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    Why dump Bruce for Harvey Dent? 
  • Why did Rachel turn Bruce down? She claims that she used to love him, but before he joined the League of Shadows, he's...well...a whiny little brat. Yes, watching his parents die must have been horrible, but he's obsessed over it even years later. He's only thinking of himself while other people suffer much worse, something she even points out. Then he goes away, comes back wiser, older, ready to start doing the right thing, bringing down mob bosses she couldn't bring down after months of work...and this is somehow a turn off? Does she only go for irresponsible, self absorbed guys?
    • And before anyone takes the "maybe she doesn't want to be with a man constantly in danger" excuse, remember this is Gotham. According to the first film, people get mugged every day of the week. Out of everyone, Bruce is probably the safest man in Gotham, with his martial arts training and his full body armor. Not to mention in The Dark Knight, Rachel jumps right into bed with Harvey, a man in just as much danger, being the D.A, and much less capable of defending himself.
      • Rachel's stated reason for not hooking up with Bruce at the end of the first movie is that she won't take second place to his obsession for saving Gotham, with the unspoken undertone that while she thinks his quest is in many ways admirable its also not entirely sane. A year later, the lonely Rachel meets Harvey Dent, who appears to have many of the same heroic qualities that attracted her to Bruce in the first place, but he loves her more than he loves Gotham and not vice versa, and he's also not doing wacky things like dressing in a giant bat-suit and beating people to a pulp every night. Of course Harvey turned out to be more nuts on the inside than Bruce ever was, but its not like Rachel's a mind reader, and her death was the catalyst for most of Harvey's insanity anyway.
      • There's also the fact that Rachel has to watch out for herself and what Bruce is doing is technically illegal. There's a certain undertone in the first movie- and all but explicitly stated in the second- that sooner or later Batman will be caught and unmasked- or alternatively turn himself in, something that was already subverted in The Dark Knight. As an ADA, Rachel has to be able to maintain plausible deniability-something that will be much harder to do if she's his girlfriend/wife.
      • Well a high risk of being mugged is different from running head first into criminal activities and giving them a good reason to shoot him. It's a difference between when my boyfriend goes out at night will he get in trouble and how much trouble will my boyfriend get into tonight. Also Harvey was a little unhinged but he didn't go crazy til' Rachael died.
      • She pulls the Loving a Shadow schtick. "I love BRUCE, not 'Batman'. You're not REALLY back." So on and so forth. And since this guy is out every night fighting crime for revenge, she kinda has a point. What romance would there be, exactly? Him sneaking out every night, skipping dates, forgetting special occasions, him showing up beaten half to death...
      • Yeah because District Attorneys are always home promptly at five every night and definitely never forget special events due to a hectic work schedule, high profile public employees are famous for their stable home lives and happy marriages.
      • Mild snideness aside, the life of a district attorney, somewhat hectic and prone to a clash in priorities it may be, is nevertheless still a lot more stable than the guy who spends his evenings dressing up as a bat-themed ninja and running around from dusk to dawn risking his life beating up criminals to satisfy his intense childhood-trauma-driven lust for vengeance and justice. We have to consider this in relative terms here.
      • Bear in mind the Loving a Shadow schtick is actually entirely consistent with the Batman's major theme of Bruce Wayne being Batman's mask rather than the other way round. It was probably to play that aspect up.

    Why lie about the death of the Waynes, Falcone? 
  • Why did Falcone tell Bruce his father begged like a dog the night he was shot? Bruce was there when it happened, it's completely ineffective as a taunt.
    • Falcone was probably aware of this, but he might have felt that Wayne was such a bratty daddy's boy that the taunt would still be effective.
      • That conversation was right after Chill's day in court, when he expressed remorse, and Chill's death moments later. Even though his apology didn't console Bruce, the truth that it wasn't even sincere makes it worse.
    • He didn't say Thomas Wayne died begging, he said Joe Chill had told other criminals that he had. Even if Bruce knew it wasn't true, hearing that his father's last moments were the subject of ridicule among criminals must have hurt, as Falcone intended.
    • Presumably, Falcone actually believes what Chill said was true, so he's mocking the fact that everyone thinks Bruce's dad is remembered as a victim of senseless violence when in "reality" he was a coward.
    • In addition to all the above, well, not many people like hearing other people who they hate insult their parents, whether it's the truth or not. It's not that big a mystery.
    • He purposely insulted his parents not just to rub salt into Bruce's ego but as a way of taking down the "Prince of Gotham" in front of the multitudes of important people in the room such as the judge. Notice how he looks about the room afterwards to be sure those people are paying attention to him insulting and then smacking around the richest person in the city.
    • Also, Falcone uses it as a taunt because Bruce almost certainly won't enjoy hearing that the man who murdered his parents was spending his time in prison laughing at and mocking them, and encouraging others to do so. It's a very disrespectful and shitty thing for Joe Chill to do on top of, you know, murdering them.

    No one noticed the contaminated water? 
  • Gotham's entire water supply had been laced with Crane's poison for weeks. Fortunately nobody has felt the effects because the compound has to be absorbed through the lungs. Guess people in Gotham don't take nice hot steamy showers, then?
    • Or boil a pot of water for cooking, or use the hot water to wash dishes, etc.
      • Fridge Brilliance! The denizens of Gotham have been getting low-level doses of hallucinogens for months, and that's one reason the city's so messed up. After all, criminals are fearful, etc.
      • Makes a kind of sense. Even after being blasted all over the place most of the citizens are less messed up than Bats was after one dose. Clearly the stuff in the pipes is much less concentrated than Crane's personal weapon.
      • It could also be that the poison is turned into its gaseous state at a higher temperature than 100 degrees C.
    • And while we're on the subject of water supplies, how would the plan to have poisoned the water supply really work? Especially considering water pipes are pressurized, so when cut open like that, water would gush out instead of letting anyone put stuff in it. They would have had to have put the drug in closer to the intake cribs.
    • Not to mention the fact that the Microwave Emitter instantly evaporates any water in the vicinity. Guess what the most common chemical compound in the human body is? (Hint: it's water)

