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Headscratchers pages are Spoilers Off. You Have Been Warned!


     About that tweest... 
  • Why exactly wouldn't Kevin know about his father dying in that train derailment? The event was pretty big news, and he even knew that his father was on that specific train.
    • He was a mentally disturbed child with an extremely abusive mother. It's likely that either she lied to him and didn't let him know that the train in question crashed (as a further means of isolating and controlling him), or that his other personalities blocked it from his mind or didn't acknowledge it as the Kevin personality was smothered.
    • It was several years before it was discovered that Elijah engineered the train crash on purpose. By the time it became public, Kevin might have been too far gone in his mental illness to have heard about it. He might have known that his father died in the train crash, but not that the crash was deliberate and certainly not that the guy he is helping right now was the mastermind behind it.

     Implausible chessmastering skill 
  • Are we meant to believe that Mister Glass predicted that derailing the train would result in Kevin being raised in an abusive household that would lead to his eventually becoming the Horde? I know he's smart, but that's a really big leap of logic for the guy.
    • No, and he doesn't ever say that. He just attributes it to fate. It's just that the whole point of causing that train crash was to find and create superhumans, and hey in a sense it worked twice. He didn't even know about Kevin's dad until he read Kevin's file, which is why he looked both shocked and thoughtful when he threw the file to the floor. Also, he actually does have implausible chessmastering skill. That is his superpower, which is why he's being treated, as a threat and a brainwashing target, by the Clover Group.
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     Significance of those comic books 
  • What was the deal with Casey reading the comic book with panels that matched scenes from Split? I guess it's supposed to reaffirm her conviction that the Beast was indeed some kind of supernatural being, but... really? After seeing it with your own eyes, the thing that convinced you for certain was seeing a comic book with a character that was slightly similar to the Beast?
    • I know, it was bizarre. In fact when I saw it I thought it backed up Staples' claim that it was all in their heads- as if the Horde actually read that specific comic and others like it and the Beast subconsciously drew inspiration for it. But apparently it proves he's more like a comic book after all.
    • Casey is a little late to the party but it's to reiterate. Elijah's theory is comic books were retelling of real events with added spectacle and merchandising. These stories are about people like Kevin, there is some truth to it behind the fiction.
    • Another possibility is that viewers may have missed is that it's, in fact, the Clover Group's doing. Think about it: Elijah believes that comic books tell a distorted history about superhumans. Who knew the truth about superhumans? The Clover Group. Why would they allow comic books to be released telling stories of superhumans? It's a cover story for the masses. It helps make the idea of superhumans seem impossible to everyone, reenforcing that there aren't any. What Casey was looking at could have been the Clover Group taking Kevin's story and releasing it as a comic, all jazzed up and such, so to make it seem that Kevin may have found the comic and had been acting out a fantasy in his deranged mind. Or even more importantly, make it seem that there'd be no way for Kevin's story to be true. They've been using comics to cover up the idea of superhumans existing, that the idea is too cartoonish to be plausible or even possible in the world. What they didn't expect was for those same comics to inspire Elijah to find them.

     Nebulous conspiracies 
  • What does Staple's group stand to gain by convincing super-powered individuals that they're merely delusional? Wouldn't it make more sense to exploit their powers for their own purposes?
    • A superhuman who's convinced they're delusional would presumably stop trying to be a superhuman and use their abilities, and simply resign to having a normal life. As we saw in Unbreakable, David's strength was limited by how much he THOUGHT he could lift and he was far stronger than he thought, so a superhuman doubting their powers would similarly be less super. From a pragmatic standpoint, it is a much simpler way of dealing with emerging superheroes which won't let them realize what's actually going on or leave a trail of bodies that unaffiliated investigators could follow.
  • The answer appears to be "they can't allow superheroes to exist because that would create super villains"; but that logic doesn't make any sense since David Dunn only became a hero in the first place because of a villain's machinations.
    • She talks about "maintaining balance" and "it's not fair to the rest of us". They seem to be operating on Beware the Superman, so a) they are worried that superhumans will overshadow and threaten normals, and b) when superheroes and supervillains fight then people get hurt. As to why they don't exploit them for their own gains, it's because they are not that sort of nebulous conspiracy; they aren't trying to achieve world domination or anything like that, but instead they are more Lawful Neutral Well-Intentioned Extremist sorts who view them as a threat. The default for their organisation seems to be to kill these people, and the whole point of trying to convince them that they are delusional is just Staple trying to show them a kind of merciful alternative- if they buy it, they'll agree to be quietly locked up / live normal lives, and they don't have to be executed for the good of the human race.
    • The conspiracy has two goals: to convince the public that superpowers are fiction so that as far as everyone is concerned, its impossible, and thus functions essentially as a mental block (like we see David struggle with in Unbreakable). The second is to kill (or in this case, gaslight them) already emerged heroes to both uphold the masquerade and minimize the damage they could cause to ordinary humans.

