( This article contains big spoilers for Hulu’s “Palm Springs,” consisting of information about the ending. In case that wasn’t clear from the title.)
” Palm Springs” on Hulu is not an excessively major motion picture. This thing isn’t “Dark” or “Guide” or any of those stories that get into the nitty gritty of time madness. It’s a romantic comedy, ok. It’s got it’s “groundhog Day”- esque time loop thing going, and yeah there are some nods to quantum physics and all that but it does not go into much information.
That’s probably a great thing.
So director Max Barbakow and writer Andy Siara give us simply enough information to help make sense of how several individuals could be caught in the loop at different times. There’s a little tease in the late going as Sarah (Milioti) spends a long time discovering quantum physics so she can find out how to break out of the loop, however that quick montage does not give us much concrete information. It’s simply shorthand for “she figured it out,” more or less.
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That being said, “Palm Springs” being so light on the details indicates you might get tripped up by the extremely last scene.
The two have a long rivalry within the loop, with Roy doing all sorts of awful things to Nyles as vengeance for Nyles getting him stuck in the time loop.
The factor Nyles does not recognize Roy here is, naturally, due to the fact that Nyles and Sarah escaped the loop together. Roy quickly recognizes this, due to the fact that Sarah had actually called Roy and informed him about her strategy. Roy puts two and two together and understands Sarah’s strategy worked.
So if you read this, you’re most likely questioning the sort of mechanics behind this scene. And, to be honest, this is kinda the only place where the internal logic of “Palm Springs” may break down a bit.
So what’s happened here is that with Nyles out of the time loop, Roy is interacting with “vanilla” Nyles– generally, the person Nyles was before he entered the loop. That appears easy enough.
But if you’re getting tripped up here, it’s most likely since of something Sarah said when she was telling Nyles about her strategy to get out. She had actually established a theory based on quantum mechanics, and had evaluated it on a goat that she sent out into the time cave with a lot of dynamites strapped to it. She stated that she understood the strategy must have worked, because that goat was merely gone.
” I don’t know where she went, but she is not here anymore,” Sarah says. The implication being, as I see it, that the goat no longer exists in their time loop universe, which it didn’t reset with the day like whatever else did in Palm Springs and beyond. It’s a vague enough line that it might suggest something else, but I’m not sure why she would expression it like that if they could just go visit the goat right then.
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So if the goat is no longer around in any sense, then it wouldn’t follow that Roy could go talk to this vanilla variation of Nyles at the wedding after Sarah and Nyles went out. Nyles should also be removed from the time loop universe.
Honestly, however, this isn’t all that important. “Palm Springs” does not require to be airtight, due to the fact that the focus is truly on the characters and their relationships with each other. And this thing with the goat is minor in the grand plan of this story– it’s pretty easy to simply let it go.
What’s more interesting is the big photo implications of that last scene with Roy. “Palm Springs” makes a nod to the multiverse earlier on, but this scene truly drives it house.
I do not have responses to any of those questions and, again, I’m not extremely fretted about it. There are no responses, which’s ok because it’s not the sort of movie that I’m trying to find those kinds of answers from anyway. Aside from the goat thing, “Palm Springs” is pretty near airtight.
Regardless, the point here is that this scene exists to reveal Roy that there is an escape of the loop, and Roy can follow Sarah and Nyles out if he decides to do so. It’s a delighted ending! Despite whatever 2020 has actually done to drag us down, at least we have “Palm Springs” to make use briefly feel better about things.