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What Steve Buscemi Thinks Happened To Mr. Pink At The End Of Reservoir Dogs

"Reservoir Dogs," Quentin Tarantino's theatrical feature debut from 1992, saw modest success (via Box Office Mojo) but really became a cult hit after "Pulp Fiction" came out a couple of years later and had moviegoers wondering what Tarantino was all about. It's been a while since then, but perhaps you remember that, at the end of the movie, Mr. Pink, played by Steve Buscemi, might possibly be the only one who escapes scot-free. It's unclear.

At the film's conclusion, everyone else is dead. In the movie's final scene, there's a showdown between surviving members of the heist. After everyone shoots off their weapons, Mr. Pink is the only one left standing, and he grabs the diamonds and leaves. Mr. White (Harvey Keitel) and Mr. Orange (Tim Roth) are the last two left in the building, but Mr. Orange soon confesses that he's a cop. He was the mole all along. So Mr. Orange, who had been defending his associate, finishes Mr. White off, as off-screen you hear the police calling out. Although you don't see the police at the end, you see Mr. Orange jerk and fall off out of the screen's view, but the voiceovers you hear indicate that the police are addressing Mr. Pink, not Mr. Orange, and that he's been shot and injured. 

People have been speculating about Mr. Pink's fate for decades. Now, almost 30 years since that scene shocked moviegoers for the first time, Buscemi has elucidated his theory about what happened to Mr. Pink after the events of "Reservoir Dogs."

Buscemi thinks his character Mr. Pink had an ironic fate

The actor made an appearance on James Corden's "The Late Late Show" to espouse his theory, which links "Reservoir Dogs" with "Pulp Fiction," the movie in which Buscemi plays a waiter that serves John Travolta and Uma Thurman's characters. He's dressed as singer Buddy Holly. It also links back to one of the very first scenes in "Reservoir Dogs," in which his character gives a monologue on why he doesn't tip.

He said, "I don't know if anyone else thinks about this, but because my character of Mr. Pink in 'Reservoir Dogs' was such a cheapskate, and he didn't like to tip, I thought it was poetic justice that my next film with Quentin, I play a waiter" (via Hollywood Reporter). "I even like to think that maybe Mr. Pink got away somehow in 'Reservoir Dogs' and he's hiding out as the Buddy Holly waiter. And he probably gets tipped terribly. That's his fate."

He's not the only one to put forth this theory. It's been discussed on various Reddit threads over the years, including one from six years ago, and has popped up on other Reddit threads since. Some Reddit users also theorize that he might have been a waiter before the events in "Reservoir Dogs," making the "minimum-wage job" that Mr. Pink refers to in the non-tipping scene the waiter job he had in "Pulp Fiction." 

All Tarantino's movies take place in the same world, so it could've happened

While filmmaker Tarantino has never given fans any clear indication of Mr. Pink's fate, he has provided them with hope that, in fact, there is a possibility that Buscemi's surmise is true. In speaking to Australian talk show "The Project" in 2016, he said that his body of work takes place in two separate universes that are connected (via news.com.au). "So basically when the characters of 'Reservoir Dogs' or 'Pulp Fiction,' when they go to the movies ... 'Kill Bill' is what they go see. 'From Dusk Til Dawn' is what they go see," he said.

Illuminati confirmed. Of course, there is the small matter of multiple actors inhabiting different movies. For example, Tim Roth also appears in "Pulp Fiction," very early on, as Pumpkin, who holds up a diner with Bunny (Amanda Plummer). If the two movies are in fact part of the same timeline and universe, his death in "Reservoir Dogs" as the police mole in the criminal group should preclude his appearance in the later movie, unless of course Roth is playing his own doppelgänger. Harvey Keitel also appears in "Pulp Fiction" as Winston Wolfe, so that would have to be explained as well.

Actually, there's a whole stable of actors that Tarantino uses over and over again in this connected universe of his. Leonard DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, and Brad Pitt are among the talents that also appear multiple times throughout Tarantino's universe, so they could be doppelgängers, or relatives, of their other characters as well. Maybe it's best not to think too hard about this movie universe and just enjoy the uber-violent, super-witty, nonlinear ride.