    You seem to be a bit of a hypocrite when it comes to killing people, Bruce 
  • Bruce Wayne chooses to defy the League of Shadows by refusing to execute a farmer accused of murder. He supposedly does this because he feels this is not the right way to deal with the farmer's crime, and he doesn't want blood on his hands. Instead, he decides to escape the League entirely, and in the process, he blows up the entire headquarters. Surely the farmer died in the explosion, along with a bunch of other innocent League members. So how does Bruce Wayne's attempt to escape show that he stands for justice?
    • For one, the farmer survived, for two, the League is a group organization, all of whom are party to its criminal acts, and three, there is a huge difference between partaking in intentional, cold-blooded execution as a gang initiation (murder) and creating a dangerous situation that could kill some of the professional assassins who certainly don't plan to take "no" for an answer. He was choosing the option that best served to protect that man's life, his own life, and Gotham's safety.
    • Unless you think that Bruce should have just passively allowed the League to execute both him and the farmer, I'm not sure where the hypocrisy lies. The destruction of the League's headquarters and the deaths of any who were there was pretty clearly more of an unintended side-effect of Bruce defending himself and the farmer when the League took exception to his refusal to kill on their behalf and trying to kill both of them.

    Dr. Crane's horse 
  • Where did Crane get a Horse?!?
    • It's one of the mounted police's. A few of them are seen before everything goes to hell.
      • Because sometimes cops need to be faster than they can run, but get through terrain that you couldn't get a car or a motorcycle through. The former are big, and the latter need straight, even stretches of terrain to be useful, while a horse has a brain that can adjust its footing over uneven terrain and even get you around obstacles. Plus, a cop on a horse is more intimidating.
      • Also, Mounted Police are often used by many police forces for riot control because of the height advantage and PR. Just like Bicycle Police there's a reason for everything they do.
      • Of course, that still leaves the question of how exactly Dr. Crane was able to control a panicking horse (God only knows what happened to its owner). This problem has led to Wild Mass Guessing.
      • You can actually see him dragging the unconscious or dead body of the cop behind the horse. It's unknown how he controlled the horse, though.
      • The toxin only affects humans? It's an artificial drug after all.
      • There was a throw-away line about Crane growing up on a farm? Anyway, it is likely that horse would not be affected the same way as a human by the drug. Being "artificial" has nothing to do with the biological barrier tropes. No, sir, the Fridge Logic sets in when you consider that the horse is in the middle of an urban district full of PEOPLE GOING COMPLETELY BATSHIT INSANE. That poor animal is terrified whether or not the drug affects it.
      • You can train a horse to not be scared of something that normally panics horses by deliberately exposing it to that something at an early age under controlled circumstances. That's how the armies trained cavalry horses to not be spooked at the sound of gunfire back when they had horse cavalry. And if that's a police horse intended for riot control work, then the one thing above all else that the GCPD is going to do to it is train it to not be spooked when confronted with noisy crowds.
      • Police horses in the real world are actually trained to handle chaos and riots. It would be weird if GCPD's weren't.
      • Perhaps the horse, no matter how well it's trained, is simply a bit spooked out due to the copious amounts of fear-inducing toxin filling the air all around it? No one ever said the toxin only worked on humans; drugs might not necessarily have the same effects on animals as they do on humans, but that doesn't necessarily mean they don't have any effects entirely.
      • Also, there's riots and chaos, and then there's that situation, which is an the former at an extreme that the police horse likely hasn't been faced with. That horse's rider had almost certainly been killed in its proximity, had likely been affected by the fear toxin and was acting irrationally in a way that would likely confuse the horse, and then some stranger steal it. At some point, no matter how well-trained, the horse is going to be overwhelmed, revert to instinct, and panic.
      • Bruce Wayne hadn't been scared of bats for a long time now and yet seeing Crane spew bats out of his mouth still freaked him out. A drug works alters your brain enough that it can override the usual responses.
      • Scarecrow's in-comics backstory had him growing up on a farm, so it's not implausible, heck, it's even probable that he had learned to ride.
    • If you watch the horse closely, it's actually behaving quite calmly under the circumstances, like a well-trained police horse (or well-trained performing horse on a Batman movie set) should. It only rears up or whinnies when Crane goads it to do so, or when Rachel shoots Crane with the taser: something that would've painfully zapped the horse as well as incapacitated its rider.
    • Crane didn't invent the fear toxin's active ingredient in the Nolanverse, the League of Shadows did. They're a very old organization that probably used horses for centuries to get around, and may well have formulated it so it wouldn't affect their steeds. That's assuming horses aren't naturally immune; perhaps the toxic flowers once grew on the steppes where domestic horses' ancestors roamed wild, and the animals evolved resistance so they could graze without being poisoned.

    "I'm Here to help" 
  • The last thing Scarecrow says before he's tased is "I'm here to help." What is he talking about?
    • That was only the start of his next sentence. We can't be sure what he was saying in full, because before he finished he took a taser to the face.
    • He was probably just being sarcastic and menacing.
    • Also, possibly, reveling in the irony. The guy's a doctor.
      • On a police horse.
    • He says "There's nothing to fear but fear itself. I'm here to help." He's here to help them become afraid.
      • Or he's not helping the fearful: he's helping the fear.

    Office golf 
  • So, presumably, Bruce walks up to Earle's secretary, tells her his name, and promptly pulls a golf club and ball out of his suit pocket.
    • Considering Earle is pretty much your standard Corrupt Corporate Executive, he'd have handy Golf Club set stored away near his office.
    • And even if he's not, this is the future Batman we're talking about. If anyone could conceal a golf club, it's him.
    • Earle's golf bag is clearly visible behind the secretary when Bruce walks in.

    "Nice coat" 
  • "I'm Batman." * Looks at homeless man* "Nice coat." * Flies away* Uh....Since he really doesn't appear to have the grapple gun wrapped around his body, did Bats just shoot up into the air due to awesome overload?
    • It was a hidden zip-line. It's supposed to look like he literally flies straight up into the sky. It's like in this clip from the Tim Burton movie. At about 1:34 it looks like Batman levitates down out of nowhere, and at 3:00 it looks like Batman steps off the edge of a building and then vanishes. We can't see a zip-line or a grapple either time, but it's implied that that's what Batman was using.
    • Later on in the movie, when Batman escapes from his first encounter with Dr. Crane, you can see him shoot the grappling gun then attach it to his waist before he lets it carry him up. Presumably, he did the same earlier.
      • The reason all of those tricks are used are because they're meant to play into Batman's tactics: appear as if you're doing something physically impossible and you scare the crap out of someone watching you do it. Theatricality and misdirection, as Ra's might say.
    • The grapple gun merely launches the hook into the air. The actual mechanism for hauling Batman himself into the air is in the belt buckle. There's at least one extreme close-up where he winds the line around two points on the buckle and then flies up.

