Warning: Full spoilers ahead for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is the fifth installment in the franchise and could perfectly fit the overall story arc of Indy (Harrison Ford) across all five films. In what appears to be the culmination of Indy’s professional work, the new film’s ending delivers a surprise unlike anything he’s seen before. Nothing short of stunning in the eyes of Indy himself, this moment almost makes the lovable whip-wielding professor weep with joy.
Archimedes Dial, also known as Antikythera, is at the center of the film. The Disc of Destiny, as described in color, is an ancient device built by Archimedes in 213 BC that many believe has the ability to detect cracks in time, which is just a fancier, more scientific way of saying time travel. The dial was split into two parts at the time of Archimedes’ death to prevent the device from falling into the wrong hands. Upon meeting his daughter, Helena (Phoebe Waller-Bridge), 18 years later, Indy sets out on a quest to find the two pieces before the Nazis. Herein lies the premise of the entire movie, with an ending that deserves a little more dissection.
The ultimate Nazi conspiracy
After Indy and Helena find the second half of the dial at Archimedes’ grave, Nazi scientist Jürgen Fuller (Mads Mikkelsen) and the rest of his fellow Nazis steal it from them. They shoot Indy and take him hostage before escaping with the dial while Helena and her sidekick Teddy (Ethan Isidore) follow, eventually following the group to an airstrip where a Nazi plane is parked next to it.
Fuller and his gang get on the plane with Indy and plan to fly through a rift in time created by the dial, so that the world can change the course of history by returning to pre-WWII Germany, killing Hitler, and taking command of the Nazi army itself. He arrogantly believes that he will be better able to lead the Nazis into the future than Hitler did.
Unbeknownst to everyone on board, Helena rides behind her on a motorcycle and narrowly jumps onto the plane via the landing gear just as the wheels leave the ground. With Teddy approaching behind him in a plane he’s somehow been flying himself, the main characters are all set to fly through the time that Fuller is sure to take him back to antebellum Germany.
However, Fuller’s arrogance leads to a fatal error. He miscalculated the numbers and overshot his attempt to time travel by two millennia. Instead of pre-war Germany, the plane arrived at the climax of the Battle of Syracuse in 213 BC when Archimedes was in the midst of building Antikythera.
Believing it to be a dragon, the Romans begin firing their weapons at the plane and eventually destroy its engines, causing it to crash, killing Fuller and the rest of the crew. However, Helena and Indy manage to parachute out of the plane just in time and land safely on the beach before the plane crashes.
After landing on a beach in the midst of an ongoing war, Indy and Helena are confronted by Archimedes, who has been watching their arrival from the moment they traveled through the rift. In what seems like the culmination of Indy’s career, he and Helena actually talk to Archimedes, which almost brings Indy to tears. The archeology professor finally encounters something he could only dream of, and as such, Indy indicates that he wants to stay behind.
For a moment, it appears as if Indy will not return to the future as the time rift begins to close despite Helena’s desperate pleas for him to return to the future with her. However, when her pleading doesn’t seem to work, she punches Indy and causes him to pass out and wake up in the future. They supposedly boarded the plane that Teddy piloted through the fissure and back to their correct time.
After Helena hits Indy with a big punch, he wakes up in his apartment near her. Then, to Indy’s astonishment as well as the audience, Marion (Karen Allen) walks through his front door with Teddy in a pull cart and groceries in hand. It is implied that Helena called Marion upon her return, given what Indy revealed to her during their time on the boat while searching for the phone call.
While on the boat, Indy explains to Helena that if he had a chance to change the past, he would stop his son from enlisting in the Korean War because it would inevitably kill him and break his parents’ hearts, eventually leading to their divorce. Seeing how much she cares for Indy, Helena triggers a much needed reunion between him and Marion. Shortly after Marion returns, Helena and the rest of the group head out for ice cream so Indi and Marion can be left to reconcile.
Indy hangs his hat forever?
In the final shot of the film, Indy’s hat can be seen hanging on a clothesline just outside his apartment before he quickly grabs it and the credits roll. Clearly, Indy isn’t ready to hang his hat up for good. whether Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny It will in fact be the finale for Harrison Ford and adventure-seeking Indy, the ambiguity of the ending is clearly a wink to audiences who can always see more from the beloved archeology professor.