Introduction (by me):
First off, Infinity War happened even if we want to say it didn't happen because of all the bad feels. Sometimes evil just wins, and Thanos owned the Avengers in a way that was more than just defeat. He broke the Avengers, probably summed up best with Captain America's last line in the movie as he realized what Thanos had just done and uttered, "Oh God." And we are all (every one of us that reads this blog) aware that Marvel and Disney are not just going to close the books on this one, because if they did, there would be worldwide outrage. As it stands there are support groups forming (I've been invited to one) where people are openly discussing and talking about the trauma caused by Infinity War. We know this isn't the end of the story though, even if it is breaking the fourth wall (like Deadpool). There is no way that cash cows like Spider-Man and Black Panther are staying dead. So accepting this fact, let's move forward and discuss not when or if it should indeed happen, but why it should happen.
Observations by Tony Hale:
Why should the events of Infinity War be reversible? This is an excellent question.
Look, Thanos won each infinity stone through force or sacrifice...all except the time stone, which he bargained for with Doctor Strange. The time stone was also in a protective bubble when he gained it, whereas all the other stones were touched barehanded...skin to stone per se. This was peculiar, and I doubt it was a random lens flare. Observe: earlier in the movie, Vision makes an off hand comment about the "entity" or "being" in the mind stone warning him. Could this imply that the stones have some intelligence to them? If we can agree that "yes" the stones do have an intelligence to them, then this is a big deal. Allow me to explain.
I think that this means the stones "choose" their wielders to some degree. If that's the case, then I think that it's possible that by not vanquishing the owner--Doctor Strange--that Thanos failed to truly gain power over the stone.
And while we are at it, let us consider Doctor Strange himself. The enigmatic Sorcerer Supreme said early on in the movie (inside the doughnut-shaped spaceship that channeled Prometheus in a big way) that he would, "not hesitate to sacrifice either Tony Stark or Peter Parker for the time stone." This seemed very harsh, and Doctor Strange said it with brutal conviction. I don't think he said it because he wanted to be an asshole to either Stark or Peter, but because he meant it in the bottom of his gut. The time stone was far too valuable, and Doctor Strange was a good enough guy that he wanted them both to realize he didn't (ultimately) have their back.
However, all of this somehow goes out the window when Stark gets stabbed by Thanos and Thanos is just about to kill Stark. Strange stops him by offering up the time stone for Tony Stark's life. Thanos, always a man of his word, accepts the exchange and then disappears. When Stark asks Doctor Strange why he did that...Doctor Strange replies, "We are entering the end game now" and even later, "Tony, you must trust me, because this was the only way."
These are all fascinating events that I have pondered about all weekend. For one, it makes me think that it's possible that Doctor Strange still has control, to some degree, over the time stone, even though his body is "gone." Remember, Doctor Strange can project himself into the astral plane. If I'm right, then this could be the key to Thanos's downfall. I mean...it seems logical that Doctor Strange knows exactly what is happening, and that out of the fourteen million plus possibilities he saw using the time stone's power, that he has made a choice that put them on the correct path to being able to beat Thanos.
My observations regarding the Hulk in Infinity War
In our conversation, my friend Tony was disappointed by only one thing with Infinity War, and it was this: "Not enough Hulk."
So what was going on with that? I think the directors were doing two things. First off, they wanted to show how terrifying Thanos was by making the (arguably) most terrifying Avenger afraid to fight Thanos after he opens an ass-kicking clinic on him before the opening credits of the movie. But could there be another side to this?
Here's a theory that is less obvious that I came up with on my own: the Hulk has respect issues with Banner. See, Hulk just came from a place where he was loved and wanted. This taught Hulk an important lesson: that he isn't loved and wanted with the Avengers. Instead of showing him appreciation, they use him for his strength and then immediately try to send him away. Personally, I think that Banner needs to apologize to Hulk and tell him that he needs him before it's ever going to get better. I expect this to happen in the Avengers 4 next May.
So there you have it. Have any of you come up with observations about the movie that you'd care to share in the comments below?