Slippery World of Phillip Jeffries

By Magda Mariamidze

10:10 am, February 16 (1988 or 1989) – Cooper reminds Gordon about a dream he had some time ago. The dream was about Phillip Jeffries’ appearance in Philadelphia office. Then the events of that dream actually happen. But as Gordon later confirms (after his Monica Bellucci dream), Jeffries appeared and did not appear in Philadelphia office. What does this mean? Was his appearance in fact a dream?

My answer is yes. I want to say, that appearance of Jeffries could be a dream soaking into reality. What Cooper saw as a premonition dream, then became a collective dream shared by him and his dream characters. I’m not sure we have ever seen Jeffries outside a dream. Even Buenos Aires part from FWWM and Missing Pieces doesn’t seem real. It feels like those scenes are full of some clichés about the city and its atmosphere with tango dancers in the hall of the hotel.

Jeffries consciousness might already have been locked in a machine. He attended ‘one of their meetings’ and it’s possible that he couldn’t find his way out of their world. Or he was able to attend that meeting only because he was already part of that world. He says “it was the dream”, and he continues dreaming. “We live inside a dream” – this line is first said by Jeffries. He is one of those dreamers who dream and then live inside the dream. Though he was lost and confused then. He was just starting figuring out what was happening to him.

Another ‘dreamer’ is Cooper. He is sensitive enough to dream world to serve as some kind of mediator. I argue here that Jeffries’ appearance was only possible through Cooper’s dream. Cooper knew he would appear, he knew about his own image on CCTV monitor. That image could be his double, or the monitor could be just showing dream world.

Gordon, Cooper and Jeffries communicate through dreams. Gordon has all those equipment and that strange hearing aid to be in tune with different layers of reality. Probably that allows him to be grounded enough to avoid getting lost in other dimensions himself. He has also Albert at his side who is the most grounded person of them all.

Years later, in his dream, Gordon is reminded of the abovementioned event by Monica Bellucci. Thisdream begins with Cooper whose face Gordon cannot see. I think it is the easiest part for interpreting – Cooper is enigma to Gordon at that point. Then come those lines about dreamer said by Monica, and then he’s reminded of Cooper and Jeffries from 25 years ago. Is it possible that it was again Jeffries communicating with Gordon, this time through the image of Monica Bellucci? Jeffries is now well aware of where he is and what he has to do. He can manage time travel. Can he manage dreams too?