Why did Travis Bickle start a conversation with the secret service guy in Taxi Driver?

A site suggested it was because he wanted to make the secret service guy suspicious and therefore finalize his (Travis's) death at his hands when he assassinates Palantine. This doesn't seem right. What is your point of view?

1 Answer 1


I think he was trying to gain insight into how a Secret Service agent might think, to see if he could outsmart them. Or at least know what they're looking for, so he could alter his actions accordingly. If you recall, he's taking on a different persona in this scene, and he's also armed. He seemed, to me, to be pushing the envelops to see what he could get away with before arousing suspicion. But, like most other people in his life, the agent was mostly dismissive of him.

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