If you’re reading this you’ve probably seen Fight Club. If not, did you come from the past in some sort of HG Well’s style time machine? If so, welcome to the internet. We have a lot of porn. For everybody else, allow me to ruin Fight Club for you as we ignore the bullshit happy ending we were given and look at what would really happen after the credits roll.
"So by 'strange time in your life' you mean just after you killed a bunch of people and...is that...do you have a boner?"
1: Fight Club won’t just go away because Tyler’s gone
"For the last time, I don't care if you were in Requiem For A Dream. Your band sucks!"
By the end of the movie there are more Fight Clubs than there are Starbucks and they don’t require Tyler to run them. Which makes sense, because KFC runs itself just fine without Colonel Sanders. As Jack confirms at the police station.
Detective Stern and THREE DETECTIVES stand, staring at Jack,
who's seated. On the table are the phone bill and files.
There are probably several hundred
members in the metropolitan area.
Chapters are sprouting in at least
five other major cities. They're
tightly-regimented, with many cells
capable of operating without a
Tyler has made every precaution to stop Jack from interfering or destroying Fight Club by ordering the Space Monkeys to ignore his orders. Which is just the sort of paradox you'd excepect from a man who breaks the first rule of Fight Club to anounce the second rule of Fight Club which is about not breaking the first rule of Fight Club. Just take this scene for example where jack finds some of Project Mayhem’s plans and tries to leaf through them:
That wouldn't interest you.
The first rule of Project --
"This is about the disfuguring injuries thing again, isn't it? When are you going to let that go?"
Project mayhem will stop at nothing to bring about Tyler’s vision of the future. And This isn't a future where we stream episodes of Doctor Who and eat microwave pizzas, this is more of a knife fighting marauding street gangs kind of future. As Tyler explains:
In the world I see -- you're stalking
elk through the damp canyon forests
around the ruins of Rockefeller
Center. You will wear leather
clothes that last you the rest of
your life. You will climb the wrist-
thick kudzu vines that wrap the Sears
Tower. You will see tiny figures
pounding corn and laying-strips of
venison on the empty car pool lane of
the ruins of a superhighway.
"From now on anyone who knows who knows what a duvet is will be an enemy of the republic."
2: Jack is either going to be arrested or castrated or both
Any chance of a happy ending for Jack goes out the window when he runs into a police station and and starts screaming about acts of terrorism:
INT. POLICE STATION - DAY
Jack RUNS to the front desk, crazed, dumps the armload of
files on the desk in front of the DESK SERGEANT...JACKI want you to arrest me. I'm theleader of a terrorist organizationresponsible for acts of vandalism allover the city. Detective Stern inarson knows who I am...
Yeah, police usually follow up on tips like that even in a pre 9/11 world.
"But, guys, I overcame the dark personification of my hatred of capitalism...that means I can go home, right? Guys?"
One police officer takes this pretty seriously and goes off to check this out. While other police officers subtly reveal that they work for Project Mayhem with some casual attempted dick slicing.
You know the drill. You said if
anyone ever tries to interfere with
Project Mayhem, even you, we got to
get his balls.
"And that concludes this week's meeting. Oh, one last thing before I forget: if I mention any of this please cut off my balls."
And let’s not forget that this isn’t just a weird comic aside. The cops actually allude to the fact that they have done this enough times to set an actual record.
What's our best time for a "cut and
Is somebody timing this?
(looks at his watch)
Wait till the second hand gets to the
You also have to take into account that there are four guys in this room and three of them are in Fight Club. In maths terms this means that 75% of the police force work for Project Mayhem and have direct orders to cut off people's dicks.
So, we can assume at some points after the credits Jack ends up peeing sitting down for the rest of his life or - I dunno. What's a time-sensitive girly reference? Watching Twilight? But the good news is he won’t have to go to jail because...
3: Jack will be institutionalised
Jack suffers from an extreme version of dissociative personality disorder. Even if shooting himself through the cheek somehow deals with the Tyler Durden issue temporarily that doesn’t mean Tyler will not come back, in some form. For example, if I were to shoot Nick fucking Nolte through the face with a harpoon gun, and he survived (we're talking about Nick Nolte so he WILL survive) will he then become more or less insane?
Uh, that’s not how you cure schizophrenia. If anything, that probably makes it worse.
Some night when Jack is lonely or scared or depressed, Tyler will come back to cheer him up. And if not Tyler, then some other expression of his subconscious. Maybe, a representation of his father. Or, I don't know, the fucking Easter Bunny wearing crotchless panties and singing Taylor Swift songs. What do I know? The guy's fucking crazy.
And he can never eat soup again.
So the best case scenario for Jack is that he ends up in an institution for the criminally insane. Instead of going to jail or losing his balls and occasionally becoming Tyler Durden as society collapses outside. And maybe, just maybe he gets the occasional acknowledging nod from a janitor with a black eye, or a knowing glance from a male nurse. That isn’t speculation, by the way, that’s how the novel actually ends.
Not pictured: Sanity