My idea of how Joker could have ended.


Benjamin Judd
I’m going to be honest with you. I only saw about half of Joker. It made me very uncomfortable, which I realize it was supposed to, it just did so better than I was expecting it to. I saw enough to understand why critics love it, and I still found myself thinking about it on the way home, which tends to be the mark of a great movie. In particular, I was thinking about a certain cliche that I was glad it didn’t use (that I know of), but then I came up with a twist that I thought would really make it work, and that’s why I’m here.

The cliche in question was having Arthur talk to and struggle with some “inner Joker,” sort of like Norman Osborn in the first Spider-Man film. You know the drill, it would urge him closer and closer to some blatant visual representation of the line separating sanity and madness, and as everything collapsed around Arthur he’d be more and more willing to approach it.

Just as everything inevitably hits rock bottom for him, the inner Joker is urging him through uproarious laughter to take the final step. But the twist comes when Arthur still refuses. Like Commissioner Gordon in The Killing Joke, he manages to resist, and hold on to what little he has left. And the inner Joker is naturally very disappointed in Arthur, but surprisingly not as angry as he expected. And the last thing he hears from what he thought to be a monster of his own making is:

“Fine then. I’ll try someone else.”

The next day, we see Arthur just walking down the street. None of his problems have vanished, except two of the biggest: His uncontrollable bursts of laughter, and the inner Joker. If life was drowning him yesterday, then today he’s shoulder deep. At least now people can tell that he’s miserable, and give him space. But from somewhere behind him comes the sound of someone laughing just like he used to. He looks behind him, and only sees a crowd of perfectly ordinary people.

The shot of these people lingers just long enough to make the audience wonder who it was that laughed. Will they hear it again? Is there some clever hint on one of them that they’re the new Joker? No answer. Just the credits.

Maybe you still want a ray of hope for Arthur. And I might have just the thing. The “super cats” joke inspires him to write a newspaper strip called “Streaky!”, detailing the antics of a superpowered cat. It’s a moderate success, and with it, he accomplishes his goal of bringing laughter to a wide and diverse audience. Gotham still needs a Joker, but it doesn’t have to be him.

What do you guys think? I was also considering putting it up on, even though it's more of a synopsis than a story.
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