personally shocked that he died due to how much of a shoe-in he’d be for the Sinister Six, especially with Mac Gargan and Vulture already supplying the hate-on for Tony Stark and Spider-Man.
How the Drones Work
Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t help but notice the similarities between the MCU Spider-Man movies and Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. There’s stuff like how Zendaya’s Michelle Jones identifying herself as “MJ” at the end of Spider-Man: Homecoming is the same spirit as John Blake being “Robin” at the conclusion of The Dark Knight Rises. Even Mysterio’s whole beef comes from, “Nobody cared who I was until I wore the mask.”
But the biggest one is the “political super weapon that goes too far.” The Dark Knight had a whole thing about Batman using advanced technology to essentially wiretap all of Gotham City. The whole Big Brother surveillance thing led to a short-lived argument between Bruce Wayne and Lucius Fox where Fox was all, “This spits in the face of freedom,” and Wayne was all, “Let me just use this shady piece of tech to catch the serial killer clown and then I promise I’ll blow it up.”
For Spider-Man, it’s about the drones, which is another modern political tie-in. This one gets more blatant because the villain actually gets to use it for evil. Even the hero’s use of it is sketchy in its own way. In the end, Spidey makes sure to destroy all the drones, as it’s his responsibility to eliminate a power that shouldn’t be in anyone’s hands.
The bad news is that he’s going to need all the help he can get ASAP. It’s a good thing he’s been able to perfect his Spidey Sense/Peter Tingle because he’s going to need that level of “not getting shot in a rainstorm of bullets” to survive in the next movie.
MJ Knows Peter is Spider-Man
The trailers made an interesting choice in revealing that MJ knows Peter Parker is Spider-Man, but the movie does go further with it. Much of the movie makes it pretty obvious that MJ is just as into Peter as he is into her, but then there’s the bombshell where she makes it seem that all along, she was more paying attention to him for the sake of snooping. There was no affection, but curiosity.
Then it’s revealed that she does actually have feelings for him anyway. Peter essentially redeems himself for his ultimate failure in Homecoming in screwing things up with Liz. His relationship with MJ signifies an ability to find the strength and confidence to mix his two worlds together and succeed. This goes great with the relationship between his current superhero life father figure Happy Hogan and his down-to-earth life mother figure Aunt May.
Time will tell soon enough how much their relationship can endure because, hoo boy, the shit hits the fan in that mid-credits scene.
What’s Up With Flash Thompson?
Tony Revolori’s Flash Thompson had the most curious role in Far From Home. Back in Homecoming, he was exactly what you’d expect from the character: a bully. The kind of guy who would rail on Peter and never really get his comeuppance because Peter attacking him would go against the whole power/responsibility deal. There wasn’t much to him and there didn’t need to be.
In Far From Home, Flash’s spot as a bully is jeopardized. Not only is Brad the new class antagonist for Peter, but Flash gets dunked on a lot. Whether it’s MJ screwing him out of an alcoholic beverage, that part where someone nut-checks him, or Peter accidentally knocking him out in a scuffle, Flash is constantly getting his comeuppance.
Except, there’s the thing with his mother. It only comes up a couple of times, but there’s talk of Flash having an absentee mother that doesn’t lead to anything. Even his final appearance is him sadly asking about her. This isn’t the bully getting his. This is straight-up for sympathy.
In the comics, Flash would go on to become one of Peter’s best friends and even his bullying ways would be given context to make him more sympathetic. Not only does his friendship with Peter and love of Spider-Man make him a better person overall, but he even joins the Avengers for a time as Agent Venom.
While I doubt we’ll be getting any kind of Venom in the MCU any time soon, the fact is, Flash might be the friend Peter needs for the third leg in the trilogy.