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Headscratchers / The Professional

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    The Marilyn Monroe outfit 
  • How did Matilda find a full Marilyn Monroe outfit in Leon's cupboard?
    • Maybe it was one of his girlfriend's outfits?
    • He says he never had a girlfriend after his first one got murdered.
    • He could have kept the wardrobe.
    • Seriously? It´s a white dress with a drawn beautymark, she coulda bought that anywhere out of some reason. Maybe as a disguise?
    • If you watch closely you'll see in an earlier scene (the montage just after the jogger in the park scene and before the dress up game) Matilda is unpacking a shopping bag full of clothes including the black bra used in the Madonna outfit and if you look closely a white outfit is just peeking out of the bag
    • The "shopping bag" seems to be the parcel that Mathilda is carrying even earlier, right after they hastily leave Léon's first apartment. Where did this parcel come from?

    The Mickey Mouse shit 
  • It seems unlikely the NYPD would just accept the deaths of an entire family without some better excuses.
    • Stansfield seems pretty high up and well-connected.
      • We never see the results of the NYPD investigation, The time length of the film is probably only a couple of weeks. The two detectives only appear in one scene and seem incredulous at Stansfield's explanation. So it would probably take a while. Can the NYPD even investigate federal units?
      • Stansfield didn't have time for this Mickey Mouse shit. Him having to deal with the legal/professional consequences of his crimes isn't really the focus of the story, but throwing in a scene where he's explaining the incident to a couple of IA guys (or failing to) is the film's way of at least addressing/deflecting that question. From this we can infer that there was at least suspicion against him, and an investigation going on into the incident. You really don't need much more than that, and to dwell on it further would just get in the way of the main storyline.
        But for the sake of argument, maybe Stansfield wouldn't have gotten away with it. I'd be willing to bet the investigation for an incident like that would take months as the other poster said. Given his violent tendencies and what a bad apple he was, I could argue that Stansfield was probably already under suspicion even before he murdered Mathilda's family, and the Feds and NYPD were already working together to build a bigger case against him. Unfortunately (or fortunately, perhaps) he went kablooey before he had to face any legal consequences.
      • Maybe powerful people protect him, either because they care more about the statistics of him regularly exposing other criminals (his enemies), or because they are Dirty Cops themselves.

    Stansfield's pills 
  • What are those pills Stansfield takes?
    • Maybe it's one of those types of pills like the guys in the North Hollywood shootout utilized - phenobarbital.
    • Uppers of some sort, given how manic he gets after taking them.
    • IMDB Trivia say it's Librium.

    Stansfield recognizes Leon, who he's never met face to face? 
  • How could Stansfield recognize Léon when he was escaping as an ESU member? Did he ever get a good look at Léon? How did he know it was him?
    • He got the information from Leon's boss. Stansfield peeking as the ESU medic checks on an unmasked Leon is a pretty big clue.
    • Léon and Stansfield face each other for a brief moment in the beginning of the movie while Stansfield has headphones on, and Léon has sunglasses on. It is not clear whether Stansfield sees Léon at that point. When Stansfield sees Léon later in ESU gear without the mask, possibly Stansfield realizes that he saw Léon "somewhere", or even recalls where. Anyway, Stansfield also knows that Léon is an "Italian type", and possibly more. Seeing someone wounded in ESU gear try to sneak off alone (against the protocol) is reason enough for the rampant Stansfield to shoot. Maybe Stansfield also uses his "sixth sense" that Malky mentions.

    Mathilda and CPS 
  • Mathilda spends several months with Léon. During that time, she is not far from her home, and not in hiding. Throughout that time, nobody seems to be looking for her. First of all, either the police or the CPS (Child Protective Services) or both would have been made aware that there is a missing child in that family, and would be making efforts to find her. Secondly, a family in which 4 people were gunned down in their apartment would have been major headline news. There would have been photos of all the family members — including Mathilda's. And the articles would have stated that she is missing and that anyone who has seen her should contact authorities. So Mathilda in reality should have been spotted within days of the murders, right?
    • This is a wildly optimistic view of the news, "Drug dealer's family killed in gang-related violence." These kind of incidents happen all the time where the families get caught up in the violence and nobody cares because they're perceived as tainted by association. Mathhilda would assume to have run away and joined the ranks of the many runaways on the streets of New York both then and now.

