In the Tenet movie, Sator is shown to receive gold shipments from the future. He buries a capsule, transmits the coordinates (presumably via a hidden newspaper message or an equivalent), then digs it out and retrieves the inverted gold that was inserted there by future humans. This all sounds reasonable, but then you realize it creates a paradox: since Sator digs out the capsule and retrieves the gold, there must be a moment when the same gold is both in Sators hands and under the ground, from the perspective of the inverted capsule. There is however a solution to this paradox:

  1. Have your henchmen go into inverted time a few days after you've buried the capsule
  2. Have them dig out the capsule
  3. The henchmen then go through an inversion portal, bringing Sator non-inverted gold
  4. The paradox is thus avoided as the gold only has one consistent timeline

But how did this work for the original cache of gold Sator found in Stalsk-12? He didn't have an inversion machine at the time, so he couldn't possibly travel back in time to retrieve the package. In fact, he couldn't retrieve any object sent from the future without creating a paradox, thus making it impossible for the interactions with the future to begin in earnest. How could this be explained?

Bonus question: why was the gold brought to Sator by helicopter inverted, rather than normal, given the only possible mechanism for retrieving it? What would be the point of inverting it one more time before bringing it to the yacht?


The caches that Sator retrieves are being inverted by an unknown agent in our future, and are placed in the ground while in the reverse timeflow to be uncovered in the past (our presents)

The first cache is discovered by Sator while he his doing the cleanup of Stalsk-12. The unknown future agent knew Sator would be there to discover the buried and inverted cache. This cache had instructions on how to build the inversion machines, some gold, and probably instructions on how to locate new caches - probably by having Sator specify the location in a message left "for prosperity" so he would know where to find it.

We can see through the movie that objects in opposing time flows can interact - in odd ways.

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    But Sator couldn't have removed the original set of gold (or any other object) from it's capsule, as doing so would create a paradox? – JonathanReez Sep 16 at 4:34
  • If removing gold from the first capsule caused a paradox - then removing gold from any other capsule would have done, too. Same for removing the bullets from the wall and then moving them around... – HorusKol Sep 16 at 5:06

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