Shutter Island: Teddy Daniels (Part 2 of 2)

If you missed part 1 of this article, from the point of view of Andrew Laeddis here’s a link to it. And here’s the introduction.

For the second time, there’s a bunch of spoilers coming your way! If you haven’t watched this film, I suggest you do before you read part 1 and this.

Shutter island is a very open ended film. so for the sake of keeping our sanity let’s set some ground rules. I will refrain from calling DiCaprio’s character Andrew Laeddis, as in this post, he’s brainwashed into thinking he’s actually his wifes murderer. The main character of this story is U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels.

Things to know before we move on:

  1. Teddy Daniels is a prestigious U.S. marshal and a War veteran who lost his wife to a pyromaniac by the name of Andrew Laeddis. The atrocities he saw in the war and his wife’s murder subconsciously haunt him till this day.
  2. While looking for his wifes killer, he finds out that Laeddis was placed in a mental facility in Ashcliffe, nicknamed Shutter Island. Laeddis’ trail suddenly dissapears and so he looks into this place through a former patient, George Noyce.
  3. George Noyce was a man who volunteered for experimental drugs and had heavy hallucinations. He was sent to Ashcliffe. After being treated, he is let out. Teddy tracks him down to find any information he has about Laeddis. Noyce tells him that in Shutter Island, he saw people doing extremely experimental procedures on patients. Teddy looks this up and finds that the government funds this place to run military experiments which involve brain surgeries and lobotomies.
  4. Teddy forgets a bit about Laeddis, and keeps investigating on Shutter Island. Since the government funds these secret experiments, they become aware of Teddy’s investigation and took action. A year after his release, George Noyce stabs 3 men in a bar and is taken back to Shutter Island.
  5. Meanwhile, in Shutter Island, Rachel Solondo, a doctor, finds out about the insane experiments after seeing a large shipment of 2 drugs. One used to tame the patients, and some that create strong illusions. She tries to escape the island. However, she cannot due to there only being one way out (The Ferry.) The Shutter island staff sees this as an opportunity to catch two birds with one stone, and put a “missing patient” case out on the wires, thus labeling Dr. Rachel Solondo an insane person.
  6. Soon after, Teddy sees and picks up the case immediately as he sees it as an opportunity to find out what’s really happening in Shutter Island, and maybe what happened to Laeddis. We assume Teddy’s old partner either goes missing or leaves him, after which he is sent on the case. He is told his new partner, a transfer, is to meet him on the ferry to Shutter Island, and the story starts.

Keep in mind that to reach both conclusions, you have to ignore certain parts of the other plot. Therefore I’ll try to put up every small important detail seen and heard, and how it’s interpreted in this specific plot. Here we go.


Teddy Daniels, The Brainwash Victim.

The Boat:

  • The boat comes out of the fog, and Teddy cleans his face. He tries to fight the sea sickness. He’s never been good with water, and it’s giving him a headache (Or perhaps he was drugged before we see him, as he states later.) The restraints he passes by on the way out disturb him. He meets Chuck, who he thinks is his new partner. Chuck tells him he’s a legend, trying to get on his good side, and Teddy asks how is it in Portland. Chuck corrects him with “Seattle.” was Teddy told he was transferred from Portland by a superior? Teddy grows a little weary and asks him how long he’s been in service. Chuck says he’s been a marshal 4 years. Chuck sees the ring and asks if he’s married. Teddy thinks of his wife while looking at the water, and it makes him sick. He says “It’s the smoke that got her, that’s important.” This shows how much of the case he remembers since he became obsessed with finding Laeddis for years.
  • Teddy talks about having his cigars with him when he got on the boat. Where they stolen? He’s given his first Cigar by Chuck. It’s important to know that the cigars are laced with “hallucinogenic drugs which make him more susceptible to suggestion.”
  • “Government employees will rob you blind” says Chuck. Then they reach the harbor.

