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In the opening scene in Tenet, the protagonist is saved by a masked SWAT member, who shoots a terrorist-disguised-as-a-SWAT with an inverted bullet.

It turns out this masked SWAT member is Neil, who is not inverted; we can see him running normally after shooting/catching an inverted bullet.

I am wondering why a non-inverted Neil shoots/catches an inverted bullet instead of a normal bullet.

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The short answer: we don't know and the movie doesn't tell us.

We don't find out anything that happens to Neil after the events in Stalsk-12, and so we can't know his reasoning for anything he'll do after that. By shooting the inverted round, he showed the Protagonist something he'd never seen before and effectively kicked off the plot of the movie—the Protagonist went to Bombay to follow up on the inverted round and learned about Sator—and Neil likely knows this either through his discussions with the Protagonist at the hotel after Oslo or sometime in the future. Since Neil believes whatever happened happened, he may have felt like he needed to set off all these events as part of his mission.

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  • Neil believes what HAPPENS happened. We all believe what happened happened, that's just normal entropy. Jan 14 at 22:50

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