MovieChat Forums > Back to the Future Part II (1989) Discussion > Does Biff alter the timeline twice?

Does Biff alter the timeline twice?


When Biff scolds his teenage self for being careless with the almanac, he mentions using a safe but corrects himself, realizing that the boy does not own such a thing. This suggests that the corrupt millionaire has already had a turn but lost his status. In that case, though, the villain is trying to regain what he should have no memory of. I'm not sure if this is a writing error or if it means that the audience does not see the first time that Marty, Doc, and Biff go to war over time travel. If it's the latter, then maybe the horrible man remembers what he has done because its source is in the future, which is purely theoretical. Supposing that Biff's line is not a mistake, it might exist to show the gap between reality and the capability of the DeLorean. It could even say that the nightmarish 1985 is parallel to the original one, and Marty and Doc are stuck in it simply because they have enabled the simulation of 2015. The same would apply to Einstein and Jennifer.

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I think Old Biff was remembering that when he was 17 and living with his Grandma, they didn't own a safe, so he reminded his younger self to get one.

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Thank you, Sandman81. That is a possibility. However, since Biff specifies one of his most important possessions from his time as a rich man, I get the impression that he remembers owning and using it. He sounds as though he still expects access to a safe until he recalls that his teenage self doesn't have one. It's understandable for Biff to talk about guarding the book in general, but he particularizes a special item that is associated with wealthy people. That seems more than a coincidence.

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You don't have to be rich to have a safe. Sure if you want a top of the line, super secure, uncrackable one it would be, like the one Biff has in 1985 that's built into a wall and behind a painting. But a simple black box that's smaller than a end table would be affordable for most people. Most people probably have either a filing cabinet or a safe for their important documents. Giving the secrecy the Almanac must be kept in, it stands to reason that Old Biff would want a safe.

Either I'm not reading enough into this, or you're reading to much into it. I've always felt just plain and simply that Old Biff knew of the potential value the Almanac could bring him, and was trying to hammer home the importance of that to his idiot younger self. And he was thinking of the best possible ways to not only keep the Almanac safe, but a secret.

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I mean that because there is a connection between the line and the item that we see, the first could reference the second. Biff tells his young self to keep the almanac in a safe that he does not have, but acts upon that very order at another time. If that concurrence does not have a basis, then it's an odd and strong one. I have considered that I might be exaggerating the essence of what the villain says. It just seems strange that the first thing that Biff thinks of to hide the book in is something that he has to remember that he doesn't own, as though he has already been dependent on it. Maybe the writers have expected the audience to take the moment the way that you do and not realized how suggestive it is. It could also be incongruity in the script.

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I don't think there's any connection.

Biff just momentarily forgot that he was talking to himself from earlier in his timeline, and asked; "Don't you have a safe?", then instantly remembering he situation the was in, amended; "No you don't have a safe. Get a safe."

Also, bear in mind, one of the Biffs was from 1955 and one was from 2015. It's also possible that he just couldn't remember off the top of his head if he'd had a safe in his home sixty years ago.

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Thank you, hurricane. Yes, it could just be a matter of memory. However, Biff obviously cannot forget that he is talking to his young self. I still find the comment misplaced, but what you say makes me realize that the mentioning of a safe might have more to do with the year that elderly Biff travels from. He has seen the twenty-first century, which this film presumes to have extreme inflation and wild crimes. Maybe in the movie's version of 2015 a safe is no longer unnecessary for the average person and now a household staple.

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