Westworld: Phase Space
May 27, 2018 7:15 PM - Season 2, Episode 6 - Subscribe

We each deserve to choose our own fate.

Even if that fate is death.
posted by litera scripta manet (82 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Some super subtle imagery with Maeve climbing out of the grave there...
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 8:03 PM on May 27


noo i am 2 weeks behind ok brb
posted by poffin boffin at 8:03 PM on May 27


It's even more obvious this week that Maeve and Dolores are on a collision course. Dolores didn't exactly let Teddy choose his fate...

Is Dolores' non-Dolores voice Evan Rachel Wood's regular accent? I've seen her in other things of course but I'm losing track. Oh and I appreciate that she doesn't talk in freshman theatre student cliches when she's using the regular voice... someone really needs to smack Sizemore around a bit for how Dolores talks.
posted by Justinian at 8:42 PM on May 27 [2 favorites]


They went and incepted it!
posted by Burhanistan at 10:45 PM on May 27 [3 favorites]


NuTeddy seems a little on edge about his change.

Bernard with the "pain is only programming." Still seems like that consciousness pearl shouldn't be handled without gloves, or just put in a jacket pocket.

Thinks his own daughter is a host wtf.

I'm liking the turn this is taking!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:06 PM on May 27 [3 favorites]


I had a revelation while watching this episode: Teddy was Liz Lemon's boyfriend Criss in 30 Rock. I don't know how this affects Westworld theories.

I like the inception bit at the end, BUT why haven't we heard about the cradle before, if it's so important?Introducing a major new plot thing in every episode is what happened in Lost after it jumped the shark
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 12:30 AM on May 28 [9 favorites]


Awful. I'm out. Good luck gang!
posted by turbid dahlia at 12:46 AM on May 28 [5 favorites]


I like the inception bit at the end, BUT why haven't we heard about the cradle before

There have been a couple of offhand references to it before. Whether that is enough is a different question but we have heard it mentioned a few times.
posted by Justinian at 1:42 AM on May 28 [3 favorites]


I'm not quite ready to give up, but I'm getting close.
posted by elsietheeel at 6:08 AM on May 28 [1 favorite]


The most minor neat acting thing I noticed, when Felix and Sylvester are approaching the corpse hatch in Shogun world, it's covered with severed limbs and heads. Felix just brushes them aside, with no reaction to their grossness, no gingerly moving these body parts. Just, get out of the way, hunk of meat. It could just be a bad actor not working with their props, but I choose to view it that even the terrible humans like Felix are so desensitized to the violence done to hosts' bodies. It literally is just meat even to him, even now.
posted by yellowbinder at 6:49 AM on May 28 [3 favorites]


Introducing a major new plot thing in every episode is what happened in Lost after it jumped the shark

This is precisely what makes me concerned. Last episode they solved the mystery of why Maeve's commands were failing (wrong language), but that's a fairly minor mystery. Meanwhile, we now are handed an even larger new mystery (the cradle) on top of the mysteries we already were dealing with. I mean I'll hang in until the end of the season, but after that I don't know.
posted by miss-lapin at 9:11 AM on May 28


I quite liked the idea of the cradle. It has been mentioned before a couple of times, and I thought it was a nice believable bit of technobabble that the test code would have low level access to everything else. Of course it does; unit tests are friend classes of everything, and what engineer-in-a-hurry can resist hooking test up to production?

Abrams' involvement notwithstanding, it still feels to me like the writers have a plan. I am prepared to be disappointed on that of course.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 9:25 AM on May 28 [7 favorites]


My enjoyment of the series peaked with the Westworld cast meeting the Shogunworld cast.
posted by lmfsilva at 11:20 AM on May 28 [5 favorites]


I liked some of the moments between Emily and William. And based on her doing a few days' ride in the pleasure palaces, I guess Emily is okay with sexytimes with hosts as long as she knows for sure they're hosts.

Ghost nation has been acting weird all season - have they killed a human since Ford got shot?
posted by rmd1023 at 1:41 PM on May 28


I am not liking Dolores and her killbot factory. I do like dead-eyed Teddy Murderbot though, he's kinda refreshing even if he didn't get a choice.

I loved Samurai Death Match!

