7 Questions We Have After Watching Joker


WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Joker, now in theaters.


Todd Phillips’ Joker danced its way into theaters on Oct. 4 and is currently laughing its way to the bank after earning a record-breaking $93.5 million domestically. However, while the film’s critical and financial success is now set in stone, there are still a number of lingering questions about the world of Arthur Fleck.

So, put on your face paint and your clown shoes because here are seven questions we have after watching Joker:

  1. How Much of Arthur’s ‘Relationship’ With Sophie Was Real?

    Early on in the film, we’re introduced to Zazie Beetz’s Sophie, a single mother who lives in the same apartment building as Arthur. After a brief encounter in the elevator, the two then quickly begin a relationship… or so it seems.

    When Arthur enters Sophie’s apartment unannounced while she’s putting her daughter to bed, it immediately becomes clear that the entire “relationship” was a manifestation of Arthur’s damaged psyche. However, are we to assume none of it was real, including their interaction on the elevator? With Arthur being such an unreliable narrator, it’s hard to say for sure.

  2. Did Arthur Kill Sophie and Her Daughter?

    Speaking of Sophie and her daughter, one can’t help but wonder if Arthur murdered them.

    On the one hand, we never see them again after the apartment scene. Then again, there really wasn’t much more room for them in the remainder of the story, save for maybe a shot of Sophie reacting to Arthur’s full descent into becoming The Joker.

    Furthermore, until the final scene of the film (more on that later), the only people Arthur kills are those who’ve wronged him. But, in Arthur’s mind, could he have seen their relationship being an illusion as Sophie wronging him?

  3. Did Arthur Kill His Psychologist?

    In the closing moments of the film, we find Arthur once again committed to Arkham State Hospital where he’s talking with his psychologist. Then, when we see him next, he’s casually strutting down the hall while leaving a trail of bloody footprints.

    Are we to assume this means Arthur murdered his psychologist or was this merely symbolic of him fully embracing the Joker persona? Considering he’s immediately chased up and down the hall by one of the orderly’s, it’s likely the former.

  4. Will This Version of Bruce Wayne Become Batman?

    When Arthur heads to Wayne Manor to try to confront Thomas Wayne, he finds a young Bruce Wayne playing the courtyard. Later on in the film, during the riot, Bruce, Thomas and Martha flee from the Monarch Theater before Bruce’s parents are gunned down in an alley by one of the clown-masked protesters.

    While this film clearly plays fast and loose with established DC lore and is unlikely to receive a sequel, is it safe to assume that, in the Joker universe, this version of Bruce Wayne would follow the natural progression and go on to become Batman? Sadly, we’ll probably never find out the answer.

  5. Was Thomas Wayne Lying?

    Speaking of the Waynes, perhaps one of the biggest questions Joker raises is whether Thomas Wayne was telling the whole truth.

    After finding a letter his mother wrote to Thomas, Arthur is led to believe the two had an affair, thus making Thomas Wayne his father (and Bruce his half-brother, for that matter). However, when Arthur confronts Thomas, he tells him his mother was delusional and that Arthur was actually adopted – a story Arthur confirms after stealing his mother’s files from Arkham.

    That being said, Thomas Wayne is a rich and powerful man. Could he have simply paid someone off to falsify Penny Fleck’s records and preserve his family’s name? After all, when Arthur looks at a photo of his mother later on the film, there’s a handwritten, flirtatious note from Thomas on the back that seems to fly in the face of everything he tells Arthur.

  6. Was the Riot All in Arthur’s Head?

    After Arthur shoots and kills Murray Franklin, he’s apprehended by the GCPD. However, with Gotham City in the midst of a massive riot, the cruiser is struck by an ambulance and a pair of men in clown masks pull Arthur from the wreckage. Once he regains consciousness, Arthur then basks in the adoration of the rioters he’s inspired, dancing atop the cruiser while painting a bloody smile on his face before the screen cuts to black and we find Arthur in Arkham.

    Are we to believe this moment actually transpired or was it all in Arthur’s head? Honestly, it could probably go either way.

    From Arthur’s skewed perspective, this could have been a construct of his mind to represent the moment he fully surrenders to The Joker when, in reality, he went straight from the studio to Arkham. Then again, it’s just as easy to say we saw the events unfold exactly as they did.

  7. What Happens to Gotham?

    At the start of the film, Gotham City is a powder keg. By the time the film ends, it’s in a state of anarchy.

    So, what happens next?

    Obviously, in the comics, Bruce Wayne becomes Batman years later to wage war on criminals and avenge his parents, but the version of Gotham we’re left with by the time the credits roll is in desperate need of a hero, and not a ten-year-old boy who just watched his parents get gunned down.

    Directed by Todd Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix, Joker is now in theaters.

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