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I just watched Minority Report again and I always wonder about one part of the story.

When Det. Anderton is about to get his eyes transplanted illegaly, the eye surgeon tells him, that he got imprisoned by Anderton in the past, which ended his normal life and made him an illegal eye surgeon in a shabby apartment after a not very nice time in prison.

I wonder though why he then helped Anderton, considering that he already got paid (I think) and Anderton was already about to anesthesize. He could just have left him blind or do whatever to him. But he doesn't do anything bad to him (well, he left the rotten food right next to the good food in the fridge, but I'm not sure if this was intentional besides not being that evil a trick).

He tells Anderton something about learning new things in prison and finding himself, but this sounded a bit sarcastic and I don't really believe he was actually happy to have been imprisoned.

So my question is:

  • Was this just a plot device which wasn't thought out that well (raise the tension by implying the eye surgeon is evil, which he then isn't)?
  • Was the eye surgeon really happy to have been imprisoned?
  • Has he just got over it and forgiven Anderton and now only does his job?
  • Or was there indeed something I may have overseen in the story?
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I am curious to see whether anyone can shed some light on this scene. Personally I hated this part of the movie, the characters seem out of place, the surgeons cold so extremely portrayed, the rotten food so obvious. –  iandotkelly May 6 '12 at 3:51
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I agree, this bit always seems badly thought through to me as well. Don't forget the doctor also gives him the muscle relaxant device for free - he goes out of his way to help him! –  Mark Jul 16 '12 at 11:35
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What bugs me about this scene is how the doctor tells Anderton that if he doesn't wait twelve hours or however long it was before removing his bandages, he'd be blind. But then Anderton takes the bandage off one of his eyes way too early when the spider things come. So that should mean that Anderton is blind in one eye now, right? Which ties into the blind drug dealer guy from the beginning's line about the one eyed man being king or something like that. Except Anderton isn't blind in one eye. At least, he doesn't seem to be blind in one eye. So why did the doctor tell him he would be if h –  user4543 Apr 7 '13 at 20:26
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1 Answer

Great sample of the dialog by the way, between Anderton and Dr. Solomon Eddie at IMDB.

While the doctor was describing his experience in prison, his um difficulties in the shower, notice something? Something not in his words, but in his tone. He's dispassionate. He's not angry. I think he actually was reformed. Now he just wants to make a living. He talks as if he's going to mete revenge on Anderton. But never does. He's actually thanking him for turning his life around. I mean, a plastic surgeon who sets his patients on fire for entertainment -- look how far he's come. And he knows it. (This is a better question than I first thought.)

There was also the creepy assistant. Doctor talked at one point as if his assistant saved Anderton, because she had a kind of crush on him. But I don't think that's the real reason the doctor helps Anderton. He's way cynical, to be sure, but he's resigned to a boring life of relatively unremarkable crime. And he's okay with that. So maybe he kinda owes Anderton in the end.

@Shane F. makes an excellent point: the doctor's back-story is a plot device meant to call his trustworthiness [and motives] into question, thereby boosting the suspense about whether he will help or hurt Anderton.

Notice how often this movie tricks you with the good-guy / bad-guy dichotomy. Witwer (Colin Farrell) seems bad but turns out good. Von Sidow seems good but turns out bad. Other characters are more nuanced than pure good or pure evil. This doctor character was just one more bad guy that wasn't all bad.

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I remember this dialog (which was the reason I asked the question). But in which way does it convey the information that the doctor owes Anderton a favor? Could you elaborate on that? –  Napoleon Wilson Jul 19 '12 at 7:30
    
Not sure the implications for spacetime, not to mention online monetization, but to more properly answer this and other burning questions I just queued up Minority Report on Netflix. –  BobStein-VisiBone Jul 19 '12 at 13:55
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My question was not why Anderton paid the doctor. I know that he couldn't remember him, he wouldn't have gone to him otherwise. My question was why the doctor helped Anderton and didn't even try to rob/punish him for putting him into jail. I recall this dialog quite well (and summarized it in the question), but it doesn't give any insights into my question (or I cannot see them and you might point them out more clearly). –  Napoleon Wilson Jul 21 '12 at 0:24
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Now remove the unneccessary dialogue from the answer and add your last three comments and you got a really nice answer, that is worth an up-vote. –  Napoleon Wilson Jul 21 '12 at 12:19
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+1 I agree that the doctor truly did see the light in jail. I would just add that, yes, the doctor's back-story is also a plot device meant to call his trustworthiness into question, thereby boosting the suspense about whether he will help or hurt Anderton. –  Shiz Z. Dec 18 '13 at 1:15
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