In the film Stay.

After Henry dies and is put on the stretcher, Sam talks to Laila. He thanks her for the help. After which, he asks her out to coffee. Right then there are flashes of Sam and Laila from the world of Henry. What's happening here? What do these flashes indicate. Prior to this all of the other parts of the movie were what Henry was seeing in his head. Now that Henry is dead...

... what do these flashes indicate?

1 Answer 1


Henry is actually seeing Lila as Athena in a flashback. Additionally, the flashbacks coming from Sam of he and Lila are constructed by Henry.

Henry was in a dream-like state throughout the movie. In dreams, the mind can extract a myriad of people and can often pull from the subconscious. Our subconscious can conjure people from random events in our life we come in contact with while awake.

Henry's dreams are taking reality and twisting it into a new perspective. **Henry's new perspective is that Sam's dreams are a way for Henry's mind to solve or make sense of a real situation featuring Sam. The audience is shown this through Sam's "eyes", but through Henry's perspective.

When a person dies, their brain can still "fire" neurons. This can cause hallucinations, clarity or seeing flashes of light that can trigger a random, non-eventful memory.

Henry's brain can still produce memories, even though he is considered legally dead. He is simply producing these memories through Sam.

  • Thanks for that. While you mention that those flashes are constructed by Henry, the wiki article suggests that they were drawn into the other world. If flashes are constructed by Henry it has to be seen by Henry too. Not the others. So the question is how is Sam all of a sudden seeing flashes?
    – John
    Sep 18, 2015 at 4:42
  • @Tivep I added a few paragraphs in the beginning of the answer. This movie can be interpreted so many ways. I am giving you my interpretation of it based on what I took away from the movie. I hope it helps :) Sep 18, 2015 at 5:56
  • I completely understand why Henry is seeing the dream based on the bystanders. His mind is fading and in a bit of a trance. The question is, why is Sam seeing it?
    – John
    Sep 18, 2015 at 6:06
  • @Tivep Sam is seeing these flashes from Henry's perspective. The viewers are shown Henry's perspective being "channeled" if you will, through Sam's eyes. This is allowing the viewers to see that Henry is seeing something of a last wish, but through Sam, knowing that it had to be through Sam, since Henry was dying. Sep 18, 2015 at 7:03
  • interesting @steelerfan. But, at the time Sam sees the flashes, Henry is already dead. No more Henry, no more perspective, right?
    – John
    Sep 18, 2015 at 11:16

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