The Dark Knight Rises Spoilers: Five Unaswered Questions

The Dark Knight Rises Review RoundupHey, everybody! Spoilers are ON for this article! Turn back NOW if you don't want to hear the ending of The Dark Knight Rises.

There's been a lot of talk on Internet about The Dark Knight Rises, and problems that people have had with the ending.

While we personally thought the ending was just about perfect from a narrative point of view, it's certainly fun to indulge in some speculation. So, here we go!

How did Batman survive?

Obviously, Bruce bailed out of the The Bat before the bomb blew, but since we saw him heading out over the water, the question then becomes...how did he escape?

Unless he planned ahead, leaving a boat waiting or something, it seems unlikely that even Batman could get far away from a nuclear blast to save himself just by swimming, and to say that he activated the autopilot and bailed out sooner than we think begs the question of how he managed that, considering that the camera stayed on The Bat as it moved away.

In the end, it seems as though you have to chalk this one up to "movie magic" and suspend your disbelief. I get the feeling that's going to be a popular answer on this story, so hang onto your hats and leave your skepticism at the door.

How did Bruce get back to Gotham?

How did Batman get fom the prison to Gotham, when there was only one heavily guarded bridge into town?

Well, heavy guards have never really been a problem for ol' Brucey-boy. Even if he wasn't dressed as Batman and kicking ass all the way across, he could probably have talked his way in as Bruce Wayne, offering himself up as a hostage in exchange for food and shelter, since a far as anyone knew, he was totally without resources.

The harder questions are things like how he got there from the prison (its location is undisclosed, but in the comics, it's in South or at least Central America--and Bruce was, as discussed above, penniless and in rags), or why, when he knew he was operating on a ticking clock, he took the time to shower, shave and pour a giant gasoline bat on the side of the bridge before getting suited up and ready for work.

That last one--about wasting time while lives are on the line--is pretty difficult to connect the dots on, except that it's what looked awesome on film.

That said, the rest of it could have a simpler answer than you think: maybe the answer is just boring. What if Bruce beat up one random guy watching a private plane and took it to Gotham, landing it where he might otherwise have landed his private jet, back when he could afford such a thing? Or on the substantial grounds at Wayne Manor, shaving during a smooth part of the flight? Does it sound silly and implausible? Yes, but that's the wheelhouse of the American action film--and it wouldn't be particularly interesting to watch happen, either. Add in the fact that the movie is already pushing three hours and you've got a perfectly good reason why "Bruce Wayne beats up a bunch of thugs and steals their plane" isn't a plot beat particularly worth exploring.

Where was The Joker?

Also, where was The Joker? Sure, we know why Nolan didn't include him in the film--but it was never addressed in-story, despite the fact that Jonathan Crane showed up, so it's clear the facility where Batman's baddies were being held is still on the island.

The short answer for this one, if you want one, is that Bane may have decided that breaking lunatics out of the asylum didn't fit his stated mission. Crane, especially after coming back that second time in The Dark Knight, was never really crazy and probably would have had a hard time mounting an insanity defense after he faked them for so many other people. Maybe he was in Blackgate when Bane blew down the walls but, unlike in the comics, Bane left Arkham alone. The Joker would likely have had an easier sell of the insanity defense because--well, look at him.

Did Talia die?

Did Talia al Ghul die at the end?

Certainly, it was made to look that way but the people surrounding her weren't the type to just let someone die, even if they were pretty nasty people.

What if she survived? Is it possible she could have pulled all of this off while pregnant with a child from her one-night encounter with Bruce the night he went broke?

How does Gotham recover?

Here's the one where we drift into a little old-fashioned fan fiction. Since it's not clear how or if the city can ever truly rebuild from the mayhem visited upon it by Bane, we have to get a little creative. The problem is exacerbated by a lack of confidence in city government; the mayor and deputy commissioner of police have both been murdered and the commissioner has, to some extent, been disgraced. The city's eccentric billionaire, known for throwing his money at social ills like his father before him, is gone...and even before that, he lost all his money. Things look pretty bleak.

In this situation, what did they do in the comics? They turned to the only man in the DC Universe who gives Bruce Wayne a run for his money both on the bottom line and the aptitude test: Lex Luthor. He came into town promising everything under the sun and, when he failed to deliver (shocking, I know), he was eventually driven out of town by a resurgent Bruce Wayne.

Let's just call that an answer.