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  1. 2022 could be an exciting year for Android fans, as a new rumor suggests OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei is creating a 'Nothing' smartphone. Any longtime OnePlus followers will know the company has taken a few big shifts in recent years. While OnePlus started out as an enthusiast brand focused on big specs and low prices, it's in a very different place today. Carl Pei left the company in October 2020, OnePlus is preparing to merge its OxygenOS platform with Oppo's ColorOS, and its product lineup is now very reminiscent of any other major smartphone brand.

    Shortly after departing OnePlus last year, Carl Pei announced his own tech company called 'Nothing.' Nothing's first product ended up being a pair of true wireless earbuds — called the Nothing Ear (1). The earbuds didn't receive perfect reviews, but they were mostly praised for delivering good audio, a stunning design, and a competitive price. Now, Nothing is getting ready to set its sights on something much bigger.

    According to a new report from 91Mobiles, Nothing is preparing to launch its first Android-powered smartphone in early 2022. The report doesn't go into great detail about the device, simply stating that the site has "exclusively learned from noted tipster Mukul Sharma that Nothing will launch its first phone." It's also teased that Nothing will release the Nothing Power (1) battery bank "in the next few weeks," but all attention is obviously on the rumored smartphone.

    Although this report doesn't share any concrete details about the Nothing phone, it's not hard to imagine what it could entail. If the Ear (1) earbuds are any indication of Nothing's hardware ambitions, a phone from the company could be really beautiful. Nothing's earbuds are lightweight, comfy to wear, and their transparent design with neatly packed internals is beyond impressive. If Nothing's phone manages to offer that same mix of practicality with a unique aesthetic, it could have a strong design lead over much of the competition. It's also safe to assume the Android experience of the Nothing phone would be reminiscent of the old OxygenOS — that's to say, a stock-like interface, robust customization options, and select few feature add-ons to keep it lightweight.

    It's certainly fun to speculate about Carl Pei returning to the smartphone space, but how much weight does this rumor actually carry? There's actually a bit to it. Don't forget that Nothing acquired Essential back in February — a purchase that included all of the latter company's trademarks, logos, and other branding material. While Essential was short-lived, the Essential PH1 was a pretty solid Android handset. The company also teased its Project GEM successor in late 2019, though it was ultimately scrapped following Essential's quick demise. Nothing also announced earlier this week a $50 million partnership with Qualcomm. In a press release, Nothing says the funds will be used for "research and development in preparation for the brand’s entry into new product categories as part of its ecosystem."

    It's entirely possible this report is inaccurate and a Nothing smartphone doesn't exist. However, all signs are currently pointing to the opposite being true. If the rumored Nothing phone is real, 91Mobiles says to expect "teasers and reports" coming in the next few weeks.

    Source: 91Mobiles, Nothing

  2. The Far Cry 6 secret ending offers an early, grim conclusion to the events of the game. Far Cry 6's relatively lengthy story follows guerilla soldier Dani Rojas in their attempt to bring down oppressive dictator Anton Castillo and save the Cuba-inspired country of Yara. It's a tale full of the bombastic action and open-world shenanigans found in most Far Cry games, but a majority of the events can be avoided if players choose to follow the secret ending.

    The Far Cry series has become well known for providing secret, early endings that can be unlocked through unconventional methods. In Far Cry 4, players can choose to avoid fighting Pagan Min in Kyrat’s civil war by simply waiting for him to return to the room he's trapped protagonist Ajay in. When he comes back, he decides to let Ajay scatter his mother's ashes exactly where she wanted in a moment of unexpected camaraderie. Far Cry 5 goes a similar route by allowing players the chance to ignore the prompt to arrest Joseph Seed at the beginning of the game, which sees the lawmen give up on trying to take the Montana cult down and go home.

    These alternate endings go against the grain of Far Cry’s intended violent and heroic acts by asking players to abandon their missions entirely, and Far Cry 6 continues that series pattern. Just like the previous ones, its secret ending involves choosing between two options and is considered the "bad" ending for Dani’s story, but players who choose this path will unlock an achievement to commemorate their unconventional decision. Here's how Far Cry 6's secret ending plays out.

