Seen Captain Marvel? Good. Let’s talk spoilers

So you’ve seen Captain Marvel, read the reviews (including our own), and perhaps written yours. Now that we’ve gotten the opinions out of the way, let’s talk about the stuff we can’t spoil for anyone else—from detailed plot twists to Nick Fury’s eyeball.

Carol is not your goddamn weapon.

Relative to her MCU cohorts, there isn’t a whole lot to Carol Danvers’ core motivation. There’s no test of worthiness. There’s no overcoming personal demons. There’s no generic love interest (thank the lords). She wants to end wars; that’s basically it. The story becomes far more interesting when we see The Captain manoeuvre to achieve this noble, but straightforward, goal.

The inventively-placed flashbacks illustrate a woman bucking systems that were designed to keep her down, from ’70s girls-aren’t-welcome go-karting clubs to the blatantly sexist ’80s US airforce. These instances parallel beautifully with how the Kree treat her, all smiles and condescension intended to make The Captain think she wasn’t as good as she really was. To them, she was their weapon—and a powerful weapon’s no good if it’s not in your control.

The Kree turned out to be the ones prolonging their war with the Skrull; not ending it. That reveal provoked Carol to once again buck the system.

The climax ends with one of the film’s most hilarious and satisfying scenes—a defeated Yon-Rogg’s (Jude Law) pathetic last-ditch effort to win a fight against superpowered Carol. The challenge he issued The Captain—a demand to engage him on his terms—was met with a “Nah” in the form of a photon blast to the jaw. It’s the kind of ego slap-down that took me back to The Avengers, where the Hulk turned Loki into a human fly-swatter.

Ben Mendo’s a… nice guy!?

Who’d’ve thought a lizard-painted Ben Mendelsohn, the villain in all of these films, would end up being a good guy? Talk about perfect counter-casting. He acted as a great focal point to one of the film’s niftier twists—shifting sympathy to the Skrull.

The Captain learns how the threat of genocide turned them into refugees, revealing the complex nature of the war. (They don’t hide the blood from their hands either, which adds nicely to the murkiness of it all.) From here, you don’t need me to connect the thematic dots from this film to real-world matters. As Nick Fury stated, war is a universal language—a solid statement in a solid film.

Fury’s eyeball

Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury has been around for a thick decade and so has that eye-patch. That fashion accessory hinted heavily at a life of total badassery. Turns out, it was just a cat scratch he got while giving Goose a kissy-face.

It’s a hugely amusing 10-year-long punchline that might be the greatest secret Fury’s ever kept. It also begs the question: what else has been exaggerated in his history? Perhaps he only had a desk job with S.H.I.E.L.D. until he fluked this alien encounter that landed him a promotion. Maybe a stray Skrull acts as his real-life stunt double in films like Winter Soldier. Could his surname actually be ‘Furry’? We might never know.

Ronan still sucks.

No further thoughts.

No time-travel…

How do you reverse the effects of Infinity War? One straightforward answer is to travel back in time, something fans speculated could play significantly in the ’90s-set Captain Marvel. As it turns out, nope.

And that’s fine. The closest we got was memory manipulation of past events, which may or may not be brought back to Endgame alongside the infinity gauntlet’s own time-warping powers and Ant-Man’s ability to go subatomic. We’ll just have to keep speculating.

Captain Marvel: The Second First Avenger?

It seems like a low-key moment, but Fury’s inspiration to name The Avengers Initiative after Carol Danvers’ nickname hints at something huge. Though she’s not the first Avenger ever (Captain America gets that title), events in Endgame will most likely lead to a whole new Avengers. They’ll need a captain, and if that isn’t Steve Rogers (get your star-spangled tissues ready, just sayin’), it’ll most likely be Carol Danvers, making her the new First Avenger.

It’s also funny to think that Fury couldn’t find members for The Avengers Initiative for 20 whole years. He eventually nabbed Iron Man, but only after Stark revealed his identity to the entire world. Is this guy actually any good at his job?

That stinger…

To be honest, there weren’t any real surprises in this stinger (talking about the first one, not the pointless end-of-all-the-credits one). Half the Avengers fiddle with Fury’s intergalactic pager. The Captain answers. Not exactly revelatory information.

However, it is sobering to see Rogers, Widow, Banner and the rest overviewing the disturbing statistics from the fallout of The Snappening. For some, like me, it shot right back to that feeling of sudden hopelessness that Infinity War achieved so well. To see The Captain appear felt like the spark of hope we’ve been waiting almost a year for.

That spark is met with a brief, bitterly-sweet moment of humanity. The Captain could have cracked her knuckles and said a bunch of things in this moment. “I’m here!” “Who needs my help?” “Thanos will pay… with his teeth!” However, her (presumably) first moment back on Earth, she worryingly asks: “Where’s Fury?”

Instead of going with an agressive self-hype, the line showed The Captain’s concern for her friend from decades ago—and that cuts much deeper.

Unanswered questions

Then there’s a bunch of things left up in the air. Could there be any Skrull still on Earth? Will we see 11-year-old Monica Rambeau reappear as 30-something Photon? And is Goose still alive? Like, do Flerkin live beyond cat years? Or did Fury have to hire S.H.I.E.L.D.’s first covert taxidermist? I expect detailed answers to all these questions in Endgame.