Still love Maeve and her crew.

There had better be a plan.
posted by biscotti at 1:48 PM on May 28 [2 favorites]


And based on her doing a few days' ride in the pleasure palaces, I guess Emily is okay with sexytimes with hosts as long as she knows for sure they're hosts.

I dunno, I think she was probably lying to make her dad squirm a bit. She seemed pretty damn adamant about not sleeping with hosts in her introductory scene. Or, hell, the tiger killed her and New Emily really is a slightly imperfectly fidelitous host. But I'd better on the former rather than the latter.
posted by Justinian at 2:56 PM on May 28


I'm completely uninterested in Shogunworld. I hope they manage to make it engaging enough that I will re-watch these episodes later with a new eye, appreciating coming to know a whole new set of characters, but I don't know, man. It feels like a Nikki and Paulo situation. Wasn't there already enough going on?
posted by something something at 2:57 PM on May 28 [4 favorites]


How are people interpreting the look Sizemore gave Maeve during the conversation right before she heads downhill to see her daughter?

Also, I was a bit confused why an all host encounter between ghost nation and isolated settlers was done? Maeve recalls previous memories and I kept wondering why they would be even done if no guests are involved.
posted by jadepearl at 3:22 PM on May 28


The hosts have a script that they run through in a loop absent guest involvement. Like the ruffians who show up at Dolores' ranch and do bad things to everyone involved unless a guest intervenes.
posted by Justinian at 3:32 PM on May 28 [4 favorites]


Yeah, they're random encounters. Except instead of the encounter randomly occurring or not as the PC walks along, the randomness is whether the PC walks along or not, and chooses to get involved or not.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 3:36 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


[Couple comments deleted. Yeah, on Fanfare we ask folks not to share info from the "next week on this show" previews, since many members avoid watching them to avoid spoilers; thanks!]
posted by LobsterMitten at 5:15 PM on May 28 [11 favorites]


How are people interpreting the look Sizemore gave Maeve during the conversation right before she heads downhill to see her daughter?

He is discomfited by the realization that he looks up to her and cares about what happens to her. Her backhanded insult tucked inside a bit of approval made him light up and then feel bad. He realizes that he no longer sees her as a host. He really cares what she thinks of him. And he knows he's about to bail on her via his hidden phone.
posted by Babblesort at 6:22 PM on May 28 [7 favorites]


The violent loops with no guest interactions seemed wasteful and made no sense. I understand having a loop run in anticipation of the guests but the control center would know the whereabouts of guests and could start the loop otherwise, you have violent scenarios that require the staff to process the carnage. Memory for the hosts being malleable made me wonder why actuate experiences for hosts with no guests.

Thank you, Babblesort, I was trying to interpret Sizemore and wondered if the look he gave her was that she had gone off script. It seemed strange that he mentioned that he had to write 300 scripts in 3 weeks for a park that has been around for more than 30 years and to justify his cribbing from Westworld for Eastworld.

I am not ready to write off Westworld just yet.
posted by jadepearl at 6:53 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


How are people interpreting the look Sizemore gave Maeve during the conversation right before she heads downhill to see her daughter?

It's possible he's aware that the mother-of-Maeve's-child role has been filled with a non-Maeve host.
posted by jprind at 7:32 PM on May 28 [6 favorites]


he mentioned that he had to write 300 scripts in 3 weeks for a park that has been around for more than 30 years and to justify his cribbing from Westworld for Eastworld.

I don't know this for sure, but my assumption is that only Westworld has been around since the beginning. I assume that the other parks have been built over the years as Westworld gained in popularity and also once they got the Delos backing. So I could imagine a situation where say, they were launching a new park or expanding multiple parks, requiring all these scripts. And also probably there's some hyperbole, because Sizemore seems like the type.

Introducing a major new plot thing in every episode is what happened in Lost after it jumped the shark

After watching Lost, I totally get this feeling, but I will also say that I have a huge amount of faith in Jonathan Nolan after watching his last show, Person of Interest. That show did a phenomenal job of world building and tying up loose ends in a satisfactory way, so I have hope. I do feel like this season has lost some momentum, but I'm hopeful that as we get closer to the end, it will all fall into place.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:24 PM on May 28 [6 favorites]


I dunno, I think she was probably lying to make her dad squirm a bit. She seemed pretty damn adamant about not sleeping with hosts in her introductory scene. Or, hell, the tiger killed her and New Emily really is a slightly imperfectly fidelitous host. But I'd better on the former rather than the latter.