    [Warning: The following contains SPOILERS for Far Cry 6.]

    The chance to unlock Far Cry 6’s secret ending comes after completing the "Libertad Rises" mission, which sees Dani and the Libertad rebellion take down Anton Castillo’s warships. The cutscene that follows shows Clara fulfilling her promise to help Dani escape to Miami in exchange for their help, providing a boat they could use to sail off into the sunset. When players are given control of Dani, they're prompted to talk to Juan, but they can instead take control of the boat and drive south. After driving for a certain amount of time, a scene will commence where Dani says, "I’m sorry, Clara. Not my fight," and the screen fades to black.

    After Dani’s escape, another cutscene informs players three months have passed since leaving behind Clara and the Libertad rebels. Dani is shown relaxing on a beach in Miami, far away from the guerilla warfare of Far Cry 6's campaign. Not all is well for the people of Yara, as a radio newscaster's voice declares Anton Castillo has defeated the Libertad rebellion, murdered Clara, and forced the country into a severe lockdown.

    Credits roll on the scene, and players are presented with the "Hidden in Plain Sight" achievement for having found the Far Cry 6 secret ending. It's an incredibly dour conclusion, presenting a bleak vision of how Yara's fate would have been if Dani had stepped on that boat.

  3. The Wheel of Time show introduces its eyeless villains and their minions in a new video. Amazon is hoping it can find its own Game of Thrones as it adapts Robert Jordan’s sprawling fantasy novel series.

    The first trailer for Amazon’s Wheel of Time released back in September and indeed teased a huge fantasy world filled with magic, monsters and prophecies. The magical element of the story as fans of the novels know revolves around The One Power, an energy that allows its users to perform feats like healing, teleportation and mind control. Season 1’s story follows a magic practitioner named Moiraine (Rosamund Pike) as she leads a group of five young people on a journey, believing that one of them may be the long-awaited Dragon Reborn.

    Of course any good fantasy story needs its villains and The Wheel of Time has some monstrous ones indeed. A new video shared on social media gives fans their first good look at these baddies, who go under the general name Shadowspawn. See the clip in the space below:

    Click Here To View The Original Post

    In Wheel of Time lore Shadowspawn are in fact divided into a number of different groups. The two main groups, both mentioned in Pike’s voice-over in the clip, are Trollocs and Myrddraal (or Fades as they’re called in the video). Trollocs are horned ogres who operate as foot-soldiers of the story’s true Big Bad The Dark One, while the eyeless and big-mouthed Fades are more advanced and dangerous and also less numerous. In season 1 of Amazon’s Wheel of Time, Pike and her group of heroes are being pursued by these creatures. “Armies of Trollocs and Fades a million strong will wash across the Land, killing and eating every person they find,” Pike’s character Moiraine ominously intones, pointing up just how terrifying the Shadowspawn are.

    It’s interesting indeed that The Wheel of Time seems to dive right in and introduce this monstrous threat in all its horror. Contrast this approach with Game of Thrones, which took time teasing its own swarming enemies the White Walkers. Of course, Game of Thrones didn’t have a huge budget right out of the gate, so fully visualizing George R.R. Martin’s supernatural ice zombies wasn’t really an option in early seasons. The Wheel of Time on the other hand reportedly had an $80 million budget for its first season, which obviously allowed its creators to immediately go whole-hog in bringing to life the books'  nightmarish bad guys. Of course, just being able to go wild with special effects doesn’t guarantee that a story will work – as became painfully evident in later seasons of Game of Thrones. Hopefully The Wheel of Time won’t fall victim to the same big-budget pitfalls that ultimately hurt HBO's iconic fantasy series. The first three episodes of The Wheel of Time arrive on Amazon on November 19, 2021.