     Nebulous conspiracies slacking off 
  • It seems odd from the start that Dr. Staple tracks down David and Kevin just as they're fighting, which in retrospect is obviously foreshadowing that she's part of a larger organization with lots of resources, dedicated to tracking down supers. But it still seems a bit odd that they couldn't have apprehended either of them before the fight. Why didn't they just grab Kevin? He could have killed those cheerleaders before David tracked him down. What would they have done then? Is it worth waiting to nab them both at once when civilian lives are in danger? If they're that good at tracking them, they can just nab David next time he beats up a couple of YouTube jock pranksters.
    • Heck, for that matter why did it take them 19 freaking years to do it?
      • Well, Kevin himself wasn't active for 19 whole years, and David probably covered his tracks along with perhaps not being obviously a superhuman- he could have just been a regular vigilante man. It's also implied that the police were getting more serious about him and the rise of the surveillance state all made him easier to track.
      • The issue with this is that this conspiracy is apparently so good at their job that no superhuman has slipped through the cracks for 10,000 years. Which implies they're that good...and yet a superhuman who they have the nemesis of in their custody manages to allude them for 19 years. It feels laughably unlikely.
      • According to the film, towards the end, she says they were fine ignoring David as long as it was just him. It wasn't until Kevin popped up as his "opposite" (which according to her is inevitable as a superhero will ALWAYS spawn a supervillain opposite) that they took action.
      • The conspiracy's main goal is to conceal the existence of people with superpowers. From what is seen and said during the film, for past 19 years David has contented himself with going after petty crooks and hasn't done anything that a regular Badass Normal vigilante couldn't have done. So he was no danger to the Masquerade. It was only by going after another super that he would have to use his superpowers to the fullest and thus become a problem to the conspiracy.
    • I guess we're just meant to believe that they honestly didn't know where Kevin was until David tracked him down. Possibly they knew about David but recognized that he was also looking for the Horde so decided to wait to see if he could find him / them. They might have only found out who David was fairly recently, and if they knew about Kevin it didn't matter because he was in hiding and genuinely harder to find.
      • But that doesn't make a lick of sense; David only found out Kevin's location by complete chance perhaps half an hour before he actually arrived there. Did they have someone following him from a distance of a hundred yards for 19 years on the off-chance he happened to encounter another of his kind?
      • It wasn't complete chance- he was in that area because his son thought that's where Kevin might be. It was implied that the police at least were indeed looking for David more thoroughly as his son mentions it and David notices an increased police presence in the area of his walks. They weren't tailing him for 19 years; they knew about the Horde as it was public knowledge by that point and if they realised that he was looking for him (which they seem to think is inevitable) then they only need to follow him for, well, however long this film is meant to be set after Split.
    • To put it simply: they didn't need to, because look at what happened to Elijah. They came and snapped his ass up the second he made it on their radar. They didn't find him immediately because all his disasters were designed to look like accidents, but Staple knows exactly who David and Kevin are from the get. The Clover Group doesn't have any real need to bother with Kevin and David because they never escalated beyond world-class human ability. She even discusses their escalation, and implies that her three-day deadline to get the three of them "rehabilitated" (ie, gaslighted) has something to do with the judicial system, but no, it's the three days she's being given to humanely neutralize them before they escalate to the point that they have to be put down like animals. Staple doesn't want to kill them, she wants them to stop being dangerous, but since heroes and villains naturally exist in balance, the stronger their conflict, the stronger their powers.

     Nebulous conspiracies meeting at Olive Garden 
  • For that matter, the group having meetings in crowded restaurants and simply waiting for all non-members to leave before discussing business seems really stupid. Why don't they just have an office building? Or meet in an office at Raven Hill?
    • It allows them to meet anywhere and not leave a trail. People are going to notice a large amount of people from various backgrounds meeting in one location. So make it a public venue.
  • What if there are always non-members entering the restaurant? Does that mean the restaurant owners are part of the Clover?
    • Considering how long they've been operating, probably. "This restaurant will be closed for a private event, etc."
  • Yeah, and what if they miss someone who's in the bathroom? Or somebody happens to look in and see someone they know at these meetings? They don't even book a private room, something a lot of restaurants will let you do and which wouldn't raise too much suspicion from anyone. Especially since they probably have a front organization that can confirm Dr. Staple's credentials to the Philly PD.
    • The places where the Clover Group are meeting aren't chain restaurants, they're small, cramped local places with extremely limited seating, probably owned and operated by members of the group. All they have to do is trickle in like regular customers and then refuse to leave until the building is full of members (who are easily identifiable because they all have the same tattoo, so all they have to do is check the bathroom and wait until it's empty) and then they can turn anyone else away at the door citing maximum occupancy limits.
  • Besides all the "vast conspiracy handwaves" pointed out above, there's also a thematic explanation: the group's shtick is that they fight for regular people and for the status quo, so they naturally meet in regular places that represent the status quo.