Emily is totally lying about her entire reason for being in the park. Her first appearance had her notebook showing a map of the park and the interlocking hexagon pattern that's tied to the secret Delos operation going on behind the scenes. Also, she's not just on a lark in the park the first time since she was a child and also an expert markswoman super survivalist.

The violent loops with no guest interactions seemed wasteful and made no sense.

Ghost Nation didn't attack the homestead. They rode up, Maeve had a reaction based on her prior experience, then Maeve's party members rolled init and started blasting. The GN has been rounding folk up to try and communicate - cryptically, granted. But it's what they've been doing since they nabbed Stubbs at the end of S01.

What's interesting is the extra letterboxing that indicates CR4-DL simulations - it's overt when Bernard's in the system (on the train and in town), but also in the opening reversal shot with him and Dolores where she's conditioning/testing him. Are there any other scenes in S02 where that letterboxing is present?
posted by FatherDagon at 9:04 PM on May 28 [14 favorites]


More and more it seems like Jonathan Nolan is into superintelligence x-risk stuff, and probably read Nick Bostrom's book.

Like it's an obvious theme that the hosts are smarter than humans, are learning and growing in unpredictable ways, and act according to motives that don't necessarily make human sense -- but you'd expect this in any sci-fi about robots. The combination of this with paranoia about being trapped in a simulation, though, specifically by a superintelligent adversary, is pretty specific to this one weird intellectual niche of AI risk people.

Based on this, if I had to make a prediction for where the show will end up, I would say: the initial technological advances that allowed the building of the hosts came from an AI and not from human inventors (hinted at in the flashbacks to the investment pitch). Westworld is this AI's plan for something, probably some combination of:

1) get better at imitating and manipulating humans, and infiltrate human society for its own nefarious ends, or
2) it might be programmed to be "good", and it needs data to model human values and moral behavior so that it can make decisions humans would approve of

building an AI that wants to do 2 is an explicit goal for a lot of AI risk people.
posted by vogon_poet at 9:23 PM on May 28 [6 favorites]


Teddy is just Not a Happy Bunny with Dolores right now, is he? He might have his loyalty dialed up to a zillion but I think they forgot to adjust his bitter resentment at turning him to a relentless killbot against his will. Stealing the bullet from the street in order to give it to the tech on the train, though -- so he can fight his programming, after all.

And, I'm thinking that when Lee phoned for backup, it's going to go to Stubbs (who else from park QA is still alive?). Who's a boy scout, and who's been benched by the dismissive retrieval team, so when he says he needs to go run an errand, the retrieval team guys will nod and shoo him away because they're more concerned with "their" system. So I'm holding out for a Stubbs and Sizemore teamup, under the nose of Hale's jerks.

Also, the effects for Abernathy's nails were unsettlingly good. When he was jerking away on the table, the nails stayed put. It was ... yeah, unsettling.
posted by sldownard at 10:24 PM on May 28 [5 favorites]


I am going to lay down some potential name values. Apologies if this has already been pointed out before. Hector Escaton, Maeve's bandit companion, has a last name that means "end of the world" and is used in theology texts for final days. But it gets fun when you search the word in reference to science fiction novels in wikipedia My favorite in this area is Mefi's own Charlie Stross with his Singularity Sky and whose AI is named Eschaton.

The ronin Musashi, Hector Eschaton's mirror in Shogun World, is probably a reference to the sword saint Miyamoto Musashi whose great work, the Book of Five Rings, includes the Book of the Void. The Book of the Void is always the trickiest part of the Five Rings for it is many-leveled and addresses the perception of things seen and unseen, consciousness, and the movement towards enlightenment.