    Source: The Wheel of Time/Twitter

  4. Steam is banning games that are built on blockchain technology or that allow the exchange of cryptocurrency and NFTs, establishing another hurdle for the world of blockchain games. Playable NFT video games are growing in popularity and a few have stuck out in the crowd, gaining considerable financial and commercial support. One company in particular, Mythical Games, announced a $75 million partnership in June, which will help it produce several NFT video games. One of its more popular titles, Blankos Block Party, is an open-world free-to-play game that is built on blockchain technology and uses vinyl figurine NFTs as playable characters. Players purchase new Blankos with cryptocurrency and can sell their collection on the marketplace for actual money.

    NFTs or non-fungible tokens have previously garnered negative press. Much of the criticism stems from the environmental impact that NFTs can have, based on its Proof of Work crypto mining. What has attracted many people to NFTs despite this is the fact that there is proof of ownership tied to the NFT. Thus, unlike other virtual items, like many in-game skins or outfits, NFTs hold a particular value and can be collected or sold on an evolving marketplace, much like physical collectibles like trading cards. In spite of evidence that NFT video games are bad for the environment, many have chosen to get involved in the controversial new economy. Their efforts to do so in the video game market have now been hindered considerably by Steam.

    Related: Blankos Block Party Uses NFTs But Not Bitcoin Mining

    As revealed by the Age of Rust Twitter account (via NME), Steam has officially removed games on its platform that use blockchain technology or allow the exchange of cryptocurrencies or NFTs. The game’s developer explained that despite having been upfront with Steam regarding the fact that Age of Rust is a blockchain game, the title is still being removed, as the publisher has decided to do away with all such games on its platform. Steam recently made changes to its Rules and Guidelines, indicating that it will no longer sell any applications built on blockchain technology. According to the Age of Rust Twitter, “Steam’s point of view is that items have value and they don’t allow items that can have real-world value on their platform.”

    This is a considerable setback for blockchain games or any developer looking to create titles incorporating NFTs or cryptocurrencies. Age of Rust’s developer is looking for alternative modes of publishing and will continue to look for a place in the market. However, it’s unclear what effect Steam’s decision will have on other blockchain games that were housed on its platform.

    It’s certainly possible that these games will follow the path of big NFT games like Axie Infinity, which is distributed to players directly through its website. Steam does offer many tools to help cultivate developers and market products, so without that level of backing, it’s likely many blockchain games or games using NFTs and cryptocurrencies will struggle to find footing in the market.

    Next: Can Blankos Block Party Convince People It's Not A Scam?

    Source: Age of Rust/Twitter, NME

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  5. The Sam Raimi Spider-Man films were filled with Easter eggs, including a reference to The Hobgoblin in Spider-Man 3 which allowed for his potential introduction in a future installment. Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy is celebrated for its seamless combination of comic accuracy and heartfelt, realistically-written characters, but one occasionally overlooked aspect of the films is that it’s firmly set in a populated Marvel universe, with references to Spider-Man stories and characters in the films and even some shoutouts to other Marvel characters in the Raimi continuity’s non-movie material. One such reference was to The Hobgoblin, one of Spider-Man’s most prominent adversaries for years in the comics. A Raimi iteration of The Hobgoblin’s mask can be found in act 1 of Spider-Man 3.

    The Hobgoblin, aka Roderick Kingsley, was a major Spider-Man villain for years in Marvel’s comics. Upon discovering one of the seemingly deceased Norman Osborn’s hidden stashes of the Green Goblin's (played by Willem Dafoe) gear, Kingsley, a corrupt corporate executive, modified Osborn’s formula to eliminate its insanity side effect and increase its physical enhancements. With a modified costume, Kingsley became The Hobgoblin. Although he was stronger than Norman, Kingsley’s lack of insanity made him an overall less dangerous adversary than the unpredictable Norman. Like the Green Goblin, the comics made the Hobgoblin’s true identity a running mystery, with several red herrings and fake reveals, explained by Kingsley brainwashing people like Ned Leeds into becoming body doubles. The Hobgoblin’s true identity was definitively revealed in 1997’s Spider-Man: Hobgoblin Lives.

