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The ending of Spider-Man: Far From Home explained

If Spider-Man: Far From Home makes one thing obvious, it's that we've come a long way since the last Spider-Man 2. (And an even longer way since the, uh, first Spider-Man 2.)  Where those movies largely stood alone, this adventure leans a whole lot on the established foundation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The plot of Far From Home, Tom Holland's second solo outing as the friendly neighborhood web-slinger, has a whole lot more to do with the wider MCU than it does its own Spider-Man continuity. In case you somehow missed the last two Avengers movies, a lot has happened since Peter Parker's first adventure. Like, a whole lot

If you watched this movie without seeing some of the other critical entries in the franchise, you just might have gotten swept away in a tidal wave of plot that doesn't quite make sense to you. Maybe you've been left with a few questions. Like, what is BARF? Why do so many of Tony Stark's former employees hate him so much? And is Mysterio really dead? We'll get into all of this and more as we break down the ending of Spider-Man: Far From Home. Spoilers ahead.

Tony Stark still looms large for Spider-Man

Instead of retreading old ground with their well-known wall-crawler, Marvel is telling a unique long-term story with this all-new, all-different Peter Parker. Over the course of five movies, Iron Man has been Peter's mentor and personal role model, taking over what's traditionally been the Uncle Ben role. As a result, much like Captain America: Civil War and the previous Spider-Man movie, this non-Iron Man movie sure has a lot of Tony Stark. 

In Far From Home, Tony's hogging of the spotlight is even more impressive; since being fried by the full might of the six Infinity Stones, that guy is extremely dead. And the world loves him for it — hand-drawn tribute artwork adorns the corkboards of Peter's high school, with murals on walls honoring the hero from Queens to Venezia, Italia

While Tony has left a gigantic legacy behind for Peter to draw from, Peter has to learn to get by on his own — sort of. Through the use of over-the-top technology, Stark is still watching over him. Instead of building a suit of armor around the world a la Age of Ultron, Tony left gear behind for Peter, a young man who clearly reminded him of himself. But where Tony didn't realize his capacity for heroism until well into adulthood, Peter is putting his life on the line before he's even gone through the trouble of learning how to drive. It's Peter's earnest desire to help others that the movie's villain, Jake Gyllenhaal's Mysterio, quickly learns to use against him. 

The Spider-Man BARF connection

In another instance of the movie leaning heavily on established MCU canon, Spider-Man: Far From Home features the somewhat unexpected return of Tony Stark's Binarily Augmented Retro-Framing technology, or BARF, an absurdly-advanced virtual reality platform that we've previously seen being used in Captain America: Civil War. In its previous appearance, this tech was mostly used for the somewhat pointless purpose of showing off Tony's embarrassing home movies — much to the consternation of its true inventor, Jake Gyllenhaal's Quentin Beck. 

While neither Tony nor the audience quite knew it at the time, Tony's egotistical use of the technology in Civil War was effectively egregious enough to drive Beck insane. Oh, Tony — it seems that even in death, your totally myopic, rich tycoon ways will keep haunting us for years to come. (And speaking of "even in death," you'll want to put a pin in that phrase, because we'll be talking about the movie's other piece of Stark tech in a minute.)

Speaking of BARF, the technology briefly caused a rumble when it was spotted on the set of Avengers: Endgame, sparking rumors that it would play into that film's relatively chaotic, time-jumping plot. Instead, that BARF spotting seems to have been a big fakeout for the cameras, perfectly in keeping with how Beck ends up using the technology in the plot of Far From Home

​EDITH and the drones

BARF isn't the only piece of ludicrously overpowered Stark technology that Quentin Beck is using to put one over on Spider-Man and the rest of the world in Far From Home. He's also after the surprisingly-crucial-to-the-plot pair of glasses Tony was previously seen wearing casually during the events of Infinity War, and that he bequeathed to Peter Parker following his death. Tony being Tony, these are no ordinary glasses — they're also yet another rather very intelligent system to defend or foul up the whole world with.

