(All-spoiler question)

In the 2020 film Tenet, arms dealer Sator is instructed to bury the "algorithm" by means of a cave in at Stalsk 12, and his success in doing this somehow ensures success for the future baddies who want to invert time/the world/entropy.

I don't quite understand why that is. Why can't people who oppose them just organize an excavation of the place? I mean, sure, there's a lot of dirt, but not more than your typical mine... and one one not even have to mine through stone, just clear rubble and dirt. So couldn't the Tenet organization just retrieve the "algorithm" again?

1 Answer 1


He wasn't simply burying it.

The algorithm was a weapon that he was supposed to be setting off. The nuclear explosion that happens in the Hypocenter was supposed to somehow trigger the algorithm so that it would reverse entropy completely and cause the universal reversal of time (as opposed to the localised reversals we see via the use of the turnstiles earlier in the movie).

Of course, there's a question of whether this would be a success for the antagonists who provided the instructions and the means for Sator to begin collecting the algorithm. Reversing time and destroying humanity at that moment may or may not also destroy the future antagonists via something akin to the grandfather paradox - but as Neil explains "it doesn't really matter" - they believe they will survive.

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