In Inception, it always makes me wonder why Cobb didn't say a hello to his team members. He does not even smile at any of his team members at the airport.

What is the reason he acts like he does now know his team members?

Can someone help me to understand the airport scene in Inception?

  • I think that any dialogues there will damage the awesome bgm at that scene
    – user8256
    Feb 26, 2014 at 18:11

2 Answers 2


They do give each other some knowing glances but you are correct, as the team arrive in Los Angeles airport, they split up and almost ignore each other going through immigration and baggage collection.

IMHO there are two main reasons for this:

  • They have just completed a crime, they illegally drugged Fischer and forced him into a shared dream without his knowledge. The team appeared to board the plane giving the impression of not knowing each other. They probably do not want to make Fischer suspicious by suddenly being all friendly at the destination. Fischer has woken up with a new idea in his head (to break up his fathers business empire) and they probably don't want him to even start to connect that with the journey he just completed. As a result the team are moving through the arrival lounge just as if they are normal business people on separate journeys.
  • Cobb is wanted for murder and is just about to go through immigration checks. Everyone else in his team knows this. Cobb is probably nervous and his friends are probably nervous for him and/or curious too see whether Saito was able or willing to get Cobb into the country.

I agree with what's been said in the other answer, but also I consider a major factor to be mood. The whole sequence is designed to give that sense of the magnitude of their (his) accomplishment, and heighten his fear and expectation as he makes it through immigration and then customs and finally freedom. Plus there is a general sense of a dream or waking from a dream as the camera tracks his movement through the airport.

Plus anyone who's ever traveled on one of those long flights knows the feeling of slight zombification you get from landing until you're finally home. It actually conveys that feeling really well! Though I doubt this was an aim of the filmmakers.

  • "Zombification" now I know what that feeling is called. It's good to get an official diagnosis; thanks! +1
    – Möoz
    Apr 30, 2015 at 22:59

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .