Five things we want to know after the Westworld finale

After THAT season finale we were left reeling as the credits began to roll.

Who was that? Is that really the maze? What time are we in? Am I host?

But it looks like we won’t know anything until season 2 which comes back in 2018, until then, here are some questions we need answering…

How big is Westworld? 

And is actually called Westworld? We saw some vaguely Samurai looking guys as Maeve and her team moved towards the exit so does this mean that we’re going to be getting a Roman World and a Medieval World like in the movies? Also are they new? Does Ford bounce between all the different Worlds or is there another evil genius waiting in the wings.

Where is Elsie? 

Elsie was a main character in the first couple of episodes as an inquisitive behaviour programmer. But as things began too unravel it looked like her fate was sealed in the basement as someone grabbed her. Then her tracker pinged within the Park and Stubbs went looking for her only too be greeted with members of the ghost nation. Although there are some theories confirming that she is alive and others saying she was never alive, we still have not definitive answer on what happened too her. Maybe it was all part of Ford’s plan too keep them both safe until the main storyline was finished.

Was Maeve’s story just a storyline?

As we watched Maeve turn from jaded bar Madam, too fierce and intelligent robot hero we found ourselves rooting for her too get out of the park. And just as she was about too she went back in to go look for her daughter. As we’ve seen Ford use children as character motivations before it’s possible that Maeve’s whole striving towards freedom was just a distraction technique for Ford too get all of the other hosts into the Park without suspicion  .

Do we really know anything about Arnold? 

The season came and went with some amazing twists and turns. And there were a hella amount of Arnold plot twists, as Jeffery Wright played the original park founder and his host counterpart. All narrative surrounding Arnold’s story was told through Ford’s perspective meaning that it could have just been part of his bigger plan. Also why are the reveries and malfunctions just showing themselves now? Maybe someone out that there wanted too finish Arnold’s plan?

How is the board going to explain this? 

Time jump? The world’s best paid clean-up team? As the hosts went on a killing spree of investors it looks like things might just be over for the human race. But somehow I think that the board of directors will find a way too reopen the park and continue to use it too make money. Maybe next season will be about Westworld truths///

 

Westworld Season One finale review

These violent details have violent ends and so does the final episode of season one of Westworld.

With twist after twist moving through the hour and a half finale we’re left with a million questions and are agonisingly waiting for season 2 (which is in 2018)

The build up too the Man in Black and William reveal was enticing, even though many fans had theorised that these two characters were the same person in different timelines it was amazing too watch it all play out and as William slowly accepted his dark side and let go of Dolores.

Maeve’s story was definitely the action intense of the finale as she and her band of psychopaths moved through Westworld behind the scenes. At points I did suspect that Maeve’s story was written by Sizemore as a way of getting the information the board needed out of the park. But she returns, the bond too her daughter is too strong to override simple logic, although will she be returning to the park she once knew?

The biggest reveal was that redemption of Ford, played by the wonderfully brilliant Anthony Hopkins (if he doesn’t get an emmy then I will riot)

Locked in within his new storyline he presents too the board,Dolores and Teddy on the beach as she’s about too die. We’ve seen Dolores deal with what she knows to be the maze and finally once again killed by the Man in Black. Dialogue amped up too a million the two recite lines more at home in a lifetime movie than HBO the scene pulls back and we see the board of directors, their emotions just entertainment.

A part of you wonders if the whole show is just watching a bigger storyline play out as Ford remains the smartest man in the room and Dolores realises her part in all of it.

Although Arnold thought he’d mastered the consciousness of the hosts and sending Dolores on a killing spree Ford realised it would take more time than that for them too truly be sentient beings.

The rising of the forgotten host army is haunting as they move through the trees and the Man in Black seems almost happy that this is the way he dies, maybe it’s what he’d been hoping for all along. The final shocking moments see Dolores put a bullet through the back of Ford’s head, however from a show like this what would be the bigger plot twist, that it was a robot version of Ford? Or that Ford’s actually dead?