    The real identity of Liam Neeson's character 
  • Is Henri Ducard a false identity all along? Or did he just inherit the position after the original Ra's (as played by Ken Watanabe) died? The movie itself doesn't seem to point definitely to either option.
    • The clear implication—or so it seems to me—is that in keeping with Nolan's semi-realistic depiction of the Batmanverse, there are no Lazarus pits or anything and "Ra's al-Ghul" is nothing in the first place but a centuries-long Scooby Doo hoax. If there ever was a real, original Ra's, he died a very long time ago. But the League keeps the legend of his immortality, power, and continued leadership going, always having a new guy, looking the same as the previous ones and the same age, posing as the same leader from the beginning, while The Dragon is always the real leader, and in that sense insofar as there is a real Ra's Al-Ghul it is him. And this generation that secret leader was Henri Ducard.
      • But to answer your question, yes, it's implied that "Henri Ducard" was the real Ra's al-Ghul all along.
    • The movie states definitively that Ra's is Ducard's true identity. Bruce says, in response to 'Is Ra's Al-Ghul immortal? Are his methods supernatural?', 'Or cheap parlor tricks to conceal your true identity, Ra's'.
    • Regardless of whether Ra's is his real name or is just a code name and Ducard is his real name, he certainly has French roots given the name "Henri Ducard" is an obvious French name, plus, his daughter Talia in The Dark Knight Rises is played by French actress Marion Cotillard who speaks in her native accent for pretty much the entire movie both as Talia and when using the assumed name Miranda Tate.

    The ineffectiveness of the Scarecrow costume 
  • The mask is damn creepy, especially once you subject someone to the hallucinogen, but when the rest of your outfit consists of a suit and tie, it really doesn't work that well. He couldn't just change in the middle of a battle, but if he was anticipating using the mask and he wasn't in the hospital, like when he was burning down that apartment, he could have dressed in something that would fit.
    • The idea is that, instead of having to take the time to make a quick change, this guy could turn into The Scarecrow at any moment. It just takes two seconds to whip on a mask. Not much time to prepare for a sneak attack, especially if he gets you off your guard in the first place, as he did Batman.
      • Plus you get a nice Badass in a Nice Suit thing going on. Makes him quirkier.
      • On top of that, Crane is a psychiatrist and his toxin causes a form of fear-related insanity. So it makes some sense that his outfit (scarecrow mask plus business suit) is weird and irrational.
    • The idea is that he could be wearing anything: it's the mask that grabs your attention after you've been poisoned with fear toxin. It's the mask that becomes scary. It's the only part of the costume he needs.
    • It's ineffective when you're a sober, sane person looking at this man from a position where you are completely in control of your faculties. When you're mentally unstable as a result of tripping balls on some godawful mix of hallucinogenic chemicals he's designed and dosed you with specifically to render you completely mad with terror, the effect is a lot more terrifying. He's initially just using it to torture and terrify people he's driving insane, remember.
    • Talk to Slenderman if you think a tux spoils the creepy factor of a spooky-faced menace.

    How to keep Bruce out of the loop 
  • How is it that Bruce could receive all the training he did from the League of Shadows and hear absolutely nothing about their true intentions? Seems like part of his training would at the very least involve a bit of indoctrination in their philosophy. (To be fair, Ducard did mention the farmer he tried to have Bruce execute would face "justice" in a casual manner just reeking of "eye for an eye," and this also leads to Fridge Brilliance as to why they may have renamed themselves from the League of Assassins. Still, though, what he was being asked to do really shouldn't have come as such a surprise to Bruce.)
    • As to the name of the league, in the comics the League of Assassins is a division of the League of Shadows.
    • Bruce is being indoctrinated into their beliefs, he just didn't realize how much they diverged from his own until they asked him to execute the criminal (and destroy Gotham, for that matter). Perhaps he may have even been willing to kill until he was confronted with the opportunity and realized it wasn't his way.
    • Ducard alludes to the dark side of his philosophy when he says that criminals must be fought "without pity", and he heavily implies that he killed his wife's murderer. So maybe he just assumed Bruce was on the same page.
      • Even if he and Bruce were on the same page in regards to killing a single criminal, telling him he will be participating in the destruction of his home city and every man, woman and child in it...including, one suspects, everyone he ever knew and loved growing the kind of thing you really have to work someone up to you. That requires some serious indoctrination, if not outright brainwashing, far beyond the casual assumption that he'll be up for it when the time comes.
    • It's also possible that Ducard intentionally kept the darker stuff secret during Bruce's training. Perhaps that's just the way they do things. Or perhaps Ducard sensed that Bruce might quit if he learned about the execution stuff too early, so he figured they'd finish the training first, so that way Bruce would feel like "there is no turning back" by the time the darker stuff was revealed.
    • Remember, Bruce did told Ducard he was perfectly willing to kill Joe Chill if he did get the chance when he was 22. So it's safe to assume Bruce was fine with it until actually confronted with the opportunity to dirty his own hands... and realized it was wrong. What Bruce refused to do should be an even bigger surprise to the League.

    Falcone wasn't burned alive? 
  • Spotlights like the Bat-Signal get quite hot when they're operating, right? Wouldn't Falcone suffer burns after being tied to the light like that?
    • It takes time for them to get that hot, and even then, it's not hot enough to, say, steam up water when rain hits it. We don't know just how long Falcone was stuck on it.
      • Also, his layers of clothes would have insulated him from the worst of the heat for a while.
      • Also, Batman is probably willing to give Falcone a few minor burns, which is the worst he'd probably get from that spotlight assuming he wasn't tied up there for too long. Falcone is a ruthless crime lord who has kept Gotham trapped in corruption, vice and fear, ruled as an arrogantly untouchable overlord for too long and said some pretty nasty things about Bruce and his parents to Bruce's face, after all.

