Hypothesis: Douglas Quaid did, in fact, suffer a schizoid embolism...

  • Topic Archived
You're browsing the GameFAQs Message Boards as a guest. Sign Up for free (or Log In if you already have an account) to be able to post messages, change how messages are displayed, and view media in posts.
This topic contains spoilers - you can click, tap, or highlight to reveal them
  1. Boards
  2. Movies: Home Media
  3. Hypothesis: Douglas Quaid did, in fact, suffer a schizoid embolism...

User Info: Jaysonshinra

Jaysonshinra
3 years ago#1
...and the events that transpire throughout the film were all in his mind.

[NOTE: This is a long discussion; if you'd like to skip to the crux of my argument, scroll down to the bolded section that reads: "Rekall provided the framework; Quaid's mind provided the details."]

Total Recall is one of my all-time favorite films, because it encourages repeat viewings and challenges the viewer to analyze every single scene, to try and pinpoint any subtle clues that may reveal the truth: is it all real, or is it all a dream?

There is evidence to support both sides, and for years I accepted that notion at face value -- i.e., there is no "correct" answer, and the film is better left ambiguous. However, recently I've come to the conclusion that, given all the evidence and everything we are presented, it was all a dream.

I've almost always leaned toward the possibility that Quaid was dreaming. To believe that everything is real seems to be too much of a stretch. Bob McClane at Rekall spoils the end of the movie ("You get the girl, kill the bad guys, and save the entire planet!") and the bespectacled technician even remarks, "Oh, that's a new one. Blue sky on Mars." How coincidental all of that would be if it turned out that it was all, in fact, reality. I don't buy it.

However, when contemplating the notion that it was all a dream, I've long felt that the "schizoid embolism" was all a part of the Rekall implant. After all, the company claimed that its memories would fool your brain into thinking that your experiences were real; what better way to convince Quaid that his journey is real than to trick him into believing that he never even went to Rekall? (Remember, after the "schizoid embolism," the Rekall technicians wipe out his memory so that he'll have no recollection at all of going to Rekall. Indeed, as soon as Harry confronts him with "You went to Rekall, remember?" Quaid responds with a befuddled, "I did?")

OK, that's all fine and dandy. On paper, it makes sense that Rekall would actually include the schizoid embolism as a part of the package, especially if their memories are as great as they claim. That's one Hell of a mind****, to paraphrase Quaid.

Recently, however, I've realized that the "intentional 'schizoid embolism'" argument doesn't hold sway. If everything is a perfectly-controlled dream (i.e., at the end of the film, Quaid will wake up and thank the Rekall technicians for one Hell of a ride), there are several elements of the story that don't quite add up. For example, why would Rekall use people in Quaid's life as characters in the story? During the trip, Quaid kills his friend Harry from work, his wife Lori, and countless other people. When he wakes up, how is he supposed to function normally? Rekall claims that your brain "will not know the difference" between reality and your memories. So, how is Quaid going to reconcile the fact that Harry is still alive and Lori is still alive, even though he "knows" he killed them?

As far as I'm concerned, there is no way Rekall would intentionally implant that kind of story. That would completely **** with Quaid's mind. However, I don't believe it was all real. So... what actually happened?

I personally feel that the only way to reconcile the entire film, to make everything fit together perfectly, is to conclude that Quaid did, in fact, suffer a schizoid embolism and that, just as Dr. Edgemar claimed later on in the film, his trip was "based on Rekall's memory tapes" but Quaid was "inventing it himself" as he went along. Why do I think this? Consider the following:

User Info: Jaysonshinra

Jaysonshinra
3 years ago#2
The audience is led to believe that "something is up," given the strange looks Quaid receives. Lori has a pensive expression on her face when Quaid leaves for work, Harry gives Quaid a suspicious-looking glare after Quaid expresses his interest in going to Rekall, and even Bob McClane at Rekall seems to try to steer Quaid away from the idea by insisting that Saturn is a much more attractive trip than Mars, insinuating that McClane is aware of Cohaagen's plan and is attempting to protect it.

However, a bit of careful analysis shows that these "suspicious" looks don't really hold up. Case in point: Bob McClane. We're supposed to take his Saturn remark as a suspicious attempt to steer Quaid away from Mars, implying that McClane knows something, yet later on when Quaid suffers the schizoid embolism, and the redheaded technician tells him that Quaid couldn't have been acting out the secret-agent portion of his ego trip because they hadn't even implanted it yet, McClane seems baffled and very concerned. ("Oh, ****. Oh, ****.") If McClane had, in fact, known that Quaid was actually a secret agent working for Cohaagen (as implied by the Saturn remark), he shouldn't be surprised at all to discover that Quaid actually *had* been to Mars before, and that his memory was erased. To me, this completely nullifies the "suspicious" nature of the Saturn remark. In all likelihood, it was simply a businessman trying to sell the highest-quality product available. ("No, you don't want Mars, you want Saturn" = "No, you don't want a Yugo, you want a Ferrari").

And now for my primary argument...

Rekall provided the framework; Quaid's mind provided the details

Like I said before, I believe that Quaid actually did suffer a schizoid embolism. It probably happened soon after the technicians began implanting the trip into his mind; the embolism "interrupted" the Rekall trip, but by that point, the basic framework for the trip was already established in Quaid's mind ("you're a secret agent, go to Mars, get the girl, kill the bad guys," etc.). The scene in which he has the schizoid embolism, what we actually see on-screen, I don't think that's actually happening; and I also don't think it's something that Rekall implanted as part of the trip. What we see on-screen is what's happening in Quaid's mind, as his brain struggles to reconcile these two forces (schizoid embolism vs. the Rekall trip.)

