In a scene within Inception, Dominic Cobb is caught stealing documents from a safe by Saito and Mal. Saito's henchmen bring in Dom's accomplice, Arthur. Mal tests whether they are in a dream by shooting Arthur's foot and causing him pain. She also deduces by the luxurious decor that they are inside Arthur's dream. (I guess Arthur likes to dream about luxury.) Dom spares Arthur the pain by shooting him in the head.

Arthur wakes up immediately, but Dom and Saito continue inside the dream. Dom only wakes up after his sleeping body is dunked into a tub of water. That occurs a minute or more after Arthur wakes up. The movie says that time passes 20 times faster in the dream than in real life, so 20 minutes would have passed between when Arthur "died" and when the house was flooded.

Why would the dream continue if Arthur is already awake?

  • It doesn't continue. It immediately starts to collapse. – Valorum Jan 4 '17 at 7:23
  • @Valorum I know it starts to collapse, but why does it take a full 20 minutes instead of ending immediately? Or at least ending sooner? Arthur wakes up in a few seconds, so that should be a minute in dream time. – RichS Jan 4 '17 at 7:30
  • because they're still connected by the PASIV machine. – Valorum Jan 4 '17 at 8:06
  • To be more precise, the dream is shared between all the people connected by the PASIV machine, but it's hosted by the subconscious of Arthur. – tobiasvl Jan 4 '17 at 11:34

I don't think it collapses immediately because all the subjects are still dreaming, and sharing said dream regardless of level, even after Arthur is extracted.

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