    Bruce's need to announce his return from the grave 
  • When Bruce Wayne came back to Gotham via plane, Alfred said he had Bruce declared dead beforehand. This brings up the question; did Bruce REALLY need to tell Gotham he was still alive? If he kept that a secret between himself and Alfred, wouldn't he have been able to take on the Batman identity WITHOUT having to live a double life?
    • Alfred didn't; the board controlling Wayne Enterprises did. And he was clearly planning to use all of Wayne Enterprises's resources in his fight against crime. That sort of thing is a little easier if you have access to it, and thus, establishing Bruce Wayne is very much alive and well is pretty much necessary.
      • Couldn't Lucius still have given him access to it without having to publicly declare him to be alive though? Ok, that would make it a secret between Bruce, Alfred, and Lucius, but still...
      • Bruce only even meets Lucius Fox after he comes back. He and Alfred wouldn't have even considered it, because they weren't acquainted with him. Plus, if Bruce isn't publicly around, that just makes it harder for him to get access to the company assets. The part-owner diverting funds here and there is one thing, but if Bruce isn't "alive" then someone's going to notice.
      • Even if Alfred could arrange the two to meet and Lucius was willing to play along, he could only order all those fancy toys under Bruce Wayne's name, which would be tough if Bruce were dead.
    • In addition to all of the above, Bruce needs to maintain some connection to the rest of the human race. Alfred probably insisted on it if nothing else.
      • Don't forget, this is Wayne Enterprises... his father's legacy. He tells everyone his mission is to rid Gotham of crime, but really it's to make sure no one suffers what he had to. By the end of the film, he's gotten over his brief emotional phase and is hanging onto his name and place in the world of honor and remember his father.

     You couldn't Cut Lex Luthor A Check? 
  • Bruce Wayne has access to all those wonderful toys, and the means to design and manufacture them, yet instead of mass-producing them using CNC or laser cutting, he's cutting and grinding batarangs by hand?
    • He's a guy who parades around dressed up like a bat who beats up criminals. You're asking him to be perfectly rational here? Not to mention that Batman does what he does for personal reasons; it would make sense if he wanted to personally cut and sharpen his batarangs.
    • Also this is when he's just starting out. He may have been working on the design at that point and testing one of his prototypes. You need proper balance for a throwing weapon, so it'd make sense if he wanted to work the first few, at the least, by hand to get a feel for them.
      • They go to lengths showing that it would take two separate, large orders to put Batman's cowl together - ordering about ten thousand pieces of metal shaped pre-cut to be shaped like a bat, of all things, would look rather suspicious when Batman gets known by the public.

    The location of the opera house 
  • Is anyone else bothered by the fact that the opera house seemed to be located in the slums?
    • All of Gotham is the slums. Some parts are just slummier than others.
    • Front of the opera house may have been really nice; the Waynes were leaving through a back door so as not to make so much commotion leaving. Also, if Thomas' thinking is similar to that of the comics, the alley way was a shortcut home.
    • If Crime Alley is anything like it is in the comics, then it was originally a very ritzy neighborhood. Also, it could be a very large opera house, therefore having a front entrance in a very respectable street.
    • It wasn't necessarily a slum when the Gotham Opera House was built. Neighborhoods change.
    • Cities are bipolar. You can be in the nicest neighborhood in any city, go two blocks north, and wind up in a trash heap neighborhood.
    • Not all of this Gotham is a slum. Much of Gotham looks as clean as downtown Chicago.

    Mass producing the antidote 
  • Why would a vial of the antidote be useful for mass production? (As opposed to a chemical/amino acid structure or even better, detailed instructions for synthesis.) Solving the structure of a compound isn't exactly trivial and neither is developing a synthesis from scratch. The only way a vial of something could be useful is if it were a starter culture of bacteria (or other cells) that would product the protein, but that would similarly require a purification method (again not trivial especially when one doesn't know what the antitoxin is. Plus, it's unlikely that cells would have survived in good condition for that long).
    • Procedural cop shows like CSI have tricked lots of people into thinking that you can take one tiny sample of something, run it through a spectro-whatcha-machine in a lab somewhere, and fart out a complete chemical analysis. That said, Batman didn't expect a mass produced antidote overnight. There probably would be a long stretch of time when Batman has to work to keep the Narrows from exploding into violent chaos while the antidote is being manufactured. And the end of the movie implies there's been a timeskip.
    • Doesn't Lucius state he did the legwork in making the antidote? Bruce also asks him to make more of it, after Lucius explains part of the process in making the antidote after Bruce is gassed by Crane. From that angle, Fox already understands what makes up the League/Crane's drug, and just has to make more antidote, which comes in conveniently handy at the film's end.
    • Lucius made the antidote from SCRATCH once Bruce had been gassed. Based on the substances in his blood. For all we know it just limits the violent reaction to the toxins while it runs its course.
    • Possibly he handed over the formula along with the samples, and the vial designated "for mass production" was included so it could be tested and proven safe before the pharmacologists started cranking out more. It's not like Gotham officialdom trusts Batman to be any saner than the nutbars who unleashed the toxin, after all: they're not gonna start injecting people en masse with an unknown compound on some costumed vigilante's say-so.
    • Could be that Bruce had Lucius order up all the necessary ingredients for a huge batch of antidote, toss them in the mixer, then calmly wait by the phone for a call from the city authorities. "What's that? You need how much of X,Y, and Z from Wayne Pharmaceuticals? You're in luck: we just received our annual shipment. Sure, we can mix it up for you. Better speak up with that formula, it's a bit noisy at my end.... {sound of mixing equipment running full-blast in the background}."