The Harbor:

  • They arrive at the harbor and get off the boat. The deputy, Mcphereson, tells Teddy he’s never seen a marshals badge before. The guards seem on edge (due to outsiders coming into the island. They’re aware his presence is due to the fact that they’re not good enough to find the missing patient, or they know what’s going on in the island and know he’s a detective trying to blow the lid off the joint.
  • They pass an electrified fence and Teddy mentions it. “How do you know?” asks Chuck. Teddy says he’s seen one before, which we see later in one of his World War 2 flashbacks.
  • The deputy stops them before going into the facility. He tells them that Ward C (Where Noyce might be) is off limits. He tells Teddy and Chuck that they have to forfeit their guns. After some debate, Teddy gives him his gun. Chuck has trouble taking his off, which Teddy finds weird.  They might have taken the guns away so Teddy could not defend himself if it came down to it, and so they could make plastic replicas to trick him with later.

The Island, Day 1:

  • “Dr. Cawley created something really unique here.” says Mcphereson, referring to the infamous experiments Teddy has found out about. All the patients look as if they’re drugged, like zombies.
  • On their way in, they see a patient who upon seeing Teddy, puts her finger over her mouth. She looks as if she was forced to be quiet perhaps, and she’s hiding the secrets. The things she saw.
  • They go into Dr. Cawleys office and Teddy sees disturbing pictures of experiments and lobotomies. Perhaps these are the kind of experiments that they practice or that Cawley is inspired by. Cawley walks in the room and talks about how important the facility is. When Teddy refers to the patients as “Prisoners” due to his war and marshal experience, Cawley corrects him. Andrew says he’s against the treatment of dangerous patients. He implies they should just be put down, probably thinking of Andrew Laeddis.
  • Dr. Cawley explains that “Rachel Solondo” is delusional and murdered her three children by drowning them. This gives pause to Teddy as it would anybody. He’s deeply disturbed by the thought of a mother murdering her own children and so Rachel stays in his mind. The thought is now implanted in his head. When he is shown the two pictures of Rachel, one looks too much like a dead woman he remembers (Is it the same woman?), frozen to death, holding her child. He saw them in the war. The drugs bring up a vivid image of her and her child which appears in his head. He gets his first migraine due to the illusions. Dr. Cawley gives him a set of pills, supposedly to calm the headache.
  • Dr. Cawley explains how Rachel thought that everyone was regular citizens and postmen. This confuses Teddy. He chuckles at the thought, and Chuck looks at Cawley as if he’s offended, maybe at Teddys laugh. Dr. Cawley explains how the patient “Evaporated through the walls.” This seems highly unlikely. He explains the door was locked. Cawleys exaggeration must be due to the fact that most likely, a sympathetic staff member helped the doctor out of the room, but he’d given up trying to find out who.
  • He’s escorted by Cawley to the room, where shortly after finding out the patient was barefoot, he finds a lose tile on the floor, with a paper. “The Rule of 4, Who is Patient #67?”  Patient #67 is a missing patient on paper, who will later be used to trick Teddy Daniels. The rule of 4 is a rule they also follow to trick him into thinking he made up his own name. “It is definitely Rachel’s handwriting.” Cawley says, following up with admitted respect for the doctor by saying “Rachel is smart. Brilliant, in fact.”
  • After Cawley tries to take away the paper, Teddy grows weary. He asks for access everyone’s files and Cawley denies him access for obvious reasons (he’s an outsider/he’s onto them!). He instead offers him to interview everyone later. He tells Teddy to help the Deputy searching the cliffs. (this is probably so he can go over what to say with the staff and patients.)
  • They make it to the Cliffs, where Teddy asks the deputy why they haven’t searched the caves alongside the cliffs. The Deputy tells them there’s no way she could’ve survived, since there’s poison Ivy and she’s barefoot. Teddy sees the Lighthouse for the first time. They go back and by then the staff is ready to be interviewed.
  • Teddy gets back with Chuck and interviews Glen, one of the staff. Once they find out Glen broke protocol (Maybe he made this up and actually helped Rachel.), they can now assume Rachel sneaked out. Then Dr. Sheehan (Chuck) is mentioned by someone else and Teddy wonders where this Dr. Sheehan is. To avoid more questions, they say Dr. Sheehan is on vacation. After a false attempt to reach Dr. Sheehan, they meet Dr. Naehring.
  • Dr. Naehring is German and Teddy immediately catches it in his accent due to his war experiences. This makes him uneasy and hostile. For every question the German doctor throws his way, Teddy fires back a smart answer and Dr. Naehring says Teddy has an “Impressive defense mechanism.” I think this scene is more about Dr. Naehring testing his future subject out to see how hard it’ll be to brainwash him, and finds him hard to get through. He doesn’t think Cawley can do it, and if it would be up to him, he would just subdue him and take care of the problem. Naehring calls him a “Man of Violence” which triggers a flashback of Teddy letting an enemy soldier die on the floor.


