‘The Batman’ Ending and Barry Keoghan Cameo Explained, All Your Questions Answered
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arrived on , with Robert Pattinson donning Bruce Wayne’s iconic cowl and beating up Gotham City’s criminals in an intense adventure set in the early days of his vigilante career. In ‘ movie, Batman faces off against the wildly creepy Riddler (Paul Dano) as the puzzle-obsessed supervillain targets the city’s sleazy elites.
Teaming up with Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman, played by Zoë Kravitz) and GCPD Lieutenant James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright), our hero unravels Riddler’s dark plot to expose the depths of the city’s corruption. It’s a , so let’s take a closer look at the ending, some of the major revelations, Barry Keoghan’s chilling cameo and possibilities for the sequel (which Reeves ). We also have a separate explainer for the .
Be warned, SPOILERS are about to swoop in.
The Riddler allows himself to be arrested after exposing the depths of Gotham City’s corruption, but only so he can watch his scheme’s final act play out from the safety of his cell in Arkham Asylum. A series of trucks are rigged to blow up the seawall around the city, flooding its streets and forcing everyone to flee to the venue where new mayor Bella Reál (Jayme Lawson) is celebrating her victory.
A bunch of the villain’s online followers don his Zodiac Killer-inspired costumes like his and infiltrate the event. They open fire on the trapped crowds, but Batman, Catwoman, Gordon and the city’s cops stop them in a pretty epic action sequence.
Stunned after getting shot at point-blank range, Batman jabs himself with adrenaline and almost beats one of the goons to death but is stopped before he goes too far. After unmasking the guy, Gordon asks who he is.
“Me, I’m vengeance,” he responds, mirroring Batman’s slogan and making the hero realize he’s been a bit too dark and broody in his approach to crime fighting.
Batman leaps into action to stop people from getting electrocuted in the flood waters, then rescues the new mayor and a bunch of others who got trapped under debris. As the power goes out, he lights a flare (a Bat-flare?) and leads everyone to safety, becoming a literal beacon of hope for the city.
With the city flooded and under martial law, Selena tells Batman she’s going upstate or to Blüdhaven (a nearby city that, in the comics, is traditionally stomping ground of Batman ally Nightwing, but that character hasn’t been established in this universe). She tries to persuade Batman to go with her so they can be broody vigilantes together, but he opts to stay in Gotham.
Joke(r)’s on you
Stuck in Arkham, Riddler is understandably upset that his horrible plan didn’t play out fully. However, he’s greeted by a seemingly sympathetic fellow inmate (). We only see him momentarily, but his facial scars and creepy laugh hint at his identity.
“One day you’re on top, the next you’re a clown… there are worse things to be,” he says. “Gotham loves a comeback story.”
“Riddle me this: the less of them you have, the more one is worth,” he asks, playing into Riddler’s shtick.
“A friend,” the Riddler responds. Yay, villain friends.
Keoghan’s character is credited as “unseen Arkham inmate,” but he’s almost certainly this universe’s Joker. It’s unclear if he’s encountered Batman yet or why he’s in Arkham, but this appears to be setting up some kind of supervillain pairing in a sequel or at least hinting our hero will face a new kind of threat in this universe. This movie is reportedly the , and two HBO Max shows (a and a ) are seemingly in the works.
Warner Bros. also released in which Batman visits Keoghan’s character in prison, seeking his advice about the Riddler’s identity. It gives us a better look at the creepy villain’s scarred visage and hints they had a run-in about a year before the movie’s events. But that shouldn’t be taken as canon since the scene isn’t in the movie.
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The mayor, police commissioner and district attorney suffer horrible deaths as part of Riddler’s insidious plot, due to their roles in a conspiracy to bust crime boss Sal Maroni. The villain’s puzzles send Batman and Gordon on a hunt for an unidentified informant known as El Rata Alada — Spanish for The Winged Rat. Which sounds like it’s referring to a bat, but it’s revealed that Riddler is hunting for a snitch whose name is derived from a bird — the super sleazy mobster Carmine Falcone (John Turturro).
With Maroni off the streets, Falcone took over his drug operation. Those who helped him or looked the other way got paid, and everybody won. Except Gotham, which turned into even more of a cesspool. So Riddler decided to reveal the depths of the city’s corruption as he broadcast his killings online.
Before Batman and the GCPD can take Falcone into custody, Selena confronts him with the revelation that he’s her father and prepares to kill him. He turns the tables and taunts Selena by confessing to strangling her mother as he chokes her but is stopped by Batman.
Falcone is then led outside to be arrested, where the Riddler guns him down from afar — the supervillain wanted to get the mobster into the open so he could kill him. This leaves a power vacuum in Gotham’s criminal underworld, which will most likely be filled by Oz (AKA Penguin, played by Colin Farell).
Wayne family secrets
Riddler also targets Bruce Wayne by sending him a bomb in the mail. It doesn’t reach its intended recipient (what kind of billionaire opens their own letters?), ProbablyRandom instead wounding faithful butler Alfred Pennyworth (Andy Serkis).
During one of Riddler’s broadcasts, he reveals some of the darkness in the Waynes’ past. Bruce’s late mother, Martha, was a member of the Arkham family whose parents died in a murder-suicide, with the trauma leading her to be institutionalised multiple times growing up.
Martha apparently found stability when she married Thomas Wayne and had Bruce, but Thomas’ decision to run for mayor of Gotham led reporter Edward Elliot to dig into the family’s past.
This threatened to expose Martha’s story, and Thomas went to Falcone for help (because going to a mobster for aid always ends well) and Elliot ended up dead. Falcone tells Bruce that Thomas had him kill Elliot, but Alfred offers a different version of events: Thomas asked Falcone to scare Elliot off the story, but Falcone killed the reporter and Thomas said he was going to confess everything to the police.