Still annoyed that he couldn’t turn ordinary people into murderers, Joker finds his reign of terror ended after going fist-to-fist with the Batman. Batman next turns his attention to Two-Face, with a transformed Harvey Dent still holding the Commissioner’s family hostage. Already grieving for his lost love, learning that Rachel planned to ditch him for Harvey Dent would offer no solace to Bruce, and only deepen his depression. Rachel wrote the letter so Bruce could move on after she settled down with Dent. First of all, Dent really was corrupted completely into Two-Face. In this sense, Joker intends Two-Face to be his legacy. Two-Face wants the Commissioner to understand the pain of talking to a loved one in their final moments, just as he did with Rachel. Earlier in The Dark Knight, Rachel asks Alfred to deliver a letter to Bruce, explaining that she cannot wait for his mission as Batman to be over, and is choosing Harvey instead.
The faint glimmer of hope that Rachel loved him is, at this point, all the billionaire is holding onto. Nolan riffs on the philosophical ideas of social contract and Tucker’s Prisoner’s Dilemma in this scene, the latter of which is a social experiment designed to study whether two opposing sides will trust the other to cooperate in the hope of better outcome for both. By involving both prisoners and civilians, Joker (and by extension Christopher Nolan) forces the audience to consider the value of life. Evacuation is underway following Joker’s spree of destruction, and two ferries are attempting to leave the city, one full of regular civilians, and the other holding convicted criminals. On the civilian boat, no one has the stomach to commit mass murder, but the prisoner ferry uses stereotypes to subvert expectation. The toughest, meanest prisoner with facial scars and an intimidating frame rises to make the right choice, throwing his ship’s detonator into the water.
I rolled it between my fingers to make it pliable. The combined negotiation skills of Bruce and Gordon fail to make their old friend see the light, and Batman is forced to push Harvey off a ledge, killing him, but saving Gordon’s young son. Apparently, the boat trap wasn’t Joker’s true master plan; he instead corrupted Gotham’s bastion of moral fortitude, Harvey Dent, in order to prove that even the greatest hero can be turned. In his moral and physical victory against Joker, Batman proves that those who possess moral boundaries will always win in the end. If no ferry pulls the trigger, both will be destroyed. The ferry set piece is a fascinating insight into the twisted mind of The Dark Knight’s Joker. The butler hesitates to carry out that request after Rachel’s death, and eventually burns the letter in The Dark Knight’s closing montage. While Joker moves to carry out his threat of destroying both ships, he’s undoubtedly disappointed at the outcome. Of course, Batman realizes this long before Gordon’s SWAT team, meaning Bruce must handle Joker’s lackeys while simultaneously ensuring the police aren’t lured into killing innocent captives by mistake. The true meaning of the trap wasn’t to kill two boat loads of people, but to force one into killing the other.
One of the earliest costumed criminals Batman faced after the Joker was none other than Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot. Obviously, Bruce had no choice, but Batman breaking his one rule to end a villain Joker himself created would please the villain no end in his Arkham cell. Heard no evil. 2011 saw the birth of the Batman: Arkham video game series, beginning with Batman: Arkham City, which was adapted into a comic series written by Paul Dini with art by Carlos D’Anda. The audience is left to assume he rots in Arkham Asylum forever, although this is partially down to the tragic death of Heath Ledger shortly after filming. He refused to be talked down. Now better equipped to handle man’s best friend, Batman fends off Joker’s pooches and engages the man himself, who is bitterly disappointed when the two ferries choose not to kill each other. In another throwback to Batman’s costume upgrade, the Dark Knight gets the better of his nemesis by deploying sharp projectiles from his new gauntlet. This was another point Joker was trying to prove in The Dark Knight, and as he falls through the night sky, women joker costume he briefly tastes success until Batman’s grapple wraps around his leg.