From that point forward, Quaid is fabricating the details of the story in his mind, but he's unable to change the actual framework of that story. Consider the following evidence:

After the Rekall employees dump Quaid in a cab, he is taken to a plaza by Johnny Cab, and all of a sudden, there's Harry! How coincidental. Within thirty seconds, Harry and three heavies are forcing Quaid into a back alley to kill him. This mirrors McClane's remark that "people are trying to kill you left and right." But why Harry? Because Quaid subconsciously resented Harry's insistence that he shouldn't go to Rekall. ("Don't **** with your brain, pal. It ain't worth it!"). Since Quaid's mind is in control, it decides to insert Harry as one of the stereotypical bad guys. Again, this is simply Quaid's way of subconsciously saying, "Screw you, Harry. I'll go to Rekall if I want to."

User Info: Jaysonshinra

Jaysonshinra
3 years ago#3
Prior to the Rekall implant, McClane said that one of the reasons Rekall is so much better than real life travel is that you don't have to deal with "lost luggage, lousy weather, and crooked taxi drivers." Well, let's see... at one point in the film, a strange contact leaves a briefcase for Quaid to pick up. This could be considered "lost luggage." On Mars, Richter shoots the windows and people start getting sucked out. This could be considered "lousy weather." Then there's Benny, the seemingly friendly cab driver who turns out to be a villain. Hence, "crooked taxi drivers." The fact that McClane specifically cited these things as elements of a real-life vacation, and things that WOULD NOT BE INCLUDED IN A REKALL VACATION, proves that this is NOT a perfectly-controlled dream. This is the framework of a dream provided by Rekall, while Quaid's mind fills in the gaps. (He remembered McClane's remarks about lost luggage, lousy weather, and crooked taxi drivers, and his mind subconsciously weaved those elements into the story.)

When the Rekall technicians were setting Quaid up for the implant, the redhead asks him if he'd like them to integrate "some alien stuff." Upon seeing the first picture, Quaid asks "two-headed monsters?" This seems like a throwaway line, but in the context of my hypothesis, it carries great meaning. You see, at the beginning of the film, Quaid is watching the news, and Cohaagen explains that no one knows what Kuato looks like. Quaid obviously had a strong interest in the Martian political scene, so he surely must've wondered what Kuato looked like. With the dream framework provided by Rekall, and with his mind in full control of what's happening, Quaid had his chance. When he finally learns of Kuato's identity, he discovers that Kuato is an infant-looking mutant who emerges from the abdomen of a full-grown man. In other words, Quaid subconsciously turned Kuato into a "two-headed monster."

Dr. Edgemar was telling the truth. He told Quaid that if he shot him, then Dr. Edgemar would be dead in Quaid's mind. "The walls of reality will come crashing down. One minute, you'll be the savior of the rebel cause, and the next thing you know, you'll be Cohaagen's bosom buddy. You'll even have fantasies about alien civilizations, as you requested, but in the end, back on Earth, you'll be lobotomized!"

*Quaid kills Edgemar*
*A bunch of bad guys break into the room, literally breaking down the walls ("the walls of reality will come crashing down")
*Quaid learns that Hauser is actually buddy-buddy with Cohaagan, and volunteered to become Quaid ("the next thing you know, you'll be Cohaagen's bosom buddy")
*The film's climax involves the giant reactor created by an ancient alien race ("you'll even have fantasies about alien civilizations")
*It's important to note that the films ends with a white-out, NOT a fade-out, implying that Quaid is waking up, probably in a hospital ("you'll be lobotomized")

Yeah, it's not fun to think that poor old Arnie was a victim of his own mind, and was ultimately turned into a vegetable, but as far as I'm concerned, that's the only sensible conclusion.
I have to apologize; the only reason I clicked on this topic was because I was tired and thought it said RANDY Quaid, and was like "That would explain a lot."
"Jon Jones and Bendo just slaying mother f***ers in the name of the lord" -- MICHALECOLE

User Info: Jimmel3000

Jimmel3000
3 years ago#5
http://i.imgur.com/X4K7weA.png
PSN = Jimmel3000
http://i.imgur.com/uao80y0.gif

User Info: Damien747

Damien747
3 years ago#6
DiScOrD tHe LuNaTiC posted...
I have to apologize; the only reason I clicked on this topic was because I was tired and thought it said RANDY Quaid, and was like "That would explain a lot."


Lol.

Sorry to break it to you tc, but Paul Verhoven flat out stated before if it was a dream or not.

It was.
https://i.imgur.com/PUgJZbe.gif

User Info: BigLargeHuge

BigLargeHuge
3 years ago#7
Isn't this what everyone already thinks?
cabbage
BigLargeHuge posted...
Isn't this what everyone already thinks?


Well, considering that the memory he picks is called "Blue Sky On Mars"...yeah.
"Jon Jones and Bendo just slaying mother f***ers in the name of the lord" -- MICHALECOLE

User Info: Jimmel3000

Jimmel3000
3 years ago#9
Git ya aahs ta Mahs.
PSN = Jimmel3000
http://i.imgur.com/uao80y0.gif

User Info: milkmanv1

milkmanv1
3 years ago#10
YEW BLUE MAH CUVAH AHM RANDY QUAID!!!
You're gonna like the way you look
I guarantee it
  1. Boards
  2. Movies: Home Media
  3. Hypothesis: Douglas Quaid did, in fact, suffer a schizoid embolism...

Report Message

Terms of Use Violations:

Etiquette Issues:

Notes (optional; required for "Other"):
Add user to Ignore List after reporting

Topic Sticky

You are not allowed to request a sticky.

  • Topic Archived