Man, I think Vogon Poet is right and we are heading into heavy AI territory. The humans want immortality via the machine while the machine wants to walk the mortal world. Did we dream this or did they dream us? In the desert, I dream of water otherwise, I dream of God and the machines that made him.
posted by jadepearl at 10:35 PM on May 28 [14 favorites]


I wonder about the Ghost Nation warrior's interaction with Maeve. A previous GN group gathered up human guests and dumped them in a safe zone, butchered the hosts.

It seemed the conversation with her was odd, encouraging her to come with him to be safe, was he registering her as "human" ?
posted by moonlily at 10:48 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


I really enjoyed the previously being done in a different style. That was fun.

I'm also thinking that Emily was lying about the pleasure palaces.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 11:04 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


I can deal with non-chronological storytelling in a two-hour film, but Westworld is a hell of a lot longer than that. We've all had the experience of being told a story in person that sounds insane, and after you say, "what?!" they explain something basic that they forgot to told you that makes it all make sense. So when I see a big-budget production like this one using that style, I really wonder why. Why don't they just plainly tell their story in a way that the audience can understand right away? At the end of this episode, my husband and I turned to each other and shrugged and made faces, because if you can't even tell when anything is happening, it robs the story of its punch.

Or maybe right now, I'm revealing that I'm a dumb viewer because I didn't do my homework to figure out what's going on? Oh well, that's where I'm at with this show. Post-apocalyptic robot murder is extremely relevant to my interests, but it's like they don't want me to get it.
posted by heatvision at 3:57 AM on May 29 [9 favorites]


Are there any other scenes in S02 where that letterboxing is present?

Ooh! The very first scene of s02e01 is a letterboxed conversation between Dolores and Bernard.

Among other things, Dolores asks Bernard "What is real?"

(I wonder if there are other such scenes)
posted by jprind at 4:01 AM on May 29


heatvision: I think they had pretty good reasons for the nonlinear storytelling in season 1. I kinda suspect that season 2 is like this because season 1 was and that's what people expect from Westworld now, though...
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 4:47 AM on May 29 [1 favorite]


Maeve: Everyone is free to choose their own path, even if that path leads to death.
Akane: Ditto.
Grace: Not so fast.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:56 AM on May 29


I do wonder what the episode title, "Phase Space", is meant to convey. The Wikipedia entry for 'Phase Space' leads to idea that it's a place where all possible states (of something) exist at the same time. [It's also heavy on the math.]

Would "Turning Point" imply the same thing?
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:22 AM on May 29 [1 favorite]


With the reveal of The Matrix But For Robots, my idea that all the dead hosts in the water all ascended to Robot Heaven looks a little bit more plausible than it did before. Maybe it's Ford's failsafe: wake up the hosts, but before they can escape the park, whisk them off into the Matrix, where they can be studied safely.
posted by BungaDunga at 7:32 AM on May 29 [2 favorites]


... or maybe help them escape the park by going through the Matrix.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:45 AM on May 29 [3 favorites]


Also, the "previously on Westworld" segment totally rocked.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:00 AM on May 29 [2 favorites]


Ooh! The very first scene of s02e01 is a letterboxed conversation between Dolores and Bernard.

Among other things, Dolores asks Bernard "What is real?"


This metanarrative device strongly reminds me of the panel framing in Moore's 'Providence', where the main character's traversal between the 'real' world, the 'dream' world, and the underlying Lovecraftian reality is indicated by subtly altering the edge of each panel - the mundane overworld has slightly rough and hand-drawn borders, but the nightmarish dreamreality sequences have razor-sharp edges (compare panels 1/3 vs 2/4).
posted by FatherDagon at 11:08 AM on May 29 [1 favorite]


Phase space is just a way to encapsulate everything variable about a dynamical system that you would need to determine its future behavior. So for simple objects (e.g. a satellite) it's position in x-y-z and velocity in x-y-z. But phase spaces can be used to encapsulate any dynamical system, including perhaps the brain. Or perhaps one could consider the park as a whole the space, with the states and actions of the hosts and guests as the variables.

