The Departed

Question: What is the tune that is playing when we first see Billy going into jail?

Answer: It is called "Shipping Up to Boston" by the band The Dropkick Murphys, from their "Warrior's Code" album.


Question: There was one thing I wasn't really sure on, and I don't even know if there is a definitive answer. Did Mark Wahlberg kill Matt Damon because he figured out that Matt Damon's charecter was working with Frank and he had killed all those cops, or did he just kill him for revenge over the way Matt Damon treated Wahlberg when he took over his job?

Answer: The assumption is that Wahlberg learned of Damon's betrayal from the envelope given to Vera Farmiga, Damon's therapist girlfriend. It could also have been for revenge, but Wahlberg did know that Damon was the rat when he killed him.


Answer: I would argue that Dignam (Whalberg) kills Colin (Damon) out of loyalty to Queenan (Sheen) and Billy (DiCaprio). Although we are shown that Dignam has a general dislike for Billy (in the way that he speaks to him), he is a loyal person who believes in honourable justice. Colin was a rat that not only deceived the very institution that Dignam believes in, but his deception also cost the lives of his dear colleague Queenan and Billy, both of whom were unjustly murdered. Despite Dignam's general apathy or arguable dislike for Billy, he understands that he deserved better (since he knows that he was a good man). Killing Colin ensures that restitutions are paid to all those who were affected by his deceit and illegal affairs.

Dignam didn't dislike Billy, he was just rude to everyone. There are hints throughout the film that Dignam liked Billy including the interview scene where they first meet where Dignam drops his facade to say "We need you pal" softly in an attempt to get Billy to go alone with the undercover plan.

Question: If Costello was an FBI informant then why did he put Sullivan undercover in the police department, and then why did the police put Costigan undercover in Costello's mob, and therefore why the police were trying to get evidence against Costello and wanted to arrest him?

Answer: The FBI and police are separate organizations that do not share full information. Only the FBI and Costello himself knew about the informing, and the FBI can only do so much to stop Costello being caught without drawing attention to their relationship. The police and Costello's gang are fighting a separate battle, hence the two moles.

Question: The character Mr. French pours a clear liquid out of a clear bottle before using a gun to shoot through the bottle and kill a man. Leonardo watches in disbelief and Mr. French then slaps him and tells him to: "wake the f**k up!" What did Mr. French pour out on the floor? What was the point? He just pours this mysterious liquid on the carpet, shoots a guy, the walks out. Help?

Answer: Mr French just pours out lemonade. The empty bottle makes a useful, easily disposable, untraceable silencer (not a perfect one but good enough). Leo is shocked because he thought they were just going to rough the guy up, whilst French was always intending to kill the man, also this is the first murder that Leo has witnessed (that we know of).

The bottle doesn't silence the round so much as suppress the volume, a gunshot can be heard a long way away. The bottle stops it being heard five streets away. It's also a common thing for criminals who are firing bare handed at a target they know will go down in one shot to prevent powder staining on the hand holding the gun.

Question: Whose baby is it? The therapist is pregnant. We know she lies at times. I choose to believe it belongs to Bill, evidenced by deep love and mourning showing in the therapist's face at the funeral.


Answer: It isn't definitively answered but it is heavily implied the father of the baby is Billy.


Answer: She says "and I thought I was the liar".

Answer: Matt Damon was shown to be impotent, so the assumptions is that its Leonardo's.

Answer: I think this was left purposefully ambiguous so as to allow the viewer to draw their own conclusions. Is it Billy's? - and therefore Madelyn will be forced to raise a baby on her own and explain the death of its father? Or is it Colin's? - and therefore Madelyn will be forced to raise a baby alongside him, knowing what kind of man its father is. I interpreted the scene as the baby being Colin's. Furthermore, it is not implied that Colin is impotent, only that he has performance issues every once and a while (this could be due to the immense stress and pressure he is under living in constant fear of being made as Costello's rat).

Question: Why didn't Leo suspect Barrington and be ready for him when he obviously had the tape evidence of TWO moles, not one in the building where he was killed? He should have known to be suspicious and on the lookout for another guy.

