Everything You Need To Know About ‘Ant-Man And The Wasp’ Before Seeing ‘Endgame’

by Jasmine Ting
Marvel Studios

While it seemed like the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe came together for Avengers: Infinity War, a few of our favorite superheroes missed out on all the Thanos action. While the Avengers were assembling to go up against the Mad Titan and trying to get the Infinity Stones out of his clutches, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) was, unfortunately, unavailable to help. What happens in Ant-Man and the Wasp is important to the larger universe, even though Ant-Man himself was pretty busy with his own mission and misadventures.

The second Ant-Man movie actually picks up where Captain America: Civil War left off, after the Avengers vs. Avengers showdown brought on by the Sokovia Accords. It was the first Marvel movie to premiere after Avengers: Infinity War, but is also set at around the same time as the third installment to the Avengers movie franchise.

A lot of things happen to Ant-Man, his new partner Hope Van Dyne a.k.a. the Wasp (Evangeline Lilly), and their mentor/Hope's father/the original Ant-Man Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), which all lead to the same universe-altering Infinity Gauntlet snap at the end of Infinity War. And, yes, it's important that you know the events that took place in order to fully understand what's about to happen in Avengers: Endgame.

This Ant-Man and the Wasp recap will catch you up on everything you need to know.


We See The Original Ant-Man & Wasp

The movie opens with a glimpse of the history that the first Ant-Man movie alluded to. The film starts out in a flashback to 1987, when Hank Pym and his wife Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) set out on a mission as the OG Ant-Man and Wasp, leaving a young Hope (Madeleine McGraw) in the care of their housekeeper. They shrink themselves to stop a Soviet nuclear missile from detonating inside American territory. Janet goes subatomic to drop the missile into the ocean, but it leaves her lost in the Quantum Realm.


Ant-Man Is Under House Arrest

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In Civil War, the Avengers were to sign off on the Sokovia Accords, which state that the heroes are supposed to ask for U.N. permission to use their superpowers for any reason. Because they broke the agreement, several heroes got captured and detained in the Raft prison. That explains why, at the beginning of Ant-Man and the Wasp, the ex-con is on probation yet again.

In the movie, his main internal struggle is balancing his life and duty as a father with his Ant-Man responsibilities.


Hank & Hope Kidnap Ant-Man

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Just as Scott is having dreams about Janet, Hope tranquilizes him and kidnaps him for a new mission. This, of course, puts him in serious trouble, should the FBI find out.

They arrive at Hank Pym's lab, where Hope and Hank show Scott that they have created a tunnel to the Quantum Realm in the hopes of bringing Janet back. However, they're missing a key component to get the tunnel to work. They only have a few days before the Quantum Realm becomes so unstable they won't be able to reach Janet for another century.

As it turns out, someone's been lurking and watching their every move, hoping to use the portal themselves.


Ghost Needs Something From The Realm Too

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Ava, or Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), is the daughter of Elihas Starr (Michael Cerveris) an atomic scientist who attempted an experiment to reach the Quantum Realm. But things went wrong, and his own tunnel became unstable. His wife Catherine (Riann Steele) tried to escape with young Ava, but she ran back for her father. A huge explosion occurred, and it killed Elihas and Catherine, but Ava survived only to have her molecules destabilized, resulting in her uncontrolled phasing.


Bill Foster's Betrayal

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Assisting Ava in her own mission is Hank's old partner, Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne). Bill took Ava in when she was orphaned, and was the one who raised her. He now plans to help Ava by using Janet's quantum energy to help turn Ava back to normal. The betrayal in this is that he no longer cares whether this will kill Janet or not.


Janet Van Dyne Is Back

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After entering the stabilized Quantum Realm, Hank is able to locate his wife Janet and they reunite with a kiss. But on their way back from the realm, Bill and Ava begin using a machine to harvest Janet's quantum energy, draining her of life in order to fix Ava. Ant-Man and the Wasp stop them in the nick of time, and Hope gets to reunite with her mother. But there's still a happy ending for Ava as Janet helps her simply by putting her hands on her to stabilize her and stop her phasing. Everybody wins!


Ant-Man Gets Stuck In The Quantum Realm

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In the mid-credits scene, the Van Dyne-Pym family set up the Quantum Tunnel in a van on a rooftop so that Scott can enter it, and retrieve more quantum energy to sustain Ava's stability. But he's trapped when his friends get dusted.


The Van Dyne-Pyms Get Dusted

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Hope, Hank, and Janet all vanish into dust — much like half of the universe — because of Thanos's snap. At the very end of the credits, it's revealed that most of San Francisco has been affected by the Infinity Gauntlet, except for a giant ant still playing drums at Scott's house.

Fan theories have it that Scott's presence in the Quantum Realm is going to play a big role in the Avengers defeating Thanos and possibly undoing the Snap. That, or, the memes are right and Ant-Man will find a, ahem, different use for his shrinking suit. We'll know soon enough.