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Headscratchers / Eyes Wide Shut

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  • Victor Ziegler gave a reasonable explanation as to how the orgynizers found out that Bill was an intruder; however, it is still unclear how the mysterious woman learnt that, since she could hardly know the details Ziegler cited as evidence. On the contrary, she somehow seemed to just know it at first sight. Same with the novella, where Fridolin draws suspicion by being the only one not taking part in the orgy itself - however, the woman sees through his masquerade much earlier than that.
    • One: she actually knew everybody at the party, so she instantly recognised Bill as an intruder. Or she spotted the taxi and realized that he was, it's just that someone else tipped Ziegler off and she tipped Bill off.
    • Second possibility: it's Mandy or Domino. Both have seen Bill earlier in the night, Mandy with Ziegler (which might point to it being her). Both know that Bill is not involved because of his kind treatment of them and/or, in Mandy's case, because of what Ziegler told Bill about the circumstances of her overdose.
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    • Thirdly (which might overlap with the above): Paranoia Fuel. Bill gave himself away another way which she saw, she just doesn't get a chance to tell him it was.
  • Just how did the mask end up on Bill's bed?
    • Somebody broke in while Alice slept and put it there.
    • The mask fell out of the bed after Bill got home, and he didn't realize it. Later that day, Alice found the mask. She put it on the pillow beside her, figuring that was all she needed to do to ask Bill what was going on.
  • Did the owner of the mansion foresee that Bill would turn up at the gate the next day? There really wasn't time to type the note between the time he gets to the gate and when the car appears up the drive, so realistically they would have to have it at the ready in case he showed up.
    • Only the envelope specifies his name. The note itself could've been written for everyone who arrives there with relevant enquiries at a much earlier date, and they simply typed the envelope with Bill's name.
  • Another one for Victor Ziegler and the orgyists: there are a small number of people who take Bill's interpretations of events as truth that the orgyists were going to hurt or possibly kill Bill to keep their orgy a secret and that they did kill the woman in the mask and Nightingale may have possibly been killed too. Victor states the orgyists planned on just scaring him to keep him silent about what he saw and we see that before Bill finds out about Amanda Curran's death in the newspaper, it's clear their plan to keep silent due to being scared worked. Victor telling Bill what actually was going on does the oppose of what the group wanted and pretty much allowed Bill to talk to his wife about what happened (IIRC, didn't they tell him not to tell her anything as well?). Now, if Bill's interpretation of events were in fact the truth, why the hell did Victor call him to his place, spin a lie about nothing happening to the masked woman except her being screwed silly like before, that Nick was alive and sent back home to his wife and family, and that the woman died of an OD in her own apartment? Doing that would just give Bill no reason to keep quiet anymore, and Bill had no idea Victor was there until he told him. So, for those who believe that Bill's interpretation of events as true, can you explain what gives away that Victor lying about what happened (any particular details that jump out that confirms Bill's interpretation as truth and Victor's explaination as lie), when the action of him calling Bill to his house and telling him the truth gave Bill free rein to tell anyone he wanted about the orgy seems legitimately true? And if Victor is lying, why would he bother to call Bill with this lie about nothing happening to the masked woman that hadn't happened before, lying about Nick being alive but beaten up and that the woman OD in her own apartment, when the group had successfully frightened Bill to stay quiet if they legitimately have the power and money to make people disappear? Even better, if they were as powerful as some have suggested, why let Bill leave the mansion at all if the orgyists were as dangerous as Bill believed before Victor told him the truth?
    • This troper has always interpreted the film as being about the conspiracy mindset. So it's simultaneously valid to say that all these points are true, and yet, the very apparent "openness" of Victor's explanation is itself suspicious, and the viewer retains paranoia (even if just a shred of it) and/or the secret belief that Victor is actually lying the more he seems to tell the truth. It requires the audience to choose between the boring mundanity (Amanda overdosed, Nick got beaten up) or secret sensationalism, neither of which might be true. AFAIK, nothing directly contradicts Ziegler, but nothing directly supports him either; the desk guy saw Nick being dragged out with a bruised eye, but nobody confirms he got to Seattle for instance; we know Amanda died, but nobody can confirm than it was definitely Amanda who offered herself. All of that being said...
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    • Bill isn't just some nobody. Although he is clearly not high-class enough to fit in with Ziegler's orgy buddies, he's Ziegler's doctor, and Ziegler knows him well enough to call him when Mandy overdoses (the first time). With this in mind, and Bill's apparent concern for Mandy's welfare, Ziegler could've assumed that Bill is discreet enough to be trustworthy if "all" he thinks happened is some creepy ritual. If Bill genuinely feared for Nick's or Mandy's safety, he might be much more inclined to involve the police or others. Also it's a commentary on Bill's character after the night he's had, that Ziegler guesses he'd prefer to accept the rational explanation he's been offered - especially knowing that the person he knows, who met his wife and knows he has a daughter, is part of it.
    • As far as "why not just kill Bill at the orgy?", two possibilities: 1. Bill isn't high risk like Amanda. Even Bill himself tells Amanda that she's going to die if she continues doing what she does, and Domino is a prostitute who is known to be dying (assuming it isn't Amanda who sacrifices herself). The long drive between Seattle and New York gives the men ample ways to dispose of Nick (if they were ever going to). If Bill dies overnight in New York, Alice is probably going to want answers, and it doesn't help that Ziegler has already established a clear link between himself and Bill with the Christmas party. If they're that powerful, though, I think 2 is more likely: 2. it's all about the ritual. This group clearly puts value on ritual, because otherwise why even bother with the house, masks, etc. when Ziegler and Mandy weren't wearing them before to have sex at the party? Bill was going to be the sacrifice, but when Mandy or whoever offered herself up ritualistically in his place, they had no "choice" to let him go by their own standards.

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