     Contrived coincidences 
  • How did Glass' mother, David's son, and Casey all arrive at Raven Hill at the same time during the climax? This is before they're supposed to have met.
    • Fate has been a big part of this trilogy. Something wants all the players in one place.
    • Part of it may have been Elijah timing his escape attempt to the rough hour his mother came to visit him.
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     Be with you in a minute, innocent civilians 
  • Why does David spend so much time sealing the guards in that cargo container during his fight with the Beast? In the time it took him to bend that bar, the Beast focused on attacking someone else.
    • Guess because they might not have let him get to Kevin if they got out again.
    • Another concern here: how do they get back out? It's not apparent that anyone other than they and David knew where they were.
      • Security cameras captured David pushing the guards in and bending the bar, undoubtedly someone saw the footage and released them.
      • Banging on the inside of a cargo container can make a lot of noise. There were plenty of people around, so someone would hear that and remove the bar.

    '10, 000 years'? 
  • So apparently this secret society managed to suppress superhumans world wide for 10,000 years. How? That would put their formation back in 8,000 BC. When most of the world's civilizations hadn't even made contact with one another. Even barring that, let's remember a modern blade snapped on the Beast's skin and he shrugged off a point blank shotgun blast, and he and David are both capable of curbstomping entire groups of normal people with modern equipment. What exactly existed in that time period that could've even used that was capable of killing someone that powerful?
    • Maybe they were just a lot less successful back then; after all, the earliest legends of demigods and heroes had to come from somewhere, so they can't always have had a 100% success rate.
    • Then how did they get a 100% success rate they're implied to have now? Logic dictates there'd be major figures in places they couldn't possibly reach who were supers or supers that were simply beyond their ability to kill with what they had. Heck, I honestly seriously question their ability to kill David like that did given how strong he actually is, and that's with modern weapons. And yes, they exploited his weakness, but realistically how they killed him would've caused him to struggle harder and stronger due to adrenaline. It really shouldn't have worked at all. His weakness is 'can't swim' not 'loses his powers if so much as touching water'. Drowning him in a puddle really shouldn't have worked.
      • It's heavily implied that his weakness really is that he loses his powers when touching water; he still wears a rainproof coat 2 decades on, for one, and everyone else talks to him as though (if nothing else) David himself believes water, not lack-if-swimming-lessons, is his weakness. There may be a proportional response in play here, but given he had just been immersed for about a minute while fighting a supervillain, leaving him completely soaked and coughing up water, this at least seems entirely acceptable.
      • Having relooked at things, the film pretty much completely disproves this idea: David punches his way out while the Beast is trying to drown him with his bare hands. Which he couldn't have done if that was the case.
      • That's only if we assume that it's a binary thing: he has powers when dry, loses them when wet. Maybe water drains his strength gradually. Maybe he used his last reserves breaking through. Maybe the script was just weak. Ultimately, we never get the Definitive Rules Of David's Powers. We do get someone who apparently has super strength unable to push off someone drowning him in a puddle.
      • Except that's more how Kevin's power works than David's. David's powers are innate to him on a biological level to a degree that he had them without even knowing, Kevin's powers are reliant on his personality's beliefs. It makes no sense for David's power to psychologically stop working, since unlike Kevin's his powers aren't reliant on what he himself believes. However, there's still a gaping hole in their thought process even if water negates David's powers: what exactly was the plan if Kevin hadn't gotten thrown into the light and not near drowned David in their fight? Entire SWAT Teams can't take down either of them. Their ability to kill them both is entirely dependent on a situation they had zero control over. Thus even if you read it that way, they only managed to succeed in killing both of them through sheer dumb luck than any actual competence on their part despite being implied to be hyper competent at this. If the two had fought at the tower away from water for example, exactly what was the plan?
      • David and Kevin are only able to throw the SWAT teams around as much as they are because the teams in question barely use any firearms until at least one of them's already dead. The Beast isn't fully bulletproof, just very resistant; Death of a Thousand Cuts and headshots could do the trick, and that's not even getting into grenades and missiles.
      • What "logic" are you saying is "dictating" the outcome here? The entire premise of superhumans being a mythologized reality is based on the idea that a real superhuman requires two things to activate their superhuman abilities: motivation, and belief in that ability, and the symbolism of the clover tattoo is that the common is capable of overwhelming the rare by sheer numbers. There's no such thing as a superhuman who "couldn't possibly be reached" because they depend on the commonality of normal humans to define them. The only way for a superhuman to be completely unreachable by humanity is if he, and his counterpart hero or villain, literally left the planet and never returned. Which is technically possible, but it still does the Clover Group's dirty work for them. The trilogy even establishes that superhumans aren't aware of their powers until their counterpart pushes them beyond ordinary human limits, and they aren't aware of their weaknesses until the first time they're stricken by them. David is able to fight The Beast in a tank of water because the escalation of his powers in confronting the Beast is enough to overwhelm the draining of his super-strength, but he can be drowned in a puddle by a normal human because the normal human isn't giving him escalated powers that allow him to overcome having his strength drained by water.
    • Except, the premise falls apart with 10,000 years because there would be a lot of people with motivation to fight and develop superhuman powers back when humans were tribalistic, had motivations to fight each other, and were pretty superstitious. Lots of people would be believing in superhuman/magic abilities, find the motivation to keep fighting, and would be finding someone they consider their counterpart on ancient battlefields. Also, the idea that "The only way for a superhuman to be completely unreachable by humanity is if he, and his counterpart hero or villain, literally left the planet and never returned" is not necessarily true. There are plenty of 'untouchable' people who can't be hurt because they are literally/metaphorically worshiped as gods and have devotees that would do anything to stop you from getting to their leader (like North Korea), and that is in the modern world of 2020! Back in ancient times, people with that kind of power would have cults dedicated to them that wouldn't be easy to take out. These individuals would also have the motivation and belief necessary to develop their power if they lived in a religious society with constant warfare as the norm (which includes many, many ancient civilizations); and while in theory you could take them out with enough resources, you would probably have a civilization of strong believers, whatever offspring the superhuman created, and some very angry people constantly on your tail for killing 'their' strongest warrior or smartest strategist.
    • Honestly, I didn't take '10000 years' to be a reference to the existence of the secret society, but rather, a *very* vague reference to the existence of human civilization in some kind of recognizable form. They were talking about how ordinary humans have had it 'their way' for so long and how the existance of superhuman risks the dominance of 'normal' human civilization. The secret society itself might only have existed for a few centuries, for all we know - though it may have been born of more scattered opposition to the emergence of superhumans all through the history of civilization.
      • The implication is that all the classical myths are a result of superhumans, maybe at the beginning, superhumans were just the peak what a human can do, most myths about heroes, the hero is maybe abit stronger or faster than a regular guy, but in general are very very mortal,and as centuries went by they got better and stronger, they adapted because the Clover kept attacking them and judging by David maybe some of them never realize what they are and live normal, mundane lives, maybe heroes and villains only rise if one does so, remember David only began heroism after Glass put in the effort to effectivly "make" David, if that train crash had not happened, David would of been a boring salesman with a falling apart marriage.