  • In the dream, Teddy has a bottle in his hand. He quit after his wife’s death, and so he is confused. He looks up and sees his wife nagging about his drinking. He asks if she’s real. She has a huge burn on her back from the fire that Laeddis started. Ashes fall from the roof and she says “Laeddis is here, he never left.” meaning, he’s still somewhere in the asylum. Teddy subconsciously wants to kill Laeddis, and the dream feeds this thought. “You remember our summer in the cabbin?” she says, while being held (The cabbin where Rachel drowned her kids, now implanted in his thoughts, or perhaps a different memory.) Water weirdly and suddenly comes out of her belly, onto his hands and turns into blood. He holds her and she turns to ashes in his hands. The apartment sets on fire, and he’s left alone, looking at the water in his hands. He wakes up and looks at his hands.  water falls on his hands from a leak on the roof. The water in the dream was subconsciously put in the dream due to the leak, and turned to blood because as stated earlier, he’s seen so much violence in the war. Hence he was so confused when seeing it in the dream… Water after a fire? that didn’t make sense to him. That made it stick in his head.



The Island, day 2:

  • Teddy is picked up by Cawley and an conversation happens in which Cawley tries to convince Teddy that he’s against experimental drugs and lobotomies. This doesn’t convince Teddy and he’s still against treating dangerous people in peaceful ways.
  • They get to the interview, and Teddy talks to Peter first, who is extremely annoying. He talks about Rachel as if she’s a whore. This bothers Teddy since the patient is known for killing women. He takes offence and begins to scratch the pencil on the paper. This annoys the patient so he continues to do it until he begs him to stop. Then he asks him about Andrew Laeddis, but doesn’t get an answer. During this interview, he also gets another drug induced headache.
  • He then interviews another patient, Kearns. She seems extremely afraid to talk about Rachel. The famous water glass scene happens. During the interview, we see the water in her glass disappear and appear again. This is the hallucinatory drugs, starting to take effect in Teddys head (evidence of this is that in the first shot where the woman takes the glass to drink from it, she’s not even holding a glass.). Before that, Kearns makes Chuck get a glass of water, as she passes Teddy the note that says RUN on it. She does this because she knows what goes on in Shutter Island, and knows the plans they have for him. He finally asks her who Andrew Laeddis, and she responds by almost crying. “I never met him.” Is Andrew Laeddis dead from experiments or other reasons. perhaps simply killed to frame Teddy?
  • When they leave the interviews, Teddy and Chuck take a walk and stay inside a house in the cemetery. When Chuck asks who Andrew Laeddis is, Teddy explains that it’s his wifes killer. He burned down their apartment. “He doesn’t have a face you’d forget,” he says. He was looking for him due to the dream, but he reveals that he’s really looking for George Noyce, the man who told him about the secret experiments happening in Shutter Island.  He’s in ward C, where they can’t go. Chuck, seeing this as an opportunity to gain his trust, plays into his story and tells him basically “we’re both stuck here, they got us!”
  • The storm blows the doors of the house open. Teddy has a flashback of the war with a young frozen girl in a red dress and her mom, in a pile of frozen bodies fallen off trains. Jewish victims from the second World War. The storm gets worst and they’re found by the deputy, who takes them back indoors.

