THE BATMAN Ending Explained Along With THAT Big Tease - SPOILERS Follow

With The Batman hours away from arriving in theaters for Thursday night previews, we're breaking down the film's ending and explaining what that sinister tease could mean for the DC franchise's future.

The Batman sees the World's Greatest Detective face-off against The Riddler in a battle of wits with the fate of Gotham City on the line. After succeeding in his plan to kill Carmine Falcone, Edward Nashton allows himself to be captured by the police and is sent to Arkham State Hospital. 

We learn that he hoped to work with Batman, perceiving himself to be a fellow vigilante. The Dark Knight's mission of vengeance inspired The Riddler, and while he's distraught by the hero's rejection, Nashton has one final trick up his sleeve that Batman must overcome if he hopes to save his city.

In this article, we explain the film's ending and take a closer look at that massive Arkham tease...
 

The Final Riddle

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The Riddler has recruited followers through social media (we're assuming they're meant to be incels) and placed car bombs around the city to flood Gotham. The explosions do indeed lay waste to downtown, and those recruits all take aim at Bella Reál, Gotham's new mayor. 

Batman leaps into action to stop them, and despite the odds being stacked against him, the hero - with some help from Catwoman - manages to save Reál and take the "Riddlers" down.

From there, Batman does what he can to help the innocents caught up in the madness, stepping into the light and no longer the creature fueled by vengeance we met at the start of the movie...
 

A Bright Future For Batman

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The Caped Crusader realises that in order to protect Gotham City, he can no longer be a symbol of vengeance. Instead, he should inspire those who live there and give them hope, a decision that obviously lays the groundwork for a Batman more in line with the comic books. 

Gotham now needs saving more than ever, and this is something of a happy ending for Bruce Wayne. Unfortunately, Batman's future with Catwoman doesn't look quite as bright because she leaves the city. Following the trauma she went through in this movie, Selina Kyle decides to head to Blüdhaven for a fresh start, and deems Batman's home to be beyond saving at this point. 

He disagrees and declines her offer to follow suit; instead, she goes one way and he goes the other, though the door is definitely left open to them one day crossing paths again. 
 

Making Friends In Arkham Asylum

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The Riddler is thoroughly dejected after his plan fails, but it's not all bad news because he's making friends in Arkham. A creepy voice coming from the cell next door soothes Edward and congratulates him for a job well done after the madness he inflicted upon Gotham City. 

We never get to see this mysterious character in all his glory, but it's actor Barry Keoghan, who is indeed playing The Joker. A glimpse of a twisted smile (we wonder where he got those scars?), the white face, and green hair are all barely visible, and it sounds like he has a plan to get out of the confines of this hospital with The Riddler by his side. With that, a terrifying laugh rings out within Arkham.

It's unclear whether The Batman 2 will pit the Dark Knight against The Joker and The Riddler, but Matt Reeves blatantly has plans to do something big with the Clown Prince of Crime! 
 

What Comes Next?

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That's a big question, and we have some solid ideas. 

Following the death of Carmine Falcone, the stage has been set for The Penguin to take his place as Gotham City's crimelord. That's going to be covered in the spinoff series heading to HBO Max, of course, and he'll no doubt be pivotal to the next big screen chapter as well. Batman, meanwhile, is looking to step out of the shadows, which probably means more Bruce Wayne.

While we have no doubt The Joker and The Riddler will return, another likely villain for this franchise looks to be Hush. A reporter with the last name of Elliot was killed by Falcone at the apparent behest of Thomas Wayne, and it seems likely he was the father of Tommy Elliot, a villain you may know as Hush.

It's possible "Edward Nashton" is, in fact, Tommy, hence why he covers his face that way. He even flashes the word "Hush" on screen during one of his messages, but what if The Riddler was actually taking orders from that mysterious big bad? That'd make for one heck of a story in this trilogy...
 

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