     You guys really need a reality check 
  • Staple's group operates under the assumption that the world works like a comic book, particularly that the presence of a superhero will result in the birth of a supervillain. Absolutely nothing we see corroborates this premise, not remotely. David has been doing hero work for nearly two decades and the only villain we know he's encountered was operating well before he started. The Horde's origin doesn't involved David at all and his presence nearly ended the threat the Horde posed. If there are other supervillains out there rising up to challenge other secret heroes, it's worth noting that they don't appear to have impacted the state of the world to any significant degree. With that in mind, why is it in any way necessary to stop heroic supers alongside villainous ones?
    • Beware the Superman is in full effect here. Also, what happens if, say, David loses someone close to him and snaps? What if he has a moral breakdown and decides to start killing people? He'd be damn near unstoppable. The conspiracy guys don't think its worth the risk; better there be NO superheroes.
      • Point taken, but two quick little caveats: 1) David "would" be damn near unstoppable if not for the fact that he has a fairly Weaksauce Weakness. As does the Beast, come to that. Plus, if you get imaginative there are some fairly obvious ways to kill someone who "only" has indestructible skin. 2) The Beast is an example of a superhuman who's been very deliberately attempting to wreak havoc on the populace, but so far he hasn't really done more damage than a lot of non-powered serial killers or organized crime figures.
    • Well, the organization *has* apparently killed/neutralized numerous other superhumans, so for all we know, there *have* been many cases where Superhero Paradox has been in effect. Maybe there have been 'superheroes' who discovered the existence of 'supervillains', or vice versa, and have sought them out and fought their evil counterparts, and the resultant collateral damage resulted in civilian casualties until the organization intervened and took out both combatants. Perhaps they assumed that David Dunn vs. the Horde was a similar case. Let's not forget that David *was* actively hunting the Horde. Maybe they believed that the resultant conflict would make the Horde an even bigger and more public threat that would cause even more damage - similar to previous cases of hero vs. villain fights.

