The Biggest Unanswered Questions in 'Inception'

The Biggest Unanswered Questions in 'Inception'

2020/06/22

Cobb spends much of the film trying to avoid talking about his past. In fact, he holds so much back that his subconscious keeps manifesting his regrets throughout the Fischer job, to the point that Ariadne forces him to confess. It's then that Cobb reveals that he and his wife, Mal, once accidentally fell into limbo and spent decades there, building another world from which Mal never wanted to escape. Cobb was eventually able to convince her to leave by withdrawing her totem and using it to prove they were dreaming. The pair committed suicide in limbo, but when they woke up, Mal became convinced that the real world was a dream and committed suicide in an effort to leave it, all thanks to Cobbs' inception.



The film establishes that limbo is difficult to escape because it's hard for your mind to realize you're there, but if you do want to escape, you can do so by dying. Cobb clearly figured this out before Mal did, so why didn't he just kill her in limbo, then kill himself so they could wake up together?


Well, setting aside the implications that killing her might have if Mal ever remembered it, the key for Cobb wasn't to simply pull Mal out of limbo. It was to convince her that she wanted to leave, which he did through inception, planting the idea that she should seek out her totem again. Though his plan only worked initially and failed later, the point was to make her want to leave.















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