Sign up ×
Movies & TV Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for movie and tv enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

At the end of Gattaca, the dialog is pretty clear that Dr. Lamar, who does all the urine-based genetic verification, has a son who admires Vincent's persona as Jerome and that clearly is the reason he does nothing to stop Vincent; indeed, he urges him to board his flight: a dream come true for all of them.

However, when Vincent first adopts Jerome's identity and "interviews" (a standard genetic test) with Gattaca Corporation, it is with Dr. Lamar who probably is not aware of the deception. But in their seemingly daily interaction of "Jerome" peeing a sample for the doctor, at some point the doctor becomes aware that Jerome is a fraud, but never says a thing. It isn't until the surprise genetic test seconds before boarding the rocket that the doctor says "For future reference, right-handed men don't hold it with their left."

It seems implicit that those enforcing genetic purity would view Vincent as a criminal. But certainly Irene (Uma Thurman) abandons such thinking by the end of the story. Why does the Doctor?

Perhaps this hints that many (maybe everyone) in this genome-driven world are sick of the science-enhanced discrimination? Especially those apparently in charge of enforcement. If so, then who is really fostering and promoting the discrimination?

share|improve this question
According to the plot descriptions on Wikipedia and IMDb, Dr. Lamar is the one who has the son who admires Vincent. –  FredH May 14 '13 at 22:21
@FredH: Yes, I mentioned that at the end of the first paragraph. But when "Jerome" is first invented, the son could not have admired him. –  wallyk May 14 '13 at 22:25
Sorry, the way I read your question it seemed as if you were saying there were two different doctors involved. –  FredH May 14 '13 at 22:34
@FredH: Fair enough. I have clarified the wording. –  wallyk May 14 '13 at 23:09
Other than that I'd really like to see this turn into a question I completely understand, since I'm glad to see a question on this amazing movie. When I first saw it I was just stunned and I still enjoy it every now and then on TV. –  Napoleon Wilson May 14 '13 at 23:18

4 Answers 4

up vote 12 down vote accepted

In the fullness of that scene at the end, Dr. Lamar asks Vincent if he'd ever told Vincent the story of his son. This is something that Lamar has asked Vincent many times, without ever telling Vincent the story. It is only at the final test that the doctor tells Vincent that his son admires him (Vincent) and wants to be an astronaut despite a genetic defect that will bar him from doing so. So basically, the doctor's son is exactly in the same predicament as Vincent. This is why the doctor does what does. You mention Irene, who has a heart defect that limits what missions she will be picked for.

So, I don't know that either of those hint that "many" in their society are "sick" of the discrimination. I'm sure that the people who are affected by it in some way are. So who is "fostering and promoting" the discrimination? The same people who always do (often by inaction or ignorance of the situation) - the ones who are not affected by it.

share|improve this answer

Jerome is a swimming star from Great Britain. Why isn't it plausible to see that Lamar's son follows swimming and so knows of the real Jerome/Eugene - a name the doctor would realise through the normal discourse of having a child who follows intently, a professional level sport.

It stands, then, to reason that the doctor always knew - and felt it appropriate to let him know so at the end when he knew it was a 'new policy' to test before a flight and as such, Vincent/Jerome wouldn't have come prepared.

Further, Lamar mentions 'who knows what he could do', clearly referencing the ability for his son to pass as a 'borrowed ladder' in the same way that Vincent had.

--remember, the son doesn't admire Vincent but Jerome (Jude Law - the name Vincent is using). Lamar would come to know of Vincent's true identity and thus real name as a natural course of regular testing - whereupon he quietly takes it upon himself to help further maintain the guise under which he operating.

share|improve this answer

Perhaps Lamar is his in fact his Father. The socioeconomic status of the family at the start in the dinning room scene suggests they are not well-to-do. Further, the genetic integrity laws must be quite strict to allow Vincent to go past the tests. Why does he ask "... have I told you about my son." Seems odd to go about it in this personal manner, especially for a clinical scientist. However, this is possibly a less plausible case than suggested by others here, as even with alterations, it doesn't look much like his Dad. Would be cool though, and possibly the kind of luck that it would take to slip though at GATTACA... makes it more poignant regarding the absurdity of genetic screening and the "brave new world"?

share|improve this answer

Doctor Lamar is not Vincent's father, here is why : Anton says to Vincent "Our parents died thinking you have survived.". With both parents dead, Dr Lamar could not be Vincent's father. However, the last test scene implies that Doctor Lamar has a son who dreams of being an astronaut, despite a genetic that prevent him to be one, leading to Dr Lamar empathy towards Vincent, an invalid.

The question remaining is : does Dr Lamar render Vincent's DNA valid as Jerome Morrow, by pressing the button that switches the file on screen from Vincent's invalid status to Jerome Morrow valid status.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.