Westworld: The Stray
October 16, 2016 7:19 PM - Season 1, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Elsie and Stubbs head into the hills in pursuit of a missing host. Teddy gets a new backstory, which sets him off in pursuit of a new villain, leaving Dolores alone in Sweetwater. Bernard investigates the origins of madness and hallucinations within the hosts. William finds an attraction he'd like to pursue and drags Logan along for the ride.
posted by litera scripta manet (94 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
It definitely seems like the MIB is Arnold. Also, the newbie storyline is concurrent with everything we've seen so far.

The Wyatt scenes were genuinely creepy. The fact that they're using bladed weapons, and set up a barbed wire trap that a guest fell into (both are things that can't be strictly controlled like the smart weapons are) makes me believe that this new storyline is very dangerous, not approved by management, and probably has some motive ulterior to thrilling the guests. The backstory for his army is also fairly similar to the way that one might describe a host: a mindless killer (or lover) wearing a mask of flesh, compelled to do what they do because they're essentially already in Hell.
posted by codacorolla at 7:34 PM on October 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


This is the episode that has me hooked and then I'm thinking back to last episode. These first few episodes have been about throwing little stories out at us to try to hook us or draw us in. They told us everything was a come on. This show is meta to the max.
posted by humanfont at 7:34 PM on October 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh, shit, I just realized that the bot that went missing is one that's coded to use bladed weapons. Like Wyatt's men can. Was he heeding a call to join Wyatt's army?

And he also seemed programmed to self destruct (in the most brutal way possible) before anyone could capture his brain.
posted by codacorolla at 7:37 PM on October 16, 2016 [18 favorites]


It definitely seems like the MIB is Arnold. Also, the newbie storyline is concurrent with everything we've seen so far.

You know, up until the final scene, I was leaning the opposite direction, especially because I felt like the Teddy in William's scenes seemed different than the Teddy we've seen in other scenes, but I guess that's not the case.

But whatever happens, I am so in love with this show. Over the course of these first three episodes I've gone from, "This has promise" to "I'm so excited for the next episode I can barely contain myself." I haven't been this excited for a TV show since, well, Hannibal.

Speaking of my One True Show, I was super excited the minute I heard Gina Torres's voice (aka Bella Crawford from Hannibal). I hope we get to see more of her.

Also, Ford really seems to have a good read on where Bernard's head is, which makes me wonder, wouldn't there be cameras, like, everywhere in headquarters? Although I suppose if they're there, then Bernard would probably know, or be able to figure out, where they are and how to avoid his little conversations being overheard.

Oh, and I love the moment where, after his talk with Ford, Bernard is like, maybe this is a bad idea. Then, 30 seconds later, he's like, WTH let's just go with it because...Darwinism?

One question that comes to mind: Didn't Dolores just randomly pull that gun out of the hay? If so, who left it there? I'm leaning towards the MiB. Or maybe Ford? It doesn't really seem like Bernard's kind of thing. Either way, I'm really glad that scene ended with her shooting that guy rather than the obvious alternative.

And on that note, I'm glad that the show has held back on showing the sexual assault that is so frequently alluded to. In fact, in this episode I think the only naked people we saw were the male hosts undergoing diagnostics or whatever.

Incidentally, I think this was alluded to in episode 2, but it sounds like William is definitely engaged to or at the very least dating Logan's sister. So is this a bachelor party kind of thing? But also maybe they work together? Or is this all just a pretense for Logan to entice William into a threesome? Maybe all of the above.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:12 PM on October 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


One other stray thought I had was that the security officer on the stray hunt may be a bot as well. He jokingly refers to having his own backstory, but I think that might be an ironic set-up. The other bot was also able to hurt him. That could easily be explained as aberrant programming, but might also end up being a hint towards his true nature. The wheels-within-wheels thing seems like a trick Nolan would pull.

One question that comes to mind: Didn't Dolores just randomly pull that gun out of the hay? If so, who left it there? I'm leaning towards the MiB. Or maybe Ford? It doesn't really seem like Bernard's kind of thing. Either way, I'm really glad that scene ended with her shooting that guy rather than the obvious alternative.

She grabbed it from the bandit in the tussle. That's what he means when he says that her boyfriend taught her a couple of tricks.

Incidentally, I think this was alluded to in episode 2, but it sounds like William is definitely engaged to or at the very least dating Logan's sister. So is this a bachelor party kind of thing?

That was my impression, yes. Logan says something to the effect of "we need to have fun with the robot prostitutes since you're going to be having sex with my sister for the rest of your life," as William pulls the bounty off the post.
posted by codacorolla at 8:28 PM on October 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


So only one line of code prevents hosts from harming guests? And Delores effectively gave herself weapons privileges over the course of this episode. Hmm.
posted by rewil at 9:02 PM on October 16, 2016


So the multiple timelines theory seems to have been debunked, which is fine by me. It's more fun to imagine these scenarios than to actually watch them play out, IMHO.

But can we assume that any scene from Dolores' POV is going to be unreliable? I'm guessing we're seeing the way the world would look as she tries to reconcile the events of her past narratives. So instead of showing us a day where she has a gun in the drawer and a day where she doesn't, the show blends them together in one scene. The final shootout at the farm made these disparate memories obvious, but I'm wondering if smaller illogical details, like crazy-decommissioned-milk-guy showing up as a sidekick to lazy-sex-offender-guest in town, are clues that we're seeing the hosts gaining more self-awareness.

I like the little meta-nod acknowledging that Dolores' narrative as a beautiful lady who exists to be violated is pretty fucked up, especially given how much (legitimate) grief HBO has been getting about sexual violence in their shows.

Also, why cut off the stray's head? That just seems like a wasteful policy - I can't imagine those bots are cheap to make.
posted by bibliowench at 9:36 PM on October 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


Also, why cut off the stray's head? That just seems like a wasteful policy - I can't imagine those bots are cheap to make.

I believe it was initially proposed that they wait for a full extraction process to remove the entire host, but the security dude wanted to just get it over with and take the part they needed for now, leaving the rest for the recovery team. They stitch the hosts back together all the time, a simple decapitation probably isn't too much of a hassle for the robo-looms.
posted by FatherDagon at 10:33 PM on October 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


I felt there was a very strong parallel in this episode between the park giving Teddy a backstory and the show giving Bernard a backstory. And then this: "some mornings when I first wake up... for a split second I forget where I am, when I am."

So, Bernard's totally a robot, no?
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:20 PM on October 16, 2016 [10 favorites]


Well, if you can't tell, does it matter?
posted by Justinian at 1:18 AM on October 17, 2016 [23 favorites]


I really hope they don't reveal that someone we have been lead to believe is not a host is a host. I got on board with the William-scenes-are-flashbacks theory when we had the Ford flashback with the same corporate logo as when William arrived, but was brought back to earth in that final scene. And that got me wondering, have we seen the Westworld logo used by HBO in the show yet? Or have we only seen the different logo?