Answer: The recording was of Costello and Sullivan talking...Billy wouldn't suspect Costello.he was "working" for him too.

This is a genuine mistake in the narrative. Costello layout tapes of "All his guys." Costigan would have known about Barrington as well but maybe not have expected him to want to close ranks the way he did and appear at the meeting.

Question: When Matt Damon and his girlfriend are talking about erectile dysfunction from the night before, she is eating a banana. Is this a deliberate easter egg Martin Scorsese threw in? (00:50:50)


Answer: Probably deliberate. It's a rather common (and overused) film trope to insert some phallic-shaped object into a scene as a sexual reference.

raywest Premium member

Question: What exactly was in the envelope that Costigan hands to the therapist? Was it the tapes that Frank had recorded of himself?

Question: When Matt Damon is ambushed by Mark Wahlberg in the end of the movie, just before Mark shoots him he says "Okay". Does this mean "Okay, shoot me" or "Okay, I admit it"?

Answer: It's like he's acknowledging he can't escape the original lie that brought him to this moment. There's no way out once you buy in. He's tired of lying and killing his way out of problems, and recognizes that he's reaping what he sowed, hence the resigned "okay."

Question: In the final shot of the film, is it really Matt Damon lying there on the floor, or a body double? Nobody else has noticed, but something just doesn't seem right. It looks like the hair is darker/cut differently, and the facial features don't feel right.

Answer: I've had a good look and, to be honest, it just looks like Matt Damon to me. He's got his face pressed against the floor, which is always going to make it look a little distorted - it's not a particularly natural way to lie. Hair colour looks right - if anything, it looks a little lighter than the shot immediately before he's killed, something readily explained by lighting. In the end, given that the face is visible, there's no way they'd use a body double, nor is there any reason to do so.

Tailkinker Premium member

Chosen answer: The gold dome is part of the Massachusetts State House and it represents his ambition to rise up in the legal ranks, regardless of the means. The view of the State House is why he decides to rent the apartment.

Phaneron Premium member

Question: Right in the end, before Damon enters his flat where he is shot, he tries to pet the neighbour's dog but the lady-owner moves the dog away from Damon and gives him a scornful look. Why does she do that? Damon's guilt is not known to the general public, is it?

Answer: I think it encapsulates his fall from grace.

Answer: The realtor told him he would be upper class by Tuesday, even though he is a "lowly state trooper" who can't afford that kind of place on his own. It is likely that the neighbor is just a wealthy snob and finds Sullivan beneath her.

Answer: His guilt isn't known to the general public at all. Petting a dog without first asking the owner is considered rude to some pet owners.


It's also seen by some as either they never really liked him and shown as a symbol of Damon hitting rock bottom or that they fell out with him because they are nosey and didn't like that he hurt his pregnant young girl enough for her to leave him and move out. Make of it what you will. There doesn't seem to be a right answer.

Question: Why does Colin not want his girlfriend's pictures out in the apartment?

Answer: Because he's a sh*tty boyfriend (as reinforced by purposely making a point of showing Costigan hanging it on the wall later on).

Answer: Because he doesn't want her to be in trouble if he gets into trouble. Also he wants as little information about himself in the apartment. Another option is psychological issues. He had a hard childhood after all.

You are mixing the characters up, it was Damon that didn't want the pic up, not Billy.

The person talking about Billy is correct but for the wrong scene. Billy hangs the picture up in her old apartment, because she still has time on the lease.

Answer: Damon did not want Costello to know where she was from if he came over, either because Damon was embarrassed by it, or to protect her from them.

I disagree, Costello has all kinds of informants and people working for him, he probably already knows everything there is to know about Madelyn.

Answer: Colin is Damon, not a mixup. I agree that it is to protect her identity from someone who may enter the apartment.

