Q & A: "Building Level"
Q11.1) Whose dream was this?
Answer: This was Cobb’s dream, the one he built with Mal when she was still alive.
Q11.2) Is this level limbo?
Answer: No. (See Section 2 for a detailed explanation).
Q11.3) What was the plan for this level?
Answer: The plan for this level was to find and save Fischer so that he could return to the “snow level” to complete his task, which was to find out Browning’s secrets in the giant safe.
Q11.4) Why was Fischer with Mal?
Answer: No clear answer. But I can offer a couple of explanations. One, Fischer was shot “dead” by Mal at the “snow level”, so his subconscious in the deeper level i.e. “building level” would logically show himself as being captured by his “killer”. Two, before Cobb and Ariadne could get to Fischer, Mal (a subconscious projection of Cobb) already did because Cobb thought it to be so.
**I buy the first reasoning more.
Q11.5) Why was there an approaching lightning storm?
Answer: The lightning storm was the result of Eames defibrillating an unconscious Fischer at the “snow level”. It also indirectly acted as a warning that time was running out, and the need for Fischer to return to the “snow level” was paramount to the success of the mission.
Q11.6) Why did Mal stab Cobb?
Answer: Mal did it out of anger because Cobb did not tell her the truth about him committing inception on her.
Q11.7) Did Cobb die from the stab wound caused by Mal?
Answer: No clear answer. But it could be inferred that he did not. In order to get into limbo to save Saito, Cobb had to die at the “van level”. And indeed, he drowned. This meant that he did not die at the “building level” from the stab wound.
This inferred conclusion could be further backed up by the fact that by using the “slow time” theory, time in the “building level” would have moved much slower than in the “snow level”. Therefore, it would be logical to assume that the snow fortress would have exploded way before Cobb could slowly die from his stab wound, meaning that the “building level” does not exist anymore after the explosion at the “snow level”.
Moreover, we did not see Cobb waking up at the “snow level”. This also implied that he did not die at the “building level”.