     You are a poor scientist 
  • Glass' theory, and the premise of this entire world is that comic books are a continuation of recordings that prove the existence of real super-powered individuals. Sorry, what? One, comic books predate the superhero genre. Are we supposed to believe there's also a hidden society of cartoon animals in this world? Two, Glass points out that Superman's feats of strength and costume were probably inspired by circus performers, who often have unusual but hardly superhuman strength; it seems like Glass' "comics are real" theory is totally unsubstantiated. How did he even arrive at the conclusion that he'd find an indestructible guy if he derailed enough trains?
    • Comic books coined the term superhero, but the concept of extraordinary people has existed for centuries. They were just called heroes and are now known as myths and legends. Hercules, Achilles, Gilgamesh, Beowulf. To Glass, comic books would be a continuation of those recordings. Every culture has stories of people like this. In reality, the tales are more examples to act as lessons on how to act. We don't need to experience bravery to understand it in the stories of others. Glass is taking those stories literally.
      • In his defense, in the universe of these movies, taking those stories literally seems to be the most accurate approach. There really have been superpowered people for millennia, and with that in mind those mythologies really were based on real people.
      • He's not wrong; the entire trilogy of movies openly run on comic book logic. He exploits it via his Genre Savvy nature.
      • Do they, though? The premise that a hero will always produce a villain isn't really substantiated in the films. David was inspired by a villain, and spent 20 years in the game before he found another (who turned out to have been produced by the same villain). Not to mention that we already know the reason heroes produce villains in the comics; it's mostly a modern creation intended as a way to keep the property going.
      • She never says it has to be a hero that produces a villain, only that whenever one appears, another will eventually appear in opposition. Elijah predates both David and Kevin, but David and Kevin are foils to each other. Elijah (the isolated, fragile, singularly unique one man) is the foil to the Clover Group (innumerable, irrepressible, overwhelming, but mediocre masses), that's what Staple is screaming about in the hallway. He died, but he died victorious, and part of her realization is that her group has always belonged to the hierarchy they've finally failed to crush.
    • So again he believes that comic books are another in the long line of retelling. He doesn't mean that Spider-man is real but some of the tropes in comic books are based on real events.As said, folklore and myths are full of people do extraordinary acts. The colorful costumes didn't come out of thin air, they were based on real costumes. Also some of those circus folk may have been like the people we see in this movie. This is also a bit for the Fringe section but couldn't a certain secret group use things like comics to discredit the real stories?
    • They can, and it's implied that they do, like with the comic book version of The Horde's origin. People didn't really find this to be a satisfying movie for a lot of reasons, but the rules of its comic-book-logic universe are pretty consistent.

     Dr Staples clearly believes 
  • First of all, you throw two supposed superhumans into cells with concrete walls, ceiling, and floors, and a giant metal door. Then you unveil their special super-weakness based defenses. If Dr Staples really didn't want to admit that she knew they were real supers, she shouldn't have added anything beyond the cells (which would have been enough to contain any normal human).
    • Big metal doors are kind of a standard fixture of psych wards, in fiction at least. It's the kind of thing most people would expect to see, so presumably David wouldn't have found it too odd.
    • She doesn't believe, she knows. Those defenses are put in place because she needs them to be there, but she takes the time to explain them because she needs her "patients" to believe that those defenses only work because they believe they will. The entire point of the "treatment" is that a superhero can be convinced that he's normal and lose his powers; for Staple, they're a safeguard and a means of controlling them, but they're also a litmus test for how well the brainwashing works. If they lose their powers, they'll lose their weaknesses, so as far as Staple is concerned, if the three of them can leave under their own power, it's because they don't need to be contained.
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     Do they only go after supers? 
  • Would Badass Normal heroes and tech based criminals be safe? What happens if a Batman type vigilante show up one day? Would the secret society leave them alone?
    • It can be inferred from the fact that they left David alone for decades until he started getting involved in a situation that would reveal his powers, that the conspiracy doesn't care about vigilantism in general, only the superpowered variety.
    • Glass' powers only barely count as superhuman and they got him, seemingly not simply because he's smart but because he willfully acts the part of a comic book villain.
      • Worth noting, his goal is also to blow the conspiracy open. Another incentive to stop him.
      • It is implied that Mr. Glass power isn't just super intelligence, he is a superhuman savant, the perfect opposite of David, weak, unable to even throw a punch, but able to think caculate and plan to such a degree that he coordinated hundreds of terror attacks to find someone like David or Kevin, basically Mr. Glass' power is to have an almost perfect understanding of whatever he puts his mind too, Unbreakable and the end of this film.