     Targeting Gotham specifically 
  • Why do the League of Shadows care about a target as small as Gotham City? Their mandate is to bring down places consumed by decadence and corruption, but Gotham is one city in the middle of a vast nation of nearly 300 million people. Are they just going to keep destroying every corrupt city on Earth one at a time until the only ones left are the good ones?
    • Actually, Gotham City is supposed to be pretty big—possibly even taking the place of New York City in our real world (since after all the GCPD uses a paint job based on the NYPD, Gotham Post clearly is made to look like the New York Post, etc.''). Effectively destroying such a large target would definitely send a message to the world.
      • Similar idea to Death Note, where crime slows down after criminals start dying. Ra's plan isn't quite as precise, but you work with what you have, and what Ra's has is a city with so many criminals it's nearly illogical.
      • Ra's spells out the plan in one of his monologues, and it's exactly the above. He wants to make an example out of Gotham City, a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah that's destroyed in such a nightmarish way that everyone else gets terrified into reform. And knowing him, he probably does have backup plans in place for other cities, just in case destroying Gotham alone doesn't get the point across.
      • That only makes sense if the entire world knows the reason Gotham City was destroyed. If Ra's plan had worked the general public would never have known the League of Shadows did it. It would have looked like Gotham destroyed itself. Not much of a message.
      • It's not exactly a state secret that Gotham is a corrupt craphole, especially before Batman arrives. The public doesn't need to know Gotham was destroyed by the League of Shadows as a lesson to everyone else, they just need to know Gotham burned to the ground because the corrupt politicians and cops let the criminals run rampant.
      • That's why the League didn't want to destroy Gotham by nuking her. With economics or the Fear Toxin it would look like Gotham destroyed herself, slow and painful.
    • He's only starting in Gotham. He would probably do it to every city in the world if he felt he had to.

    Arkham definitely doesn't look like an asylum 
  • Why does Arkham Asylum look nothing like an asylum? There's a grand staircase in the foyer and a spiral staircase. Sure, Batman runs through a hallway past several cell doors with some crazies inside, but what about the rest?
    • So from seeing one room, you're saying it looks "nothing like an asylum"?

      In the main continuity at least, Arkham Asylum started out as a private residence and estate. The same's probably true here.
      • It's certainly not a mass-produced building, that's for sure. It's old, and possibly repurposed. Seems like a perfectly functional asylum to me, and not even the typical Bedlam House it's usually shown as.
      • This. A lot of old hospitals are built with gorgeous architecture and then reused for other purposes.
      • Arkham Asylum was previously the residence of the Arkham family. Later, after the murder of his wife and daughter, Amadeus Arkham converted it to an insane asylum. Later, he succumbed to his own mental illness, which may have helped to shape it into the Arkham we know today.

    The League's role in historical events 
  • A rather small issue, but Ducard/Ra's claims that the League of Shadows is responsible for the Great Fire of London. The Great Fire hardly qualifies as the fall of a corrupt metropolis. The city rose from its ashes rather quickly, and developed into the most important city in the world over the course of the eighteenth century. And London in the 1660s may have been overpopulated, filthy and a huge pile of kindling, but it wasn't particularly corrupt. Other European capitols were at least as bad. Burning the city of London to the ground just doesn't seem like the sort of thing Ra's ought to be bragging about. It backfired quite spectacularly.
    • This is a misinterpretation. The League of Shadows don't necessarily want to destroy everything. They want to wipe the slate clean so that something better can arise. Maybe 17th century London's problem, in their eyes, *was* overcrowding? So, a great fire, half the city burns down. . . and then rises to new greater heights. Granted, this opens all kinds of questions as to what, exactly, inspires the League to action. . .
      • Seconded, and this might veer a bit into fridge brilliance but one of the key things that helped London rise from the ashes into the defacto prime city of *the world* WAS the fact that the fire destroyed the rat-filled slums of the city which were the driving force behind seasonal resurrections of the Black Plague.
      • Its also worth considering that at the time of the Fire, England was in the middle of the Restoration period, which is often considered one of the most hedonistic periods of English history. The King at the time, Charles II had at least 8 mistresses, meaning the League may well have concluded England had reached the 'pinnacle of its decadence' as Ra's put it. Alternatively, and this is getting into WMG territory, since the decadence of the Restoration is often considered a reaction to the puritanism of the English Republic under Oliver Cromwell, maybe the League had a role in his victory in the English Civil War, hoping that Cromwell's new republic would provide an example of 'how man was meant to live', given Cromwell's similar Knight Templar behavior. Then when in 1660 Charles II was invited to take back the throne, the 17th century Ra's Al Ghul may well have decided England was beyond saving, and decided to make an example of its capital.
    • It also seems a little questionable to claim that the Great Fire "hardly qualifies as the fall of a corrupt metropolis". It destroyed about a third of the city (including homes, businesses churches, etc), killed an unknown amount of people,note  rendered about 70,000 people homeless, and cost would in today's money be approximately £1.55 billion to clean up, forcing pretty much the entire restructuring of London in the process. It also arguably exacerbated political tensions that would, within a few decades, lead to a political restructuring that drastically weakened the power of the English monarchy. That's nothing to sniff at. No one ever said the League weren't willing to allow the survivors of their purges the chance to rebuild and try again.

    Stealth mode throws the police off? 
  • During the car chase, when the Tumbler goes into stealth mode, how did the police lose it so easily? You can literally see the Tumbler slow down to get out of the spotlight, but the spotlight never sweeps back.
    • The implication from the "test drive" is that the Tumbler's very maneuverable, which would include sudden speed drops. And possibly the police were relying on FLIR or something like it to track the vehicle, which one presumes the Tumbler's built to defeat when it goes to stealth.

  • So there's an active microwave emitter that's instantly vaporizing water buried underground, in metal pipes, as it passes. And why does it not instantly kill Batman and all the League Members standing all around it, including directly in front of it, by instantly evaporating all the water in their bodies?
    • The microwave emitter was designed not to vaporize water inside living organisms. Considering how the weapon was produced for desert warfare, specifically only to vaporize the enemy's water supply, the scientists and engineers who created the emitter probably took this into account.
    • That's something of a Handwave. You can't make microwaves that can magically tell the difference between water in living organisms and not. There's also the major issue that metal absorbs microwaves massively (which is why you don't put it in your microwave oven) so any metal near the weapon, such as half of Batman's kit, would probably become red-hot (and might arc) from the amount of radiation that thing must have been chucking out.
    • It's also, to be fair, still a superhero action movie. A superhero movie that tries to play things a bit more down-to-earth, perhaps, but a superhero action movie nonetheless. Crazy super weapons that shouldn't work but somehow do are not uncommon in either genre. At some point, you have to chalk it up to Willing Suspension of Disbelief that it has some kind of wing-doodle in it (possibly designed by those fine folks at Lexcorp or something) or that manages to prevent prevent water within living beings from vaporizing as well.

