What happens at the end of The Batman? If you’ve seen the new Matt Reeves thriller movie, you’ve probably come away with some questions as to the events that unfold in the climax of the film. While many facets of the latest Batman movie are pretty clear cut, there’s definitely some mysteries left unsolved in The Batman ending.
[Warning: Spoilers for The Batman ahead]
How does our Caped Crusader win the day against The Riddler? What is the green drug Batman injects himself with? And, who is the other prisoner in Arkham with The Riddler? We have all the answers to these big questions and more, as we break down The Batman ending.
What was The Riddler’s plan in The Batman ending?
To understand The Riddler’s elaborate plan, it’s important to first get to grips with the motives of the Batman villain. The Riddler, AKA Edward Nashton, is revealed to be an orphan, just like Bruce Wayne. Well, not exactly. You see, Nashton isn’t too happy about the class divide in Gotham City, particularly when the rich are corrupt and greedy, and the poor are looked down on as the scourge of society, left to rot in the slums.
So, as The Riddler, Nashton begins a series of sinister murders, leaving intricate clues and riddles (who would have guessed it?) at each crime scene. He addresses all of these riddles to Batman himself, in an attempt to not only provoke a twisted game of cat and mouse, but as it is later revealed, to get his main target out in the open.
That target is Carmine Falcone, played by John Turturro. Falcone is essentially the biggest mob boss in Gotham, ever since Salvatore Moroni was busted in a huge drug raid. But, when Batman and Jim Gordon carry Falcone out of the Iceberg Lounge, they place the criminal right in The Riddler’s cross-hairs… literally.
The Riddler shoots Falcone, and then allows himself to be arrested. In Arkham Prison, Nashton is happy to be visited by Batman, taunting the masked vigilante with claims that they have worked together to fulfil his dastardly plan, that the two of them are more alike than Batman would like to admit, and he even hints that he may know the true identity of Gotham’s Dark Knight.
Ultimately though, the main topic of conversation is the next step of The Riddler’s plan. When Batman returns to Nashton’s apartment, he learns that the plan is to blow the walls of the Gotham River and flood the city. But that’s not all, with the majority of the city scrambling for safety, Nashton is relying on his devoted army of Riddler cultists to do his bidding, and well and truly tear down Gotham’s society.
How did Batman win?
Batman may have managed to get The Riddler locked up, but that was only half the job. It turns out The Riddler had assembled a loyal following of like-minded anarchists using online videos inciting violence. When Batman heads to the arena at the heart of Gotham to save those taking shelter from the floods, he is faced with a whole crew of Riddler fanatics who have come equipped with high-calibre weapons.
Batman takes the fight to the Riddler wannabes, with a little help from his allies Jim Gordon and Catwoman. It’s not an easy fight though, and Batman ends up taking a lot of gunfire which, despite his seemingly impenetrable Batsuit, leaves him pretty much losing consciousness just as Catwoman gets attacked.
With all hope appearing to be lost, Batman does something very interesting – he injects himself with a mysterious green fluid, and instantly finds a burst of energy. In a fit of rage, he pummels the final remaining Riddler follower half to death, before he is stopped by Gordon. Before he is pulled away, he asks the man who he is, to which he replies, “I’m vengeance.”
That line is something of a wake up call for Bruce Wayne. For such a long time he has used anger and violence to beat the crime out of Gotham, but he is now faced with the result of his actions – criminals using his motto against him. Bruce now understands that Batman can do more good as a symbol of hope, than as a symbol of fear.
In true heroic fashion, Batman leaps into the water and guides the citizens of Gotham to safety. In a baptism of sorts, he washes away the hatred and anger, and rises as a beacon of hope.
What was the green fluid Batman injected himself with?
Remember the green fluid Batman injects himself with towards the conclusion of The Batman ending? Did you notice how it immediately gives him a huge amount of energy and power, and also a considerable amount of rage, too? We’re not certain, but we’d be willing to bet that green fluid is in fact the drug which goes by the name of venom.
In Batman lore, venom is a highly effective performance enhancing drug which gives its users great strength. The problem is, it’s also highly addictive and makes those who use it incredibly angry. The drug is most commonly associated with the Batman villain Bane in the comics and animated iterations of Batman.
Although, in the comic book run Batman: Venom, Bruce Wayne turns to the drug to become stronger. But when the negative side-effects take hold, Bruce’s addiction pushes Alfred away and he must lock himself in the Bat-Cave to go cold turkey. Could we see a drug-addicted Bruce Wayne in future instalments of the new Batverse?
Who is the other Arkham prisoner in The Batman ending?
Arguably the biggest talking point for those who have seen The Batman, is the tantalising tease of another Arkham inmate, who interacts with The Riddler in a brief scene towards the end of the movie. We can hardly see the character, and he is listed as unnamed in the credits, but we can still tell that this crazy criminal is none other than Batman’s arch-nemesis, The Joker.
With what appears to be a heavily disfigured face, and an evil, infectious laugh, it has to be the Clown Prince of Crime. The character, played by Eternals actor Barry Keoghan, has even been confirmed by director Matt Reeves to be an incarnation of the iconic villain, though he is not officially The Joker… yet!
Speaking to IGN, Reeves explains that The Riddler’s new friend is indeed The Joker, for all intents and purposes, but he is a man still very much early on in his Joker journey and has not taken on the name at this point. What’s even more intriguing, is that there was originally a bigger scene that was cut from the movie.
The deleted scene, which was released online on March 24, 2022, features Batman interrogating Barry Keoghan’s character, to better understand the psyche of a deranged criminal. It remains to be seen how big a role, if any, this version of The Joker will play in the future of this Batman trilogy, but personally we hope Matt Reeves explores a greater variety of Batman’s Rogues Gallery, rather than retreading a familiar path with a character we have seen plenty of before.
Now that you’ve seen the movie, and any confusion about The Batman ending has been cleared up, you’re probably wondering what’s next for the Gotham vigilante? Well, we have you covered on that front too! Check out our guide to The Batman 2 to get all the details about the sequel.