Answer: My interpretation is to emphasize the divide between the two characters and show how the person one conveys on the surface could be vastly different from someone's true nature. Colin is a cop (arguably a good one who is granted his own team investigating organized crime). As a cop, society views him as a good, well-intentioned, selfless person who serves a greater purpose. Furthermore, we are shown that he is highly ambitious (pursuing a law degree and aspiring to a life in politics). All of this shows that on a societal level, he is a good fit or match for Madelyn. She is a doctor, therapist, university educated, decent person who would typically end up with someone in a similar social class and circle. This juxtaposes Billy, who despite the fact that he went to a prestigious and private private school, is extremely intelligent and we know from the beginning a good person, to the rest of society is simply a low-life murderer, criminal and thug and member of Costello's inner circle. This is not the kind of person that Madelyn nor society would pair her with. So, on the outside, the characters are written as such. But this small interaction with the childhood photo shows that surface interpretations are not an accurate representation of the true man. Colin isn't actually the right match on a more intimate level, and Billy, for all intents and purposes is more loving and compassionate to Madelyn's true self.

Question: Delahunt was revealed to be an "undercover Boston police officer." Costello said "They're saying he's a cop so I won't look for the cop" (mole). When Delahunt dies, he grabs Costigan and mentions the wrong address where Queenan got thrown off the roof (partially by Delahunt). Delahunt says "I gave you the wrong address but you showed up anyway. Ask me why I didn't say anything!" and then dies. Was Delahunt really an undercover and that's why he knew Costigan was an undercover too? If so, why would he be complicit in throwing a police captain off a roof? But Delahunt was known as heavy muscle for Costello so why would he not give up Costigan if he suspected Costigan was the mole? Basically, was Delahunt a cop or not and why would he protect Costigan?

Answer: There is additional footage of Delahunt's death scene available on the home release, with Martin Scorsese giving a brief introduction to the deleted scene. Scorsese comments on the scene as being nice because it gives some additional insight into Delahunt's mind but ultimately the scene slowed down the movie too much. It is implied by Delahunt that he didn't tell Costello about the mole because he had grown to greatly dislike both Costello and the man he himself had become while being an enforcer. However, Scorsese directly states in his introduction that he thinks the theory that Delahunt is also an undercover cop is interesting and it's perfectly fine if audiences view the scene this way.


Question: Who did Frank execute in the beginning of the film? Was it the shop owner or just someone we don't know?

Answer: They were "Guineas from the North End" who tried to tell Frank what to do. (Guinea being a racial slur for Italian-Americans). It's most likely just two unknown people because they are credited in the film as "Executed Woman" and "Executed Man."


Answer: Someone we don't know.

I believe the couple Costello and French killed on the beach were Sullivan's parents.

I would disagree, Sullivan is Irish and the couple French and Costello murder are "guineas" (a derogatory term for Italian-Americans).

Answer: It was Leonardo's father and girlfriend killed out by the airport.

No way.

Italian mob boss and wife?

Question: Does anyone know, or anyone have a good guess, as to the time span the movie covers, from when Leonardo Dicaprio first goes undercover, till when he is killed? I tried figuring it out, but a lot of things confuse me. I would assume it would be a good while, since Matt Damon and Vera Fermiga meet, move in together, and get pregnant in the time span. While meeting under the bridge DiCaprio tells Martin Sheen and Mark Wahlberg that he has been at it for a year now, but then at the end DiCaprio tells Matt Damon that his only contact for the last nine months has been a police shrink. Any idea for how long he was under cover?

Answer: The time frame is about a year. The first three months are spent in jail.

Answer: 18 months.

Question: Two things in this make me think they have some meaning behind them. At the cemetery, after the memorial for Billy's mom. Costigan is standing by the grave when everyone's gone already and looks up to the flowers sent by Costello. The note signed by Costello has been shot twice (it switched to Costigan in between). And if you look closely the signature and the picture of Mary changes, as if it would be two completely different notes. And I have no idea why Scorsese would do that. The second shot that bothers me takes place in Sullivan's apartment, while Colin is unpacking Madelyn's boxes. Right before he picks out Madelyn's graduate certificate there's a very short clip where television showing a woman's hand reaching for a phone is filmed. What's that?

