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The Bruce Wayne Scene In The Batman That Went Too Far

Warning: this article contains spoilers for "The Batman."

All fans of the character Batman and his story are well aware that Bruce Wayne has a lot of trauma to deal with, especially when it comes to his family. As a young boy, his parents are both murdered, leaving him an orphan. Luckily, he has a good guardian to look after him in their absence, and he grows up to be a vigilante out for justice. The tragic backstory is just a part of what makes the character so rich and well-liked.

In Matt Reeves' "The Batman," this aspect of Bruce, as played by Robert Pattinson, is, of course, still a crucial part of his story. Because of what Bruce goes through growing up, he desperately wants to stop that from happening to anyone else and make Gotham City a better place. In the new film, fans get to see Bruce devoted to finding and stopping the Riddler (Paul Dano) and ridding the city of corruption, working with James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) and Selina Kyle (Zoë Kravitz) to do it. In the end, as you might expect, Bruce is a hero, and it looks like there is still some hope for Gotham to be better. 

But even as a superhero, Bruce certainly isn't perfect. He's human, with issues — like the loss of his parents– that he has not fully dealt with yet, and this leads him to make some bad decisions. "The Batman" highlights these flaws alongside Bruce's strengths, leading to one scene in the new film in which Bruce arguably takes a conversation one step too far.

Bruce emphasizes to Alfred that he's not really family

If you know anything about Bruce Wayne, then you know that the man who raises him after his parents' deaths is none other than Alfred Pennyworth, played by Andy Serkis in the 2022 film. Alfred is a wonderful parental figure, and while Bruce has some things he definitely needs to work on, he turns out to be a pretty standout guy. But in "The Batman," the Riddler's schemes hit a little too close to home for Bruce, causing him to question everything he thinks he knows about his father, Thomas Wayne (Luke Roberts), and in turn, Alfred. 

In the first half of the film, Bruce exhibits signs of carelessness when it comes to his own wellbeing. Sure, he wears bulletproof armor, can fight well, and has plenty of shiny weapons to defend himself with, but he also takes many unnecessary risks and doesn't seem to care for much outside of his "vengeance." With the new mayoral candidate, Bella Reál (Jayme Lawson), highlighting the need for change on the ground in Gotham, like charity and other programs, Alfred brings up the topic of public action in the name of the Wayne family to Bruce.

Alfred tells Bruce that he has no consideration for maintaining the Wayne family legacy as upstanding citizens of Gotham, but all Bruce cares about is bringing "justice" through Batman. He doesn't even seem to give a second thought to the idea of Wayne's holdings and other projects completely falling apart. Then when Alfred pushes once more, Bruce responds emotionally, arguably stepping over the line and likely really hurting the older man's feelings. Bruce snaps back at Alfred, saying, "Stop, you're not my father." To which Alfred responds, "I'm well aware." 

Bruce sees the truth after Alfred almost dies

While Bruce is likely pushing Alfred away to keep them both from getting hurt, he does more damage than he thinks, as Alfred's devotion and love for the Wayne family is probably the base of his identity and life. Audiences get a deeper sense of this in the scene when Bruce is getting ready to attend the mayor's funeral and Alfred gives Bruce his Wayne cufflinks to wear. Bruce questions why Alfred has them as he's technically not a Wayne, but Alfred says that they were a gift from Bruce's father and he cherishes them. Bruce shuts up after hearing this, probably because he realizes that in his father giving Alfred these Wayne cufflinks, his father was basically declaring Alfred as a part of the family. 

Bruce doesn't necessarily apologize to Alfred about the offense in so many words, but he realizes the truth — that Alfred really is family — after the Riddler's attempt on Bruce's life almost kills Alfred. Bruce stays by Alfred's side in the hospital as he recovers, and once he wakes up, the two have a very important conversation about Thomas and things Bruce finds out about his father from the Riddler. But in the same conversation, Bruce tells Alfred that he finally realized something, and that's that he never wants to experience losing someone he loves ever again — meaning Alfred. When Alfred reaches out to him, Bruce takes his hand, and they have a touching moment together.

Although Bruce takes his anger and grief a step too far in the earlier conversation, he thankfully comes to his senses by the end of "The Batman" and makes it clear to Alfred that they are, in fact, family.