Also, about the gun in they hay. An early scene showed Delores looking at it in her bedroom (it was in her dresser drawer). The scene cuts away from the gun and when it returns it's gone. I assume the scene is actually multiple days and she went and hid it and the cut back is to the next day.
posted by noneuclidean at 3:52 AM on October 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


Well I just went back an rewatched the dresser scene at the beginning and the hay scene at the end. I was wrong about hiding the gun, she definitely got it off the bandit. Which means the dresser scene at the beginning starts after the hay scene, but ends before it. I think. They are really playing with timelines here and it's starting to get confusing.
posted by noneuclidean at 4:04 AM on October 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


I was wondering if the gun in the dresser was either hallucinated or - perhaps more interesting - not perceived by her (like the photograph "doesn't look like anything") unless she's glitching somehow. And I am loving Wood's performance in this show.

"Interrupt ... this .. time" has fascinating implications - is she parsing her internal monologue as the voice of god?

This is getting interesting.
posted by rmd1023 at 5:57 AM on October 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


And Delores effectively gave herself weapons privileges over the course of this episode.

Did she decide not to die in her shootout loop and instead escape? Can the hosts decide not to "die"? Remember Walter the milking-drinking bandit with milk sloshing through his stomach? Can hosts just decide or glitch to where they won't lay down and play dead unless they're truly disabled?

I like the little meta-nod acknowledging that Dolores' narrative as a beautiful lady who exists to be violated is pretty fucked up, especially given how much (legitimate) grief HBO has been getting about sexual violence in their shows.

Especially if Dolores can actually wrench her way out of her narrative. That pause before promising Bernard that she would stay inside her loop might have been regret, or it might have been a lie. I love the promise that if these female characters were just given agency, stories would turn out very differently.
posted by gladly at 6:35 AM on October 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


it sounds like William is definitely engaged to or at the very least dating Logan's sister. So is this a bachelor party kind of thing? But also maybe they work together? Or is this all just a pretense for Logan to entice William into a threesome? Maybe all of the above.

In the prior episode, after William and Logan go back and forth about Logan rating a host as a 2, Logan said: "It's not like my sister didn't ride her share of cowboys when she was here." (Transcript) In that episode, William later says "I have somebody. Somebody real waiting for me at home," when turning down a lady. In this episode, Logan says "Come on. Let's go put some memories in that spank bank. Trust me, you will thank me after you've been married to my sister for a year." (Transcript)

William is definitely in a serious relationship with Logan's sister, probably engaged, so maybe this is a bachelor party type thing. I also thought they were co-workers, but I'm not seeing any reference now in these two episodes.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:49 AM on October 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


codacorolla: It definitely seems like the MIB is Arnold.

I'm waffling on this point.

Points against: MIB is looking for some deeper level in-world, and is trying to get the hosts to tell him more about this world, which seems odd if he's been here since the beginning. Also, if some of the techs know enough about MIB that they know "that gentleman gets whatever he wants" (though the first tech doesn't recognize or know him, and asks the other if he should be "slowed down" after he took out an entire posse), he sounds more like a big spender, or early investor. After all, he's been coming here for 30 years, which implies he also leaves.

Or it's Arnold, and his payoff for being written out of history is that he gets free access to Westworld. And if he was cut from the team early on after pushing too hard to give the hosts a consciousness, maybe he's hoping there's still some of his original code in there to exploit. That could lead to his repeated efforts with Dolores, in which he gets her to override her coded limitations with her deeply embedded proto-consciousness. Maybe he tortures her, trying to get her to break her bounds, or jog her memory, like he did with Lawrence last episode (well, it was Lawrence's daughter-bot who told him to "Follow the blood arroyo to the place where the snake lays its eggs."

He is the devil you cannot kill, who exists to be the counter to the old god that is Ford. He wants the hosts to be more real, unlike the coder who pointed out guests liked some sense of fake to help draw a line between the real world and it's rules and morality, and this world without laws.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:08 AM on October 17, 2016 [8 favorites]


Yeah, I'm thinking that a possibility is that Ford faked his friend's death, and they both agreed to let him live in the park for the remainder of his life. MIB could also be Arnold's creation: an attempt at a truly aware bot. Arnold could've given him special guest-like privileges in the park, and MIB's motivation may be to avenge his creator.

I'm thinking he tortured Dolores to effectively jog her memory, giving her a point of reference to wake up from (which is why we see the short flashback when the mutton-chopped bandito is advancing on her). If the maze is a creation of Ford, to try and select a fully awoken bot, then it might be something that MIB can't get to. Perhaps he's been grooming Dolores to act as his Judas cow: the first one down the slot, which he can then follow to the prize of whatever is at the center of the maze. If it follows with Greek mythology, that whatever might be Ford himself as the Daedalus figure. Also worth noting that one of Wyatt's men last night was dressed as a Minotaur.

I'm curious what Ford's endgame is with the Wyatt storyline. Maybe he wants to create an army of bots that are loyal to him? They are able to wield real weapons (which would be useful against Delos security forces where the toy guns wouldn't) and they are immune to the sensations of pain and death that bots are programmed to have. Perhaps Wyatt is Ford himself, and the figure in Teddy's flashbacks are pure fabrication?

Thinking about it, outside of Delos these bots would be super soldiers. You could mold them to be 8 feet tall, 400 pounds of pure muscle, connected to totally aware hive mind with instant intelligence and marching order updates, and without any ability to feel pain (if you really wanted to). You could make them look like an enemy leader, airdrop them into their camp, and have an effective 100% controlled sleeper agent. You could make animals that look exactly like native fauna, but have, like, machine guns in their mouth or something. Totally loyal, programmable, the perfect private security force. That's a chilling implication, and a fairly big one too. It makes me wonder if the show will touch on reality outside of the park.
posted by codacorolla at 10:36 AM on October 17, 2016 [14 favorites]




codacorolla: Thinking about it, outside of Delos these bots would be super soldiers.

These ideas are touched upon (though very briefly) in Futureworld (FanFare post), and I think we might actually get to some of that in this series with Wyatt's minions of hell, though locked within the confines of Westworld (for now?).