That show itself has room to grow and change as it’s season two premiere won’t be till 2018 and they’ve also introduced the other worlds that we saw in the Westworld movies. I expect a big time jump for season two but I hope not more of the same, there are hundreds of different storylines to take with Westworld let’s just hope that don’t blow through them all.

 

Westworld ‘Memory’ Review

The story of Westworld takes place within two very specific worlds, the backstage and the front stage. With hosts and humans enacting the big stories on the front stage and memories and body parts being clean up on the backstage. For the past nine or so episodes there has been a big difference between what is the story and what isn’t the story and now things are seemingly blurred.

The concept of memory plays heavily into this episode, firstly our action heroine Maeve is starting to remember everything. She slowly begins to build her robot army with some of the most poetic language on the show. Including the behind the scenes of her own life, she awakens a blissfully ignorant Bernard to his own part in the play and Bernard wants to know more and with a gun to his head, Ford finally delves into Bernard’s memories.

Bernard is a host version of Arnold, Ford’s partner in the first few years of the park. Arnold, whom we discover was killed by Dolores (although we don’t know the full circumstances) also brings up the question of whom Dolores has been having these one on one chats with. Did Arnold notice something different in her and Ford had him kill her? The mythology surrounding Arnold proves all the more fantasticating.

Fans of the show had been theorising that an episode of Westworld takes place across multi-timelines, meaning we’re seeing incidents from different times in the park and we can’t always be sure problems are linear.

Including the link between William and the Man in Black. Two very different characters that have yet to crossover, but with the intoxicating nature of the park and the William’s slow descent into moral ambiguity many have thought we could be witnessing the Man in Black’s origin story.

However this theory was possibly disproven when the Man in Black and Dolores were reunited in the church at the end of today’s episode. Of course with the hosts memories we don’t know if they work linear and we might just be seeing this as the perspective of Dolores memory.

There are still a lot of unknown factors with Westworld, the board of directors and their link to the Man in Black are still a mystery and things are building up for a reveal. The most intriguing of which might be an explanation as to how Ford hasn’t just been straight up murdered by anyone yet.

Westworld: They are among us…

Troupe L’Oeil marks the second act of Westworld as we move further away from the Western storylines and into the more macabre realities upstairs.

The presence of the board is felt more strong as Charlotte Hales (Tessa Thompson) comes in from the Board, to finally help enact the mission that Theresa Cullen was sent for. Although she seems to be having some crisis of morality as Bernard is fired for the apparent malfunction with the hosts.

Hales apparent ease with everything suggests a vague intimacy with the park that we’re not yet aware of, maybe we’re seeing William’s fiancee Juliet but under a different name…

Speaking of William, he finally seems to be getting into the swing of things in the park as he forgets his deeply troubled life back home and gets it on with Dolores. Whether Dolores is manipulating him to get what she wants or if she’s still more a benign host playing a part in the storyline.

The apparent malfunctioning of the hosts is finally sought to be a real concern. Although Maeve is biding her time and using her two butcher friends to figure out how to get out Clementine is taken to the upstairs too demonstrate just how deadly the hosts can be. Thandie Newton should get some sort of recognition as her acting as Clementine is lobotomised is absolutely heartbreaking.

But the main event of Westworld took place in the final ten minutes of the show as Bernard and Theresa go searching for what Ford has been working on in the unmonitored areas of the park. Bernard confidently explains to Theresa that the hosts aren’t able too see exactly what is going on downstairs.

Things start going south for Theresa as soon as we hear Bernard ask “What door?” apparently unable too see it unless pointed out to him. Inside they find a rudimentary version of the 3D host creating machine and blueprints for Bernard and Theresa finally puts everything together.

Fans have been theorising that Bernard was a host since the first few episodes but it was still a shocking twist to watch as he took his jacket off and began to kill on Ford’s demand.