    Related: Spider-Man 3 Theory: Ned's Hobgoblin Is Raimi's Green Goblin Successor

    Roderick’s Hobgoblin outfit was a modified version of Norman’s Green Goblin costume. Kingsley changed the color palette, including giving the mask a gold hue, and added an orange cloak, but retained the chainmail armor and legendary aesthetic that original Green Goblin Norman Osborn used first. In Spider-Man 3, Harry Osborn similarly creates a new outfit and uses improved technology. Calling himself the New Goblin (though the name is never said in the film), Harry takes Norman’s Goblin formula, granting him superhuman physical abilities but damaging his psyche in the process. Early in the film, Harry’s new technology is shown, along with a distinctive mask in between Norman’s Green Goblin mask and Harry’s New Goblin mask. This third mask resembles Norman’s, but is far more angular and aggressive, with notably sharper teeth. The mask is also a metallic gold color, indicating that it’s the Raimi universe’s Hobgoblin mask.

    With both Norman and Harry dead by the end of the Spider-Man trilogy (though Norman could have easily been resurrected just as he was in the comics), a future installment in Raimi’s continuity could have had a new version of Roderick Kingsley's Hobgoblin. As a business tycoon, Kingsley could have acquired Norman Osborn’s assets or simply bought his Tudor City penthouse and discovered the Goblin lair. Like his comic counterpart, Kingsley would take the gear, somehow modify the formula, and become New York’s latest threat, motivated by greed and thirst for power, unlike Norman’s unbridled sadism and obsessions and Harry’s need for revenge.

    This wouldn’t be the first time that the Raimi Spider-Man series referenced a character from the Spider-Man comics. The 2002 film subtly mentioned Eddie Brock and Curt Connors, both of whom went on to appear in sequels. The Marvel superhero and sorcerer Doctor Strange is mentioned by name in Spider-Man 2, an unintentionally fitting joke, considering the Raimi universe’s upcoming MCU appearance, thanks to Strange. The Raimi Spider-Man video games, which can easily be considered canon to the Raimi timeline, reference Latveria (Doctor Doom’s home country), Captain America, and The Punisher, and include an appearance by The Kingpin, Daredevil’s nemesis.

    Had Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man continuity continued, it would not be surprising to see his take on Roderick Kingsley appear and menace Spider-Man as the Hobgoblin. Considering Raimi’s appreciation and understanding of the comic source material, it’d make sense to have Kingsley succeed Norman and Harry, and perhaps end up fighting the resurrected Norman as he did in the comics. Either way, Spider-Man 3’s Hobgoblin mask Easter egg was setting up a future with at least one more Goblin-themed supervillain.

    Next: Spider-Man 3 Theory: Tobey Maguire's MCU Daughter Is Spider-Girl

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  6. Warning! Spoilers ahead for Titans season 3, episode 12, "Prodigal."

    HBO's Titans season 3 finally sees Beast Boy (Ryan Potter) getting a new animal transformation, and he ends up recreating a classic Batman villain in the process. While Gar Logan is still struggling to control his transformations (beyond turning into a tiger), a traumatic scene triggers a new transformation in season 3, episode 12 when Beast Boy and Raven are trying to help Nightwing. Furthermore, because the Titans have been operating in Gotham for the majority of the season, Gar's transformation makes perfect sense.

    With Bruce Wayne having left Gotham in the wake of Jason Todd's death and the Dark Knight's own murder of the Joker (the former Robin's killer), Dick Grayson brought the Titans to Gotham to serve as its new protectors. However, the Scarecrow had Jason resurrected, ushering Todd's transformation into the darker and corrupted Red Hood as they began their plans for a Gotham takeover. During that time, Beast Boy's limited ability to transform into animals has been something he's been struggling with while helping the Titans, seeing as how he's only ever been able to turn into a tiger on command.

