When the first early reactions to Deadpool 2 hit the web, critics and lucky fans were raving about the post-credits scene — for good reason. There have been a lot of post-credits scenes over the years, but Deadpool 2 might just be the best one ever, as it’s easily the funniest part of an already very, very funny movie. But, does it have implications for the future of the franchise, or are we overthinking how much the Deadpool series cares about continuity?
Probably the later, but let’s play in this space anyway.
This post about what happened in the last scene of Deadpool 2 contains spoilers for Deadpool 2. Crazy, I know.
Deadpool 2 ends with Cable, having seen that Wade Wilson is a good guy, sacrificing the charge on his time-travel device he needs to get home in order to save Deadpool’s life. Cable will stick around in the present-day. It seems like that’s set-up for the next movie in the franchise, but then during the first post-credits scene, Deadpool gets Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Yukio to fix the device. That seems like further set-up for the next movie, but Deadpool starts making use of the device almost instantly by going back and fixing his mistakes.
First, he travels back to the pivotal scene at the beginning of the movie and manages to save Vanessa’s life. It’s a very happy ending, even if it does seem like it would undo all of Wade’s character development and the entire plot of the film. But, whatever, it’s a fun, feel-good moment, and that’s what’s more important to Deadpool 2 than narrative consistency. This is a good thing.
Then he travels back to the X-Force’s fateful moment and tells Peter W. to “walk away” after landing rather than trying to save Zeitgeist’s life. In the main timeline, Peter dies when Zeitgeist barfs acid on him, but Deadpool manages to save the unpowered X-Force member. It’s unclear if any of the other members, like Bedlam or Vanish, were spared. Maybe this was a sly way of 20th Century Fox making sure they could use all those new X-Force characters in an upcoming movie, but it feels like those characters really are dead as Disco. Still, it’s a funny scene, if only because of how much Deadpool cares for Peter and how funny of an actor Rob Delaney is.
The next two scenes don’t change the future of the Deadpool series at all. Continuity is clearly not a concern when Deadpool travels back to the events of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. That movie is not part of this version of Deadpool’s canon history, but Reynolds did, embarrassingly, play the mangled version of the character in Origins. In the post-credits scene, he sets things right. Deadpool pops into actual footage from the movie and puts several bullets in his “past” self. He says hi to Wolverine too, but it’s recycled footage from Origins, not a brand-new Hugh Jackman cameo.
Finally, Deadpool shoots Ryan Reynolds in the back of the head just as the actor gazes lovingly at the script for Green Lantern. He really, really fuckin’ hates that movie.
Time travel always opens up all sorts of narrative pitfalls whenever it’s a plot device in a movie. It’s so easy to screw up the consistency of whatever laws you’ve created for a story, and everything gets more complicated when it’s a building block in a larger shared universe. Deadpool 2 dodges all of this by not caring about the ramifications at all beyond using the trope in order to crank out a killer, extremely meta post-credits scene.
Deadpool 2 is now in theaters.