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Headscratchers / Inside Job (2021)

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  • What age exactly is Reagan supposed to be? The first season seems to be explicitly set in its release year of 2021, as the characters mention several times that it's the 2020s. In "The Brettfast Club" there's a reference to Reagan being forty, and it's implied that her not knowing any 1980s cultural touchstones is because of Popcultural Osmosis Failure, not because of her young age, whereas she makes fun of Brett for being an eighties sitcom fan even though he was born in the nineties. But in a later episode Reagan is explicitly said to be thirty, which would mean she was born in the '90s as well. However, it's also mentioned that she graduated from MIT when she was 13, but when Rand show's Reagan her graduation diploma, it's dated to 1999. This would mean she was born in 1985 or 1986, which would put her age somewhere between 34 and 36.
    • Given Reagan's reaction of "fuck you!" to Myc saying she is forty in "The Brettfast Club" means it's likely Myc was just insulting her appearance by insinuating that she's younger than she looks rather than giving an accurate statement of her age. Given that she explicitly states she is thirty in "Buzzkill" and that the ages match up if she skipped from fourth grade to junior high and was a high school senior 18 years ago as revealed in "Inside Reagan", her canon age is almost certainly thirty. The diploma is either a simple continuity error or it's a hint that it's not actually her's and there's something more going on with that.
    • The diploma is actually not hers, but that of another Ridley, even possibly Rand's. Upon closer inspection, her name is scribbled out, and the pronouns used are male.
    • Also, while she was making fun of Brett being an eighties sitcom fan despite being born in the nineties, that doesn't mean she wasn't also born in the nineties. She was just pointing out that he was fond of a decade he wasn't apart of, not mocking his age in particular.
  • I get that Reagan is enjoying her colleagues working hard and fawning over her for once, but wouldn't she be shocked and angered that Gigi and Glenn's attempts to flatter her respectively involve revealing her name and her face to the public (on live news and on Mount Rushmore)? With her job supposed to be secret and all?
    • They might have been simulations. And even if they were real, they could have covered it up with media manipulation and a second missile blast on Mount Reaganmore. Reagan was just basking in the attention.
  • How did Reagan's right eye recover after it was scratched out in "Ghost Protocol"?
    • She's one of the world's most powerful women, she probably has access to a very effective healing ointment or Magic Plastic Surgery.
  • If Reagan wanted to end things with Rafe without him making a scene, why didn't she text break up with him or have one of her coworkers tell that they're over?
  • Why would the companies that make the 80's merchandise for Still Valley continue to produce them, exclusively for a small town that wouldn't weigh up to the costs of production?
    • The merch is no longer produced and is just in storage, Cognito is just seeking to make a quick buck.
  • If the Robes knew about the problems with the company the day that Reagan became boss, how would they not know that Rand was directly responsible since it was his invention that made it happen, and make him the new boss?
    • Rand may have altered evidence framing Reagan or the Robes could be in cahoots with him.
    • Clarified in Season 2, where its revealed that the Robes knew that Rand was the wrong man to run Cognito Inc. but wanted to use him as a test for Reagan.
  • Is the Inside Job-verse's Al Gore still an outspoken activist for stopping Global Warming? That would be super hypocritical, since he's a reptoid, and the reptoids are the ones helping to cause Global Warming. Did the show really need to make a pin about his name being "Alligator Gore"?
    • Gore could be a reptoid spy collecting intel on climate change activists.
    • It's easier to control the conflict and make things go the way you want them to if you've got pawns on both sides of the Chess board.
  • The Apollo astronauts refused to return and started a sex cult on the moon, but this means that there must have been way more secret astronauts on that mission than the official count in real life (where there were only 3 men, one of whom stayed in lunar orbit), and there were apparently female American astronauts much earlier in the world of Inside Job (the first American woman in space, Sally Ride, didn't go into space until 1983). Did Cognito send several missions who also failed to return before they gave up, boosting the moon population?
    • Likely explanation. Or the initial space mission had a much larger crew or they invented cloning.
    • The sheer number of fabricated details conflicting with the "real" mission definitely means that they would try to downplay the number of people there. Plus there was a lot of sexist assholes that were a part of the coverup. Or they knew the sexist status quo of the time wouldn't accept the idea of women involved in something as monumental as space travel and played into the narrative that they would believe.
  • In Season 1's finale, what were the Shadow Board going to say if Reagan questioned them on the Holocaust?
    • Claim that it was out of their hands or that it was necessary to curb antisemitism or far-right politics.
    • If they can dismiss the Black Plague as "population control," then these guys can probably rationalize anything as being necessary for the "greater good."
  • In "Brettwork", considering Reagan has Abusive Parents as well, why didn't she encourage Brett to cut ties with his abusive family instead of trying to please them?
    • Because Reagan, despite knowing how awful they are, still understands Brett's attachment to them, and even by the end of the season, can't bring herself to hate even her own father. Abuse is a difficult thing to navigate for the victim, who may still feel heavy attachment to their abusers even after coming to terms with how badly they've been treated. Reagan clearly doesn't like Brett's family, but she still understands how important they are to him and that he wants them to be proud of him, so she'll help him no matter what.