    Bats at Arkh 
  • Why do the bats fly through the windows into the asylum? this would make sense if they were birds (who fly into windows on a regular basis) but bats don't use their eyes to find their way around. They use sound. So they would "see" them and avoid them altogether.
    • This one's just Rule of Drama: it's a visually exciting image that enhances the dramatic moment of the scene.

    A kid is not scared by fear toxin? 
  • How come the kid, while under the effects of the fear toxin, wasn't scared of Batman or Rachel? Everyone else on the fear toxin saw Batman as this demonic flying bat, and there's no reason why it wouldn't make Rachel look freaky to everyone as well. And on that subject, how come Rachel didn't see Batman as a big demonic creature when she was poisoned earlier in the movie?
    • The fear toxin works on different people in different ways, as demonstrated by Batman hallucinating bats instead of seeing Scarecrow as a monster. Maybe, since he had already saved her once before she was gassed, Batman's appearance wasn't affected by the fear toxin's influence in Rachel's eyes.
      • When Fox cured Bruce after his gassing, he said that the cure also inoculates them from further attacks. So Rachel would have not been affected a second time.
      • This was referring to the first time Rachel was poisoned. Then she should have been pretty terrified to be in a car with a freaky man bat.
    • Presumably the toxin makes existing fears worse, rather than throwing them up from scratch. The boy already regarded Batman as a hero, not a threat or a mystery, so the toxin didn't have any dread to ramp up when the kid encountered him again.

    Why not take the antidote earlier? 
  • Why didn't Batman take the antidote with him, when he went to face Scarecrow? It would have given him a serious advantage over Crane.
    • Which time?
    • The antidote samples had not been prepared when he left, as is suggested by Alfred's note when Bruce returns to the cave with Rachel.

    Breathing masks 
  • Ra's and his men activate the microwave emitter and begin vaporizing the city's water, releasing fear toxin into the air. Then they put on rebreathers. Shouldn't they have done that in reverse order?
    • Maybe, it's a slow acting toxin that takes a while before you can ingest it through the lungs?
    • Ra's and the others have been taking small doses of the fear toxin during their League of Shadows training. Possibly, they might have built up some small immunity.

    Flass's interrogation 
  • In the scene before Batman lifts up Flass with his grapple gun and interrogates him, Flass is very blatantly stealing from a hot dog vendor. Batman is obviously watching him do this as he immediately lifts him up afterwards. If Batman is such a crimefighter, why didn't he make Flass give back the money. It would've taken him two seconds to do so.
    • Possibly he figured Flass might take out his frustrations by giving the hot dog vendor even more of a hard time, next time he ran into the guy and was sure Batman wasn't around. The risk of displaced retaliation against an innocent was far most costly than the value of what Flass stole.
    • Plus if nothing else, even if Batman didn't bring it up directly you can bet Flass is probably going to be just a little bit wary of throwing his weight around towards that particular vendor given what happened to him last time. If nothing else, he now knows that Batman knows it's a place he frequents and if he observes him anywhere it's likely to be there.
    • Also, Batman kind of has bigger fish to fry on his plate at that point; there's weird insane-fear drugs being brought into the city for some shadowy cabal's nefarious purposes, after all. He kind of has to prioritize.

    Ungrateful Ra's 
  • Why does Ra's complain to Bruce about being left for dead? Bruce risked his life to save Ra's, and then carried him to that village and left him in the care of some old lady. While he's be pissed that his house burned down, but he'd hardly call being left in the care of an old lady "left for dead." But then did the old lady not tell Ra's that some weird white guy left him there, or did Bruce not bother to tell her anything?
    • Ra's knew Bruce had saved his life, based on these lines.
    Bruce: I saved your life.
    Ra's: I warned you about compassion.
    • Later on he says "You burned my house and left me for dead. Consider us even." Likely, Ra's's reasoning went something like: A) Bruce Wayne believed Ra's al-Ghul was dead when he left League headquarters. B) I am Ra's al-Ghul. C) Bruce Wayne therefore effectively left me for dead, instead choosing to save one of Ra's's minions. The fact that the minion in question was actually Ra's does not make up for Wayne's choices.

    Doc, you didn't think to immunize yourself against your own medicine 
  • Why didn't Dr. Crane think to immunize himself to his own poison? Given that he uses it by spraying it into the air, he must have breathed it in by accident a few times. And given that he apparently created or at least weaponized it himself (degree in pharmachemicals), he should be able to create an antidote. what makes this weird is that Ducard wears a mask, suggesting that no one in the League thought that immunizing themselves to their own weapons using a chemical that Fox cooked up in two days rather than relying on masks was a good idea.
    • The Scarecrow mask has a built-in gas mask.
    • Dr. Crane could certainly have developed an antidote easily, but being a bit of a nut as he is, he wouldn't want to. The League would probably like the idea of a chemical weapon with no cure; and Crane certainly wouldn't want to chance people getting their hands on his antidote and curing all his beloved fear. Even if Ra's asked to have an antidote available, Crane would probably tell him none could be made. As for why he doesn't even immunize himself: Crane is nuts. He probably tests out the gas on himself, and may even like its effects. Why would he want to ruin that?
      • He's probably exposed himself to the gas enough times by the time of The Dark Knight that he's developed an immunity to the stuff naturally.
    • And the League just took his word for it? Nobody thought to take it to some other, preferably more sane pharmacist (or several, even) who likes money a lot (not hard to find in a city that is in their own words so corrupt that they could infiltrate every level of government), and say 'Here, make an antidote'? Even if Lucius is some sort of super chemist, it isn't like the League was in a rush - he had two days, whereas they have the resources to wait weeks.
      • Maybe the League members were immunized and the masks were just as an added precaution. Crane probably didn't think he'd ever need an antidote.
      • If they had really wanted an antidote, they could have had one. It's not one of the things they would have particularly worried about. The gas masks worked just fine; it's not like the toxin was instantly fatal (and Ra's probably wouldn't care too much if his minions were exposed anyway); and no cure in existence means no chance of the plan failing due to the cure recipe leaking.
    • Immunization isn't a magic cure-all process and has it's limits. You might be able to, say, drink small amounts of arsenic and develop some tolerance for it, but you wouldn't suddenly be able to make yourself arsenic martinis and drink gallons of the stuff with no ill effects whatsoever. It's still a lethal poison, and there's no such thing as complete immunity towards it. Even if Crane had an antidote at hand or had been giving himself small doses of fear gas to immunize himself, he literally had a huge cloud of the stuff sprayed right in his face; that's bound to have some effects.