Beck's primary reason for wanting the glasses has to do with their connection to a hellstorm of weapons-equipped drones stored on a satellite above Earth, capable of both attacking the population and projecting an illusion of unprecedented size in London. The overpowered glasses are also seemingly capable of tapping into every device connected into a computer more-or-less instantaneously and without restriction — a kind of terrifying power to give anyone, much less a teenager. Is this what Tony was doing with those glasses this whole time? Spying on people's phones for…no reason?

Once again, Tony being Tony, EDITH is an acronym for "Even in Death, I'm the Hero." But by the time EDITH is used to assault London with a combined elemental illusion, making Tony once again responsible for endangering millions, it feels like a more fitting name would be "even in death, I'm the horrible narcissist who thinks he knows best." No wonder so many of Tony's old employees hate him.

Power of a good union

Following a whole second act spent behaving like a too-cheesy Superman wannabe, the truth comes out about Quentin Beck — this guy is completely crazy. Honestly, the fact that he was so game to glom onto the name "Mysterio" should have been an incredible warning sign. 

After manipulating Spider-Man into handing over a critically-important piece of technology, Mysterio engages in an impromptu celebration with his surprisingly robust staff. Hilariously, this squad of disgruntled middle-management types is united into a sense of homicidal fervor by one thing — a lousy working relationship with Anthony Edward Stark. One character, William Riva, is revealed to have turned to the dark side under Mysterio because Jeff Bridges yelled at him during a tense moment in the first Iron Man. The traumatized engineer then proceeded to stay mad about this encounter for more than ten entire years.

Amusingly, this disenchanted former Stark workforce, combined with the destructive qualities of EDITH, makes Far From Home yet another MCU movie where the central crisis is principally fueled by the personal flaws of Iron Man. You know what, honestly? Maybe it's a good thing that guy is dead.

​The inevitable illusion reveal

While helping out Mysterio during his staged encounter with the molten fire elemental, Peter notices a little bit of strangeness regarding the physics of the fight, with his webs bouncing off what appear to be some invisible objects near the under-attack Ferris wheel. Of course, after encountering the magic of Captain America's mighty shield in Civil War, and then casually ending up in a surprisingly oxygen-rich outer space in Infinity War, Peter might be kind of used to the scientific tenets he's used to not making sense on the field of battle.

Peter sort of shrugs off the strangeness of this fight, at least initially. What really sells Peter on Mysterio's fraud and villainy is MJ's recovery of a web-fluid-wrapped projector in the aftermath of the battle, which displays an impossibly-realistic image of one of the elementals in action. Seeing this footage, Peter realizes that the elementals aren't real, and that Mysterio is not to be trusted. As far as the script goes, it's a good bit of efficient storytelling — in the same scene that MJ confirms her Spider-Man-related suspicions about Peter, Peter puts together the real intentions of his duplicitous new friend.

New Spider-Man suit, who dis

After informing Nick Fury and Maria Hill of Mysterio's true nature, Spider-Man and company team up to take out the supposedly-interdimensional fraudster once and for all. Part of this process involves Peter very Iron Mannishly designing himself a new suit, this time on a Stark plane to the sounds of dad rock he's too young and clueless to know by name. 

Peter's goal during the final London encounter is to take out the many drones Beck has deployed to make his grandest ever illusion, shutting him down before he can hurt any innocent civilians, or kill Peter or his friends for knowing his true plan. 

Peter smashes up the Stark drones in a variety of ways, one of the more exciting of which is his stylish deployment of electrically-charged taser webbing to cause them to explode. While this tech might seem like a new addition to Peter's custom-designed, upgraded Spider-Man Suit, they're actually a holdover from the first suit that Tony Stark designed — the incredibly over-powered Iron Man-esque suit from Homecoming that sported way more ways to kill people than Peter would realistically need.

All in all, this final act shows Peter learning to trust his gut — especially his "Peter tingle," which comes into play in his final showdown with Mysterio — and to fully embrace the trust that Tony had placed in him. After realizing that Tony Stark made plenty of mistakes throughout his Iron Man career, Spider-Man stopped beating himself up for giving Beck control of EDITH and went to work on saving the day. And if diving headfirst into danger to fix horrible, world-threatening mistakes you've made isn't living up to the legacy of Tony Stark, what is?

Mysterio dies... or does he???