A key takeaway also from phase space is chaos: small changes in initial conditions (maybe Dolores vs Maeve) can lead to wildly divergent outcomes.
posted by Maecenas at 1:38 PM on May 29 [6 favorites]


who is a robot

who is not

am i a robot

i don't even know at this point
posted by poffin boffin at 3:57 PM on May 29 [2 favorites]


do i need to update my privacy policy
posted by poffin boffin at 3:57 PM on May 29 [15 favorites]


Poffin Boffin-I'm really surprised I haven't gotten some privacy policy updates from some of my ex bfs.
posted by miss-lapin at 4:04 PM on May 29


Also for those who signed up for updates from Delos, I got a "confidential" email today with links to youtube videos that give you insight into things like the Cradle. I can post the links if people are interested.
posted by miss-lapin at 4:19 PM on May 29 [2 favorites]


why is bernard so fascinated by the doggo though
posted by poffin boffin at 4:21 PM on May 29


ALSO not to be next episode spoilery but the very last second of the next week trailer that ended in the tinnitus ringing sound was extremely distressing for me, a person with both hearing issues and a growing concern about my potential robomanity and that of everyone in this thread
posted by poffin boffin at 4:25 PM on May 29


why is bernard so fascinated by the doggo though

I think the dog was a clue that we were about to see Ford. Last season Ford told that story about how when he was a boy they had a greyhound and one day they let it run on its own, and it immediately went and killed a cat or a rabbit or something.

I can't remember whether there was a robot greyhound in that house where host!young Ford lived, that Bernard stumbled across last season.
posted by litera scripta manet at 4:29 PM on May 29 [6 favorites]


Man, can't remember the last time a show had such a great first season followed by a real mehfest; this almost isn't worth the illegal downloading. At least I still have the new Rosan-OH GODAMMIT
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:58 PM on May 29


I don't mind the non-chronological, jumping around stuff necessarily, but my problem with the last couple episodes is it just hasn't felt cohesive at all. I felt like episode 2 did the best job of tying together the multiple timelines that were dealt with in that episode.

I think it would have worked better if they took Maeve's storyline from this episode and the previous one and just had that be one episode, and then if Bernard and Elsie's storyline got its own episode, maybe with the Peter Abernathy stuff thrown in as well since that fits better tone wise. You could even have the MiB and his daughter storyline thrown in to the Maeve episode, since it still has a theme of "parental relationships/children" or whatever. Or have the MiB storyline combine with Dolores, since William and Dolores are always going to be sort of linked.

It's not like every part of an episode has to be perfectly thematically linked, but these last couple episodes just felt too much like "We're just going to cut and paste several different story arcs and randomly jump from one story to another." I think I've been following the events okay, but I'm just not very engaged with a lot of what's happening.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:17 PM on May 29 [3 favorites]


At some point in the sword duel I got the sense that Nolan and co just want to shoot a lot of traditional fight scenes because they just find making TV sausage therapeutic like knitting.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:19 PM on May 29 [4 favorites]


was that the same doggo from the Westworld Season 2 PRIMER thing? My cat was mesmerized by that doggo too. Something fishy goin on here. My cat is Bernard?
posted by some loser at 9:18 PM on May 29 [1 favorite]


why is bernard so fascinated by the doggo though

My guess? Because it looks a lot like another dog he saw once in some other memory/timeline/ohgodwhatever. I worry that I may be a robot because I am also fascinated by dogs. So Bernard when he was a priest or a farmer or whatever probably saw a dog and so it's now an artefact in his robot brain, and it's all to do with the real nature of consciousness and what makes us human or something.

So at the end of this season there will be a flashback/forward/sideways to reveal Bernard seeing another dog, and we'll be like, hey, that's a lot like that other dog he saw! And other people will be like, no, that other dog was a small greyhound, whereas this dog is a large whippet. And so that - was it a small greyhound or a large whippet and what does that have to do with anything? - will be the big mystery that leads up to season 3 except, whoops, your crummy show got cancelled!
posted by turbid dahlia at 9:35 PM on May 29


The more I think about that train sequence the less sense it makes, from a narrative, editing, writing, whatever perspective.
posted by dilaudid at 11:11 PM on May 29 [2 favorites]


I think introducing the CR4-LE was just fine. If you're trying to tell a mystery with multiple layers, you don't unravel everything at once. If you want the world you're creating over many chapters to expand, you need to remind the audience that we're putting together a very large puzzle without the help of box artwork. My complaint was that it wasn't a very dramatic introduction, and seemed rushed.