    How does Leon avoid appearing on police radar? 
  • How many people has Leon killed as a hitman? In the movie alone, we see him take out about 20 people in roughly a 6-month period. And Tony tells us that he missed out on some other nice contracts. So Leon has been murdering dozens of people every year in New York City for decades. And absolutely nobody knows anything whatsoever about who he is? Not the NYPD? Not the media? Not the FBI?
    • Leon is that awesome, the media has other things to cover other than a "small fish" like Leon, the police have other things to worry about and the DEA is corrupt and holding back the other federal authorities. The big apple was rotten in this movie.
    • As I recall, when Stansfield confronts Tony, he calls Leon "the Italian Lion." Leon is apparently some sort of underworld legend, and Stansfield has heard of him, as well as knows that Tony is connected to him.
      • Stansfield says "Italian type" and "Italian hitman", not "lion". Also note that some of Stansfield's knowledge might have criminal-world rather than official sources.

    The commandos in the finale shootout 
  • Were those supposed to be NYPD ESU officers or DEA guys under Stansfield's command? I mean, I noticed a few things worth considering before assuming that the hit squad entering the apartment with guns drawn, the men with guns drawn in the hall, and the snipers firing through the windows with no target in sight despite the presence of a child, were NYPD:
    • 1. They alone knew who was sharing the apartment, and what Mathilda and Leon looked like (Stansfield had descriptions of both when he saw Tony).
    • 2. They kidnapped, threatened, and muzzled a child.
    • 3. None of them wore identifying insignia, announced themselves, or asked for Leon to surrender. They were there to commit murder.
    • 4. The terminology "CATS", used by the team leader, is exclusively a federal acronym for Complete Anti Terrorism Solution.
    • 5. Cops expect, have, and cherish their own command and control, yet those there when Leon was firing back took all their orders from Stansfield and he, not they, brought in help.
    • 6. When Stansfield bellows "EVERYONE!!!!" to Benny, his final team is running up the stairs behind them. They are the last to be killed.

      Now, in contrast, when the NYPD shows up:
    • 7. The new arrivals come in police cars, have uniforms and insignia identifying them as police, and set up a perimeter to protect civilians. The other groups didn't care. (Not to mention that among the arriving police units were two Emergency Service Unit trucks, which basically means that they can't have been the vehicles in which Stansfield's men arrived)
    • 8. They do indeed have their own command and control, and are totally clueless about what Mathilda or Leon look like.
    • 9. They have entirely different procedures, that results in no loss of life and puts no officers in jeopardy.
    • 10. They follow their own guidelines and Stansfield is a helpless bystander, finding out from them what they are doing.
    • 11. They shoo Mathilda away and assume that Leon is one of their own, making it strange if they were part of any grand plan complete with descriptions.

    • I assume the initial crew of commandoes were DEA/Stansfield's own personal hit-squad trying to get rid of Leon and Mathilda quietly (in a similar fashion to Stansfield's 'raid' on Mathilda's dad at the beginning of the movie). Presumably since it was an execution and not a standard bust, I assume Stansfield initially had no intention of bringing in any other officers, but when Leon all but wiped out his original crew he had no choice but to escalate and bring in the NYPD on top of them in the hope that Leon would go down fighting the NYPD. I don't know about the snipers, but it's possible that some of his own men were planted amongst them to try and make sure, or he possibly 'forgot' to mention that there was a child present in the building under the hope that she might get killed in the crossfire and her death written off as an accident resulting from a miscommunication.


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