MAJOR SPOILERS for Kingsman: The Golden Circle ahead

After Harry Hart’s death in Kingsman: The Secret Service, we explain how Colin Firth’s character is alive in Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman: The Secret Service hit theaters in 2015 and introduced moviegoers to Eggsy Unwin (Taron Egerton) and Harry Hart (Firth) – two members of an independent intelligence agency adapted from The Secret Service comic book series by writer Mark Millar and artist Dave Gibbons. The movie, penned by Vaughn and Jane Goldman, was a hit with critics and audiences alike, with Kingsman: The Secret Service garnering positive reviews. Plus, the film was a financial success, earning $414 million at the worldwide box office (on a budget of $81 million) – and prompting 20th Century Fox to green light a sequel, Kingsman: The Golden Circle.

The first film followed the introduction and training of Eggsy under the tutelage of Harry Hart, a veteran Kingsman agent who knew Eggsy’s father. Their relationship was at the core of Kingsman: The Secret Service, with Harry filling a father-like role to Eggsy, whose birth father died when he was young. Since their mentor-mentee dynamic was so important, the moment in which Harry Hart is shot point blank by the film’s villain, Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson), delivers an emotional blow. With Agent Galahad fallen, Eggsy and Merlin (Mark Strong) go on to save the world.

Related: Kingsman 2 Goes In ‘Unpredictable Emotional Directions’

Of course, the apparent finality of Harry’s death in The Secret Service made it all the more surprising when reports surfaced that Firth would reprise the role in the film’s sequel, Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Firth’s return in the Kingsman sequel was later confirmed, but the details around Harry’s miraculous (or sinister) return have been shrouded in secrecy. Now that Kingsman: The Golden Circle has hit theaters, we break down how Harry Hart came back from the dead and what it means for the sequel as well as future Kingsman movies.

How Harry Hart Survived A Headshot

kingsman 2 box office projections Harrys Return in Kingsman: The Golden Circle Explained

Kingsman: The Golden Circle explicitly shows and tells viewers how Harry Hart survived being shot by Valentine through flashback and an explanation from the Statesman’s version of Merlin, Ginger Ale (Halle Berry). The flashback features Ginger discovering the frequency used by Valentine to instigate the church massacre that immediately preceded Harry being shot, and she flies to the site with Agent Tequila (Channing Tatum). There, they find Harry moments after he was shot by Valentine and use technology invented by the Statesman to repair headshots called Alpha Gel.

How it works is that a bandage-like piece of tech is wrapped around the victim’s head, and two injectors are used to distribute Alpha Gel and nanotechnology known as nanites to the injury through the bandage. As explained by Ginger, the gel protects what’s left of the brain after the headshot, and the nanites repair the tissue and rebuilt the brain’s neural pathways. However, the process isn’t perfect and typically causes retrograde amnesia, which means the victim wakes up and has reverted back to either early adulthood or childhood. In order to return the agent’s memory, the Statesman will use a past shock or trauma to trigger those memories.

In the case of Harry, since he’s not a Statesman agent, Ginger doesn’t know how to jog his memory. So when Eggsy and Merlin discover their friend living in the American organization’s headquarters, he’s still suffering from amnesia and has reverted to a previous point in his life when he wanted to become a lepidopterist. Of course, they are able to eventually trigger Harry’s memory and he’s becomes Agent Galahad again – sort of.

Next Page: Harry's Full Recovery & Kingsman Future Explained

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