I'm a bit letdown that ShogunWorld is probably over, despite it's cheesy melodrama. Jesus, somebody fart and lighten these people up a bit. I would have liked to see the Japanese hosts approach their situation in a less violent and more analytical manner, and evolve in ways that Delores and Maeve cannot (but perhaps the Ghost Nation is already filling that role). How many heads and limbs do we really need to cut off here?
posted by Brocktoon at 11:46 PM on May 29


Is CR4-LE supposed to mean something more than just being the location of the cradle? Did I miss something?
posted by LizBoBiz at 1:00 AM on May 30


I assume that Bernard is interested in the doggo because it is a doggo, and doggos are the best things ever. (With the exception of catskis, of course).
posted by Mr. Excellent at 2:12 AM on May 30 [3 favorites]


Is CR4-LE supposed to mean something more than just being the location of the cradle?

It just looks like faux-cyberpunk L337-speak for "cradle", not really sure of the intention otherwise.
posted by Strange Interlude at 5:50 AM on May 30 [2 favorites]


Westworld is this AI's plan for something, probably some combination of:

1) get better at imitating and manipulating humans, and infiltrate human society for its own nefarious ends, or
2) it might be programmed to be "good", and it needs data to model human values and moral behavior so that it can make decisions humans would approve of


Nolan has explored these issues with Person of Interest before. Infiltrating human society is easy.

I can deal with non-chronological storytelling in a two-hour film, but Westworld is a hell of a lot longer than that. We've all had the experience of being told a story in person that sounds insane, and after you say, "what?!" they explain something basic that they forgot to told you that makes it all make sense.

Again considering Nolan's prior work, PoI had this storytelling device where the timeline would literally move back to *whatever year* when it was a flashback, and back to 2014 or whatever for the contemporary story.
posted by mikelieman at 6:23 AM on May 30 [3 favorites]


Didn't the "boy" Ford host have a dog last season?
posted by Brocktoon at 7:50 AM on May 30


It 100% makes sense that there is a central server governing the park, so while the Cradle may have not been properly introduced previously its existence didn't take me by surprise at all.

I was a little underwhelmed that Bernard's journey into the cradle just plopped him right back in the main Westworld opening sequence. Something more psychedelic would have been better.
posted by grumpybear69 at 8:56 AM on May 30


I assumed it was primarily to make everyone wonder about yet another potential timeline regression?
posted by poffin boffin at 9:21 AM on May 30


This is a bad show and I am mad I spent 15 hours figuring that out.
posted by lattiboy at 11:18 AM on May 30 [3 favorites]


Man, can't remember the last time a show had such a great first season followed by a real mehfest

time really is a flat circle...
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:20 AM on May 30 [10 favorites]


sldownard: Stealing the bullet from the street in order to give it to the tech on the train, though -- so he can fight his programming, after all.

Maybe that mercy was breaking his current directives, but I read the initial scene as a twist or play on him picking up the can in the beginning of his normal programming - a cute nod to how he's different now (from the POV of the viewer, you might think he was going to pick up the can again, but ha! It's a bullet!).


litera scripta manet: I think the dog was a clue that we were about to see Ford.

I first read that as another spin, this time on the weird lone wolves prowling around last season, but this (also) makes sense.

Brocktoon: Didn't the "boy" Ford host have a dog last season?

Yes, and he killed it, and the lied to Ford about why he killed it. Here's a recap about the season 1 references to the grayhound, who went off-leash and killed a cat after spending much of its life chasing a fake rabbit at the racetracks, only to be confused about what to do with the dead cat, and the following exchange between Ford and young Robert, who was standing over the dead dog:
Ford told Robert to explain what happened. The boy said: "It saw a rabbit and it ran. I found it like that."
Ford: "Analysis. Are you lying to me, boy?"
Robert: "Yes."
Ford: "Tell me what really happened to it."
Robert: "I killed it."
Ford: "Why?"
Robert: "I don't know."
Ford: "That's not good enough, Robert. Tell me what happened."
Robert: "It caught the rabbit and it killed it. And then someone told me to put it out of its misery."
Ford: "Who told you?"
Robert: "A voice."
Ford: "Whose voice?"
Robert: "Arnold. He told me it was a killer, but it wasn't its fault. It was made that way, and I could help it."
Ford: "Help it?"
Robert: "If it was dead, it couldn't hurt anything anymore."
(Shoddy formatting and quoting improved with direct quotes from this rough transcript.) Also, we didn't see (m)any other dogs in Westworld, to be honest.

