— Apple

Despite multiple twists and turns, the vast majority of the new meta-fictional spy-comedy (romance?): “…tease is the word, and it’s more about: ‘Hey, you know what? If everybody goes and buys tickets to these movies and makes it into a hit, there’s a lot more ingredients that we want to play with and make some more fun, tasty movies for them.’ But we need them to buy into the first one first.”

“Now and Then” Beatles song in Argylle

Still, all this gets a bit weirder when we think about the Beatles. Throughout the film, the Beatles song “Now and Then” is used frequently, even to the point of being rearranged as orchestral incidental music. As the movie goes on, we learn that this song was one that Aiden and Rachel loved when they were falling for each other. Cue the record scratch sound. What? How can any couple have “Now and Then” be their favorite Beatles song?

The quality of “Now and Then” aside, this simply doesn’t make sense chronologically. “Now and Then” is a new Beatles song, which is thought to be the last of the posthumous John Lennon-led vocal recordings that will be released as “a Beatles song.” It came out on November 2, 2023, in our world, only three months prior to the release of Argylle. Because five years pass within the narrative of the movie (that’s how long it takes for Ellie to become a bestselling author of FOUR novels) this seems to imply that the film either takes place in the future or some kind of alternate timeline. Why? Because “Now and Then” can only be a couple’s song if they’ve had more time to love it. So, Rachel and Aiden either exist in a parallel dimension in which “Now and Then” was actually recorded and released by the Beatles much earlier, or they exist in some kind of unspecified near-future.

What does this have to do with the Kingsman’s reveal in the mid-credits scene? Perhaps nothing. But if Ellie invented both Argylle and the Kingsman universe, then both of those universes seem to operate on alternate pop culture timelines. In fairness all fiction kind of does this; changes our timeline by populating it with fictional people.

But, why use this Beatles song — a song that was created across time — so prominently in the movie unless there’s some kind of suggestion of a totally parallel world?

Vaughn may not have intended this to be the case, but as it stands “Now and Then” is an even bigger smoking gun than the ending of the film, and the mid-credits scene. Because if Ellie’s world features an alternate version of the Beatles’ chronology, then everything about her reality suddenly feels like a cracked mirror.

Argylle is out in theaters now.

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