Westworld: Zhuangzi
July 25, 2022 6:13 AM - Season 4, Episode 5 - Subscribe

God is bored.
posted by jquinby (12 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
So now the world is a giant park where the hosts can toy with humans as they want - unless they go too far. The inversion of basically everything is a lot of fun to think about. Christina learning/realizing she has built-in cheat codes was great, too. I feel like a Host William heel turn is imminent, too.
posted by jquinby at 6:51 AM on July 25 [1 favorite]


Delores wakes up. She discovers that she has been writing loops for people. Loops are boring. The grind of the cities is just the grind of the park. Why are the new Hosts infected by outliers? Because the outliers are the guideposts to waking up and all Hale wants to do is kill them; so is that what Transcendence is really like? You kill the idea of human awareness to avoid looking at your own lack of it? Hale is so busy enacting vengeance and gussying it up as victory she can't see that all she is doing is just being deeply human, in all the least impressive ways. Delores will find a new way.

Also, please find a better exposition method. Stubbs has been awake this whole time, why is he the one asking dumb questions?
posted by Ignorantsavage at 3:00 PM on July 25 [1 favorite]


Put my phone down for the full hour and was better able to follow this week. The plot seems to be turning into a Matrix recycle but the actors are all so fun to watch that I don't care that much.
posted by octothorpe at 4:18 AM on July 26


Stubbs has been awake this whole time, why is he the one asking dumb questions?

I was hoping he'd realise that, as a host, he too had cheatcodes, thus making the rescue easier but raising Interesting Questions for his new "allies"
posted by coriolisdave at 5:23 PM on July 26 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty happy that so far, my interpretation from last week of Christina's situation has pretty much been borne out, with the only exception being that I didn't anticipate that twist delivered in the very last line of this episode. So now the question becomes, why would Dolores choose to bury herself under a completely different identity and persona? And why would Hale go along with that? Hale obviously must know that's what Dolores has done, since she's playing "the old college roommate" in Christina's life story. Perhaps because Hale is (or at least, was) Dolores, deep down inside, and so went with this rather than box or destroy her(self)? Maybe Hale's current moral code vis à vis hosts in general disallows that?

In this episode, we now see that (at least some of) the hosts suffer pangs of conscience when they're directly confronted with the dark reality of the world that Hale has made. Perhaps Dolores also experienced such a crisis, and saw ego-death and -replacement as an alternative to permanent suicide?

What other explanations are there? And are there other hosts like Dolores, whose old selves have been buried into new characters so thoroughly that they've forgotten their past lives, and are now living (and thinking of themselves) as humans caught in the rat race of ordinary life? It seems that most hosts in the city are aware of their host-nature, just like Teddy, but is that true for all of them besides Dolores?

Also: it's interesting to think of Hale (who can control almost all humans with a thought) and Maeve (who can similarly control almost all hosts) as having complementary superpowers. Two (roughly) equal and opposite forces, and likely on a collision course with each other. I'm looking forward to a proxy battle between two mind-control adepts and their respective human and host puppet armies. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think we've seen anything like that on television before.
posted by skoosh at 4:22 AM on July 27 [1 favorite]


I do not think that being Christina was a choice Delores made. I think it was imposed on her by Hale.
posted by Ignorantsavage at 4:39 PM on July 27 [2 favorites]


Hale needs Christina to keep writing stories to keep the humans occupied or they'll start noticing that things are wrong.
posted by octothorpe at 5:18 PM on July 27


why would Dolores choose to bury herself under a completely different identity and persona?

Didn't the end of the last season involve Dolores being completely wiped by (an EMP? or something)?

So she's been literally reset, and put where Hales wanted her
posted by coriolisdave at 7:16 PM on July 27


I actually really like where the show has ended up in this episode, where we clearly see how the tables have turned but things aren't working out how Hales wanted them to at all. I do have some major questions about how this world works now, though.

Hales says she's disappointed because the Hosts embrace their human-ness when they're capable of more, but what exactly does that look like? What is it she expects them to do or be?

Related: Why are all the Hosts still humanoids when hypothetically they could take any form they can build to house their "marble?" It seems like having that freedom from human form might help with their seemingly self-imposed constraints.

What exactly do the Hosts do when they "transcend?" What do they do with their eternity in Robot Heaven?

My biggest question is a pretty basic one: Where do all the new Hosts come from? Where are they being designed and built? Who is doing that work? Is Hales literally playing God in that she's personally creating every single Host who lives in this world?
posted by tomorrowromance at 12:20 PM on July 28 [1 favorite]


So now the question becomes, why would Dolores choose to bury herself under a completely different identity and persona? And why would Hale go along with that?

My theory is that because Hale is also a Dolores, and Hale controls the world, Christina/Dolores also has root access to everything. Their root access is a function of being a Dolores. Christina/Dolores is too similar to Hale/Dolores for Hale to fully disable the root access, but Hale likely opposes killing other hosts, and might have extra reluctance about killing another Dolores. So she quasi-neutralizes it by having Christina write "fictional" loops and concealing their reality from her. And she checks up on her periodically in the guise of old college roommate to make sure Christina's own loop is holding.

The thing I wonder about is whether Christina's roommate is a human or a host. Her connecting Christina with Teddy is almost certainly not part of Hale's plan.
posted by Fish, fish, are you doing your duty? at 11:21 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]


^Didn't the end of the last season involve Dolores being completely wiped by (an EMP? or something)?

I just rewatched the relevant portion of the season 3 finale. Dolores's memories were erased as a side effect of Rehoboam's deep probe into her mind. However, I don't think it's beyond the pale to imagine that Hale could have found her and recovered those memories, or at least partially recovered something of Dolores – enough to justify using the same actor to play Christina/Dolores. That resurrected Dolores might then have either (1) balked at participating in Hale's New World, and so wrote herself a new identity, one unaware of the master/slave arrangement, to paper over her own; or (2) balked at participating in Hale's New World, and so had a new identity imposed on her by Hale/Dolores and got "sent down" to unknowingly collaborate in the maintenance of that world.

^My theory is that because Hale is also a Dolores, and Hale controls the world, Christina/Dolores also has root access to everything. Their root access is a function of being a Dolores.

I don't think that Teddy was lying at the end of this episode, so for (2) to work, what he said would have to be true in a "certain point of view" kind of way. Specifically, Christina/Dolores and Hale/Dolores are both Dolores, and therefore, from a certain point of view, Dolores sent herself down to Olympiad as an ordinary human being. This is convoluted, but it occurs to me as I type this that it'd also be an interesting play on the Christian idea of God sending His son, who is also simultaneously Himself, to live life among the mortals as a mortal man.

(I don't know enough about other mythologies, unfortunately, to recognize whether this trope is in other, non-Christian stories as well. There's a fair chance of it though, I'm sure.)

On to the next episode!
posted by skoosh at 10:46 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


Between this and "Person of Interest", I swear, Nolan could start a faithful reboot of "Friends", and inside of 4 seasons it would somehow be a war between world-dominating supercomputers. (I can guess where some of the plots for his upcoming "Fallout" TV show will go.)

Also, that is some serious villain-monologuing from Charlotte, particularly in the dancing scene. The keyboard player's fingers were a good creepy touch.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:55 AM on August 29


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