     A happy ending, but... 
  • Could Elijah's video evidence really be enough to convince people worldwide that super heroes exist? In today's time, videos can be faked and altered with a simple sony vegas software. It's nice to see Dr. Staples getting her comeuppance, but she could easily convince the public the videos are a hoax created by an angry former patient and a few actors.
    • Maybe everyone wouldn't suddenly believe that superhumans exist. But the videos, coupled with several news stories about the Horde and possibly years of media coverage about 'the Overseer' and Mr. Glass, would convince a lot of people that there's *some* truth in it. The media will be all over the incident. The authorities will definitely take a closer look at the incident, and investigations might expose the role of Dr. Staples and other members of her cabal. Its also possible that other superhumans who were in hiding might be emboldened to make their own existence public. So bottom line, it might take a while, but eventually the truth *is* going to come out, one way or another...
      • Not only that, the footage ends with The Overseer, Mr. Glass and The Horde all dying. In combination with the reports of the Overseer, Mr. Glass and the Horde from the past few years, which everyone knows as actual people, then it's gonna be hard to sweep their deaths under the rug like the Clover Group has done before in the past (and how they almost did this time). Even if Dr. Staples could explain that the footage of the fight is faked, she can't explain away that the deaths of three people whose deaths are clearly seen in it. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if the Clover Group didn't end up throwing her under the bus for those deaths in order to avoid being found out.
      • There's already people that believe in them; at the beginning we see The Beast recruiting a group of homeless to start a revolution of "the Broken", and as Elijah digs up, David has multiple fan groups that track the Overseer and honestly believe in his powers.
    • It only has to convince all the other secret supers out there.
      • This makes some degree of sense: the society might be able to kill one or two supers, but if all of them know they exist and come at them at once, it's very unlikely to end well for them.
      • It's worth pointing out the film ends with a tv screen that of a newsman reporting the case (implying the major news picked up the scent of the story) and, in a blink it and you miss it bit of info, the news report talks about a mass breakout of mental patients from Raven Hill. Earlier in the film, Staple's first comment to the security is to not let the patients of Raven Hill see The Overseer and The Beast duking it out, which raises the implication some of them might also be supers gaslighted into believing they're mentally ill and the fight would break their spell. During the climax some of them are actually seen watching the battle, and after the climax we see Staple reiterating her gaslighting techniques and asking them all to just let bygones be bygones. The end with the (seemingly inexplicable) mass breakout would confirm that some of them were supers and Staple's efforts were in vain, for they were inspired by the fight of Overseer and Beast in a sort of lowkey Mass Super-Empowering Event and broke out of the prison. The Clover Leaf conspiracy is already screwed.

     Is Elijah a superhero in this story? 
  • Now, don't get me wrong, I understand that he's a supervillain. You can't kill thousands of people in a plane crash, a hotel fire, a train crash and several other horrible things seen briefly mentioned on the wall of his office at the end of Unbreakable. I don't deny that. But since he had pulled off one hell of a play that ended up exposing the Clover Group, does Elijah technically count as a superhero in this story? I mean, the Clover Group spent centuries hiding the fact that superhumans exist, which probably included killing a hell of a lot of them, both good and bad (as we see David's end in this film). Does a supervillain who fights against a super conspiracy group that has probably killed thousands, or even millions of superhumans over the centuries, and successfully defeat them count as a superhero for this particular story?
    • Depends on your morality, I suppose. In my opinion, no. He only does so for his own selfish reasons. He has to prove to the world that superheroes exist so he can validate himself.
    • He is, actually. That doesn't make him a hero in the moral sense, but he does oppose the Greater-Scope Villain that the Clover Group represents and he's the protagonist of the story. Yes, his motivations are inherently selfish, but his speech at the end of the movie outlines his character development. He started out wanting nothing more than self-validation, but once he had it, he wanted to share that validation with others who would never have it any other way. Validation giving rise to belief, and belief defining reality, is a major theme in these movies, a lot of the worst actions people take are actually desperate acts of validation because validation is a precursor to true confidence and the ability to believe in oneself because you can't take yourself on faith alone:
      • Elijah orchestrates disasters in order to prove that he's a supervillain. Once he confirms his belief, he moves onto proving to other superhumans that they are real. That's why he's so obsessed with being someone who makes superheroes, it validates not only his status as a superhuman, but his role in the lives of others. He lived in near-total isolation, but becoming the driving force in the heroes' stories gives him meaningful connections to others.
      • Joseph in Unbreakable pulls a gun on his own dad to prove that his dad is a superhero. He's so desperate to validate his belief in his dad's strength that he may very well have threatened his life, but the second that David gives him that nod, he gets the validation he needed, and he goes on to be the Alfred to David's Batman.
      • Casey's struggle with her uncle is validated by the Beast, who spares her as one of the Broken, and by the Horde, because her experiences with her uncle taught her how to survive abuse. No, it's not a good thing that her uncle abused her, but it did give her a unique skillset that made her capable of incredible compassion. Likewise...
      • ...she validates Kevin's entire sense of self. Kevin's many identities all share the same singular goal of protecting Kevin from the dangerous world outside his own head. She validates his belief in himself, in the world around him, and that makes him able to hold onto the light to the very end.
      • David struggles with responsibility of being a superhero. Once he realizes his power, then he has to make the choice to use it. Rather than an individual character or a singular event, David's validation comes from overcoming physical obstacles, proving himself, to himself. When Elijah tells him to get through that door, that's what he's talking about: rather than dumping out all the pudding to expose the proof the way Elijah did, so to speak, David has to find his limit and then break it to prove that the limit doesn't exist. Doing that validates him as a superhero in his own mind.
      • And then there's Ms. Price. She's unique in the cast because she already has that validation, she's had it since the moment she bought that first comic book. She never quite goes through that trial because, as the mother of a supervillain, she already knows that she did the right thing by supporting him unconditionally. The motherly way she holds Casey's and Joseph's hands when waiting for the David vs. Beast footage to drop illustrates it; the validation of her support of Elijah during his life gives her the confidence to keep supporting him after his death.

