Tuesday, May 5, 2009
THE GRANGER INCIDENT
Much has been written and discussed involving TGI or the Granger incident, stroke of genius, mind-scratching and a unique moment in film. Two things must be addressed: the event being recursive and the event being unknowable.
Unknowable: The reason Granger is told about the box and why he is necessary as a time traveler. This part of the script was left open. Carruth did not write or develop the event at all. Rachel getting shot does not fit into the equation here. It may have happened, but then Aaron would have rewritten over that event and lied to Abe that it never occurred. It seems the idea to punch Platt, or some other mayhem, got out of control. In an emergency, Abe sends Granger back through the fail-safe. It is possible that he went to rescue the Aaron in the attic as he seems to try to avoid Abe and Aaron in the car. However, that Aaron could have escaped the attic and cause the mayhem that jeopardizes the Abe and Aaron that we see. Seeing an Abe outside of the house is also a confusing part of the scene. One way or the other, Granger has arrived, made contact with Abe and Aaron, and seriously sent the time line onto a tangent course.
The problem is that Granger(2) is confronted by Aaron before Granger(1) learns of the box. Granger(2) becomes a paradox. Now that contact is leading Abe and Aaron to avoid their trouble but has caused a huge ripple in time. Abe does not inform Granger(1) about the box, therefor he will never learn about the box and arrive in this time line. Yet, here he is. How does the paradox "work itself out somehow"?
Recursive: the events are repetitive and self-feeding or even self-causing. Granger's appearance causes, in effect, his own demise. Thus, there is no way of knowing what has transpired from the present moment for Abe and Aaron to the moment Granger got in the box and rewrote new events. His contact with an Abe and Aaron who are unaware of being in a repetition of the time line are suddenly thrown into circumstances that did not occur the first time through. Rather than solve this dilemma, Abe decides to use his fail-safe. However, if Abe leaves his former self alone, then that Abe will continue to repeat the same events, live through the Granger incident, and continue to fail-safe over and over. Abe must interfere with his former self despite his rules and wisdom. Part of the problem is that if Aaron decides to go back in his own fail-safe, then he will take the time line back to a point before Abe actually experiences the Granger incident. Would that Abe believe Aaron and avoid the Granger incident by avoiding the experiment? Or would he at that time attempt to fail-safe and blindly try to avoid this event?
As Granger's coma deepens, it would appear that his state of health declines as Abe considers the idea of using the fail-safe. Abe should have informed Granger(1) about the box (without knowing the reason why) and avoided any paradox. It could be that Granger was injured by Aaron behind the house, who in turn lied to Abe. Either way, Abe and Aaron are shocked to see Granger(2). Why? This is the first time that they realize that they are not in control. In fact, they are not in the present but the past. From their perspective, Granger arrives from the future. Both learn that one can never know if they are in the actual present or in a rewrite of time.
Abe learns of his needed actions from Aaron when he learns at the bench scene that Aaron has traveled to such a great extent and has recorded his repetition. (Except that the recording does not contain the Granger event since it was this event that helped Aaron see the need to record events, such as the party with Rachel.) There is only one way to break out of this cycle that repeats itself over and over, but this leads to creating permanent doubles of Abe and Aaron. Again, a splitting of the minds. Abe wants to prevent Abe(1) from time travel. Aaron wants to avoid being a paradox and decides to call Abe(1) which will set him on the course to 're-invent' the boxes.
Posted by Tim S at 12:46 PM