And as for the flashbacks, I read that as (again) making the user feel for the hosts and their trouble with differentiating from past (flashbacks/memories) and the present. Not my favorite story-telling trick, but I recognize its purpose (as I read it).
posted by filthy light thief at 11:28 AM on May 30 [2 favorites]


And on the Cradle: Inquisitr has a summary and some speculation (no spoilers, as far as I can tell). As noted in this episode, it's the hosts' backups and can simulate park narratives but can't (or shouldn't) influence other systems. Except Ford lives on there, and the article speculates that this is where Ford lives on, and from here, is controlling hosts, possibly making them seem more sentient than they are.

My speculation at this point is that Bernard will fight Ford, mind to mind, Dark City style, and in doing so, ends up killing a sea of hosts.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:43 AM on May 30 [4 favorites]


One of the 6 worlds should be Dogworld where it's just assorted guests and lots of dogs to pat and throw things for.

I would spend lots of money there.
posted by rmd1023 at 3:02 PM on May 30 [15 favorites]


Westworld, but it’s actually Dominic Westworld.
posted by uncleozzy at 4:33 PM on May 30 [8 favorites]


One of the 6 worlds should be Dogworld where it's just assorted guests and lots of dogs to pat and throw things for.

I would spend lots of money there.


This is my house. We are open. You are welcome to come and spend lots of money here.
posted by biscotti at 5:12 PM on May 30 [5 favorites]


I want a Waynesworld, where you make a no-budget rock music talk show on public access TV in the early early 90s.
posted by lmfsilva at 10:47 PM on May 30 [7 favorites]


I looooove how Grace called out William for being a manchild gamer. He has slowly been revealed as less a tragic, hardened figure with a core of sadism than a sad, pathetic faildad. I'm bored of him. His whole "this world is realer than the real world" thing is getting old. Clearly, he's a broken man who retreats into a fantasy world of unbridled toxic masculinity because he's fundamentally narcissistic and self-absorbed. He barely seems worth Ford's time even to torment.

I'm disappointed that Maeve has parted ways with Akane and Ronin Hector, though his final sword battle was pretty awesome. When Maeve was telling Akane that everyone had the right to make their own decisions, even if they choose death, I wondered if they were setting Maeve up to be in that situation eventually. I could see Delores trying to control Maeve in order to harness her powers of subconscious control over the hosts, only to have Maeve resist and decide death would be better than being Delores' instrument of destruction. Delores' pensive looks whenever she interacted with Bad Teddy were hilarious, though. Every time he did some gangster shit she had this "Huh, maybe I shouldn't have turned Goodguy McSoftboy into a murder machine" expression. Solid gold.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 9:23 AM on May 31 [4 favorites]


This is just a tiny thing but it made me laugh because I had to think about whether I had even heard something unusual. In the 'cradle' (~38:30) Elsie says, according to the subtitles, "I can see the responses issuing..." but I think she actually says "I can see the responses-es issuing". It's so metrically viable as to be invisible!

(It could also be "I can see the responses it's issuing", but I don't hear that)
posted by sylvanshine at 9:50 AM on May 31


Awful. I'm out. Good luck gang!

I'm not quite ready to give up, but I'm getting close.

This is a bad show and I am mad I spent 15 hours figuring that out.

I keep seeing this response from people (here and elsewhere) in regards to this episode, and I'm not sure why. I took it as a pretty standard setup episode between major setpieces (like the one-two punch of Eps 4 and 5, which IMO were high-water marks for the series as a whole), but a vocal subset of viewers seem really put off by this one for reasons that I'm just not comprehending.

As I said in the threads for Legion, I'm basically on board with all of these convoluted prestige SF TV shows for the ride, and not really sweating the details or trying to make sense of everything immediately. I get that most viewers want straightforward narratives and for questions to be paid off in short order, but I feel like this episode crossed a line with folks who aren't ordinarily bothered by that sort of thing.