     You killed them, but allow the families and friends to live? 
  • Dr. Staple allowed Elijah's mom, Cassie, and David's son to walk away from the courtyard?! This secret society is so worried about people finding out about supers, I'm surprised they didn't hire mercenaries to kill them in their homes. Maybe this is a case of Even Evil Has Standards even though they don't see themselves as bad guys.
    • Killing three mental patients, two of which are known dangerous mass murderers, and who are in the process of escaping, is one thing that can easily be explained away and hidden. Killing three mental patients plus their families/friends is a totally different story.
    • Why would they kill the friends and family? The organization is there to protect the common man against superhumans and those three are the common man. They're an antagonistic group for sure, but Staple is heavily dedicated to making the superheroes doubt themselves into becoming ordinary people because it's the most humane way to neutralize them, they don't get violent until it's clear that they've escalated beyond the Group's ability to contain them. Killing Joseph, Casey and Ms. Price might have been worth it for the silence, but their whole bag is discrediting and invalidating people who realize the truth and tell it. If Elijah hadn't already done the heavy lifting for them, they'd never be able to do any more damage than Reddit does.
  • Staple's whole thing also seems to be minimizing the loss of life of the cover-up. Killing them all would run directly counter to that.
    • But drowning a downed non-resisting man in a puddle in full view of dozens of cameras AND in front of everyone in that courtyard keeps things low-key? The Beast getting shot can be explained away, but David?

     Is she even a real psychologist? 
  • Is she a clover member pretending to be a psychologist?
    • She might be, as she was able to bring doubt to the Horde and David about their abilities. David's been active for 19 years, and she got him to doubt in his abilities. The Horde had been active for a much shorter time, but she even made them doubt the Beast's abilities. If she isn't then she certainly has a talent for making supers doubt themselves.

     Are they all Irish or something? 
  • 'Cause, y'know, a whole bunch of people with shamrock tattoos—that's the first place my mind went when I saw it in the film.
    • It's a common clover, not a shamrock. In fact, the reality that it isn't a shamrock (otherwise known as a four-leafed clover) is literally the reason why they use that as their symbol. The four-leaf clover/shamrock is rare form of clover, so anyone who finds one is considered lucky (hence, the "luck of the Irish") unlike most people, with their common three leaf clovers. The Clover Group conspiracy want to believe that they represent normal people everywhere who weren't "lucky" enough to have superpowers. So they adopted the common as muck three leaf clover as a small tattoo to easily identify themselves as part of the conspiracy. Of course, having identical tattoos for your secret society is a terrible idea, but the choice of symbol is a meaningful one.

     Not his usual MO 
  • I thought the previous movie established that the Beast's usual targets were anyone who hasn't experienced suffering. How do we reconcile that with him attacking homeless people he just... bumps into? Surely they would be more likely than the average person to have experienced suffering.
    • Doesn't actually show them being killed though. In fact, the beast says that he is like them, before it cuts to the next scene. The film mentions several groups of girls getting killed, but no mention of homeless casualties - it is possible the homeless/disabled were being spared, precisely because they were pure to the beast
    • Hedwig actually explains in some detail (to the kidnapped cheerleaders in the very first plan) what's the Beast's gameplan with the homeless people is. According to Hedwig, The Beast is going to show himself to the "masses of the broken" in an attempt to spread his ideology and show the world how right it is. He's trying to gather followers, and the "masses of the broken" is a fancy way of referring to the homeless, people broken by society.

