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The Batman Scene That Gave Fans Goosebumps

Warning: Spoilers ahead for "The Batman"

"The Batman" is darker than any previous iteration of the masked vigilante's story — with Variety describing it as a "grounded, frequently brutal" film noir and Total Film Magazine quoting director Matt Reeves as saying, "This movie, I think, is probably the scariest 'Batman' that's been done" (via Comicbook.com). That may be, in part, because of the way Batman (Robert Pattinson) is treated by citizens of Gotham; they are wary of him. He does not start out as a recognized hero in this version of the DC universe, as he has been even in Christopher Nolan's previous (also dark) vision of Gotham. He is a surprise, threatening element, even after two years of wearing the costume.

This is made clear at the start of the film when on Halloween night a gang of thugs beat up on a man riding public transportation. When Batman swoops into a subway station to mete out his personal brand of justice, he lays the bad guys out with ruthless efficiency. The victim, unsure of the masked man's motives, asks Batman not to hurt him.

But part of the emotional depth of the film comes from a glimmer of hope in this bleak existence — a change in the way Gothamites view Batman, and in the way Batman views his role as the city's protector. At the end of the film, there's a scene that gives fans goosebumps — and for good reason. 

The Batman acts as a literal beacon of hope

This goosebumps-inducing scene takes place at the very end of the film. Batman has failed in his efforts to contain the Riddler's damage, not realizing until too late that the criminal has placed explosives at seven of Gotham's sea walls. When they go off, water floods the city — including Gotham Square Garden, where the mayor-elect Bella Reál (Jayme Lawson) is giving a victory speech to a crowd full of Gotham's most important people. Batman soars in to save everyone, but before he does that he has to deal with the internet army that the Riddler has put together, who are on hand to make sure the villain's plan goes smoothly. 

In the aftermath, a number of people are trapped by fallen infrastructure, so Batman goes to rescue them. At first, they are hesitant to take Batman's help, not knowing his motives. The first to take Batman's offered hand is the young son of former mayor Don Mitchell Jr. 

Orphan Bruce Wayne sees a bit of himself in the boy, whose father was killed at the start of the film. Bella Reál — who once chastised Wayne for not doing more for Gotham City — follows. Eventually, everyone lets him lead them out of there through the flooding waters. Batman ignites a red flare and holds it up to light the way, becoming a literal beacon of hope. 

The moment is indicative of Batman's emotional journey throughout the film

The scene is part of the character's own journey in the film; he starts out moodily telling his subway victims "I'm vengeance." Then, one of Riddler's faceless internet supporters, attacking him at Gotham Square Garden, says the same back to him when Batman asks him why he's doing this. At this moment, fans can see in Batman's eyes the realization that maybe his view of the world and his role in it has been too, well, dark. 

Reddit's u/hatsupuppy pointed out that this key theme "hit so hard" because it makes Batman realize his anger, his feeling of being misused, isn't so different from that of the evildoers that he is fighting. Bruce takes up the mantle of Batman in part because he's haunted by his past, but his personal need for justice outside the law is but a flip side of the emotions that drive the criminals of Gotham. "This was a pivotal concept that Batman had to confront in order to find a sense of justice built on something more stable than anger and vengeance. Batman needs to be fear, but he also MUST be hope," the user aptly said. 

In "The Batman," the character is at a younger, more haunted phase in his life. As u/IntelligentzGuavaa noted on Reddit, "The whole character arc of 'The Batman' from the vengeance to hope was showcased masterfully." 

The scene showcases both Batman's change of heart and that of the people he is protecting

On Reddit, u/agentfitzsimmons called the beacon scene "just beautiful, visually and story wise. Perfect depiction of Batman being the beacon of hope." Admittedly, maybe the visual of Batman-as-beacon is a bit heavy-handed and obvious. Still, the movie succeeded in establishing the connection between Batman and the boy. Another fan, u/Kevward, said of the scene, "... ooof my heart. That scene was insanely well done." It also did a good job of portraying how the regular Gotham citizen's wariness of Batman became something more positive: u/tanon47 said, "Also, when he was carrying that person and putting her on the gurney, she wouldn't let go of his arm. Hit me in the feels ... whew." 

The message of hope, long a prevailing theme in "Batman" media, is often accompanied by images of fear. And fans say that juxtaposition, along with that of a child's innocence next to a man who considers himself ruined, makes an impact — not just for Gothamites but in real life. "This movie's last act truly showed the evolution of the character and gave hope not just to the people of Gotham but also the people in each and every theater," said u/Archjio

This scene, coupled with Bruce's emotional growth, allows the film to end on a somber yet optimistic note.