The Conference Room:

  • Teddy and Chuck enter a room where a meeting is happening. Dr. Naehring wants the patients in restraints. Cowley does not because what about if they drown? they’ll lose half their subjects.
  • One of the doctors states how many patients they are, and it leads to the question, who is the 67th person? It is Laeddis, who is suddenly is not known by anyone, and will be replaced by a brainwashed Teddy soon enough.
  • He is thrown off the subject by being told that Rachel was found. To trick him into thinking there was no case to solve anymore, they have one of the staff pretend to be Rachel. This way, he stalled since he has no reason to walk around the island/has no more authority.
  • He is taken to see fake Rachel, who talks like a normal woman at first and continues to hold him like his wife. Teddy, heartbroken, reminded of his wife, holds Rachel back and tells her everything will be alright. For a moment he feels as if he’s married to her. He feels bad for her. Then Rachel breaks away and asks him who he is. Her sudden switch confuses him and throws him off. The drugs take effect once again and he gets a headache. He’s given more drugs by Dr. Cawley, who tells him he’s giving him pain pills, and is sent to sleep.


  • Teddy is walking through the familiar World War 2 Camp and he sees the mom and child again. This time, he sees Rachel, who is now stuck in his head and the familiar frozen girl, who was always haunted him. He suddenly walks into darkness and comes out at Naehring’s office where Andrew Laeddis is sitting. A man with a scar, holding a match to his face. He flashes his alcohol bottle and says it was nothing personal (his wife’s death.) suddenly he turns into Chuck, who he now trusts (this change can be seen as the betrayal that is coming from Chuck, who turns out to be Dr. Sheehan). He hears a scream and sees Rachel, bloodied up like the German soldier he left to die (The memories and his imagination are mixing in his subconscious at a heightened state, perhaps because of the drugs.) She has her three children at her feet and they’re in a cabin by a lake (perhaps from a memory of him and his wife, since she mentioned it in the last dream.) One of the children is actually the girl from the camp. He cries and helps her put the three children in the lake (This is Teddy’s regret. He moves her because he left her there when he saw her years ago in the war. This is the closest thing to a burial he can give her to redeem himself.) He wakes up in another dream that seems like reality. He sees his wife coming in where he’s sleeping from the rain. “Why you all wet baby?”  He asks. (This sticks in his head, he might have said it out loud while Dr. Sheehan watched him sleeping.) Finally, Dolores tells him to kill Laeddis.

Ward C:

  • Teddy wakes up with a migraine, Chuck right next to him. He offers him a cigarette immediately and tells him that Ward C is open due to the storm breaking the walls. When in ward C, they’re found by a guard who lets them go. A chase leads to him being separated from Chuck. (Who could be watching him still). George Noyce can be heard whispering “Laeddis.” as Teddy follows the voice and finds George, who is all beat up, and clearly afraid of being taken to the lighthouse. When Teddy asks him who did that, he says “You did this to me!” When Teddy asks what he means, Noyce says “All your talk, all your fucking talk and I’m back here because of you!” meaning that in his search for Laeddis, he dug too far into a conspiracy and they framed Noyce for murder. Once he was back, they might have tortured him to get all the information he knew about Teddy. When Teddy asks him what he knows, Noyce mentions that it’s all a carefully planned conspiracy, to brainwash him. “All you where up to, All this is a game. It’s for you. You’re not investigating anything, you’re a rat in a maze.” He finally says “You can’t dig out the truth and kill Laeddis at the same time. You have to let her go.” What Noyce means is that he has to let the thought of his dead wife go or they’ll use her against him. Laeddis has been wiped from existence just to frame him. He has to forget about him. He asks “Been alone much since you got here?” Teddy tells him about Chuck and somehow Noyce knows, “you never worked with him have you!?” “I trust him,” responds Teddy. “Then they’ve already won.” That part should be self explanatory. When Teddy asks where Laeddis is, Noyce tells him he’s not in any of the Wards, so he could only be in the Lighthouse, where the experiments happen.



