Originally Posted by The Postmaster General
I kind of took Alfred's departure a bit differently than others' from what I can tell. What I felt happened was that Bruce blindside fired Alfred, when Alfred was essentially just giving him the same parental stuff he'd always given Bruce. He kind of bluffed Bruce to some extent and got called out on it because Bruce was pretty far gone at that point. I mean to say, all Alfred really said was that he wasn't going to stand there and watch Bruce to that and then Bruce was like "Oh, well you're fired." (paraphrasing) I thought that made the scene especially gut wrenching because it sort of showed how Bruce was willing to do whatever it took to save Gotham and Alfred just got hurt in the middle of all that. Alfred has been stern with Bruce like that many times in the past and Bruce is usually either does it anyway or he compromises or takes Alfred's advice. What he doesn't do is fire his most loyal companion. Maybe I'm Donny-ing on this discussion and am misreading what's being said (I am the walrus?) but I don't think that Alfred really abandoned Bruce at all.
Right, the situation really escalated when Alfred brought up the fact that he burned Rachael's letter. It could have gone either way before that point, I think Alfred was just desperately trying to get to Bruce. Bruce refused to listen to any logic once Rachael was brought up. It was interesting how in TDK burning the letter seemed like a noble action to protect Bruce's feelings but in TDKR we see it's just allowed him to further his obsession and shun happiness.. And that scene really was gut wrenching since Alfred was the emotional core of these movies, I wanted another epic speech about tangerines.
Like I said earlier, it was ultimately Bruce that was making all of these decisions and you can't blame Alfred for abandoning him when Bruce was the one who said "Goodbye Alfred" and turned his back on him; you also can't blame Lucius for Bruce's bad financial decisions. They were trying to steer him in the right direction but he just wouldn't have it.