Let’s Talk About the Ending of ‘Eternals’

So…critics have been saying how they want MCU movies to change the pace, do something a bit different, and guess what? Eternals actually did that!

This post will include MAJOR SPOILERS so I advise you to STOP READING NOW if you haven’t seen the movie.

To get to the meat of that surprising third act we need to talk about the first surprise twist that transpires at the end of Act I.

Eternals' ending, explained by Marvel's bigger movie universe - Polygon

Ajak, the leader of the Eternals, is dead and Sersi has been chosen to replace her. While in Australia she manages to contact the Eternals’ creators, the Celestial Arishem, and in a sequence dense with fascinating and important exposition we learn the Eternals’ true purpose.

They were created to defeat the Deviants so that one day when Earth would have enough inhabitants a new Celestial could be birthed, thus destroying the world and bringing about the birth of a new universe.

Learning this, Sersi decided to try and stop The Emergence a.k.a the birth of a new Celestial. It was a risky and probably deadly plan but she refused to let the people of Earth face such a horrific fate.

This leads to the big reveal in the third act that I didn’t see coming. Apparently, Ajak wanted to do the same thing and stop The Emergence but Ikaris was loyal to Arishem. He killed Ajak, throwing her to the Deviants so that it could look like they killed her, and when his fellow Eternals learned the truth he became the primary antagonist of the film.

Ikaris (MCU) Vs Wonder Woman (DCEU) SPOILERS! | SpaceBattles

So the third act showdown that we have become used to with superhero films was flipped on its head as these heroes were forced to fight one of their own, an Eternal who was literally willing to kill them to see Arishem’s plan fulfilled.

It’s a surprising turn that I didn’t see coming and was a brilliant finale to a film that really placed emphasis on the Eternals’ relationship with one another, specifically Sersi and Ikaris.

I thought it was a nice twist of events and while some will find Ikaris’ conclusion a bit controversial I loved that this film continuously shocked me in ways I actually didn’t see coming.

Once again I’m asking myself, “Isn’t this what the critics wanted? Third acts that felt more personal than just good guys fighting the typical hero of the film?” That was one of the gripes for Shang-Chi.

People wanted the conflict to stay centered around Shang-Chi and his father Wenwu. Instead, we got a massive CGI dragon showdown that left some people kind of peeved. Well, we didn’t get that with Eternals. It wasn’t the Eternals vs. a Giant Celestial Hand coming out of the ground. It was the Eternals vs. Ikaris. Fantastic!

What did you think about the ending? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

I thank you for reading and I hope you have a great day.

5 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About the Ending of ‘Eternals’”

  1. I watched it tonight, and I’ll write it up some time tomorrow on my own blog, but… I think this movie was wonderful on visuals, very high on concept, and kinda all over the place on plot. Most of the emotional moments frankly just came off as kinda random to me, and the acting was wooden enough that it just failed to sell the emotional impact of anything. It’s like, Ikaris went from totally stoic Superman knock off to totally stoic Superman knockoff with a barely visible tear going down his face. It kinda undersold the impact to me.

    The movie did generally make sense, at least, which is better than most of DC’s stuff. But… yeah, you’re right, this was neither the greatest nor the worst superhero movie. Ms Zhao tried, it just didn’t completely work.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ikaris flying into the sun was a little on the nose. LOL. That’s the one thing that truly baffled me in the movie. I do not understand why he did that.

    I loved how the Celestial was portrayed. I think they cracked that case nicely, so they should have no problem with Galactus now.

    The good guy or ally who betrays his team is still a pretty old trope. We can go back to Lando in ESB for a pretty old example. It was certainly logical here that at least one of the team members would want to follow on with his creator’s intentions. It really begs the question though of why these beings were created with enough free will to betray their creator. In real life, the last thing we’re going to be able to figure out about robotics is how to give them free will. Just making them follow orders is easier. Nevertheless, the idea of whether to obey or defy your creator is the most interesting part of this story. It is a little inconsistent though that Ikaris was willing to kill their leader, but then backed off of killing anybody else. And even when he declared he killed Druig, it somehow didn’t happen. Lots of plot armor on display.

    By the end, I lost track of why the Deviants were still in the story, and what was going on with the one in the final battle. He seemed to be absorbing the powers and memories of the Eternals he killed and evolving into a higher lifeform, but did they ever say the Deviants could do that? Was he the only one who could do that? He decided he hated the Eternals because they were killing his kind, but did they explain if he was still loyal to the Celestials?

    I’m also a little confused why Ikaris left Sersi. I missed it if they explained that. I think Sersi’s relationship with Dane really should have been shown to be more advanced than it was. She’s decided she thinks humanity is special enough to defy her creator, but we don’t sense that she has a deep human relationship there or with anyone else. We can feel those stakes better with Phastos because we see he has a human family. If we felt that Sersi was defending a specific human she really loved, it would’ve given her some stronger motivation. I’m also not quite clear on what was going on with Ikaris and Sersi’s relationship after they reunited. Was there still passion between them, or was there anger or did they just agree it was all in the past? I’m not sure that was addressed.

    I liked that it wasn’t entirely predictable how they were going to defeat the Celestial. There were several plausible plans floated. I think I was mostly able to keep track of what powers the different Eternals had, but it wouldn’t have hurt to have some exposition to make it clear to the audience what all of their powers were at some point. If the characters all know, there’s no reason the audience shouldn’t know. Some of the powers seemed a little weak for carrying out their intended mission. Maybe the Celestial should’ve just made ten Ikarises. The volcanic effects at the end looked pretty cool.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This movie was really complex, hence all of the missing details that could’ve been elaborated much easier.

      I agree, Sersi’s relationship with Dane should’ve definitely been fleshed out more but I think there just wasn’t enough time.

      Ikaris and Sersi broke up because he knew about the true nature of the mission and he couldn’t face her knowing that. I think there was still love between them but he threw himself into the sun because he was still loyal to the mission and forced himself to reset like they were supposed to anyway. If he hadn’t, the remaining Eternals would’ve probably exiled him anyway and he would’ve had to live an eternity away from the one person he truly cared about, Sersi. So he chose option A and yeeted himself into the sun. Lol.

      Yeah, I think the Deviants were definitely placed on the back burner in terms of the story. Their motivations and their storyline was very weak and Kro’s inclusion in the final act was 100% lame. Maybe we’ll see him again though.

      All in all, this movie had a lot going on and Chloe Zhao just couldn’t reel it in. But it’s not worthy of being rotten, I’ll tell you that.

      Liked by 1 person

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