     Did David need to take down a couple of youtube pranksters 
  • Why waste his time on those clowns? Those kids were stupid enough to record their crimes and upload the videos to Youtube. It wouldn't be long before a bunch of Youtubers call the police on them. The cops could easily track their IP address and arrest them. There are far more serious crimes out there.
    • They are punching out random people and knocking them unconscious- that's quite a bit more serious than just a "prank"; their victims could be seriously injured or even killed. They are a couple of attention seeking psychopaths committing violent crime for fun and views. This IS a serious crime and the more they've done it, the longer they would be locked away. As to the YouTube thing, I don't think it's shown that this is where they uploaded it- it could have been on the dark web for instance- but even if it was there are tricks to hide your IP address, which evidently they use since the police clearly have not arrested them. If Batman or Superman or any other superhero saw what they did, they would be just as determined to bring them down.
    • Because he's not wasting time, he's saving time for the cops. The "pranksters" in the movie are filming at night, while disguised, and attacking a random stranger. The amount of work the police would have to do in order to identify and find everyone involved (particularly the victim, who the pranksters didn't even know) and prove their involvement beyond reasonable doubt would take a lot of time, effort, and money. This is a universe that openly and canonically runs on tropes, that setup pretty much guarantees that those assholes would skate on a technicality— and that's only if the police decided to investigate at all, which they might not, without a complaining victim to confirm a crime was actually committed! David is already avoiding the police as much as possible, so sticking to petty criminals who deserve a righteous ass-beating but are likely to get away with their crimes really is the best use of his time.

     Why kill the force for good? 
  • So at the end one of the Clover Group forces David/the Overseer, to a pothole filled with water and then drowns him, then it is shown that they were going to do a clean sweep of the hospital to erase the fight between the Beast and Overseer, by all accounts David is NOT a Superman type hero, he is The Cowl, as far as they are aware he is strong enough to take on something as powerful as the Beast, and he doesn't want the limelight, one the Beast was down they could of clued him in on their group and simply told him to keep it to Urban Myth levels, and they would give him a call if another villain showed up, job done and a relatively good man wouldn't have had to die, remember David rose nearl 20 years before the Beast ever did, what if next time it happens the other way? a superhuman villain rises and guess what? they drowned the only person capable of fighting him in a damned pothole and the next person who can take the next villain on is like a 10 year old at the time, and what if the next villains only real "weakness" is something like, say, an allergy to a rare flower that only grows on the other side of the world, or something like that? They try and justify it by saying some nonsense about keeping godlike people trying to rule the world, when its clear David wanted to live his life and maybe save a few people, kill the Beast? sure fine and dandy, he was nuts, but David made no sense, especially seeing as the courtyard was of obstructions so his kid probably did see the asshole drowning his dad.
    • Did you not watch the movie or something? They kill superhumans, heroes and villains alike, because they always appear in pairs and their battle escalates until the collateral damage is too much. Going by the rules of this universe, keeping David around is what brought about the Horde; if David defeated the Horde, then another, bigger villain would come along to oppose him, and another and another, always getting worse and causing bigger problems. Heroes summon villains just as much as villains summon heroes, the only way to keep them from destroying everything is to kill them both before they get the chance.

     So, how exactly is Mr. Glass a Super? 
  • His superhuman frailty is unusual but hardly a superpower. This film indicates that he believes his power is his intellect, but we never see him do anything superhumanly smart or even that outdoes highly-intelligent Badass Normal characters like Light Yagami, L, or Jigsaw. Not a problem in the first film, where he's similar to The Joker or Lex Luthor, non-powered characters whose intellect is a threat to the hero. But the Ancient Conspiracy in this film considers him a super, and no-one questions whether his stated powers would be super, only whether or not he has them. So...what powers? And if being physically frail and incredibly clever is a superpower, did the conspiracy long ago hunt down and take out Stephen Hawking?
    • Considering how he seems to know everything that's going on and outsmarted Dr. Staple, he might be.

     The most incompetent asylum in existence? 
  • Why would they only have one person on shift when they need to enter the patients rooms that they know are capable of easily killing people? Why doesn't anyone actually look at the hundreds of cameras, or at least monitor their cells? Why doesn't the wrangler raise alarm after seeing his coworker has been shanked? Does the security guard not know the faces of two of the three people he's supposed to be guarding in that section? I mean they are fully aware of what they're dealing with, did all the Olive Garden conspiracy meetings drain the budget so much they couldn't hire a single competent person?
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