    Invoke an economic collapse 
  • Ra's says that the League's original plan was to destroy Gotham by causing an economic depression... How? What exactly was a group of ninjas doing to screw with the city's economy? How long had they been at this? What was their endgame with it, exactly?
    • Seeing that only a few lines were dedicated to this, we don't know the specifics, we can only guess. Presumably the League planted its men in important businesses to make terrible economic decisions and so bring about collapse. Their goal? The high crime in Gotham turns against itself when the food becomes scarce, the decent people move out, and the rich lose when there's no poor left to support them.
    • Yeah, about that...the League's plan was to destroy a corrupt city by making it more corrupt, and then when it starts to straighten itself out, the League destroys it by fear instead? Instead of, say, killing everyone in the city in one stroke with a poison, you'll just end up with a large mess.
    • The plan wasn't to destroy Gotham—it was to make Gotham destroy itself. The point was to teach a lesson to the rest of the world, that lesson being, "If you don't do something about corruption, this shit will happen to you, now shape up."

    The Batcave 
  • We see that the Batcave has a live bat colony living in it. Wouldn't Bruce's work in it be terribly disruptive to them? Bats, if woken up from their sleep, can risk death due to stress and rapid weight loss. And we never see the bats again after he starts building inside the cave...
    • Bruce isn't an animal rights activist. He certainly wouldn't want live bats in his cave, though, because they could crap on his equipment and carry diseases. If it helps you, assume he humanely and harmlessly moved them to a different cave.
    • And, as you can see when Rachel wakes up, the bats DIDN'T leave. Not really sure why, just putting it out there.
    • Dude calls his alter ego Batman. Bats are kind of his motif. It's Rule of Symbolism.
    • We know he has bat-attracting technology. Probably he has a low-intensity version of his "backup" gadget in operation all the time, to encourage the little mammals to roost in the far end of the cave. That way, no bats disturbed or zapped while clinging to electrical cables, and no guano-splats to wipe off the tumbler's hood.
    • In addition, in that scene early on when Bruce stands up inside the swarm of bats, he’s very lucky he didn’t get bitten or catch a disease.

    Rachel's non-reaction 
  • Rachel's non-reaction to Bruce's return. When they last saw one another, Bruce had a gun and was in a bad enough mental state that he intended to use it to kill a man. Rachel slapped him (twice!), told him his parents would be ashamed of him, and left him in a rough part of town, literally on the doorstep of Gotham's biggest mob boss, with explicit instructions to go inside and confront Falcone. Bruce wasn't seen again for seven years. To most, it seems like the most likely outcome was that Falcone had Bruce killed and, while not connected to his meeting with Falcone, Earle later had Bruce declared dead. Rachel should have been devastated by her part in her best friend's apparent death, but when she finds out he's alive she neither calls nor visits. When they do see each other it's a chance encounter at a hotel, and she has nothing to say outside idle chit-chat and an admonition to be more responsible.
    • Indeed, she does come off a little harshly for somebody whose friend was thought to be dead.
    • Alfred is also close with Rachel, and knows that Bruce is alive. Presumably he told her that Bruce was not murdered by Falcone and had instead left town to go find himself in China.

    Are the police suicidal? 
  • In real life, wouldn't the Gotham City Police Department call off the car chase the moment Bruce took out some of their cars with caltrops? Or even not pursue at all given how the chase started with him crushing a police car?
    • They're the police. They don't get to decide who they pursue or not; for all they know, this guy's headed to attack a preschool next or a church or something. For a real-life example, watch this footage of some guy who stole a tank and went on a rampage a few years back. One of the things you'll notice is a lot of police cars chasing him despite the obvious risks involved (albeit from a much safer distance, but then, well, this is still an action movie we're talking about). Because, you know, people recklessly driving massive armored vehicles through the streets and leaving a swathe of destruction in their path is kind of the sort of thing they have to address, even if they don't want to. Yes, this is Gotham and it doesn't exactly have a police department with a great reputation, but even a corrupt police department in thrall to the local crime boss nevertheless probably realizes that some vigilante driving a tank through the streets is probably something they shouldn't just sit back and allow without a token effort at least.

     Is Rachel suicidal? 
  • Why in the name of God would you follow a man you explicitly do not trust into a basement? Granted, she could probably beat Crane in a physical fight, but you would think an assistant DA would know better than to follow anyone into a basement, even short, unintimidating doctors.
    • Rachel is a senior prosecutor (a fairly notable public figure in other words) who has almost certainly told at least one other person that she trusts that she's going to see Dr Crane at Arkham Asylum. She presumably assumes that Crane is smart enough not to murder her in the basement of his own asylum, since even he would lack plausible deniability if something happened to her immediately after going to see him at his place of work. Furthermore, it's the basement level of a major public healthcare institution, not the Bates Motel, so she likely assumes there are going to be other people down there as well. She simply underestimates what the plan is, how far along it is, and how batshit insane Crane is.

