In Inception, Robert Fischer was kidnapped by Cobb's team who had him in Taxi with Eames, Arthur and Saito. Robert must have known that they are kidnappers as they kidnapped him anyway. But, in later stages and further dream levels he accepts them as allies without any resistance. He was told by Mr. Charles that they are his allies (Eames, Arthur and Saito). But, was that just enough to be convinced? Why did he never doubt Cobb as his enemy/kidnapper/extracter? Was Fischer so scared that he couldn't figure out that the people who kidnapped him became his allies and no suspicion arose?

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    Because its a dream - and we're never quite as clear headed and observant in a dream as we are when awake. The professional dreamers on the other hand are more practiced at this ... perhaps.
    – iandotkelly
    Nov 8, 2016 at 12:16
  • @iandotkelly Fischer remembered the first numbers popped out of his head for opening the safe which was used to locate the floor and room number in which the machine was placed, he also remembered being kidnapped with Peter and being drove into the river. If he remembers these details then what could possibly go wrong that couldn't figure out that these people are not his allies. Nov 8, 2016 at 13:35
  • But he knows it's his imagination, Cobb told him that. So I'm guessing he could be easily convinced that he keeps seeing the same faces because it's a dream.
    – Walt
    Nov 8, 2016 at 13:38
  • @Walt As Eams told Saito that he was observing Peter and his actions to figure out the suspection of Fischer on Peter, if the case is seeing same faces again and again and convinced just an imagination then he could never suspect Peter for plotting against him. Even if they were just projections then he should have trusted his other projections also which were followed in the dream with the army in glacier. Fischer is intelligent enough to understand that he should not trust anyone blindly. Nov 9, 2016 at 5:27

1 Answer 1


In the Real World, Fischer wasn't kidnapped, but sedated on an airplane. As far as he knows, he drifted off to sleep naturally, with nothing to fear. The kidnapping occurred in a dream, and like any dream you or I might have, there's a tendency to just "go with it" while you're dreaming. In reality, you would NEVER trust a skeezy fat guy in a white panel van offering you candy if you get inside. In a dream, however, you might just go along with it (and there might even be candy!)

After that, each new layer of dreaming is like a dream to the dream-person in the previous layer. A dream within a dream, quite literally. The only people in full cognitive control are the ones hooked up to the machines; aka Cobb and his gang, in this case.

As for the projections; Fischer had "training" to "resist dream infiltration" but he likely had no idea what that resistance would look like in an actual dream. It's not like somebody told Fischer in reality "look out for the guards dressed liked this and obey them no matter what because they're your protector projections." For one thing, a dream can take ANY form, and the projections that resist infiltration would naturally take whatever form is most appropriate for the dream, so they aren't static. For another thing, if the projections were static or had a static symbol, an infiltrator could theoretically learn what that symbol is and mimic it after he gets inside your dream. That would be a weakness in the training program. The projections operate at a subconscious level to stop the infiltrators no matter what the actual dreamer wants or does, this is the only way to make sure they can't be corrupted themselves.

So, in short, since Cobb and his team kept Fischer close on each level of the dream, they were able to manipulate "what happened" in the dream and tell Fischer what they wanted him to do or think about. Fischer "went with it" because he was dreaming without a dream machine, and as long as Cobb could keep Fischer away from the projections, they couldn't stop him. This is ultimately what inception is all about, after all. Making someone think an idea was theirs when it really wasn't.


If you prefer to take the position that the entire movie was a dream - including the layer that Cobb thought of as "reality" - then Fischer himself becomes just another element of Cobb's dream. Fischer does what's necessary to keep the dream going as a figment of Cobb's imagination, and Cobb "just goes with it."

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    And why doesn't he recognize any of them in the airplane after the whole dreaming is over? "
    – Kakaji
    Nov 25, 2018 at 11:16
  • @Kakaji The obvious answer would be that if he recognized them at all, he just assumed his subconscious mind used their appearances to construct the fictional characters in his dream. That's assuming he remembered the dream well enough and was paying attention enough to notice at all. Remember, in the real world he had no reason to suspect anything was amiss, which also means he had no reason to accuse these fellow travelers of anything, even if he did notice the similarity.
    – Steve-O
    Nov 26, 2018 at 14:29

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