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In the last scenes of Joker, Arthur a.k.a. "The Joker" is being taken to jail in a police car, after he killed a host on live TV. Then some people wearing clown masks crash the police car and free the Joker, praising him as their hero. At that point there's a cut and Joker is in some kind of psychiatric hospital / prison talking to a doctor, and the movie ends.

How did he get there?

It seems unlikely that the clowns who are destroying Gotham and who to free Joker considering him their hero, then just left him to be captured again by the police.

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    Unsourced, so not an answer: Considering that at that point he had no crime network and no criminal experience, it would be inevitable that he would get caught in the hours or days following the riot scene. Since he's pretty much insane, he'd end up in psychiatric care very quickly. I interpreted it as a cut of at most a few days. – Morfildur Oct 10 '19 at 6:42
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According to IGN:

This final scene isn’t the only sequence in the film where we see Arthur in such an institutionalized setting. Very early on in the film, as he speaks to his social worker, Arthur mentions how he thinks he’d been better off when he was hospitalized. The social worker asks him if he’s given any more thought about why he was hospitalized. Arthur dismisses it with, “Who knows?” But in between those lines the film cuts to a quick shot of Arthur, in white scrubs standing in a cell very similar to the one seen in the film’s closing moments, where he bangs his head into the door’s tiny window. Then it cuts back to the scene between Arthur and his social worker. So is it possible that Arthur has been in that white cell the whole time? That he’s simply imagined most of the events depicted in the movie as part of some empowerment fantasy?

The article then follows with theories from other IGN editors.

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  • So these viewers suggest that the last scene is actually a "All Just a Dream" trope... Well, that would be disappointing. – Jorssen Oct 6 '19 at 12:41
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    It could be all just a dream, but it could be real until some part, for example, maybe he was arrested after killing his mother, or when he was ran over while running from the detectives. – Baku Oct 6 '19 at 14:15
  • @Jorssen No, that's not what they're saying. Also, it's only the opinion/interpretation of one writer, the article contains numerous more. The movie is obviously made in such a way to leave open all kinds of interpretations. – BCdotWEB Oct 6 '19 at 17:06
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    There is, as a I recall, a scene earlier in the movie where he asks how a person gets admitted to the asylum... – krb Oct 7 '19 at 10:14
  • In the final scene, after he tells the social worker (?) that she wouldn't get the joke, he is seen walking down a hallway slowly before turning off screen. As he walks, he leaves red footprints behind. This could either indicate some kind of delusion (as footprints on tile don't leave stains) or perhaps he murdered his caseworker and is plotting his next escape. The joke he was thinking about was Bruce standing in an alleyway over his parents' corpses, which Joker was not present to see so it's suspicious that he would have memory of it. Of course, he could have read about it in the news. – Brian R Oct 7 '19 at 19:08

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