    Related: The REAL Reason Titans' Jason Todd Turned Into Red Hood Explained

    However, Titans season 3, episode 12 sees Beast Boy and Raven finding Nightwing in the aftermath of his most recent battle with Red Hood. Having decided to go alone, Dick Grayson ended up being killed by the Red Hood. Todd also had the support of Gotham's citizens, seeing as how he and Scarcrow had tainted the city's water supply with fear chemicals while also controlling the public narrative to make Red Hood appear to be the hero and the Titans criminals. Finding Nightwing dead, the traumatic scene triggered a transformation within Beast Boy that saw him turning into a bat. However, the halfway point of the process saw him looking very much like Dr. Kirk Langstrom's Man-Bat, a classic Batman villain who turned himself into a monstrous were-bat.

    One of the Dark Knight's more tragic villains, Kirk Langstrom was trying to create a cure for deafness using bat DNA, hoping to unlock their ability to echolocate. However, the experimental tests he ran on himself resulted in his transformations into the Man-Bat. As such, it's rather fitting that Beast Boy would resemble Langstrom (even if it was just for a moment) as he turned into a full-on bat in Gotham City.

    Joining the cloud of bats that had formed in response to Gar's transformation, Beast Boy was seemingly able to direct the nocturnal creatures in his new form. Guiding the bats to pick up Grayson's body and take him to the Lazarus Pit he and Raven had found, they hoped that it would resurrect Nightwing just as it had the Red Hood. While Beast Boy eventually transformed back into his normal human form, it will be interesting to see if becoming a bat will be a new animal form he can now tap into as Titans continues, or if it was a one-time transformation in response to the grief of seeing Nightwing dead in this particular episode. Either way, Beast Boy's recreation of one of Batman's classic foes is a pretty fun Easter egg all the same.

    More: Titans Has A Superpower Problem

    Titans releases new episodes Thursdays on HBO Max.

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  7. Madison LeCroy from Southern Charm and her now-fiance Brett went from being strangers to getting engaged in a matter of months. Before Madison met her future husband, she had quite the rollercoaster of a dating life. Her relationships were at the center of some serious celebrity drama this year. Late December, Madison began dating Jay Cutler, who is a former NFL player. She got involved with him shortly after her ex Austen Kroll was rumored to be romancing Jay's ex-wife, Kristin Cavallari.

    After Jay and Kristin shared a photo that made people assume they were back together, Madison and Jay ended faster than they began. Shortly after they fizzled out, Madison was accused of having an affair with ex-MLB player Alex "A-Rod" Rodriguez sometime last year. Madison says those rumors are false and claims that she and A-Rod never met up in person. However, some of her costars didn't believe her. Nonetheless, Madison is over her time as a single woman. The Southern Charm star is ready to become a wife.

    Related: Southern Charm: Madison LeCroy Reveals She Is Engaged To Boyfriend Brett

    In April, following her A-Rod controversy, Madison confirmed that she had a new man. After a fan said the former baseball player might not want to date her even though he's now single, she shared her new romance on social media. Madison quickly replied that she was already taken. However, she took a couple of months to reveal what he looked like and what his first name is.

    In June 2021, the mother of one went Instagram official with Brett by sharing a series of snaps of the pair having fun in Lake Tahoe. Madison also spoke with Us Weekly about her new relationship later that month. The reality star revealed that the two met in Arizona at a bar and locked eyes right away, "from across the room." Brett eventually approached Madison, who went to Utah with him, and the two chatted for a while. " She told him, "You can take me out, but you’ll have to take me out in Charleston, South Carolina." Brett replied, ‘I’m fine with that. When are you available?’". Madison revealed that she instantly fell for Brett, and the couple has been together non-stop ever since.

    On Thursday, Madison announced during an Amazon Live that she and Brett got engaged after six months of dating. Brett popped the question last Friday and even involved Madison's eight-year-old son Hudson in the proposal. The three of them went out for a fancy dinner in a limo, and Brett then decided to propose to her in her living room, while Hudson clapped in the background. Madison, who has shaded ex Austen, was so surprised that she began to cry. However, they were definitely tears of joy.

    The Southern Charm star and her new fiance have had a. whirlwind romance and they do seem to be madly in love. Now that season 8 of the Bravo series has begun filming, fans are excited to see how their relationship will be showcased on the series.

