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The Sersi Scene In The Eternals That Has MCU Fans Scratching Their Heads

Among the more than two-dozen Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies, Chloe Zhao's "Eternals" is a more experimental offering than the franchise's standard superhero fare. Following a team of ancient beings with unique powers, ostensibly sent to Earth in order to fight a scourge of monsters called Deviants, the Eternals soon realize there is a much greater threat emerging from deep within the planet they swore to protect. The film is philosophically engaging and often dreamlike, which contrasts heavily with the rest of the action-packed franchise it belongs to. The MCU as a whole seems more willing to take risks these days, as its TV offerings from "WandaVision" to "Moon Knight" have proven, but "Eternals" may be its strangest silver-screen production yet.

The film has proved somewhat divisive, but if there is an agreed-upon issue with "Eternals," it stems from the need to introduce so many characters within the margins of a Hollywood blockbuster's runtime, something that multiple reviews noted at the time of the film's release, including Looper's own. From Kumail Nanjiani as the boisterous Kingo to Angelina Jolie as the dangerously amnesia stricken Thena, some characters see more development than others. While the MCU has plenty of room to define these strange beings in future movies and shows, "Eternals" does leave some lingering questions about its titular heroes.

The more nerdy and mechanical aspects of "Eternals," such as what power level each character is operating at, are the kinds of things that other MCU movies take great care to answer. "The Avengers," Marvel's first major crossover affair, spent its front half with multiple scuffles between the heroes to establish a pecking order. "Eternals," by contrast, seems uninterested in making those details explicit, and it's led to some confusion among fans.

Sersi turning a deviant into a tree has fans perplexed by her powers

In one of the main action scenes in "Eternals," the team is ambushed by Deviants while visiting a remote village in the Amazon rainforest to try and recruit Druig (Barry Keoghan) back to their cause. Pinned down in a pool of water by a particularly vicious Deviant, Sersi (Gemma Chan) uses her powers of transmogrification to turn the beast into a tree, drawing astonished looks from the other Eternals. It's the most impressive use of her abilities we see in the movie outside of the climactic battle when the Eternals join into a Uni-Mind and Sersi turns the emerging Celestial Tiamut into marble. Early in the movie, we see her turn a double-decker bus into a flurry of rose petals, and at other times wood and flint into various metals.

Fans were confused by the scene, which seemed to display a level of power out of line with Sersi's usual abilities. On Reddit, u/aus_sidney asked, "Was it ever explained in the movie how Sersei could suddenly have enough power to turn a deviant to a tree and subsequently is the solution for the emergence? Is this power something already within her capabilities and it just needed the right 'situation/practice/adrenaline' to channel and execute it? or was being prime eternal have something to do with it?"

In response, some commenters suggested that the movie telegraphed the notion that Sersi hasn't taken full advantage of her powers. Redditor u/pagingdrsolus brought up the moment in "Eternals" when Sersi jokes about having once turned a rock into air, aruging that scene "shines a light on how Sersei's powers are maybe in flux and hard to quantify or reliably measure." Their comment concludes, "there is potential room for further powers exploration and development".