Mysterio meets his end owing to the sheer persistence of Spider-Man, fighting while both physically outnumbered and under psychological attack. By midway through the battle, it's obvious that the incredibly-strong Peter is going to be able to put the brakes on Beck one way or another. But instead of despairing or running away as his plan goes up in smoke, Mysterio keeps his cool, and begins to make reference to an enigmatic contingency plan.

Peter makes his way closer to Beck, wrecking his drones and using his Spider-Sense to blast through the illusions that the BARF tech throws up. He also defends himself against a hail of bullets that Mysterio fires at him, one of which strikes Mysterio himself, evidently fatally. 

Once Peter has subdued Mysterio and taken control of all of the drones, he orders the termination of all of the devices, telling EDITH to "execute them all" — a bit of awkward phrasing that he'll definitely come to regret.

At the end of the battle, Mysterio lies still at Peter's feet, presumed dead — or at least dead enough to fool EDITH. Considering EDITH's advanced state, we're inclined to trust her judgment — but of course, considering the scale of Beck's illusions to this point, it's impossible not to wonder if he's actually, really a goner. 

There's plenty of evidence from the comics to make this a legitimate question despite Far From Home's apparently definitive-seeming answer. Not only has Quentin Beck faked his own death only to return to the fishbowl, but several other criminals have taken on the identity of Mysterio in Beck's place. In short, if you think Beck is dead, even with EDITH's confirmation, there's plenty of room for the Master of Illusion to make a return one way or another. And either way, unbeknownst to Peter, Mysterio's backup plan is now in motion.

​Download complete

After the attack is ended, one of the people on Mysterio's payroll can be seen downloading data onto a portable drive before walking away with unknown intentions. It's implied that what's been copied is data related to the fight, specifically the camera footage recorded by the myriad drones, but what it will be used for is not immediately clear. It ends up coming back in a big way during the mid-credits scene, but for all anyone knows in the hours after the battle, Mysterio has been defeated, and the threat he poses is over. 

Unfortunately, poor Peter Parker is far from done with this fight, as the credits scene makes clear. Suffice to say, when it comes to his place in the MCU, it looks like Peter can't even get through high school with his secret identity intact. If only he had gone into the final battle against Mysterio as Europe's most legendary Night Monkey, this whole bit of exposure probably wouldn't have been nearly as much of a big deal.

The comics, once again, offer some precedent for these sorts of plot points. Back in Mysterio's first appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #13, he poses as a crimefighter and strikes a deal with J. Jonah Jameson to expose Spidey's identity to the world in the pages of The Daily Bugle. What we see in the mid-credits scene here is a clear reference to Mysterio's debut, though presented in the movie in reverse. Additionally, Peter himself once voluntarily revealed his identity to the world in the pages of Civil War. It took a literal deal with a devil to undo that particular plot point…so stay tuned for Spider-Man to go to actual hell in Spider-Man 3: The Devil Wears Spandex.

Love is in the air

Following a whirlwind, globetrotting romance that spanned the length of the vacation, Peter's classmates Ned and Betty amicably break up, seemingly on the plane ride back from London. Meanwhile, Peter and MJ have stayed together, returning to New York City as a couple. That's not the only relationship on Peter's mind, though. He also has questions for Happy Hogan and Aunt May regarding their status in the new, post-Blip world order of Far From Home.

After interrogating his guardian about her relationship with Happy, Peter rolls his eyes and sets off for a triumphant session of swinging around the buildings of Manhattan, a well-earned victory lap. It's a way different feel from Peter's first adventures in Homecoming, which mostly stayed across the East River in the slightly-less-vertical borough of Queens. More than any of Peter's other adventures in the MCU so far, this sequence feels like a throwback to the Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies, which featured no shortage of exhilarating Manhattan-based web-slinging. 

Charmingly, Peter doesn't go it alone, taking MJ up into the skies for a delightful swing sesh. Judging by her excitedly panicked reaction, it's something she'll have to get used to — but despite the danger, she still looks happy to give it a whirl. If the movie ended here, it'd be a happy note. Unfortunately for Peter, the movie's post-credit scenes have a major shakeup in store for him, one that looks primed to irrevocably shake up Spider-Man's place in the MCU. 

And as for that final post-credits scene — the one involving the Skrulls? Well, keep scrolling to the next article to get the scoop on that whole thing.