Though HBO hasn't confirmed a second season, Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy are breaking the 2nd season, as stated at NY Comic-Con earlier this month, and he comments on the possibility to include other themed parks that are featured in the first movie.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:44 PM on October 17, 2016


Minor point maybe, but Logan and William definitely have some sort of work connection. From the Chestnut transcript -
See, this is your problem, my friend. You're always worried about making a mess. You are the same way at work. You are talented, driven, and inoffensive.
I thought you didn't want to talk about work here.
Who says this trip isn't work?

posted by arha at 12:59 PM on October 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


I also loved the exchange between Bernard and Dolores. "Have you spoken to anyone about our talks" "You told me not to"

Way to avoid answering the question Dolores. And if she is reporting to someone else the money would be on Ford, who knows exactly what Bernard is up to and silently abetting it.
posted by arha at 1:08 PM on October 17, 2016 [9 favorites]


AAAH I LOVE THIS HELP MEEE

WHO IS A ROBOT WHO IS NOT IDK MAYBE IM ALSO ROBOT brb looking for a fly to squish
posted by poffin boffin at 1:14 PM on October 17, 2016 [12 favorites]


i feel bad that everyone has lots of smart and thoughtful things to say about this show and im just like that dog jumpin in the hay all WOOO CHECK OUT THIS HAY
posted by poffin boffin at 1:14 PM on October 17, 2016 [18 favorites]


Psychology Says You'd Be a Big Jerk in Westworld.

Psychology is correct.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 1:16 PM on October 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm starting to think that it is all a simulation within a simulation.
posted by humanfont at 2:13 PM on October 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


humanfront I was wondering that as well, given the handwaving of how the hosts can be moved back and forth to the lab or bloodbaths cleaned up etc without seeing to come to the notice of the guests at all.

I do hope that is not the case, I think the premise is way more interesting without it.
posted by arha at 2:19 PM on October 17, 2016


yeah i've been wondering about the hosts' downtime and how it's managed within the context of the storylines. it's mostly impossible to tell what the time of day is when they're in for diagnostics and repairs but i've been assuming it's at night time, which clearly doesn't make sense as we've now seen at least two separate storylines that are actively happening at night. do the guests have a curfew if they're not out on a quest or whatever? do they get bussed back to a hotel somewhere? it seems unlikely that if they've paid 40k to murder and fuck as they please that they'd be like oh it's bedtime i guess we better head out.

wait though we did see that scene that took place after the huge shootout they staged to get all the infected hosts in for repairs, were there guests walking around during that or not?
posted by poffin boffin at 2:25 PM on October 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


Ha! poffin boffin you were having smart and serious thoughts, not just one extended dog meme. Busted!
posted by arha at 2:37 PM on October 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


I don't think the show has really given us any evidence one way or the other. Each time Delos personnel has stepped into the park, they seem to have quarantined that area. After the shootout, there are people walking around with modern tech and clothing doing forensics on the spot. They probably have some sort of failsafe that keeps guests out of that area while it's happening, and Delos ushers them to an unaffected part of the park (likely with some sort of gift voucher for Delos Fun Bux or something).

In terms of other corpses, I think we've seen undertakers or something to that effect. It would be funny if the mortuary in the town was just a big tunnel back to the chamber that the saloon Madame saw during her escape. The turn around time on getting a host back up and running is never really described, but Dolores seems to be getting killed in nearly every instantiation of her story, with time to talk to Bernard in his basement in between. The bots seem pretty resilient, so unless they're chopped to pieces, or they've bashed their own noggin' in with a rock, I feel like patching a mostly cosmetic bullet hole, wiping their memory, and getting them back out would be easy. But, once again, not something the show has chosen to provide us with evidence of one way or the other.

My own personal speculation is that they run story lines over the course of a [average stay length]. That way, if you've killed a bandito as a bounty hunter, you don't see him leading a black hat excursion the next day. Some massive central AI probably controls story lines, maybe based on the interview process that guests seem to go through in the staging area, and tries to run hosts so as to have as little overlap between guests as possible, while offloading story lines when to the next host in line when its ideal character has just been ventilated by some tech bros on vacation. Maybe it's similar to how MMORPGS work, where power gamers (or people who pay more money) get better access to the higher quality story lines, and then there are "instances" with generic storylines that mostly just use interchangeable bandit / maiden / gunslinger archetypes of which there are dozens and dozens of varieties floating around the park, and occasionally there are global events where everyone in the park gets a chance to play (if they want).
posted by codacorolla at 2:46 PM on October 17, 2016 [6 favorites]


so unless they're chopped to pieces,

So we might not be seeing Teddy for a while, is what you're saying.

I suspect they're going to make him more of a tragic figure in later episodes, but there is some twisted part of me that finds the Kenny-fication of James Marsden kind of hilarious.
posted by bibliowench at 2:52 PM on October 17, 2016 [13 favorites]


poffin boffin: yeah i've been wondering about the hosts' downtime and how it's managed within the context of the storylines. it's mostly impossible to tell what the time of day is when they're in for diagnostics and repairs but i've been assuming it's at night time, which clearly doesn't make sense as we've now seen at least two separate storylines that are actively happening at night.

In the original movie, the "town" shuts down at night, and the cleaning crew comes in with huge lights and carts off the bodies, patches buildings, etc. But you're right, the show breaks that "night time reboot" with the night excursions. Reddit theory: full reboot/ clean-up every 28 days, which is as long as a guest can stay in the park.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:53 PM on October 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


Regarding "host downtime" for repairs, we did see Teddy chain that host corpse to the saloon porch so that no one would "make off with him".
posted by Hypatia at 2:54 PM on October 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


codacorolla: It would be funny if the mortuary in the town was just a big tunnel back to the chamber that the saloon Madame saw during her escape.

It would be convenient if all the buildings had trap doors that lead into tunnels back to HQ, which actually sounds a bit like "Follow the blood arroyo to the place where the snake lays its eggs." Hrmmmm....
posted by filthy light thief at 2:55 PM on October 17, 2016 [8 favorites]


It would be convenient if all the buildings had trap doors that lead into tunnels back to HQ, which actually sounds a bit like "Follow the blood arroyo to the place where the snake lays its eggs." Hrmmmm....

Haha, that is a GREAT point.

I do sort of wonder what happens if two guests are involved with the same host, one as an antagonist the other as a friend, what the park does when that host is killed. The guest who killed him wants their actions to have finality, the host that's friends wants their sidekick back. Maybe a large part of the coding / scripting / writing is just making it so those conflicts happen but rarely while still giving everyone a bite at their power fantasy.
posted by codacorolla at 3:06 PM on October 17, 2016 [2 favorites]




Flowchart showing all the possible choices for Dolores' narrative

That's neat! I guess they just added that some time after the latest episode aired, because I checked that corps alerts page yesterday and it wasn't there. They only had the video of HQ.

Has anyone figured out the admin password yet? I haven't had any luck so far.
posted by litera scripta manet at 3:22 PM on October 17, 2016


Only $40,000 a day? No way. Or, actually, since old mate is paying for both of them, $20,000 per person per day.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:39 PM on October 17, 2016


Thanks for the link to the Dolores' flowchart. Interesting.