Answer: While I love this film (and anything Scorsese touches for that matter), there are many continuity issues throughout the whole movie. It's easy to think that there is meaning behind every shot in a film, but sometimes it is simply sloppy continuity (which doesn't necessarily reflect on Scorsese). Jack Nicholson's scenes in particular seem to always have glaring continuity issues - this probably has something to do with his acting style. At the end of the day, the movie rocks. And that's all that really matters.

Question: The dirty cop who shot Costigan; how did he end up there? Costigan names the time and location over the phone to Sullivan. He also states while on the roof to Anthony Anderson that he called him for verification of who he was. That relates back to their time at the Academy together. It's a bad gaffe in the climax of the story. It's like he just magically appears, unless I'm missing something. Any answers as to how that other rat in the staties on behalf of Costello who kills Costigan ended up at that point to kill William?

Answer: If Leo was in the lineup for Costello's crew, why didn't Anthony Anderson pick him up in the line up while investigating Costello? They had pictures of the whole crew. Anthony Anderson was in SIU. Bothers me.

Answer: The implication based on the dialogue is that Trooper Barrigan had been following Sullivan ever since he discovered that Costello was an FBI informant. He states that because of Costello's actions, the two of them have to stick together now and look out for each other.


Question: When Costigan finds out that Costello is an FBI informant, why doesn't Costigan speak privately with Costello and reveal to him (Costello) about being an undercover cop in order to get Costello to tell him (Costigan) who the moles are in the police department? Then he (Costigan) can inform Dignam and Queenan, so they can have the moles (Sullivan (and Barrigan)) arrested. If Costello is an FBI informant and Costigan is an undercover cop then they are on the same side, so theoretically they can trust each other.

Answer: Just because Costello is an FBI informant does not mean he is a nice guy. Costello would probably kill Costigan if he knew he was a cop. They are not on the same side at all. Costello also benefits greatly from having Sullivan as a police officer that is loyal to him, so he would never roll over on him.


They aren't FBI informants either. They are Boston State Trooper undercover agents.

Question: When Billy and Madelyn are together before she moves out of her apartment (3 weeks left on the lease), he looks at the picture of her when she was a child and admires it. But we had already seen that picture in Colin's (her new) apartment. So either this is an error in the film (unlikely) or they showed the scenes out of sequence. I didn't notice that the first several times I have seen this film. What I liked about it was that it shows that Billy is interested in her child self - a view to who she is - where she comes from and Colin wasn't. He takes it out of the box and hangs it up. I don't think Colin wasn't interested in having her photo out for her protection (as I read in a thread), I think it's because he's all surface and doesn't dare go beneath - to real feelings - like childhood feelings. If she reveals her "self" then he has to also. Why was the viewer shown those two scenes out of sequence? (01:20:11)


Answer: I think this is a continuity error. Another commenter noted that there are many discrepancies and continuity errors in the film. Either this, or after Colin rejected the idea of having her photo out in the living room, she brought it back to her old apartment for the remaining couple of weeks she had on her lease. It's a weak interpretation however, and therefore I try to overlook the issue as simply a continuity error. I interpret the juxtaposition between how Colin and Billy viewing Madelyn's childhood photos as showing the true depth of these characters. On the outside, Colin is a cop investigating organized crime in Boston, as such, society would typically view him as good, honourable, and socially acceptable member of the community. Conversely, at this point, Billy is undercover and is by society as a member of Costello's inner crew and low-life criminal. However, these exterior versions are not the true representations of the character (as the audience very well knows) and showing how they react in the same situation emphasizes how our external facade seldom represents who we truly are as people, and that looks can be deceiving.

Continuity mistake: In the scene after Queenan dies, when Sullivan picks up his phone to contact Costigan, he presses the "talk" button and a smudge of blood is left. In subsequent shots, there's no trace of blood on the "talk" button. (01:49:45)

More mistakes in The Departed

Surveillance Guy: Who the fuck are you?
Dignam: I'm the guy who does his job. You must be the other guy.

More quotes from The Departed

Trivia: This was Martin Scorsese's first film to win Best Picture. And his first Oscar for best Director. Martin also said that this was the first movie he ever made with a plot.

More trivia for The Departed

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