    Bruce using his Batman voice around Ras in the train sequence 
  • It's odd that Bruce is talking in his Batman voice even though Ras already figured out his identity.
    • He uses his Batman voice when he's being Batman. What's odd about that at all?
      • It's the fact that he does the Batman voice around people who already knows his identity. It may not be a big deal out-of-universe, but in-universe, it must have been awkward for Ras and the others.
      • It's a method thing; kind of like how a boxer might be shadow-boxing if you're talking to him before a fight. Basically, it's just a 'thing' Bruce does to help him psych up while he's in the costume. Related to this, if you know the identity of the guy who dresses up as a bat and beats up criminals every night, then the fact that he persists in using his special gravelly voice when he's around you while wearing his armored bat costume is probably going to be the least potentially awkward thing about that situation. Plus, most of the people who know Bruce and who encounter him as Batman tend to do so in situations of life-or-death crisis (Ra's before he destroys the city, Lucius while Joker's rampaging around the city, and so forth), so they kind of have bigger fish to fry than the voice Bruce chooses to address them with. As for Ra's specifically, he's about to destroy the whole city, so why exactly should Bruce give a crap if he feels awkward about him using his 'Batman' voice?
      • He's trained himself to use the Batman voice when in costume. Doing it even around people who know who he is reinforces the habit, making him less likely to make a mistake in front of somebody who isn't in on the secret.
      • Well other then the bunch of times early in the movie when he doesn't do it or does it far less intensely - basically any scene with Rachel and a couple with Gordon.
      • Theatricality is a powerful agent. Bruce uses the Batman voice to scare his enemies, and he wants to scare Ra's. And yeah, Ra's doesn't seem especially intimidated, but why would Bruce stop making the effort? Switching to his normal voice mid-conversation would just sound lame. But if he keeps using the scary voice, there's a least a chance it puts some fear into Ra's eventually, and Bruce is looking for every possible advantage.
    • It's not that Bruce is using his Batman voice when he's in costume; it's Batman who uses his Bruce Wayne voice when he's not.

     What exactly was Bruce's plan with Lucius? 
  • So Bruce basically just goes up to Lucius Fox and asks him to make/lend him a bunch of high tech gadgets using incredibly obvious Blatant Lies as excuses, causing Lucius to figure out what he's really up to very quickly. Lucius turns out to be a good man who supports Batman and is willing to keep the secret, so it all works out in the end, but what if he hadn't? Lucius could have blown the whole thing open very easily if he wanted to, and unlike Alfred, there doesn't seem to be much of a previous connection between Lucius and Bruce that would lead him to trust him. Given how meticulously the movie shows the means Bruce has to go to to keep his secret hidden in other aspects, it seems extremely strange he'd be so careless with Lucius.
    • We find out that Lucius' employment goes back go the days of Thomas Wayne, and he also goes way back with Alfred. Presumably, this means Alfred can vouch for him and the fact that his loyalties ultimately lie with Bruce and Gotham's best interests, so his trustworthiness is airtight.

     Scarecrow's demonic voice 
  • Does Crane have a voice changer built inside his mask, or is the demon voice the effect of the gas?
    • Probably a little of both; he almost certainly has a voice changer in the mask to provoke the effect (especially since in his normal speaking voice he, well, sounds like a bit of a weenie), but the effect is likely magnified an unpleasant amount when you're tripping off his fear toxin.

     Rachel's hypocrisy about justice and revenge 
  • Rachel tells Bruce that revenge and justice are never the same, with the implication that she's so much more moral than him because she wants justice, not revenge. Except she spends most of the movie trying to put criminals in prison instead of an asylum, when they'd be just as imprisoned in Arkham as they would in an actual prison. Her goal should be to get criminals off the streets and rehabilitate them, but she straight-up says she doesn't care about rehabilitation when she tells Crane, "I do what I do to keep thugs like Falcone behind bars, not in therapy." Behind bars=being punished, not in therapy=not being rehabilitated. She just wants criminals to rot in prison, which isn't justice by any metric and sounds a hell of a lot like revenge.
    • Rachel is one of the most senior prosecutors in the city. She also has a strong suspicion that Crane's "therapy" is in fact anything but and actually just a means of keeping players like him who are complicit with Crane's crimes too traumatised to sing the truth about them. Crane is not a person to whom she is going to show her most reasonable and idealistic side to. It's likely she'd be more than happy to see certain unwell criminals sent to "hospitals who treat the mentally ill with compassion..." where they could potentially rehabilitate but only presuming they'd be treated under competent doctors. Conversely, as a hardened prosecutor she may believe that certain sane-yet-evil criminals do deserve life sentences, and in the middle, that other criminals can rehabilitate after a stretch behind bars.
    • "Justice" is not a synonym of "rehabilitation", and "revenge" is not a synonym of "punishment". Rachel defines this explicitly: "Justice is about harmony; Revenge is about your making yourself feel better". Her point was that Bruce was willing to kill Joe Chill in order to make himself feel better, without caring what consequences this would have for other people. If Joe can make a deal where he testifies against Falcone and gets a lighter sentence, then Falcone (potentially) goes to jail and a lot of crimes get prevented (since Falcone runs a criminal empire). But if Bruce kills Joe, then Joe never testifies and Falcone goes free and a lot of innocent people get hurt (in the long run). Rachel is saying that Bruce needs to look beyond his own pain; he has to do what's best for the city at large. Seen in that light, Rachel isn't a hypocrite at all. She throws criminals in jail in order to protect innocent people. She never puts her own desires above the needs of the city.
    • The Asylum is pretty transparently being used as a way of enabling criminals to avoid prosecution and prison time by feigning mental illness so that they can be "treated" by a corrupt psychologist. It is implicitly clear from the context of the situation that Rachel is not referring to therapy in the sense of it being a way of treating legitimate mental illness, but Crane's bullshit "therapy" wherein he lies about hired mob killers being mentally incapable of understanding their actions so that they get transferred to an asylum and thus avoid the jail time they rightfully have coming to them (presumably with the intention of being funnelled out back onto the streets after a token period of "therapy"). Even before we get into the whole "torturing people into insanity for his own sadistic amusement" angle, what Crane is doing is quite obviously — to the point of being visible from space — neither justice nor therapy. The specific example quoted is, far from being an example of hypocrisy, in fact a perfect illustration of this; regardless of your stance on mental illness as a criminal defence, throughout pretty much all of the movie Carmine Falcone is clearly not mentally impaired to the point where he cannot understand the consequences of his actions, nor does he struggle to identify reality (at least, before Crane actively drives him utterly catatonic, which Rachel is not aware of at the time she makes the statement — she clearly assumes he's just faking it, and not without reason). He is clearly not someone for whom the insanity defence is a reasonable or honest defence, and — again, prior to being driven mad by Crane — he rightfully belongs in a prison cell for his crimes, not a psychiatric ward. There is no hypocrisy here, and it's kind of disingenuous to suggest that there is.

     "Ra's al ghul" 
  • If the meaning of it is "head of the demon", wouldn't Henri Ducard have been a bit more careful not telling its meaning? It could've scared Bruce if he did a research.
    • He could've just handwaved it, like "Ra's is a demon in the eyes of his enemies" or something.