WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Men in Black: International, in theaters now.
For much of Men in Black: International, the villains appear fairly straightforward: The shape-shifting, matter-molding Twins (Laurent and Larry Bourgeois) pursue Agents H and M, and the superweapon they possess. They follow the agents around the world, causing mayhem ... up until the moment they're wiped out by a blast from behind.
In a late-film plot swerve, the pair is revealed to be a mere distraction to the true threat, High T (Liam Neeson), head of the agency's U.K. branch. Or, more accurately, the thing masquerading as T. The big twist is that High T is actually just another part of the evil alien Hive, having been absorbed years earlier, and working as a mole inside Men in Black.
Throughout Men in Black: International, much is made of events that occurred two years earlier: Then a field agent, T and his partner H (Chris Hemsworth) were sent to the Eiffel Tower to stop the Hive from destroying and absorbing Earth. Just before the battle begins in full, H is knocked down an elevator shaft, and has to make his way back to the top of the tower. Although we don't get to see the fight play out, it's said that T and H held back the Hive on their own. The two became legends within the MIB, receiving the same kind of distinction that J and K did when they stopped the giant cockroach alien in 1997's Men in Black.
As a reward for their efforts, T was promoted to London station command. However, something is "off" about him and H. It's revealed that H's recollection of the battle were erased, leaving his memories (and his personality) altered. It later turns out that T was actually consumed by the Hive and made part of their collective, presumably in the moments when H was knocked aside. Working against the MIB from within, the Hive bided its time until the one weapon capable of destroying it surfaced on Earth.
The Truth Hurts
After claiming the superweapon from an unaware H and M (Tessa Thompson), T makes his way to the Eiffel Tower, revealed to be a conduit from which aliens can come to Earth. T activates the portal with the intention of bringing the rest of the Hive to Earth. When H and M attempt to stop him, the alien reveals its true form and attacks them. It wipes the floor with them, flinging M into the newly formed wormhole and choking out H. However, their alien ally Pawny (Kumail Nanjiani) rescues M, and flings her back to Earth. At the same time, H is able to reach whatever is left of T inside the Hive. The collective is distracted long enough for M to reactivate the weapon and fire it, destroying the Hive (along with T), and saving the world.
T's death is treated as a genuine loss for the organization, with both H and O (Emma Thompson) openly mourning. In his stead, H is promoted to the head of the London branch. And while he may have been under the control of the Hive for most of the film, T's one moment of restraint at least gave him the chance to ever-so-slightly help to save the world. It's a surprisingly melancholy ending to the film.
Directed by F. Gary Gray and starring Tessa Thompson, Chris Hemsworth, Liam Neeson, Kumail Nanjiani, Rafe Spall and Emma Thompson, Men in Black: International opens Friday nationwide.