    • Also, coming to terms with the fact that your cruddy family simply isn't worth it is something that can only be prompted by the victim themself, not another person. Reagan can tell Brett how awful his family is (which she does) all she wants; if Brett wants to remain in contact with them, there's nothing she can really do about it besides be there to support him when things get difficult.
  • In "Rontagion" why did Reagan think Brett was so important to keeping the party lively? He wasn't really attracting a crowd.
    • Reagan was feeling insecure about things, and mostly just wanted to have Brett's support.
    • Also, her priority wasn't so much the party as it was convincing Ron to join Cognito Inc. Brett, despite not liking Ron, is undoubtedly the friendliest person there who could probably make up a few reasons for Ron to work there (as Ron's conversations with the rest of the gang deteriorate pretty quickly), and therefore was the likeliest to convince him to stay. That being said, the fact that Brett couldn't be around him was probably a sign that Ron really wasn't meant to work there.
  • In "Appleton", Ron thought Reagan was going to join him in his new life with new memories. The gun works by being shot, then Reagan would read out-loud the details of his new life to his unconscious body. Unless there was a third person there, how was he expecting Reagan to do the same thing to herself? He wouldn't know about how the gun works or that there even was a gun. Sure Reagan wasn't planning on going with him, but he didn't know that.
    • Ron shot himself with the forget-me gun, he trusted Reagan to do the same. They would wake up dazed and confused, but they had their passports and other miscellaneous items to give them new memories and get a hold on their identities.
    • The script part isn't required to form new memories, it just helps. If Ron absorbed the conditioning he'd be able to brief Reagan when they woke up.
  • In "Appleton", Ron created fake passports and deepfake images of him and Reagan having fun with new aliases. Reagan has never been shown destroying the deepfake images or the fake passports. If she left them in the Wisconsin home, how could Ron be sure that the woman she is supposed to marry is not the girl in the photos? He could misinterpret the author of the letter that Reagan left as someone else and the deepfake picture girl as the one he is destined to marry. He could spend a period of time looking for that girl. The simulation machine showed that he hooked up with a different woman. So how can Ron be sure that the deepfake girl is not his destined one?
    • Reagan may have destroyed or altered the passports and photos before leaving.
  • Why does Kluge consider the Illuminati better than Cognito since people have heard of them? The whole point of their existence is to control the world in secret! Wouldn't that make them worse than Cognito, since they've slipped up and people not only know they exist, they managed to correctly guess the likes of Beyoncé and Jay-Z are members?
    • Kluge is shown to be vain man and also obsessed with his own reputation. So it would make sense he cares more about the Illuminati's fame than its secrecy.
    • It’s implied that the Illuminati is one that prides itself on reputation and showboating: unlike Cognito, whose staff consists of white collar workers, the Illuminati seems to focus mostly on celebrity culture and the fleeting nature of fame. In other words, they rely heavily on Awesome, but Impractical. By contrast, despite Cognito being dysfunctional, mundanely corporate, and not at all glamorous, they still manage to get work done and keep themselves a secret, being Boring, but Practical. Of course, in the world of Inside Job, the company that gets the most positive attention is the one that looks the coolest.
    • OP here, now the better question would be why the Robes keep them around, considering their vanity makes them a liability to the Deep State's secrecy.
    • It's possible the Robes allow the Illuminati to exist exactly because they are so obsessed with celebrity and fame, thus drawing attention away from Cognito. So conspiracy theorists and other people interested in uncovering the truth of who runs the world are drawn to Illuminati, a minor conspiracy, while Cognito and other more important agents of the Robes are still kept a secret, so they can operate in peace.
    • Plus, it seems like people have "heard of" the Illuminati in the show's world much like in the real world, in that people know the name and have theories about them but they are not taken seriously by the public. So maybe the Robes think of it as a double bluff. It would serve the Robes' purpose for the people who are onto the truth to be dismissed as cranks. And it seems the members of the Illuminati are all rich and influential people anyway.
  • "Reagan & Mychelle's Hive School Reunion" raises two questions: 1. Why is the team's mission to revise the Constitution a sneaky heist job if Cognito controls the US government? Why couldn't they have just walked in there, replaced the current Constitution with the revised one, and then walked out? 2. If Myc was in hive school 5,000 years ago, how could he have been a Dragon Ball Z nerd?
    • It's explicitly shown that the mushroom people in the reunion use their telepathy on the human guests to make it look like a stereotypical US high school reunion instead of how it really is. Presumably this illusion also affects the video clips shown there, so whatever toys Myc really had 5000 years ago were changed to Dragon Ball toys to make the clip culturally understandable to the humans.
    • Regarding the Constitution thing, while Cognito does control a lot of the US Government, it's implied they don't control ALL of the US government. That's why they had Brett run for Senate earlier, to increase Cognito's influence in Congress. Who says the guards at the National Archives are under Cognito or not, or what other parts of the US government Cognito has less influence on?
    • We're also shown that Cognito Inc. isn't the only group out there controlling the government. It's possible they wanted to change the Constitution without letting the other groups like the Illuminati and/or the Reptoids know about it.