  • At this point, Teddy does not trust Chuck due to the warning Noyce gave. Chuck tries to give him a paper that shows who patient 67 is, and Teddy grabs it but doesn’t look at it. He argues with Chuck about whether they should go to the lighthouse or not, and end up separating. Teddy goes through one side but can’t make it down, so he goes back where he separated with Chuck. He calls out his name, and sees a cigarette on the edge of the cliff. When he looks down, he sees a body. This could be an illusion because once he heads down, the body’s gone. However, while the entire rock is covered in algae the outline of where the body used to be is still there, not to mention there are rats all over the place, climbing out of a hole. This implies there was a body there. So if it wasn’t an illusion, who’s body was it? It might have been the real Andrew Laeddis. His body was thrown into the ocean after being used for experiments, only to be brought back to the island by the storm.
  • While climbing back up, Teddy sees a light in one of the caves. He climbs inside it thinking he’ll find Chuck. Instead, he finds Rachel Solondo #2, the real Rachel. Rachel tells him that she ran away due to uncovering the giant conspiracy. She tells him she was labeled an insane patient after running away and then you can see Teddy’s look of disbelief. Rachel tells him “You think I’m crazy don’t you? That’s the Kafkaesque genius of it all. Once you become labeled insane, all your protest to the contrary just confirms that you are. Once you’re insane, everything you say become just another part of your insanity, and no one believes a word you say.” (The followers of this timeline assume this is actually what the movie is emplying. That after Teddy is labeled insane, no one in the story including the viewer believes he’s sane anymore, thus, all his protest until the brainwashing becomes crazy denial.)
  • Rachel says that all his valid fears will be labeled Paranoia, and survival instincts will become “Defense Mechanisms,” which is what Dr. Naehring called them earlier. It gets real when Rachel asks him if there’s any past Trauma in his life they can use to brainwash him. At this point we ourselves have witnessed the atrocities he saw in the war, and the thought of the girl and his wife, which haunt him. She asks “Any funny dreams lately? Walking nightmares” We’re forced to think back to his dreams, which have slowly over time become illusions while he’s awake. She finally asked him if he’s accepted any drugs or pills. Teddy becomes frozen with fear. ‘At least tell me you’ve been smoking your own cigarettes!” she yells. He hasn’t. The cigarettes gave him illusions, while the pills made him more susceptible to others suggestions. As she points out the side effects of the drugs, he sees she has all of them. He’s twitchy, with illusions and walking nightmares, becoming mentally unstable. He’s basically a patient at this point. He leaves her in the cave, and says he’ll come back for her.
  • Teddy climbs back up and walks back towards the road, trying to shake off the illusions of his wife and the girl from the German camp. Once on the road he’s found by the Warden, whom we saw before in the film only for a glimpse. He talks to him about how violent he is deep down inside. “God loves violence, There’s just this. Can my violence conquer yours?” he asks. At this point, they have a small conversation about how violent men are, with undertones of self defense and murder. “We’ve known each other for centuries.” says the Warden, meaning they have met before, in battlefields and in wars, as many violent men before them. They are no different.

The Asylum:

  • Once inside the asylum, Cawley probably has been told by “Chuck” at this point that he went to the lighthouse. Cawley, desperate, needs to speed things up, and becomes aware that Teddy is on to them. When he sees Teddy, who is looking for Chuck, he says “You came here alone.” He tells him they’re looking for an Psycho named Andrew Laeddis, and mentions George Noyce to throw in Teddy’s face that they’re onto him too, and they will not be stopped. Dr. Cawley finally says “I’ve been working very hard to build something valuable here, something some people, including yourself, wouldn’t understand, and I’m not going to give up without a fight.” Then he says “Tell me about your partner again.” Teddy becomes aware he’s trying to already make him seem insane. He responds by agreeing he came alone.
  • As Teddy sneaks by the guards, he comes to a hallway in which he finds Dr. Naehring, who was about to strike him with a sedative. After Teddy stops him, Naehring says “Wounds create monsters, Marshal. And if you see a monster, don’t you agree you must stop it?” This shows that Naehring thinks of Teddy as a foreign element, or monster who threatens to put them all away. He felt the need to speed up Cawleys process, his way.
  • Once he makes it outside again, he starts seeing his wife and the child from the war and the illusions become stronger and stronger. He takes off the tie he loves so much which he always wears to remember her by. He says he needs to get over (Or they’re gonna use her against him) and uses the tie to set off an explosion as a distraction. Then runs to the lighthouse. By now, it’s too late.