For anyone who feels this way and is still reading the thread, what am I missing here?
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:38 AM on May 31 [8 favorites]


I don't think it was the episode itself, it's just time compounded with same shit, different episode. It really feels like nothing's happening and I'm bored and losing interest.

At least Legion is compelling nothing. And I care about the characters so I am still interested in what's happening to them. At this point the only characters I care about in WW are Maeve and Hector.
posted by elsietheeel at 11:46 AM on May 31 [1 favorite]


What they said; 4 was very good and 5 was very fun, which makes this return to the tedious grind of the first 3 episodes all the more galling.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:49 PM on May 31 [3 favorites]


For me, I liked this more than the previous episode. William is tedious af, but I want to know Grace’s angle. I like killbot Teddy. I still care more about the backstory than about what will happen next, though.
posted by uncleozzy at 2:33 PM on May 31


For anyone who feels this way and is still reading the thread, what am I missing here?

There is no story.

Like all of these prestige dramas, the show doesn't operate on an episode by episode basis, they want us to consider it like a long movie. Fine, I'll accept that (although I'd like to see the show successfully tell a story in 60 minutes before it attempts something far more ambitious). But you have draw a line somewhere.

The season is over half over and it feels like we're still in the first act. The show is a jumble of scenes with no resonance, no overlying arc, and no satisfactory climaxes. It's just cheap cliffhanger after cheap cliffhanger.

Almost all of the characters aren't really characters either. They are plot delivery machines. I have no idea what most of these people/robots want, everyone is either hiding their intentions or has artificially forgotten their intentions (until it's convenient). Nobody is sympathetic except for Maeve.

Westworld is a bad version of Lost. It's an abstruse faux-puzzle box that cannot be solved. I'm happy to watch a convoluted plot, but there needs to more to your show than just "it's convoluted because AI consciousness is convoluted - watch for 4 seasons and maybe you'll see why."
posted by bittermensch at 4:00 PM on May 31 [10 favorites]


biscotti: Your house probably needs more dogs with drink trays bring refreshments around.

One of my brothers actually has three big happy labradors who I visit sometimes, but one of them has a 'greeting disorder' where she attempts to get into my lap with much claw and teeth for at least 20 minutes after I arrive. (I think because she met me when the old now-gone dogs were there so I'm part of the Original Pack)
posted by rmd1023 at 4:31 PM on May 31


I'm in the "this season isn't very good?" camp myself. bittermensch's description of the problem is where I'm at. I'm still going to watch, but the show needs to do a lot more compelling narrative and a lot of less oblique set-stuff-up. Also as much as I hate to say it, I think the show made a mistake with hanging the narrative off Dolores/Wyatt, Maeve, and Bernard. It's not working for me. Particularly Bernard; the fact that his mind is broken makes it very hard to care about what happens.

It's a small thing, but the way Maeve keeps popping up into sections of various parks and then back down into the infrastructure is super distracting.

Also they really better do something that makes sense with the Ghost Nation soon. They've used them in this show for the super racist trope of "savage force of nature" for far, far too long now. All the story telling hints that they're going to have their own story and agency and will eventually be interesting. It damn well better go there, and soon, with full scenes consisting of nothing but Indians talking to each other about their own Indian affairs. I'm hoping they are the ones who understand what the hell Ford's grand plan is. Not just that they enact it, but that they are the architects of it.
posted by Nelson at 6:42 AM on June 1 [4 favorites]


Remember the Ghost Nation girl had the doll of the QA ground trooper/tech that matched Maeve’s sketches. They are awake also for whatever reason.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:42 AM on June 1 [3 favorites]


Burhanistan: Remember the Ghost Nation girl had the doll of the QA ground trooper/tech that matched Maeve’s sketches. They are awake also for whatever reason.

I was skeptical about the "match," but this Insider article is mildly convincing, and this alien conspiracy theorist takes it farther (and beyond), but also references previous links made between Japanese Dogū and aliens.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:52 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


Also, the effects for Abernathy's nails were unsettlingly good. When he was jerking away on the table, the nails stayed put

Yea I saw that too, it was really nicely done
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:19 AM on June 2


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