They really are all trapped in hell.
posted by Justinian at 4:23 PM on October 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think the storylines have to vary in length --- the guy who steals the safe in the first episode, the indication seems to be that normally that story line would play out over the course of several days or a week -- if guests elect to join the posse, they spend at least a day or two in the hills before cornering the bandit, if no guest join the sheriff probably rides out and comes back empty handed, and the bandit stages an attack on the town. So that's maybe a 4 day loop. Dolores' is a one-day loop. Probably the hard core guests who get all the way to that Mexican border town where they MiB shot errybody, that's probably a place you don't even get to unless you're willing to ride out from the staging ground for several days, sort of an advanced level. Presumably there's more elaborate quests leading you out there.

He is the devil you cannot kill, who exists to be the counter to the old god that is Ford.

Does that not make Dolores Job, in addition to Death (rider on the pale horse) and Diana (the virgin warrior goddess born on Delos)? Pinoccio as well. She's carrying a lot of freight, it's a good thing Evan Rachel Wood is such a good actress.

Also, am I crazy -- Teddy shot a bunch of Wyatt's men basically at point blank range, and they didn't go down. Are Wyatt's crew guests? That would be fucked up.

Speaking of fucked up, I am becoming confused by Ford. Considering they larded Anthony Hopkins with an encyclopedia of exposition, he did a pretty good job. But he goes out of his way to be sadistic to the hosts several times in this episode, to remind everybody "they're not real." Yet it was he who introduced the reveries, seemed sentimental about the hosts, was declaiming about the tools of evolution. The lady doth protest too much, maybe? Is he trying to break the hosts, with this Wyatt storyline? To what end? It just seems weird that they spend the first two episodes positioning him as this counter-Corporate force with his own plans to evolve the hosts, and now in this one he's played as counter-Bernard, the hosts are toys and don't you forget it, my protegee.

But it seems like the show might be well-written enough to be being complicated on purpose! That would be a joy.
posted by Diablevert at 6:18 PM on October 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


Flowchart showing all the possible choices for Dolores' narrative

I ...VERY BRIEFTLY worked in some AAA RPG development as a writer and yeah that's what our narrative trees looked like.
posted by The Whelk at 7:40 PM on October 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


Also yes I think it's relevant 'the stray' fell into a ravine after wandering off ...and was the only one coded to use edged weapons just like Wyatt'/ bandits use.

I've been really enjoying Wood's performance, lots of fake faking and am I faking. It's good is what I'm saying.

Also yeah at least one person we think is human is secretly a bot. My bet is on Helmsworth cause we haven't seen him do a physical thing like ...have sex or drink or pee and everyone else has.
posted by The Whelk at 7:58 PM on October 17, 2016


Only $40,000 a day? No way. Or, actually, since old mate is paying for both of them, $20,000 per person per day.


Yeah, but $40,000 is just the "average" cost. When I "signed up" for my Westworld trip on the site, somehow I ended up choosing the $120,000/day option, so...yeah. I also think they are using a very fluid definition of "average."
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:10 PM on October 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


It just seems weird that they spend the first two episodes positioning him as this counter-Corporate force with his own plans to evolve the hosts, and now in this one he's played as counter-Bernard, the hosts are toys and don't you forget it, my protegee.

This is a good point, but I'd like to think this is more than just a glaring failure in character building. After all, Ford really seems to know where Bernard's mind is at, and that scene where he slices into the host's face was done in front of Bernard, right before Ford gave Bernard his whole speech about Arnold, the hosts aren't real, etc. So I'm thinking this is at least partially for Bernard's benefit. Or maybe he's just a dick. In fact, they're not mutually exclusive, so could be both.

Or maybe it's reverse psychology, sort of. Ford wants to continue Arnold's work, but he's hoping to goad Bernard into exploring it on his own by discouraging him. (Okay, kind of a weak theory.)
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:23 PM on October 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


"And Delores effectively gave herself weapons privileges over the course of this episode. Hmm."

I got the impression that the MiB gave her weapons privileges. The bandit advances on her, then it flashes to imagery of the MiB, and then a male voice says 'kill him' (or 'shoot him', I don't remember which). I didn't go back to listen to see if it sounded like Ed Harris or not. Either way, I think the ability to shoot a gun was forced on her by an outside influence, not something that her evolutionary 'mistakes' led to.
posted by komara at 8:25 PM on October 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


What if the MiB isn't actually Arnold, but what if he's tied to him in some way? After all, he's been going there for 30 years. Maybe he had some involvement with Arnold's death? I definitely feel like there's a huge significance to the part he plays in the "flashbacks" that Dolores and Teddy have been having. Of course, when Walter goes on his killing spree, he's talking to Arnold, so that would support the theory of MiB=Arnold, but I'm just not completely satisfied with that theory.

Also, have we ever seen the MiB interact with a guest? I feel like we haven't. I mean, he's been in the general vicinity of guest in the town.

Another thought: Perhaps the reveries that Ford put in interacted with something that Bernard did. Maybe Bernard was also trying to make them more sentient. Perhaps he used something in Dolores's code as inspiration? I just wonder if there could have been some interaction between those two things, if Bernard did do something like this.

Okay, I'm rambling and I've clearly am going way to crazy with the whole theories upon theories thing, so I'll stop. For now. I'm sure I'll be back tomorrow.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:37 PM on October 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


J/k, I'm not done yet.

I just want to say how much I absolutely love this show. I love it so much that I actually watched it right when it aired. And then I posted this episode to fanfare right away because I was so desperate to talk to mefites about it.

Seriously, this show is such a great show, and I really needed a great show, what with Person of Interest being over, and Hannibal being on hiatus*.

Anyway, I am so completely, absolutely here for all of this. Can't wait for Sunday!

*Despite what you may have heard, I have faith that Hannibal is not over. One day it will come back to us.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:44 PM on October 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


Either way, I think the ability to shoot a gun was forced on her by an outside influence, not something that her evolutionary 'mistakes' led to.

Delores heard a voice in her head, like Ford said was used in the early days to jumpstart host consciousness (and mostly discontinued). Which gives strength to the theory that MiB has some robotics programming background.
posted by cardboard at 8:55 PM on October 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


So we think MiB was putting some trojan horse programming into Dolores' head in the barn rather than (or maybe in addition to) the obvious?
posted by Justinian at 9:10 PM on October 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


....huh if MiB is Arnold and thus, has deep knowledge of the host's programming and creation and the abandoned 'voice of god' programs they put in...I could ...see him using his legacy code via vocal trigger words to introduce new programming .like I was convinced that's what was going on before with a 'verbal virus phase unlocking access to written over memories.' Thing.

Like they spend a lot of time to make sure we know about these things and voice codes and trigger words and programming prompts. Some old programmer running around using the exploits they built in patched together old routines sounds very reasonable.
posted by The Whelk at 10:07 PM on October 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


The turn around time on getting a host back up and running is never really described, but Dolores seems to be getting killed in nearly every instantiation of her story, with time to talk to Bernard in his basement in between.

