You know in your heart this is true — Chris Pratt's Peter Quill is actually the real villain of Avengers: Infinity War
Warning: the following contains major spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War, and since there’s no “forget-me-now” infinity stone, don’t read any further unless you’ve seen the film or are down with spoilers.
Going into Infinity War, fans knew this Marvel film would be different. The culmination of a decade of universe building, and a whopping 18 films’ worth of set up, fans understood that this film was likely be the end of an era — or as it turned out, the beginning of the end.
Thanos, the massive purple space blob we’ve been hearing about for forever was finally taking matters into his own hands (literally), making a play for the Infinity Stones and in turn, the billion Avengers defending the them. With the contracts of the OG Avengers coming to an end, we were prepared for the collateral damage to be real in a way it hasn’t been before. But while everybody and their mother prepared for the deaths of Steve Rogers, Tony Stark, and a dozen other characters to soften the blow of the inevitable, Infinity War didn’t come to play, and it ended up shocking us all anyway.
While we whole-heartedly mourned the deaths of Loki, Heimdall, and Vision, the death that may have packed the biggest punch was Gamora’s death at the hand of her adopted father, Thanos, who sacrificed her for the Soul Stone. It was utterly shocking for viewers, and Gamora, when we realized death was imminent — my entire theater gasped in unison as Thanos pushed her to her doom.
Making it even more tragic, after learning of Gamora’s death, Peter Quill did a very bad thing.
In his grief, Peter Quill became the surprise second villain of Infinity War, not because he had a change of heart and decided to suddenly help Thanos but because he subverted the only real shot the Avengers had to defeat him.
Meeting with Nebula on Thanos’s home planet of Titan, Quill, Drax, and Mantis found themselves face-to-face with Tony, Peter Parker, and Dr. Strange, who was in possession of the Time Stone — which Thanos was coming for next. Realizing they’re all on the same side, the group devised a plan to take down Thanos once and for all. In a tag-team sequence straight out of WWE Smackdown, the team was able to subdue Thanos, with Mantis using her mind powers, and Tony and Peter Parker working to remove the Infinity Gauntlet from his massive hand. And boy, do they get close. SO. CLOSE.
However, at that moment, Nebula concludes Gamora is dead and Peter Quill can’t restrain himself from punching Thanos, breaking Mantis’s mind hold and allowing the purple villain to retain the half-complete Gauntlet. I understand this was done under immense grief for the woman he loved, I truly do. But Quill’s inability to restrain himself from a issuing a couple meaningless blows to Thanos’s face — despite frantic pleas from Tony — undercut only real chance he had to avenge Gamora’s death.
Even worse, the punches set into motion the chain of events that allowed Thanos to complete the Infinity Gauntlet and wreak havoc on humanity…and then some.
Sure, there were other minor side factors at play, but because Thanos was able to keep the Gauntlet in his possession, he was able to complete it. We watched in horror during the final moments of the film as he snapped his fingers, and just like that [deep breath]: T’Challa, Sam Wilson, Wanda Maximoff, Bucky Barnes, Groot, Dr. Strange, Mantis, Drax, Peter Parker, and Peter Quill himself, dissolved into nothing. And then after sitting in shock through the credits, we watched Maria Hill and Nick Fury disappear before our eyes as they called in reinforcements.
With Black Panther and Spider-Man sequels supposedly on the way, we’re confident that *somehow* our remaining Avengers and company will work themselves out of this mess and our vaporized heroes aren’t actually gone forever. But still, it’s crushing knowing just a half hour earlier, the good guys came so close — and that by the time the Avengers finally defeat Thanos, the collateral damage will only be greater and more devastating.
Quill, I’m not angry…I’m disappointed, sad, and truly wish you had shown just a *tiny* bit more restraint. Unless he’s been vaporized to dust forever, we’ll see Quill and return to battle in Avengers 4, which will be released next May.