    Next: Southern Charm: Madison LeCroy Is Happy Austen Kroll Joined Winter House

    Source: Us Weekly

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  8. The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has sent out a notice to over 700 companies — a list that includes the likes of Apple, Google, Amazon, and Tesla — warning them about the menace of fake reviews and misleading ad practices using social media, and has asked them to abide by the rules or face penalties. Over the years, fake online reviews have become a menace, and many brands have actually been caught paying for favorable or false reviews on e-commerce platforms.

    An Amazon data breach earlier this year revealed that a number of vendors negotiate terms with buyers who are paid to purchase their products and then post sham five-star reviews to boost the star ratings. But it’s not just e-commerce platforms where such practices thrive. In the ballooning world of social media marketing, influencers are often paid to praise a particular product or brand. But the problem arises when these influencers don’t actually disclose whether they are endorsing a particular product after inking a deal, and are just commending it from their personal experience. Pyramid schemes and crypto frauds find a lot of mention on the internet where people with influence — deliberately or unwillingly — often end up promoting a scam.

    To combat the rising problem of misleading marketing and shady advertising tactics employed by brands, the US FTC has issued a notice to hundreds of companies to keep their ledgers clean and make proper disclosures if they are engaged in influencer-driven marketing. FTC clarifies that sending a notice to these companies doesn’t mean the agency is charging or alleging them of any wrongdoings. It just serves as a warning signal that it will take strict action against any brand that violates its fair marketing and advertisement policies. However, the US FTC makes it clear that for every violation, a company will be charged a civic penalty of up to $45,792.

    The regulatory body — which has lately been at the helm of a heated antitrust campaign against Big Tech — outlined five types of red flags that will incur punitive action. They include wrongfully presenting an endorser as an actual user, making false claims about their products in ads, hiding financial connections with an endorser, peddling an endorser’s views as genuine user experience, and falsely claiming another individual’s endorsement. Back in June of this year, multiple Chinese electronic gadget brands were booted off Amazon for giving customers incentives to post favorable reviews. The most recent example of legal action covering alleged misleading advertisements is Apple. The company recently settled a class-action lawsuit for telling users that ‘remanufactured’ devices under AppleCare coverage are “equivalent to new in performance and reliability,” but actual user experience tells otherwise.

    FTC’s latest notice will definitely put big names on edge thanks to the accountability dilemma. For platforms such as Amazon or Apple's App Store, the onus might fall on their respective owners if fake reviews end up hurting customers, even if they were paid for by third-party vendors. Amazon has historically struggled with the problem, and even though it has designed tools that identify suspicious behavior and remove thousands of fake reviews each year, the issue persists. But there is more to the picture than appears on the surface. For example, Amazon recently asked Apple to take down an app that allowed users to check the legitimacy of reviews. With each passing quarter, companies like Instagram and TikTok are adding new marketing tools for influencers, and it is going to be increasingly difficult for regulators to identify misleading endorsements on social media and hold companies accountable.

    Source: US FTC

  9. Early Eternals box office projections indicate its opening weekend will be higher than Black Widow and Shang-Chi. While the box office still has a long way to go before it gets back to 2019 levels, theaters are very much on the road to recovery amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This year saw a number of high-profile titles leave an impression at the box office, with Shang-Chi even breaking the pre-pandemic record for highest Labor Day debut. Venom: Let There Be Carnage was another strong showing, posting $90.1 million domestically in its first three days.

    One of the next major projects on the horizon is Marvel's Eternals, which is set to open in November. The film introduces a bevy of new characters to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, many of whom are largely unknown to casual audiences. However, Marvel has demonstrated a knack for turning obscure properties into household names before, so the belief is they'll have similar success with Eternals. If the box office estimates are anything to go by, the MCU will be rewriting the record books again.

    Per Box Office ProEternals is projected to earn between $82-102 million domestically in its opening weekend. Even the low end of those figures would be the highest opening in Phase 4 to date. Shang-Chi posted $75.3 million in its first three days ($94.6 million for the four-day Labor Day weekend), and Black Widow earned $80.3 million in its debut.

