Wallace Keefe, Lex Luthor, and little red notes

Discussion in 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice' started by Mainline, Jul 28, 2016.

  1. Mainline

    Mainline May The Force Be With You

    Aug 14, 2015
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    To me, this is pretty straight forwards, but I'm having a harder time wrapping my head around a common alternative perspective and I'd like someone to stand up for it and explain why it makes more sense, is more likely, and their preferred interpretation.

    This is my understanding:

    1. Keefe loses his legs and is embittered.
    2. A few months after the BZE, Bruce starts the Victim's Fund and sends checks.
    3. Keefe cashes the first few checks to support his family, but his complex of being less-than drives away his family, embittering him further.
    4. Keefe sees Bruce as moving on and ignoring casualties like himself, ignoring Superman, and just using money to bury the issue.
    5. Keefe's grudge grows against Bruce too, which is why Bruce is on the wall along with Superman.
    6. Keefe begins to reject the checks with little red notes.
    7. No one from the Fund cares because it's a callous kind of charity to begin with, they didn't find Keefe a new meaningful position, counseling, support, or health care... they fired him and cut him checks. If he rejects their money, they're not in a position to offer anything else anyways so they ignore his notes.
    8. Keefe protests in the manner for 8-10 months max, not all ~24 months since the BZE.
    9. After the African Incident hits the news, Keefe's had enough and stages his public Superman statue protest in broad daylight, in front of cops and cameras, aware of the consequences, hoping to spur awareness.
    10. Keefe screams "I work for Bruce Wayne!" to incite Bruce to action and to make others think Bruce Wayne endorses this action.
    11. The televised arrest brings Keefe to Lex's attention.
    12. While Keefe is incarcerated, Lex does his homework and figures Keefe the perfect patsy.
    13. Keefe keeps meticulous records of every Superman story, so he probably keeps records of his notes to Bruce as well.
    14. Lex offers Keefe a platform to be seen and Keefe accepts the wheelchair and the appointment with Finch.
    15. Lex sends the final red note on a newspaper clipping to coincide with the bombing.
    16. The day of the bombing, while Keefe is in Washington, Lex plants incriminating evidence in Keefe's apartment (additionally graffiti, bomb materials, etc)
    17. On the helipad, Lex's statements are mere establishes awareness of the notes and not an explicit statement taking responsibility for them all.
    That final line is what makes a lot of people leap to the conclusion that Lex is entirely responsible for all the red notes... but I have trouble understanding the motivation or logistics for this line of thinking. A few key questions:

    1. When did Lex start to target Keefe and why? Two years removed from the Senate bombing, before the Committee on Superman had even been formed and before Finch was an enemy, why would Lex persecute an otherwise stable blue collar employee with a family?
    2. Did Keefe ever know about the Victims Fund and how could Lex keep Keefe from learning about it, speaking up about it, or being contacted by the Fund or other victims, etc?
    3. So did Keefe sit in silence for 24 months without checks? What if Keefe just got another sufficient job? How does JUST intercepting checks produce exactly the outcome you want two years later?
    4. Did Lex return the checks monthly? Why would he call attention to his patsy before his plan? What if the Fund intervened in response to the notes, made Keefe whole, and undid the whole point of this?
    5. How do you interpret Keefe crying out, "I work for Bruce Wayne!" If it is for his checks, aren't there better and more reasonable avenues that would have worked earlier? How could Lex control what Keefe would say? If Keefe blurted out, "I want my checks!" wouldn't that ruin Lex's plans?
    6. How did Lex know Keefe would use red wording and abstract phrasing in protest, such that his red notes are consistent with that? What if Keefe wrote glowing letters and testimonies about Bruce online or had some sort of contradictory behavior with the notes? Does it make more sense for the red notes to have predicted Keefe's protest OR for the red notes to come AFTER his protest and ape his style... if the latter, why would Lex intercept checks in ADVANCE of a protest, to send a message via checks using a style he wouldn't know was coming?
    7. Etc.
    There's just so many logical inconsistencies with the idea that Lex started stealing checks from this random employee for a long distance plan based on facts Lex couldn't know and factors Lex couldn't control... but people cling to this all out of an interpretation of an incredibly vague line. Seems to me, it's way easier to adjust our interpretation of the line than try to work out logistics for a plan that doesn't make sense.

    That said, I may have a blind spot. I might not be able to see some simple logical way Lex was able to do this from the beginning where it makes sense. So I'm open to having that explained to me.