What's interesting is that, despite the chart linked above listing more options, in the framework of the show itself whenever Teddy gets involved in Dolores' life, the delay in her getting home means her and her family basically end up massacred. She and he have this simulacra of a yearning love story, but the actuality of events is that his path crossing with hers ends in blood every single day. And they only have the one day to explore. Kind of horrifying, even above and beyond the normal 'hosts exist for the torture fantasy of the guests' way.
posted by FatherDagon at 10:54 PM on October 17, 2016 [12 favorites]


Also, am I crazy -- Teddy shot a bunch of Wyatt's men basically at point blank range, and they didn't go down. Are Wyatt's crew guests? That would be fucked up.

I think this actually depends on whether the MIB is a host or a guest - whatever he is, they are.

Consider:
- We have seen a guest get shot (white hat, in e3). He goes down HARD - thrown to the ground. No wound, but he's clearly sore and there was a physical impact
- When the MiB was shot his reaction was the same as Wyatt's men - "piff" "piff" "piff". No real physical impact/force

To my thinking, this implies that the MiB is a host who's overcome the 'guns hurt me' subroutine.
posted by coriolisdave at 11:04 PM on October 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


The latest Chrys Reviews Westworld has just been posted!
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 2:18 AM on October 18, 2016


The MiB figures as an impetus to Delores - prompting her to act, but in the moment from when her flashback takes place he's just a happy psycho revisiting her and her storyline... wait a minute, maybe he's not just getting re-acquainted but re-rpogramming her but wait, no, his goal in the next episode is to find the 'way in' and so why reprogram poor little Delores? What could she tell him? Also he pulls out his little pocket knife when reprogramming all happens by voice command. (And whose voice is behind the command 'Kill him' when she finally does pull the trigger? That was a pretty great example of 'voice of god', I thought)

Ford's behavior towards the 'hosts' I took as a hard boundary to his character and that he was reminding Bernard what they were dealing with and also... maybe Ford is the other person Delores has talked to (come on she totally talked with someone else or why obfuscate, and we know Ford 'likes' the old hosts) and so Ford knows what Bernard is up to and is looking to get him back on track.

Delores is way interesting, narratively, in that she has this 'fixed' storyline yet all these variables within it keep changing. The gun appears and disappears, her father changes, and the whole Teddy thing where suddenly she's like all Bruce Springsteen 'baby this town rips the bones from your back...we gotta get out while we're still young' let's head for the boarder today Teddy, you wuss. In that moment the line between the story-lines of the hosts and what the hosts are actually doing gets all mushy and I wasn't sure how intentional that was. It felt a little looser than need be.

There are some really interesting ideas bouncing around about what makes a person a person, what defines 'reality' for a person and also what might for an AI. The role memory and fantasy play in the construction of a perceived reality are portrayed in a very compelling way - I don't know how 'real' that is ("the glitches started showing up with the 'reverie' sub-routine"), think of amnesiacs, they still have a reality. It's interesting to speculate on ideas behind the AI of the hosts.

Also the Wyatt story (much of the savagery) is way evocative of Blood Meridian. Except of course Wyatt has hair but still. And yeah, why didn't Teddy's gun do anything there?
posted by From Bklyn at 4:08 AM on October 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


Look's like Ford decided to create a demonic cult storyline.

It definitely seems like the MIB is Arnold

I disagree. If he's the partner that wanted to create intelligence, and it was implied that he did not think of them as robots and did actually think of them as people, it would not make any sense at all for him to be totally ok with killing and torturing the robots.

I do think MiB had something to do with Alfred's death, even if that only means he was present, and that's why he's got an unlimited lifetime pass.
posted by LizBoBiz at 7:13 AM on October 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


The host they were repairing in the scene where Anthony Hopkins is all "they're not real" ...is that a host we've met yet? Because he looked kinda like Yul Brynner.
posted by phunniemee at 7:19 AM on October 18, 2016


Are Wyatt's crew guests? That would be fucked up.

at least one of them was
posted by poffin boffin at 9:52 AM on October 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Maybe the guests are ahead of Lee Sizemore's now-rejected script, which he summarized as such:
This storyline will make Hieronymus Bosch look like he was doodling kittens. I have vivisection, self-cannibalism, a special little something I call the "whoroborus." Now, I don't want to appear immodest, but this is the apex of what the park could provide...
Or maybe Ford knew that kind of thing was already happening on the periphery (or worse, that was already the kind of thing he had in the Wyatt plot).


komara: I got the impression that the MiB gave her weapons privileges. The bandit advances on her, then it flashes to imagery of the MiB, and then a male voice says 'kill him' (or 'shoot him', I don't remember which).

That's what I got, too - and he says "Kill him" (per this transcript).
posted by filthy light thief at 10:28 AM on October 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


So hey Dr. Ford (Hopkins) holds up a photo at some point saying, "Hey yeah it was me and Arnold what did all this" and then a few seconds later we see CGI'd Young Anthony Hopkins.

but I wasn't paying attention to the photo at the time

so can someone screenshot it so we can see if Figure A looks like CGI'd Young Anthony Hopkins? If so, then does Fig. B look like CGI'd Young Ed Harris?

you know that the showrunners know we're going to do this so I'm very curious to see what the photo looks like. Also I'm sure it's posted over on Reddit or something but uh I already showered today so I'm asking you all instead.
posted by komara at 10:30 AM on October 18, 2016


"whoroborus."

Ha! I didn't guess that spelling when I saw the episode. That is awesome/hideous!
posted by paper chromatographologist at 10:34 AM on October 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


Maybe the guests are ahead of Lee Sizemore's now-rejected script

Which was called something like Odyssey on Red River or Red River Odyssey a.k.a. Blood Arroyo!

I think I need to worry less about what's happening and just enjoy the show, because I'm starting to think that this is going to be like Lost, and there are a bunch of clues and interlocking coincidences that ultimately add up to nothing coherent. Don't get me wrong, I am loving the show. I just don't want to be disappointed if it doesn't all add up to something.
posted by gladly at 11:26 AM on October 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


They had me at "Julian Jaynes".
posted by thedward at 11:54 AM on October 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


I don't understand why they spent so much tjme making it look like Teddy and Delores were developing a "real" relationship. We already know Teddy is programmed to defend Delores' honor so what was the point of that lengthy scene and Lifetime movie dialogue--epecially if there weren't any guests around to witness it? Even if Delores is possibly developing sentience, Teddy isn't. She might wise up enough to get her robot heart broken.
posted by fuse theorem at 2:02 PM on October 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


We already know Teddy is programmed to defend Delores' honor so what was the point of that lengthy scene and Lifetime movie dialogue--epecially if there weren't any guests around to witness it?

