Spam is, usually, not your friend. But this time, when Netflix decided to message me about a new movie that I might find interesting – I thanked my lucky stars for their intrusiveness. I was sitting in the Portland airport, cockpit defrost mechanical issues plaguing my flight, and I was sorely in need of something to do. Thankfully, Netflix interjected. And, thankfully, the United Airlines Club area had fantastic Wi-Fi. All of these amazing coincidences came together to get Netflix’s In the Shadow of the Moon Recommendation out to you.
In the Shadow of the Moon is an innovative little time travel movie that moves from 1989, to 1997, 2006, and so on, as our characters deal with the chaos of the reality of a murderer that is moving through history for an apparent horrible purpose. Here, if you must, just watch this trailer. Or better yet, just open up Netflix and watch it now. Sight unseen. TRUST ME FOR ONCE. So many of you let me know afterwards and their like, yeah, you told me I would like it – but I didn’t believe you. BUT THEN MY WIFE said, HEY, TRY THIS! And I did. (‘But you told me about it first, and now I’m sheepishly admitting my moral failings…’)
Quick In The Shadow of the Moon Walkthrough
If you’ve seen the movie – this is where we can sort of walk it through and determine what exactly happened. If you haven’t seen the movie, did I mention yet that you can watch it right here? Well, yes! Yes, you can! So please do so, and we’ll see you back here on this page in 105 minutes. I better see really long “time on page” stats for this page – you hear me!? With that out of the way – probably the best way to walk through this movie is by following Rya from the beginning of her life to the end. It 100% will turn the movie inside out – but it’ll be a revelation to some of you that didn’t fully grasp what was happening throughout the film. But WARNING – I will spoil this movie almost with point one. So – do not move any further unless you want this movie to be one big pointless waste of time. Got it?
In the Shadow of the Moon Walkthrough Following Rya
2024 – The great uprising occurs and millions die for the Real America Movement cause.
2040 – Rya is 25 now, having been raised with the love of her grandfather and parents. She’s taught the love of ice cream pancakes and how to ride a bicycle, she applies for a role with Rao Tech that will right the wrongs of America’s history – specifically the crimes of the “Real America Movement” that upended the world 16 years ago.
2042 – Rya completed her training, and is given the Time Assassination Skewer Knife, (TASK – yes, I made that up…I know, you are right, it is good. Hahahah.) has a list of names, and is tasked (hahahaha) with traveling back in time before the revolt began.
2015 – Jump 1- Rya meets her insane grandfather on the beach and convinces him not to kill her…because, SHOCK! She’s his granddaughter, and they have a bright life together, even though he kills her 27 years ago. After this encounter, we can assume she goes out and stabs the first of the people on the list. She travels back to 2042.
2006 – Jump 2 – Rya finds Mrs. Russell but isn’t able to find her husband Nowak. Rya kills her on her farm – and she is soon after found by Locke, and he shoots her in the hand. Luckily he’s a bad shot.
1997 – Jump 3 – Locke and his partner reopen the case when a copy cat begins murdering in the exact same way as the woman 9 years earlier. Locke and Maddox chase down a lead to an airport where Rya is. Rya accidentally kills Maddox – and she takes Locke with her, and eventually tells him she’s trying to save people’s lives, and dumps him in the river.
1988 – Jump 4 – Rya stabs several people who die when the serum in their heads causes their brains to explode from the future. Rya congratulates him on his daughter…who isn’t born yet. Locke and Rya fight on the subway platform, Locke stabs her with TASK and she falls in front of a train and dies. Later that night, Locke’s wife dies. And with the final members of the Real America Movement dead, Rya has saved the nation from a terrible future.
The Ins and Outs of In the Shadow of the Moon
I literally just spent 2 hours in a Starbucks scrolling backwards and forwards searching for a pattern to Rya’s travels. When she traveled when. I looked at when she was shot, and then what she knew when. What she told her grandfather, when did she find out she would die? “So this is where it happens?” Until I realized it was just so utterly simple. I’M AN IDIOT. She was just moving further back in time until she was able to get everyone on the list. Before they had been radicalized and didn’t see it coming. Gah! I also thought, while watching the film, that she could only jump once per nine years – but it doesn’t take a ninny to realize she wasn’t aging. Yeah, I’m not really the sharpest tool in the tool shed sometimes.
Which brings us to something of a Minority Report sort of a question here. Obviously the movie is talking about a sort of White Nationalist contingent of people who are moving against the nation to create the Real America. MAGA anyone? And while I’m a Republican, I wouldn’t mind them all dying ahead of Trump’s becoming president. Me included. If it would stop him. BUT, that is the point here…should people die for sins they haven’t committed yet? Are we gods that might cast judgement against an intrinsically evil people?
Normally in time travel movies time is not fixed. Travel allows for the plasticity of events and changes. But in this Moon universe that isn’t possible for some reason. Once the travel has been made, the events are cast in stone. When Rya finds out she died 27 years ago she says that it is impossible to undo, and accepts her fate.
But should we hunt Rya down and murder her? Or heck, pull a Terminator move and take Rao out instead. They are murders too. Are we saying that Rya is innocent of her murder of these future Real America members because they are murderers? Hitler man!! Wouldn’t you trade Hitler’s life for millions of Jews and gypsies? OK. But Maddox? His accidental death was OK? Just collateral damage in the war against murderers and anarchists?
There is a very simple reason why time has to be locked down and cemented, despite the fact that Rya is able to move backwards in time. Why? Because we have to make a base assumption about this universe that people can’t change. Otherwise, morally, we have to give them the chance at reform, give them a chance at not joining the Real America Movement. They had a chance at redemption and they didn’t take it, so we will judge them before their wrong doings. No?
Your wallet is on the table…and inside said wallet are delicious tickets to 21 Pilots next show. Well, that is tempting to me. And so I take your tickets – and enjoy the show. Unbeknownst to me, you are a time traveler, and you head back to yesterday, where you perform a citizen’s arrest for the future stealing of your wallet. Well, THAT ISN’T FAIR…I might not do it this time. But if time is locked, you can ascertain that I did, so I do, so I will. So the arrest is warranted. But I’m a mess. Some days I take your tickets – and other days I buy you some awesome black skin paint for your neck and hands for the show. (If you aren’t into 21 never mind). That is the beautiful mess that is the human condition.
I read a couple reviews of the movie before I watched it – and several different times I saw that the reviewer extolled the rigidity and logic of the flow of the movie. And yet, this is a pretty massive plot hole. Time cannot change – which allows for judgement – but the act of judging itself is changing time. Now, I will grant, I didn’t fully grasp the import of killing the Real America Movement from the future. Is this the link that allows them to look out the window and see – yup, STILL ANARCHY, murder them…and push the button? And they just keep pushing buttons until the chaos ends? Is this the point?
Anyway, I loved the movie in spite of the theological and moral implications of judging people who haven’t committed crimes yet. I mean, didn’t the people rise up against the Minority Report for them doing that? Are we not a fickle bunch?
Edited by: CY