The Lighthouse:

  • When he finally makes it to the lighthouse, the first words he hears are “Why you all wet baby?” he responds by being puzzled.
  • Teddy sees Cawley and tries to defend himself, but by now the drugs are in his blood stream. He’s seeing Dolores standing next to the doctor. Cawley assures him what he’s had no drugs and that they’ve been treating him for 2 years. Teddy says “you’ve been slipping me drugs since I was in Boston?” and the doctor responds by telling him the shaky hands, the illusions coming back and the head aches are all withdrawal symptoms. He then gives him the sheet of paper and reveals Andrew Laeddis is the 67th patient, and has been for 2 years. This is a suggestion he’s susceptible to because of the drugs. He’s mentally and emotionally sensitive and the doctor uses this to his advantage.
  • He convinces him even further by showing him the Rule of 4, where all the names involved in the investigation happen to be anagrams for each other. Although they have to use the Wife’s maiden name to do this, and no one has shown the Teddy how Rachel Solondo’s name is exactly spelled (it could be Solando.)
  • Teddy is mentally weakened and slowly falls for it, fighting it as best he can. When he sees Chuck, who turns out to be Dr. Sheehan, it weakens him even more. They suggest Sheehan is actually HIS doctor. They suggest they know everything about him due to the treatment he’s been receiving though the years (Not because they tortured Noyce to get the information out of him. or because he’s had several conversations with Sheehan. They suggest he beat up Noyce and they didn’t, to eliminate the thought from his head.) Andrew picks up his weapon, not realizing that it’s plastic due to the effect of the drugs and how fast his reaction is. He, in fact, sees the gun firing and a splatter of blood coming out of the doctor as he shoots him. Then it goes away.
  • Dr. Cawley then shows him a picture of two children who he doesn’t react to, saying they’re his children. What convinces him is the third picture, which is of the girl in the camp. He’s always felt a connection to her and they finally convince him through suggestion that their story is true and this is his daughter. Or do they? He faints and they take him to one of the wards.



  • In this dream, Teddy wears a different tie. Perhaps because he already destroyed the tie his actual wife gave him years ago, or perhaps because this is a fabricated memory, mixed from all the memories and dreams he’s been brainwashed into mixing into one reality. As such, he’s wearing a tie we’ve never seen him wear.
  • “Baby, why you all wet?” he says when he gets home and sees Dolores instead of Rachel sitting down. “Where are the kids?” he asks. She says they’re in school but it’s a Saturday, he turns to the lake as if he knows where to go because of all the other dreams. He sees them floating, and takes them all out one by one, spending the most time with the girl from the camp. Dolores keeps talking and he tells her to shut up. He pulls out his revolver, holds her, and shoots her in the gut. Blood comes out like the water and blood from the first dream. Her body falls on the ground and the blood goes up to her neck, not unlike the German Soldier he left behind in his vivid memory. She also looks a bit like Rachel in the second dream. As he realizes all his dreams have been connected, He wakes up, yelling “Rachel!” Perhaps Rachel, the fake one he made a connection with… or perhaps Rachel, the doctor who told him to fight his illusions, and is still waiting in the cave by the cliff.


  • “Rachel who?” asks Cawley, weary and waiting for his response. Teddy struggles to find a fake answer to give him. “Rachel Laeddis, my daughter,” he finally says. “Why are you here?” asks Cawley. We can see Teddy still finds the lie hard to say, but he forces it out. “Because I killed my wife, after she murdered our children.” He might think about Rachel, about the child and his wife, to make himself hurt. Dr. Cawley feeds him lies about how they tried to treat him before and thought they succeeded, but he digressed nonetheless. “I don’t remember that.” says Teddy, to challenge the doctor. He makes up that he “reset” after a while. Then he throws in the subtle threat/scary thought that if he doesn’t accept reality, he’ll have to be lobotomized. After a pause and some thinking, Teddy says, “You came after me huh, doc?” Then after a pause, he says “You tried to help me when no one else would.” The doctor gives a fake smile and accepts the fake thanks.


  • Once outside, Teddy and Dr. Sheehan sit by the stairs. Teddy looks around and sees that everyone is still keeping a close guard on him. There’s too much staff, no way off the island, too many guards and no communication with the outside world. Once realizing there’s no hope, he gives in. “What’s next, boss?” says Dr. Sheehan passing him a cigarette which Teddy accepts. “We gotta get off this island, Chuck.” Dr. Sheehan looks at the staff and shakes his head, as if to say, it’s not happening. The Warden smiles in respect for his adversary, Naehring frowns on the time wasted on the stupid brainwashing method, and Cawley, annoyed, turns way. Teddy smiles.
  • “You know, this place makes me wonder… What would be worst. To live as a monster, or to die as a good man?” Dr. Sheehan, astonished by what he’s about to do, breaks character and instead of calling him Andrew, calls him Teddy.