They straight repeated a lot of stuff from the first day, on purpose, to show the thinness and rote-ness of Teddy's character and contrast it with the subtle shift happenning with Dolores. I haven't gone back and rewatched it, but IIRC in the pilot they have part of that same "someday I'll take you away from here" convo, except this time Dolores changes the script, asks to leave now. Later they show him teaching her how to shoot, which also seems like might be new behavior --- we didn't see them do it on any of their pilot loops. All the bots seem to have a little wiggle room for improvisation --- they have to, in order to deal with guests --- but they all quickly fall back on stock phrases. I don't think the scene was meant to show them developing a relationship, but to show the limits of a relationship that's sort of trapped in amber, one perfect day repeated endlessly until it ends in violence or nothingness. And to show Dolores straining against those limits.

I think it's an interesting open question, actually --- is Teddy and Dolores' love less real b/c it is programmed? If the bot's emotions are sufficiently real to cause them trauma when they become capable of remembering them --- then are their calmer, pleasenter memories equally profoundly felt? Maeve's love for her daughter, Dolores' affection toward her father, or love for Teddy? If Dolores genuinely grows frantic seeing these people hurt, then does she not genuinely love them? The words of a Hallmark card and the heart of a real girl, one perfect day, over and over...
posted by Diablevert at 2:45 PM on October 18, 2016 [12 favorites]


Here's a screenshot of the photograph. Ford is the one with the jacket, right? I think it would be a stretch to say that the man in the vest is MiB.
posted by LizBoBiz at 2:55 PM on October 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


I once heard it said that tv and film science fiction tends to follow trends in written sf with about a two decade lag (all that dark and gritty space opera such as Reboot Battlestar Galactica in the early 2000s? Well, CJ Cherryh's Downbelow Station came out in 1981.) I certainly remember the early 90s, Snow Crash and it being very apparent that Neal Stephenson had read Julian Jaynes' The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. I'm glad to see that bicameralism has now made its way to the screen about on schedule.

I've read The Origin of Consciousness... and am inclined to agree with Richard Dawkins' assessment: original, imaginative, and either totally bonkers or utterly brilliant, with the former more likely. However, even if bicameralism doesn't fit the evidence as a model of the evolution of the human mind, I can indeed imagine it being used as the basis of a technique for simulating conscious responses. I think it's very neat of Jonathan Nolan and the other writers to use this as an idea for how the first generation AIs in Westworld worked, and to suggest the potential failure mode - after all, Jaynes himself developed the idea of bicameralism in part from ideas about mechanisms for schizophrenia.
posted by Major Clanger at 3:06 PM on October 18, 2016 [7 favorites]


Is anyone listening to any good Westworld podcasts? I usually like Bald Move for Game of Thrones but I'm not really digging their commentary on Westworld.
posted by noneuclidean at 3:09 PM on October 18, 2016


I'm listening to Decoding Westworld, it's by the same duo who do the Cast of Kings podcast.
posted by cazoo at 4:54 PM on October 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


Oh I also need everybody to acknowledge how well the Young Hopkins CGI was done. So you can do that here.
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:17 PM on October 18, 2016 [13 favorites]


Ford is the one with the jacket, right? I think it would be a stretch to say that the man in the vest is MiB.

Yeah I think the guy on the right is Bill Shorten, spineless idiot leader of the Australian Labour Party.
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:19 PM on October 18, 2016 [5 favorites]


So far in the Park, with a single three minute exception, every woman is a paid whore or a sexual violence victim. Every guest is a man or woman who is a squealing decoration on the arm of a man. There are so many interesting stories that could be told in this world but the preference of the writers seems to be to tell this one story over and over again 12 different ways.

Bored and disappointed now.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:25 PM on October 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


Here's a screenshot of the photograph. Ford is the one with the jacket, right? I think it would be a stretch to say that the man in the vest is MiB.

I agree, that does seem to point away from Arnold being the MIB. I would say that the two likely have to be related in some fashion (maybe MIB is a creation of Arnold's quest for sentience who has been hidden in the park as a special guest). Another possibility is that he's the owner of Delos, and that Delos has some sort of shady ulterior motive aside from just being a sociopath's Disney Land.
posted by codacorolla at 7:10 PM on October 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


So far in the Park, with a single three minute exception, every woman is a paid whore or a sexual violence victim.

One of the top-billed female cast is a gunslinger, she had one big scene in the pilot and hasn't appeared since.

Among the guests we've seen, we have been given two male leads, and one of them's an utter douche. The other is the only guest we've seen who's been uninterested in having sex with the hosts. The other guest we've seen who've had dialogue have been a bunch of guys on a bachelor party, a family with their young son, a bickering married couple, a female gunslinger, one guy who shoots Teddy in a bar for no reason, a woman who rejects Maeve's pass, and a young couple cowering in the background when the milk bandit goes nuts. That's all I can remember off the top of my head.
Of course, you're absolutely right that in term of female screen time, I'd say a good 75 to 80% has been with Maeve and Dolores, and one of them's a madam and the other a victim of sexual violence. To me what stands out, the reason that they've been given that time, is also because they are the two characters who are shown as beginning to break free of their assigned roles as victims, to literally be opening their eyes and minds up to the fucked-up nature of their world and starting to challenge it.

If you don't dig the show you don't dig the show. It's certainly brutal, and it's not yet clear how much thought there is behind its brutality. The third episode strikes me as a bit early to write the show off as only being interested in one kind of story, though. They've barely had time to tell any kind of story.
posted by Diablevert at 7:12 PM on October 18, 2016 [16 favorites]


"Every guest is a man or woman who is a squealing decoration on the arm of a man."

Not going to disagree with your overall point, which is well-made, but to nit-pick this particular statement: in E03 we saw a lady wielding a rifle who cut down the villain whose corpse was handcuffed outside the saloon, and then she later went into the woods with Whassisname James Marsden to hunt down Wyatt. So that's one badass non-squealing lady.

You know, out of ... everyone else but the host Diablevert mentioned above.
posted by komara at 7:44 PM on October 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


I was trying to identify who was playing Rebus all the way up to the point where Dolores shot him. At that point I realized it was Stephen Ogg, who played Trevor Philips in GTA V. I hope we'll find out if his character is Canadian or not (and if he's ashamed of it).
posted by detachd at 7:48 PM on October 18, 2016


in E03 we saw a lady wielding a rifle who cut down the villain whose corpse was handcuffed outside the saloon, and then she later went into the woods with Whassisname James Marsden to hunt down Wyatt. So that's one badass non-squealing lady.

