End of ‘Linoleum’, explained: Who was Kent Armstrong? What happened to Cameron? | DMT

Directed by first-time feature director Colin West, “Linoleum” is a beautiful union of science and human emotion. From the first minute, we are asked to close our eyes and imagine the universe, and the most beautiful part of imagining the universe is that it is unique to each individual. In “Linoleum,” we peer into Cameron Edwin’s universe and try to make sense of all the strangeness that exists in the astronomer’s life. Cameron is a loving father and a caring husband, but he fails to find his identity beyond these relationships. His childhood dreams were not fulfilled and he considered himself a failure. Cameron is gripped by the fear of time slipping away and he accepts the challenge to do something fantastic before he gets too old.

spoilers ahead

From a car crashing out of nowhere to Cameron meeting his alter ego and parts of a rocket falling in his backyard, he struggled to keep up with the wacky events. Although it was all too strange, she focused on fulfilling her childhood dream instead of finding the meaning behind the events. We see Cameron build his dream rocket with the help of Mac (his father), Marc (Kent’s son) and later, his wife Erin. Erin wanted to divorce Cameron, but she was finally able to relate to the childish madness that existed within him. They both dreamed of becoming extraordinary individuals when they were young, but eventually, reality caught up with them. Doubt, impracticality, and fear of failure eventually forced them to take a safer route, but it was far from rewarding. After playing it safe her entire life, Erin decided to take a leap of faith with Cameron; they no longer had anything to fear. The ending of “Linoleum” is crucial, but at the same time it can leave the audience a bit confused. In this article, we answer all the questions related to the ending of the movie and take a look at the meaning behind the chaotic ending.

Who was the old woman?

The old woman witnessed the most important moments in Cameron’s life. She watched her clash with Kent, she watched the growing friendship between Cameron and Marc from a distance, she watched him fail during his initial rocket-making phase, and she admired up close her relationship with her son, Sam. Cameron was curious about her, but never confronted her. She constantly reminded the audience that there was a lot more going on than the simplistic version we tend to believe. In the end, we learn that the old woman was the older version of Erin Edwin. She was his constant reminder of the present as he delved deeper and deeper into the past. The reality of her was laid out on a flat surface, where the various versions of her collided with each other.

Marc was the teenage version of Cameron. He wasn’t afraid to dream the impossible and he boosted Cameron’s confidence when he doubted himself. Cameron imagined his current self in the form of his father, Mac, who suffered from dementia. Sometimes, he had a hard time recognizing people and places, but he could identify parts of a rocket in a second. When he looked back, he reimagined it. Although he was not an astronaut, in his head he had built a rocket in his garage and was ready to take off on it. Erin had been Cameron’s constant support. She helped him remember his past using objects and images. His daughter, Nora, was Erin during her teens. She and Cameron bonded over their quirks during their high school years, and it was the start of a lifetime of friendship and romance.

Nora was a happy-go-lucky young woman who wasn’t afraid of consequences. She used to be a dreamer, but as she got older, she became a version of herself that she would have been in conflict with when she was a teenager. After seeing Cameron take a risk, she too decided to reconnect with her rebellious self. She allegedly left her job at the museum and continued to make educational videos with Cameron. They didn’t do anything extraordinary, but they did what made them happy. Perhaps Erin tried to remind Cameron of the science videos they made together, showing him a cardboard cutout of a rocket that led to the complete rocket building memory Cameron had created. In her mind, her dream had come true.

Who was Kent Armstrong? And why did the red car crash?

Kent Armstrong embodies everything Cameron wanted to be. He can be defined as Cameron’s alter ego. He was an astronaut who lived a luxurious life and could effortlessly get whatever he wanted. He was Cameron’s ‘could have been’. While Kent’s professional life was to be envied, he was a horrible person. He was rude, self-absorbed, and often mistreated his son. Kent hadn’t had an Erin in his life. He was a single father with a son who hated him. He never experienced love and was incapable of showing affection. Kent Armstrong also represents Cameron’s memories of his abusive father.

On Halloween night, Kent (his father) noticed Cameron (Marc) sneaking out of his house to attend Erin’s (Nora) house party. He considered his son a disappointment, and the fact that he disobeyed him by leaving the house made him furious. He got into his red car and tried to run Cameron over, but instead, he got into a fatal accident. As a child, Cameron looked up to his father and hoped to be like him one day. But all his father did was put him down and make him doubt himself. He always considered himself weaker than his father, but now that he suffered from visual hallucinations, he imagined having the power to redirect his car, which ultimately led to his accident. Perhaps, in reality, he was hurt, but in the memory of him, he stood his ground. Cameron’s memory cannot be trusted. The first bizarre incident was the sudden car crash out of the blue, and by the end, it becomes apparent that it was another misplaced event as we were viewing the world through Cameron’s memory.

Why does Sam never speak?

One of the most intriguing characters was Cameron’s son, Sam. Sam, played by five different child actors, remains silent throughout the film. In the end, we come to know that “Sam” did not exist in reality. He was the stillborn son of Cameron and Erin, and in Cameron’s mind, he still existed. He was a part of every conversation Cameron had with Erin, and he was there by her side when he felt his lowest. Since he didn’t know what his child would look like, his appearance was constantly changing and we couldn’t hear his voice. Cameron never stopped thinking about his baby and it eventually became part of Cameron’s reality. As a result of Cameron’s mental condition, he struggled to close the gaps in his past, leading him to reimagine and create memories that did not originally exist.

Explanation of the end of ‘Linoleum’: What happened to Cameron?

Erin brought Cameron over to her old house, and he had been living in the basement study room for two weeks. She helped him piece together his memories of his past with memories. At the end, we see Cameron lying on his bed in his astronaut suit, the same suit he was wearing the day his father tried to run him over. Cameron realized that his life was coming to an end and that his past, present and everything else had merged. Before leaving the world, he wanted to know what happened to the rocket he envisioned building with Erin. Although it never happened, Erin promised him that she would prepare the rocket for him to launch. All his life he had dreamed of flying into space on his rocket, and Erin didn’t want to wake him from his dream. “Linoleum” ends with Cameron getting into the ambulance, and he imagines it’s the rocket they made. He got on the rocket with Erin next to him. Although the nurse asked Erin to stay behind, she refused and got into the ambulance with Cameron. In his mind, he lived out his dream with Erin, and everything he regretted not doing was accomplished in the end.

Cameron’s universe would have remained incomplete and bleak without Erin’s presence. She was his universe, and in every reality and timeline, he held her hands firmly. He admired her quirks as a teenager, boosted his confidence when he suffered a midlife crisis, and laughed with delight when he remembered her name at the end. She was a part of every memory Cameron vaguely remembered. At the end of the day, “Linoleum” is a touching love story. Erin never gave up on Cameron, even when the going got tough. Not all dreams come true, but with the right person, there is no limit to the imagination.

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