The Meaning Of it All:

what the line at the end means in this timeline is that Teddy, knowing that he cannot live his whole life pretending to be a monster, would rather die the man he knows he is, with dignity. The line takes on the same meaning as in the other timeline, but also it takes on the meaning of perception. To survive, he has to keep pretending, and to die, all he has to do is let them do their will. The film becomes about facing your predicament, and not letting your past take over your personality, as it can become part of your future. If you keep your strength and learn how to live with your scars, you can finally become at peace with yourself, and nothing or no one can hurt you. And so Teddy walks to the lighthouse, accepting that he cannot win, but also proud of the fact that they never defeated him.


Problems with this Timeline:

  1. To believe in this timeline, you have to ignore certain small details, like the bandage that Teddy is wearing in the first few scenes, which most people agree imply a fight with George Noyce. Most of the illusions also are just dismissed as a “Drug symptoms taking place.” However, I guess that’s not worst then being dismissed as “the dude is insane.”
  2. It’s not too hard to believe that a man’s name is an anagram for anothers. However, in this we’re dealing with a 4 names being two pairs of anagrams, of people that are all connected. It’s hard to argue that this is just a “Big coincidence.”
  3. Although the story is more realistic, specially if you’re into conspiracies, the story still seems just as far-fetched to people that believe in the other timeline as a giant role-playing game to cure schizophrenia.
  4. The Migraines that Teddy has happen conveniently when he hears something about someone drowning children, or fire, or when his “role” is confused. When people argue it’s a symptom of the drug, it’s hard not to argue back that it’s hard to believe that it’s not just from bad memories and a broken mind.

After watching the film twice, looking at both sides, I like this timeline better due to the fact that it uses more from the plot, not dismissing any entire scenes but rather small details. However, I think both sides are a possibility and if you made it all the through both posts, you are a trooper! thank you so much for reading and I hope you enjoyed it. 





6 thoughts on “Shutter Island: Teddy Daniels (Part 2 of 2)

  1. I just read both your timelines. Excellent. On my first viewing of Shutter Island, I accepted the idea that he was insane Andrew refusing to accept his past, only to remember in the end. My biggest problem with that was the fully remarkable cooperation of the patients in the role play. Secondly, the doctor (Chuck) feeding his fantasy.Thirdly, his focused attention on his daughter to the exclusion of his sons, struck me as peculiar, both by the lake and when shown pictures.
    When I watched it again, I found myself wondering if perhaps he was Teddy and they were making him insane. But not resulting in a lobotomy; instead some horrific experiment making him a killing machine or something that Nazi’s would do with the created broken man.
    I love your analysis of the conspiracy timeline. The only thing is…where could they possibly have found a picture of the little girl he saw in Germany? Or was that a planted image based on a memory of a little girl. I assume there was much preliminary hypnosis etc before the boat scene.


  2. Dude… I just read all of this and watched the movie… I dont know how old this post is but I hope you are my comment here bc your analysis has totally changed my view of the movie… I actually ORIGIONALLY believed he was Teddy and have no changed my view to believe he is in fact Andrew. All due to your writings… so well done sir.


    1. Another point that I like to make that I never see anyone pick up on is that Teddy just choked and attacked by a patient while his partner, who apparently works there, gets lost following him? No, I think that he was right behind him, watching and was hoping that he would be killed in the fight and they’d be rid of the snooping detective.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes. That seemed like yet another moment that does not fit a benign and helpful role play if either Teddy or the patient who attacked him could have been killed.


      2. Teddy being attacked by Laeddis is all happening in his mind. Chuck cannot ‘see’ it and therefore cannot help or save him. Scorcese has brilliantly used a maze thingie as the setting for this fight between the two personalities, because it is all happening within the maze of the patient’s mind. Some brilliant direction there!


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