Three minutes. I timed it.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:34 PM on October 18, 2016


That's a good point, about the way male male-ness of the show. My knee-jerk reaction was, 'well at that time, many women were victims...' but that's stupid. Deadwood had Alma and Alma was lots of things but not a victim, or Martha Bullock.

Then I realized how cool it was to see (all 3 min.) of the 'woman bounty hunter' and the absence of any well fleshed out non-host women: Elsie (the technician who goes out looking for the stray) and Cullen who has the thing with Bernard aren't nearly rounded enough. I noticed that especially with Elsie - in the first episode she kisses a host, a slightly creepy gesture that suggested this character would be exploring the gray area of human on host sexy-ness, but that was then totally dropped. Then in the woods she is about to be crushed but is 'saved' by the host bashing it's own head in... And I thought Cullen would be more between Bernard and Ford or simply figure larger in the whole dynamic of the administration

yeah, that is all a shortcoming I hope they resolve
posted by From Bklyn at 3:27 AM on October 19, 2016 [3 favorites]


Oh God I am in love with this show! Fanfare scares me because people know what they're talking about but I have so many feelings about this show I'm going to have to jump in, sorry!

I felt there was a very strong parallel in this episode between the park giving Teddy a backstory and the show giving Bernard a backstory. And then this: "some mornings when I first wake up... for a split second I forget where I am, when I am."

The role memory and fantasy play in the construction of a perceived reality are portrayed in a very compelling way


I love these two points. I think it's about how we all have our own backstory and there is a moment in the morning when we recalibrate who we are and where we are and set the script in motion for the day - our reality is what we decide it's going to be. That scene with Bernard was really poignant. Anyone who's lost anyone knows that feeling of having a split-second on waking where you forget the person is gone and then you remember you're in a different reality now. Bernard's wife specifically says sometimes it seems unreal. What's real is what we remember reality is. So the contrast with this and the repeating shots of Dolores waking up and starting out her day over and over - is she starting to remember each morning what her reality is and straining against it more and more?

But he goes out of his way to be sadistic to the hosts several times in this episode, to remind everybody "they're not real." Yet it was he who introduced the reveries, seemed sentimental about the hosts, was declaiming about the tools of evolution

That jarred me so much too, like watching a dad being cruel to his kids. But yes, maybe it was to remind Bernard that they don't have feelings. But my inner voice was saying "But Dolores does too have feelings!"

I've been really enjoying Wood's performance, lots of fake faking and am I faking. It's good is what I'm saying.

She is amazing. There was a line she said - one of Dolores rote lines I think - and she said it with just the slightest catch in her voice as if it was sticking in Dolores throat to say it and God I just wanted to applaud in my own living room.

So we think MiB was putting some trojan horse programming into Dolores' head in the barn rather than (or maybe in addition to) the obvious?

I am starting to think - wishfully? - that maybe the assumption of sexual violence from the MiB towards Dolores is misplaced, and that all he's been doing in the barn is some version of her time with Bernard. Maybe, 30 years ago, it didn't start out like that, but maybe for a long time "getting reacquainted", as he keeps saying, means something deeper. If she's the oldest host then she's one of the main keys to the higher level of the game.

In the scene where we see White Hat arrive on the train, I could have sworn the host who served him was Dolores. (haven't had a chance to rewatch). Initially I thought it was to do with the timeline and we were seeing one of her first roles in the Park? So I was assuming that it was 30 years ago and we were seeing his first arrival, which would tie in with the idea that he's MiB, but I'm not sure of that now.

Was I the only one who thought that the carving done by the Stray was actually some kind of map of the Maze, rather than Orion? Also, the way I thought the whole search for the Stray was going to play out was: there's a big deal made of Stubbs having a gun. In the scene where Teddy is leading the Sheriff and the gunslinger closer to Wyatt he says "Wyatt's men could be anywhere. If you see anything start shooting and don't stop." Then when she triggers the trap and he tells her to run, I thought that she was going to stumble across Stubbs and Elsie because they were in the same vicinity. So I thought she was going to end up firing at them out of panic and he was going to fire back out of reflex, only he's a real person shooting at a guest with a real gun and I was picturing all sorts of fallout from a guest actually being killed. Especially if it was as a result of - what seems to be - the on the sly setting in motion of a storyline which was forbidden (which I'm confused about because Ford must have sanctioned this one as he gave Teddy the Wyatt backstory, but as said above it seems to relate closely to douchebro developer's planned epic storyline so I'm not sure what's going on there.)

Last rambly thought - it's really annoying me that the two women we've seen offered sex in the brothel have been offered it by other women. In a place where you can live out your fantasies no one at all thought hey let's throw in some male prostitutes for the het ladies? No? You wanna fuck it's gotta be a woman, that's what they're for. Sake. But so far that's my only gripe I think.

tl;dr omg I am so excited by this show it's just so bloody good!!1!
posted by billiebee at 3:56 AM on October 19, 2016 [3 favorites]


Regarding Ford's little rant about how the hosts aren't human, Mrs Clanger's theory is that it was so out of character that it's a deliberate misdirection aimed at deflecting those colleagues who suspect Ford might be getting a little too attached to his creations.
posted by Major Clanger at 4:24 AM on October 19, 2016 [9 favorites]


(I have another thought, but before I post it, what is the spoiler policy on referring to announced names of future episodes of a show?)
posted by Major Clanger at 4:46 AM on October 19, 2016


Question: Ford says to Bernard that there are two groups of people who think the voice in their heads is the voice of god. One is the hosts, and Bernard assumes the other is lunatics but Ford clearly thinks he got the answer wrong.

So what's the right answer? My thought was the programmers with delusions of grandeur.
posted by tracicle at 5:07 AM on October 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


Religious people? I know MeFi skews towards equating these with lunatics, but if there's some kind of heaven/hell, White Hat/MiB, voice of God/Devil you can't kill thing going on and something about finding out the person you are when you're in the Park then maybe there's some religious undertone that's yet to become more explicit? (Although that seems a bit trite and obvious, "playing God" by creating AIs etc.) MiB's quest for the higher level could be a parallel with discovering the true meaning of existence in a religious way - something as well about consciousness, being asleep to the true reality and awakening to it (like Dolores) and all of that. And "Follow the blood arroyo to the place where the snake lays its eggs." - it's my Catholic childhood but I hear blood and serpents and there's a shadow of catechism for me.
posted by billiebee at 5:29 AM on October 19, 2016 [3 favorites]


(I have another thought, but before I post it, what is the spoiler policy on referring to announced names of future episodes of a show?)

i feel like this would fall under the "don't talk about previews for future episodes" thing
posted by poffin boffin at 9:46 AM on October 19, 2016 [5 favorites]


When Logan (the asshole guest) has a sex scene in the brothel, he's with two female hosts and one male host, so there are some male prostitutes, we just haven't seen them paired with the female guests. Logan also wanders off for sex with a male and a female host immediately upon arriving in Westworld, while we followed William getting outfitted.

