Batman: The Dark Knight Rises part 12
Bruce is no longer broken but he is still in the pit. “Prisoner,” the only English-speaking guy in the place, warns him against escape, although everyone else in the pit seems really excited about it, they become a positive choir of helpful animals as he climbs the wall. (I still don’t know why he doesn’t pull the rope up after himself, tie a hook to it and use it as a grapple — where is Batman when you need him?) (However, major props to Bruce for taking a major fall with a rope tied around his waist after suffering a broken back.)
When pressed, Prisoner reveals an ooch more about the love-child of the mercenary and the warlord’s daughter — the child, he says, was “no ordinary child, a child born in Hell.” Bruce, he says, is not qualified to escape from the pit, he is a child of privilege, born in the light. Prisoner does not know, perhaps, that falling down a hole is old news to Bruce, although, to be fair, he was rescued from that original hole by his wealthy father. (I’m a little more concerned that Bane claims to have been “born in darkness,” since, as the reader must know by now, Bane is not the child of the pit. Was he, too, born in the pit?)
Back in Gotham, Gordon meets with a team of Special Forces guys and gives them an update on the situation on the ground (and under it). Three thousand police officers, Daytime Batmen all, are trapped in their own pit while fellow Daytime Batmen Blake and Gordon work to rescue them. (And anti-Daytime-Batman Foley stands around fretting.) The confab scene (and its accompanying montage) serves an expository purpose (to explain what’s going on regarding how the trapped police are still alive, how the bomb truck operates, where are the Wayne Enterprises executives living, etc), a textural purpose (to lend grit and immediacy to what is a largely fanciful conceit) and a philosophical one (to show how an evolved society works — civil servants, people dedicated to the public trust, work together to solve practical problems in practical ways). Bane wished to show how the GCPD is riddled with corruption, but the police here are showing the opposite — when the chips are down, they pull together, work well with other government organizations and pledge themselves to service.
Blake takes the Special Forces guys to see Lucius Fox and Miranda Tate, and they are immediately set upon by some of Bane’s army. (It’s great that Bane can get hardened criminals to all pull together into a tight, well-organized unit, a lot of warlords have trouble with that.) Blake gets Miranda and Lucius out of the way, but the Special Forces guys, and the rest of the Wayne board, are executed in public. Bruce, seeing his board members dangling from a bridge, tries again to escape the pit, and fails again. Blind Prisoner, acting as a kind of anti-Ra’s, counsels him on fear and the spirit, which, we might say, is Bruce’s thesis. Bruce says he’s not afraid of dying, per se, but afraid of dying in the pit “while my city burns with no one there to save it.” Noble, but again, he still sees Gotham as his own personal therapeutic test. His actions got Gotham into this mess, so it makes sense that he wants to undo it, but part of the theme of Rises is that Batman was never his job, that it was only hubris and self-regard that made him choose that path, which brought all the costumed freaks upon the city — Ra’s Al Ghul, the Scarecrow, the Joker, Two-Face and now Bane. In The Dark Knight, Alfred mentions that Bruce caused the Joker because he upset the status quo, which made the established mobsters make a deal with a man they didn’t fully understand, but that extends to the other villains as well — in order to “end crime” in Gotham, Bruce created a situation where super-crime could flourish.
Bruce tries a third time, this time without the rope to catch him if he falls. The crutch removed, he makes it to the crucial handhold. A swarm of celebratory bats swoops out of a hole at the last moment, giving Bruce the moral push he needs to escape the pit, as Act IV draws to a close.