    What's your sequence of events? How could he have planned for it to happen as it did? Why would he want to (what's his motivation)?
  2. Mainline

    Mainline May The Force Be With You

    Aug 14, 2015
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    Further indication that Lex was not intercepting Wallace Keefe's checks.

    The article shows that the Fund was immediate and well publicized. It's improbable that Lex could or did keep Keefe from knowing about the Fund or stop the Fund from reaching out to Keefe.

    If Keefe's angst was about expectant checks, there are far better ways to fix that than subject yourself to prosecution with the possibility of a 40-year prison term. And Lex's plan would have to be daft to create an entire Truman Show around Wallace expecting him to end up in the Capitol Building just intercepting checks.
  3. owlsarepretty11

    Apr 21, 2017
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    Thanks for the useful information! I helped your advice!
  4. Raveryn

    Raveryn New Member

    Apr 24, 2018
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    When Lex learns that Batman is Bruce Wayne and of his hatred of Superman, he devises a plan to pit Batman and Superman against each other in a win-win scenario. If Batman kills Superman, Lex wins because Superman is dead. If Superman kills Batman, Lex wins because Superman would have killed wealthy philanthropist Bruce Wayne. However Lex needs to be sure Batman fights Superman on his terms and when he is ready. If Superman kills Batman, sure it would be enough to have the world denounce Superman, but he would still be alive. Hence Lex wants the government on board with a silver bullet ready for when the public decides Superman is a threat that must be stopped. Bruce rescuing Keefe was a big story, and being the one Bruce personally helped, Keefe would be significant to Bruce.

    So Lex uses this connection and plants these little red notes so that when the time was right he could use them as a trigger to push Bruce over the edge to instigate the fight. Note that an early dated check in the extended cut shows a drawing of the capitol building in flames. But its established Keefe has no part in that plot and isn't aware of the explosion. Keefe's gripe is also with Superman, not so much the government or Bruce. Knowing that his African plot would lead to congressional hearings, Lex set this up early on to establish Keefe as a scapegoat. We are also aware that Lex's reach extends far, and his power of manipulation is great. Keefe's wife leaving him may have been part of Lex's doing to send him further into depression and despair. Also note that Keefe claims he has nothing on TV which leads Bruce to question the checks. This is a heavy implication that having nothing includes having no money which tells us he hasn't been getting the $7,000 checks each month. Keefe's marriage also would not have been so strained with this generous inflow of cash.

    Since Lex couldn't get the government on board with his silver bullet idea he had to come up with an alternate means of killing Superman should Batman fail to do so (which Lex likely doesn't believe Batman will succeed in). Using his access to the scout ship he learns about Doomsday. Having this means he is able to follow through with his plan, sets up the capitol bombing and sends the "You Let Your Family Die" note to bring attention to two years of returned checks (note the "Bruce=Blind" and "Wayne Can't Win" lines which suggest knowledge of his identity and taunting of his inability to defeat Superman) to push Batman over the edge. While originally planning to use the Kryptonite to create his silver bullet (likely metallo from info that has come out about the movie's development), with Doomsday Lex no longer needs the Kryptonite and lets Batman have it to increase his fighting chance.

    Note that from the start of the movie Lex was feeding Batman information to guide him to the inevitable fight with Superman. This includes allowing him to steal data from his servers, allowing his men to possess information that would be leaked to Batman in interrogations and infiltration methods which Lex knows Batman is capable of (such as Knyazev's phone leading Bruce straight to Lex's home of all places rather than a burner phone).

    Some things to consider based on your final paragraph. 1) Lex is the smartest man on the planet (see Empire of Lex featurette). 2) Lex is 10 steps ahead of everyone 3) Lex has connections with the US Military creating weapons for them and knowing what the CIA and FBI know as evidence by his knowledge of the investigation into his bullets created for the military and access to Government video files regarding other "heroes". 4) Keefe is not random. There's a front page news story about Bruce saving Keefe, hence the personal connection to Bruce. 20 years of saving lives, and Bruce fails to follow through with Keefe making his save meaningless. 5) Lex is able to hack ATM terminals (see Diana surveillance footage) indicating he is a hacker and owns Satellites (see stolen LexCorp files Bruce has) giving him potentially unfettered surveillance abilities. His power and reach is vast. And he is able to learn the identities of all the heroes. So there is very little he doesn't know.

    There is also no reason to mention the little red notes to Superman if he had nothing to do with them. Its a fact detailed even in the official synopsis for the movie that Lex "manipulates" both Superman and Batman. If you read the plan as I just laid out to you, it actually makes more sense than getting lucky with finding Keefe.


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