Did The Joker Win?

Well, apparently, the Chinese government is going to play some Lucius Fox.

There was some debate on my last post as to who was the victor in The Dark Knight. I still contend that it is The Joker. Let's evaluate from his major victims:
  • Bank robbers: Listening to The Joker's instructions to kill each other off, all were motivated by greed. Score one for The Joker.
  • Black mob boss: Token black guy had to die somehow. One of his cronies probably killed his buddies to work for The Joker. Fear ruled. Score another for The Joker.
  • Judge and Police Commissioner: They were unafraid of The Joker and die for it. Lady Justice stood up despite not prevailing. Score one for Batman.
  • Edison Chan: Just kidding. He's the security guard in Hong Kong (1 second cameo with Morgan Freeman) who once broke all hell loose. The Joker would have scored here.
  • SWOT team transporting Harvey: "This is not what I signed up for" sums up their cowardice... though they did try to complete the mission. No winner here.
  • Rachel: Sweet girl working as prosecutor sacrificed because Batman thought Harvey, the righteous prosecutor, was worth saving more. Never gave in though. Score one for Batman
  • Lau: money laundering business man gets burned alive on a pile of money. How's that for irony. No winner here since Batman would have done the same.
  • Harvey Dent/Two-face: Poor Harvey was so betrayed by his so-called colleagues that he turned the other cheek and ignored the law and order that he fiercely defended some 30 minutes ago in the movie. Score one for The Joker.
  • Batman, Alfred, Lucius: Score three for Batman.
So if you're keeping score, it's The Joker 4, Batman 4! It's a tied game (with some Jokerish rigging)!

Which brings me to... dun dun dun dun

Ferry of good people: the good citizens of Gothem voted ~400 to ~100 to blow up the criminals and save themselves. Score one for The Joker.

Oh, only they didn't pull the trigger! Why not, you ask? Because they were too hypocritical to do so. Their image of "good citizens of Gothem" would be tarnished. When it was an anonymous vote, good man wasn't afraid to show some evil (to save self, nonetheless, and I do have some sympathy here). When it was public display of evil, the good man was too hypocritical to actually do it (no sympathy here, sorry). You can't do it in public but you can vote behind a mask? Score two for The Joker.

And that is why The Joker won: 7 to 4...


shmoo said...

Actually, I think Batman was going to save Rachel, but Joker told him the opposite locations so the one he chose to save would actually die.

Josekin said...

OHH...! No wonder!

chaubella said...

shmoo is right. batman picked rachel, but joker switched the locations. joker wins... nice guys finish last.

p.s. you crack me up, RSF =)

Laughing Man said...

You could argue that Batman took a hit when he had to "absorb" Two Face's killing of 5 cops, but by doing that, they were able to salvage the good image of Harvey Dent to the entire city. That's got to be worth some points.

Re: the Ferry. In the long run, the Joker lost here. Sure, they came oh so close to pulling that trigger, but in the end they didn't. How they got there is less relevant. Could have been luck, could have been one man's conscience, whatever. The end results is that all those people on the ferry learned a lesson that day. They learned that they came this close to becoming murderers. That thought will live on in their minds for a long time, and I think it will drive them to do good. Joker may have won some points, but ultimately Batman wins more in the long run. This event may even pay itself forward. People of Gotham might see this as a turning point. Their perception is that good prevailed. They don't have to know about the deliberation on the boat and how close people came to pulling the trigger. All they'll read in the headlines is that humanity prevailed. Sometimes that's all one needs.

Laughing Man said...

The "switch" was purposeful. It further emphasized that Batman was human afterall. I think on your scale, he probably should have lost points for picking Rachel.