In the third level of the dream (the Snow Fortress) Saito, a major competitor of Fischer interacts with Fischer, but for some reason Fischer simply doesn't notice.

Surely he would know who Saito is, so why did he go with him or trust him? Did he just not recognise him?



As long as Fischer does not suspect that he is dreaming, he cannot "connect the dots" and realize that one of the men that kidnapped him in the first dream was Saito, who sat next to him at the airplane.

I amend my previous answer to better reflect what is going on with the movie.

Fischer boards a plane to LA to join his family for his father's funeral. In the exact same plane, Cobb, Ariadne, Arthur, Saito, Eames and Yusuf are boarded too and they are all sitting in nearby seats. Fischer knows that he is boarding the same plane with his business opponent, though he doesn't quarrel with him; Saito hasn't initiated yet his plan to destroy the former's company and even if he did, Fischer wouldn't do anything other than maybe ask to sit in a different seat, away of him.

By the time they enter the first level of the dream, Fischer meets Saito, Eames and Yusuf in the taxi. He does not even remember Saito but he also fails to recognize everybody else, though moments later he sees them sitting next to him at the real plane. If he was to understand and question Saito's motives, then the same applies for the other two.

I think that, although that it is not addressed in the movie, Fischer could only understand that something is going wrong in the early levels. As they are entering in deeper dream levels they are also diving deeper into his subconscious. Fischer only focuses on his ultimate target (to find what his father left him) which obscures anything other that might be considered irrelevant (his company, his whereabouts, what the others are telling etc).

By the time they are at the third level (where everybody is on Fischer's side), he does not seem to question why Saito, Eames and Arthur aid him, though in a previous dream they kidnapped him. That brings us to the conclusion that he cannot recall this previous knowledge. He is dreaming. He cannot persevere the full dream spectrum neither can he remember the previous dreams and what was going on then. And if we go one step further, he cannot recall his reality, either. Dreams are shaped of what interests us and sometimes they are influenced by what we have seen prior to falling asleep. As a common person would not rationally think that "what I am seeing right now is influenced by what I saw before I went to bed) then the same applies to him.

Keep in mind that, at the baggage pick-up point, Fischer seems to recognize who Cobb is, though he quickly turns his head away realizing that it might be a "deja-vu" situation. If he cannot recognize him, with whom he actively shared merely 3 dream levels (second, third and limbo), then in a similar fashion he wouldn't be able to find out who Saito is.

  • I think even in the first level they were in the same cab they hijacked to kidnap Fischer... Why not then.... It is a loop hole guys.... – user74742 Dec 2 '16 at 13:24
  • @user74742 Read my updated answer. – Lefteris008 Dec 2 '16 at 14:43

It's not certain that Fischer knows Saito by sight.

Fischer Morrow is the largest competitor to Saito's company (Proclus Global), but perhaps there are many companies about the same size as Proclus Global, all of which are not able to compete with Fischer Morrow. If there are, say, 10-20 companies in the same boat, Fischer wouldn't have necessarily met all of their CEOs.

Even if Fischer knows Saito's name and has seen pictures of him, he wouldn't necessarily recognize him in person.

Another thing to remember is that the film doesn't state that Robert is the CEO of Fischer Morrow. I don't think his job title is stated, only that he's the heir of the conglomerate. It's possible that he's not that involved in running the business, and therefore might not even know Saito by name or appearance.

EDIT: The script is pretty clear about Saito's company's being the only real competitor to Fisher Morrow:

Fischer Morrow has the regulators in their pockets. We're the last company standing between them and total energy dominance and we can no longer compete.

Also, given this...

Robert Fischer, 32. Heir to the Fischer Morrow energy conglomerate. He's spent his whole life being groomed as successor-breaking up his father's empire will take a radical shift in his thinking.

You would think that Robert would at least know of Saito. But it's still possible that Robert never met Saito in person.

  • Also, I got the impression that Saito is a high-ranking employee of his company but not one of the owners or bosses. Which would make sense as the bosses would be busy running the company and probably wouldn't want to be seen together with known high-profile extractors like Cobb and Arthur. Saito might be considered expandable and be the fall guy if the whole thing gets discovered. When he says "I bought the airline" he might have meant that he told his bosses he needs it to complete his mission. – Yora Dec 3 '16 at 18:24
  • Come on.. He was the owner of the company.... – user74742 Dec 4 '16 at 15:47

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