Why was TP supposed to steal the Plutonium-241 on behalf of Sator and then lose it? Was it because Sator might be unable to steal it on his own (as Priya said he was supposed to have succeeded in getting the plutonium)? Was it to make sure Sator gets it? And if Sator was able to steal it on his own, why would he allow TP to do it for him which might sabotage his mission (Even if he was going to perform the temporal pincer, why risk it)?

I am trying to wrap my head around this. If TP knew from Sir Michael Crosby that there was a detonation in Stalsk-12, it means he knew where the dead drop was. So why not let Sator steal it, if he failed then good for us and if he succeeded then go to Stalsk-12 to get the fully assembled algorithm.

Priya wanted TP to steal it and lose it so that Sator assembles the algorithm in one place. Priya could have directly talked to Michael Crosby to know about Stalsk-12. OR after knowing about the Stalsk-12 and the algorithm, TP could have figured out the dead drop.

I know that in Tenet, things should happen as they have already happened. This might be a chicken and egg situation. But still, please help me understand this.

1 Answer 1


It appears from the way Priya played The Protagonist that this whole approach was deliberately convoluted to provide Sator with the 241 / 9th section without arousing too many suspicions regarding Tenets monitoring and involvement in the overall situation. Pre - inverted Sator only seems aware of the successful detonation at Stalsk - 12, not how he retrieved the '241', something he originally failed at during the Opera siege. Sator does not seem to be aware of the '241's transportation through Talinn until he is provided with this information by Priya indirectly via The Protagonist , allowing him to retrieve it and bring all 9 sections together. As I said, convoluted but as Priya suggests earlier in the film, she would not personally be in a position to offer up any Tenet related information or materials directly, requiring a 'fresh faced protagonist' to get this stuff across without drawing too much attention to the actual endgame (that Tenet needs Sator to retrieve the '241' in order to assemble the complete algorithm).

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    Thanks, I did not consider that Sator may not know that the Plutonium is being transported to Talinn.
    – yogeshwar
    Jan 20, 2021 at 13:09
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    thats what we are here for my friend. Its a great film that only becomes clearer upon each rewatch. Remember Neil's mantra - 'what's happened has happened'. Some understandably find the piece too fatalistic and ask 'what is the point in any of this then' but a more positive spin is that although there may be a plan for all of us, its still not an excuse to not act when possible and / or necessary... Jan 20, 2021 at 19:13

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