    There's still a few weeks before Eternals premieres, so these estimates could fluctuate. Still, this is a good sign for the film's commercial prospects, indicating audiences are well aware of its impending release and are looking forward to it. In fact, Eternals was voted the fall's most-anticipated movie in a Fandango poll, beating out the likes of No Time to Die, Dune, and others. That shows the strength of the Marvel brand, and illustrates even when some viewers are still wary about returning to the theater, the allure of seeing the latest MCU entry on the big screen is enough of a draw. It will be interesting to see how Eternals' projections change as reviews come in and word-of-mouth spreads.

    In the pandemic era, no movie has opened with $100+ million domestically, and the high end of the Eternals estimates would have it hitting that mark. That would be an impressive feat, especially considering Eternals' long runtime, which pegs it as the second-longest MCU movie after only Avengers: Endgame. This factor limits the number of daily screenings theaters can show, which could impact Eternals' box office prospects. Regardless, it looks like all things considered, the film should be another winner for Marvel.

    Source: Box Office Pro

  10. The latest episode of Young Sheldon season 5 shows the issue with Penny (Kaley Cuoco) and Leonard Hofstadter's (Johnny Galecki) ending in The Big Bang Theory. After their inappropriate flirting, George Cooper (Lance Barber) and Brenda Sparks (Melissa Peterman) continue to try to keep the details of their night out a secret. But after Meemaw (Annie Potts) sensed that there was something sketchy happening between the pair, she started snooping around — which, unfortunately, brings her son-in-law and his neighbor closer together.

    In the Young Sheldon season 5 episode titled "Snoopin' Around and the Wonder Twins of Atheism," Meemaw coincidentally bumped into Brenda at the grocery store. She began asking about what really went down the night that George had a mini heart attack. But instead of answering her queries, Brenda panicked and bolted out of the conversation. This alarmed Meemaw, who then subtly asked her son-in-law about the same thing. Suspiciously, George was equally evasive, which made things worse. This resulted in an emergency meeting involving George and Brenda at the latter's chicken house. What was supposed to be a discreet and brief conversation, however, turned into a lengthy chat.

    Among the few other things the pair discussed was the subject of the Cooper patriarch’s workmate choosing his wife as his best friend. Both George and Brenda were perplexed about the notion, but in the end, concluded that the reason why George's coworker has such a relaxed and consistently happy marriage is because there are no kids. This indirectly highlights the potential issues in Leonard and Penny's The Big Bang Theory ending: As heartwarming as it was to see the couple happy with the news that they're expecting their first child, Penny had been previously adamant about wanting to be child-free. In fact, this was their core conflict in the show's final season as Leonard wanted children. Despite several back-and-forths regarding the matter, they never really found a resolution. Instead, she was just revealed to be pregnant in the finale.

    Although it's possible the TBBT lead just changed her stance about the issue off-screen — since Penny looked happy about it — nothing in the series demonstrated that Penny was ready to become a parent. As Brenda and George recently implied in Young Sheldon, having kids significantly changes couples' dynamics for the worse. This issue could be much more detrimental for the Hofstadters' future since they originally had contradicting thoughts on the matter. Instead of The Big Bang Theory properly developing this arc, the finale offered an easy (and frankly, lazy) solution to the problem.

    Once the excitement of learning that she's pregnant wears off, Penny could realize that she still doesn't want kids or isn't ready to settle down and become a parent — but since it's far too late for that, she would be stuck in her situation while Leonard gets what he always wanted. This could result in her being resentful toward her husband. Had the series showed more conversations between Penny and Leonard sorting through their differences, perhaps, it wouldn't be this concerning. Overall, The Big Bang  Theory's finale was nostalgic and heartwarming. However, the focus on Sheldon and his bid for the Nobel Prize in Physics was too much. It essentially relegated the rest of the main cast as supporting characters. That includes Penny and Leonard, who were given a less than satisfying, and questionable, send-off.