The wall-crawler is back in town, and he's bigger and better than ever. Spider-Man: Homecoming swung into theaters across the country and whipped up a great deal of love from critics and fans, firmly cementing newcomer #TomHolland as a fantastic version of the character in the live-action mythos.
This post contains minor spoilers for Spider-Man: Homecoming.
While the movie itself may not have had as many twists and turns as we usually expect from the big #Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbusters, it dolled out enough to keep the story trucking along and keep us interested. But one of the biggest shockers of the piece (Herman Schultz aside) came right at the end — and it actually had nothing at all to do with #SpiderMan himself.
Tony Stark/#IronMan (Robert Downey Jr.) is a prevalent force in Homecoming, pushing Peter Parker along as an endearing version of a father figure for the young man. He pops up at the opportune moments to either save Peter's ass or berate Peter's ass, and then swoops in at the end to offer Spidey full membership to the Avengers (spoiler alert: Peter turns him down).
And then, just as everything is wrapping up to an emotionally satisfying conclusion, it hits us out of nowhere. The big one. The "what the hell?" moment. Because right as the credits are about to roll at the new Avengers headquarters, the erstwhile M.I.A. Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) shows up.
After not being seen in the MCU since Iron Man 3 back in 2013 — and summarily written off as a relevant character with the off-screen break-up between #PepperPotts and Tony sometime between Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War (because apparently Tony needed even more angst in his life) — we didn't really expect to see Pepper back anytime soon, not least of all in Homecoming.
But that's not all; not only is Pepper back at the reins at Stark Industries, her and Tony are also back together. But wait, there's more! It's implied that Tony is even considering proposing to Pepper, as they joke about an engagement ring Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) has been carrying around, which Happy then passes secretly to Tony before Tony and Pepper disappear off-screen.
So why is this a major thing? Well, as we saw in #CaptainAmericaCivilWar, the breakdown of Tony and Pepper's relationship was a big motivator driving Tony to sign the Accords in the first place. This was both a way of alleviating his guilty conscience, and part of his attempt to become a better person, someone who can, say, hold together a relationship. As he tells Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans):
"A few years ago I almost lost her so I trashed all my suits. Then we had to mop up Hydra. Then Ultron, my fault. And then, and then, and then. I never stopped. 'Cause the truth is I don't wanna stop. I don't wanna lose her. I thought maybe the Accords can split the difference. In her defense, I'm a handful."
Civil War saw Tony left alone again with the remnants of the #Avengers, and no Pepper Potts, but now, inexplicably, the two have buried the hatchet and gotten back together. Perhaps all the "holier than thou" attitude Tony displayed in Civil War worked out for him, or perhaps Pepper just really liked the seriously funky shades we see him rocking in Homecoming, we can only speculate at the moment (but we suspect the latter).
In all seriousness though, it's great to see Pepper back in action. Despite having a strong presence in the Iron Man movies, she's been criminally underused in the #MCU thus far. And anything that stops Tony from moping around can only be a good thing.
Hopefully this means that we'll see her returning at some point. There's no news if she'll pop up in Avengers: Infinity War yet, but with the 5,001 characters they're cramming into the ensemble piece, we wouldn't be at all surprised if she did. But most importantly, if this means we might get to see #Rescue in action at some point in the future, well, we're 110% on board with that.
What was your favorite moment from Spider-Man: Homecoming? Share it with us in the comments below!