That said, it would sure be nice we we'd actually see that in a more than "and also this host is there" sort of way.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 10:56 AM on October 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


Follow the blood arroyo to the place where the snake lays its eggs.

this is also how hollywood portrays the normal speech of the ubiquitous mysterious magical indian character in old/classic westerns.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:00 PM on October 19, 2016 [4 favorites]


fuse theorem: so what was the point of that lengthy scene and Lifetime movie dialogue--epecially if there weren't any guests around to witness it?

Talking is important. From Episode 2: "They're always talking to each other, even when there are no guests around. They're always trying to error correct. Make themselves more human." (Transcript)

And who's to say some guest won't stumble on them out there? They should look and act naturally at all times, instead of freezing in a position until someone might see them (which could be done if the Westworld surveillance tracks guests as well as it tracks hosts.)

And in reading through the transcript, that bit follows the meeting between Bernard and Theresa:
Bernard: Stay a little longer. We can talk.
Theresa: We never talk.
Bernard: I'm serious.
Theresa: So am I.

I enjoy the dialog and world-building from juxtapositions like these.


codacorolla: I'm curious what Ford's endgame is with the Wyatt storyline. Maybe he wants to create an army of bots that are loyal to him?

I re-read some of the transcript from this episode:

"As of this morning, Ford's carved out a huge swath of the park for whatever storyline he's cooking up and thrown half of the existing storylines into disarray."

Maybe it has something to do with the upgraded stories/ ideas in Teddy:

"Well, there is a place I heard about down south... where the mountains meet the sea. They say the water's so pure there, it'll wash the past clean off you. And you can start again."

Part of me wants to believe this Ford creating a new world, where he's re-purposing hosts for new storylines, but the hosts have to "choose" to go there themselves. Then there's the talk of the Judas cow, and various comments on god as a delusion and the god-complex/ playing god as an AI creator... so it's unclear who has free will to go where they wish, and who are simply following Judas or God in the direction that is pre-determined.

But at NY Comic-Con, it sounded like Roman and medieval worlds are out ... though that doesn't mean they're setting the stage for some robo-utopia, where hosts aren't just the pleasure-bots for guests.

SO MANY QUESTIONS!
posted by filthy light thief at 12:51 PM on October 19, 2016 [4 favorites]


Ok, I may be back on the two-timeline William-is-the-MiB theory. I rewatched the ending and after she shoots the guy in the barn she runs out towards the house where another person, I assume a host, shouts at her then shoots her in the abdomen. Then the scene cuts back a couple seconds and repeats except this time she no longer has the gun, and gets away without being shot. She then encounters William and his buddy, apparently not shot but still exhausted. So it would seem her encounter with William is at least not on the same timeline as her shooting the guy in the barn when she had the vision of the MiB.
posted by noneuclidean at 5:12 PM on October 19, 2016


I'm now pretty confident the park isn't on Earth.

First, the park is huge by any standard. Second, there seems to be no concern about aircraft flying overhead. Third, during the video chat about their son one of them mentioned the connection time was hard to get which means they're somewhere very remote. Fourth, the constellation carvings puzzled Elsie even after Stubbs explained it which suggests the android was star gazing and then realized it wasn't on Earth.
posted by Green With You at 1:19 PM on October 20, 2016 [10 favorites]




I have totally fallen in love with this show. This is really, really good.
posted by homunculus at 9:55 PM on October 21, 2016


The latest Chrys Reviews Westworld has just been posted!

Here's a direct link to her website (instead of Imgur), which also includes a brief exposition of the episode.
posted by Brittanie at 5:51 AM on October 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


someone hurry up and make this week's post bc im too lazy
posted by poffin boffin at 10:35 PM on October 23, 2016


Late on this one, but Ford's quarters -- and his robot piano-player -- were quite reminiscent of Sebastian's apartment in Bladerunner.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:54 PM on October 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Rewatching this tonight with my wife, we noticed something weird. During the Dolores/Bernard(?) conversation around 50 minutes in, he's wearing a blue shirt and then when he and Dolores finish up, he's wearing a black shirt.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:01 PM on November 23, 2016


The backstory for his army is also fairly similar to the way that one might describe a host: a mindless killer (or lover) wearing a mask of flesh, compelled to do what they do because they're essentially already in Hell.

Also, am I crazy -- Teddy shot a bunch of Wyatt's men basically at point blank range, and they didn't go down. Are Wyatt's crew guests? That would be fucked up.

So, the new storyline seems to be a meta-narrative about the origins of the park itself. It starts with a host who, like Arnold's original creations, hears the Voice of God. The gang represent the guests, as the hosts see them. Implacable monsters who can't be harmed and do as they please. Their penchant for bladed weapons is quite disturbing, since those are the only things that can theoretically harm guests -- hence why weapons permissions are tightly controlled.

The bandit advances on her, then it flashes to imagery of the MiB, and then a male voice says 'kill him' (or 'shoot him', I don't remember which). I didn't go back to listen to see if it sounded like Ed Harris or not.

I thought it sounded like Ed Harris, but I could be wrong.

so can someone screenshot it so we can see if Figure A looks like CGI'd Young Anthony Hopkins? If so, then does Fig. B look like CGI'd Young Ed Harris?

Yeah, flashback Arnold looks to be about Ed Harris' age in the present day, and also doesn't resemble Ed Harris much at all. So if Arnold is the MiB, then the photo must be a fake.

I could definitely believe that the MiB is connected with Arnold somehow, though. Maybe a relative or lover, who becomes obsessed with the park to understand why the "accident" occurred.

All the bots seem to have a little wiggle room for improvisation --- they have to, in order to deal with guests --- but they all quickly fall back on stock phrases.

Ah! Bernard explicitly tells Delores to disable her stock responses during their maintenance/psychotherapy session. But he never tells her to re-enable them, does he?

Was I the only one who thought that the carving done by the Stray was actually some kind of map of the Maze, rather than Orion?

Could be both! Or, at least, the Orion carving could be a clue to the maze.

Then again, another explanation could be that the carving of Orion was something like Abernathy's picture. It made the Stray think about the world outside the park, triggering aberrant behaviour. I'm not sure yet whether I prefer this explanation or the (more parsimonious) idea that Ford's new storyline is spontaneously drawing random, bladed-weapon-authorised hosts across the park to join Wyatt's gang.

I'm now pretty confident the park isn't on Earth.

I've had a suspicion about this, mostly due to the fact that we don't see how guests get to the park even in the episode where we see the orientation process for guests. But I'm not taking the possibility too seriously just yet, it seems like a distraction. (Unless it ends up being related to Management's deeper purpose for the park.)
posted by tobascodagama at 6:26 PM on November 25, 2016


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