Ford appears out of nowhere and quietly explains to Theresa exactly what’s going on. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the casting of Hopkins in this role was so perfect, without saying a word Hopkins manages to become the most evil and the smartest person in the room. Like the guests in his park he doesn’t have to worry about being hurt because he’s always in control.

Although like the litany of mad scientists before him it’s only a matter of time before one of his creations rise up to destroy him, now we’re taking bets on who it’ll be…

 

Westworld Episode six review

In episode 6, Westworld has truly showed us beyond the veil and maybe let one of their robots have a glimpse too.

With no Dolores and William this episode and very little of the Man in Black we’re reminded that there is a whole host of people running the park for the guests to enjoy.

Maeve stunned us at the end of last episode by sitting up right in the repair bay. We follow her story again this episode as she goes to get herself killed so she can proceed to chat with Felix the butcher/wannabe coder.

It’s not a stretch to imagine Maeve convincing Felix to show her around the life beyond the park but her lack of confusion at something which we see her only have a glimpse of makes us wonder who else Maeve might be talking with behind the scenes.

A wordless sequence plays out where Maeve surveys all the work that goes into creating her life. Including footage she remembers as a dream being used to advertise the place.

Eagle eyed viewers will note that the different logo from William’s arrival is seen in the background. If you believe the Man in Black is William theory then it suggests that Maeve’s story is taking place in the present.

A lot of the drama this episode centres around what is going on behind the scenes in the park. Bernard and Elsie are beginning to uncover a conspiracy that someone is remotely hacking into and changing the older hosts.Whether that person is Arnold, we don’t quite know yet.

Women of the board Theresa Cullen is still a little uncomfortable following the conversation she previously had with Ford in the restaurant (aren’t we all) and she breaks things off with Bernard. We also see the arrival of Tessa Thompson’s executive character who first managed to fuck with head narrative writer Lee Sizemore whom then finds himself pissing on the map of Westworld. Whether the money stuff matters or not in the long run of the robot world remains to be seen but as it bubbles away under the surface we have to admit it’s quite funny.

A significant point in the episode is Ford’s robotic house, a part of Westworld he keeps hidden from everyone is discovered by Bernard. Not that Ford particularly seems to care, Hopkin’s is playing Ford with an undeniably careless attitude. Not only that but it looks like he’s already aware that the hosts can lie to him as the younger version of himself kills his dog because Arnold told him too.It seems like Ford has previously been safe in the knowledge he’s the smartest man in the room and might be the only human (check out our Westworld theories for more details) Now he’s not too sure…

But Ford keeps a younger version of himself trapped in a happy memory quietly tucked away in his creation. Due to the fact no one else knew the hosts and Ford were there it also begs the question…what else is hidden in the park?

At the end of the episode Elsie discovers that Theresa may have something to do with espionage going on and something else sinister lurks underneath. I have a feeling we’re not going to see what’s coming….

Westworld Episode five review/recap

After last weeks episode Westworld has moved beyond it’s world building motif into a story.

Logan and William dive further into the world, Logan tries to entice a war “There are no heroes or villains, it’s just one giant circle jerk” although the William is the Man in Black hasn’t been confirmed as of yet, we  get the impression that William’s story isn’t going to be complete once his holiday is over. Laurence, the poor soul who’s become MiB noose wearing sidekick makes an appearance in William’s story, suggesting this may be the first meeting of the two.

Dolores accompanies the two on their mission but is having a crisis of her own as she begins to unravel with memories of a world she doesn’t meet. The two team up, Dolores can shoot a gun now and a voice inside her head is telling her what to do…could it be Arnold?

Speaking of which Arnold may be dead but his presence is felt. The programmer finds a satellite in the host that tries to kill her, whether that suggests corporate espionage or something more sinister we’ll have to wait and see. Although it would be amazing if it was all brought down by something as mundane as the money.

In the highlight of the opposite Ford and the Man in Black come face to face in a backwards pub on the outskirts of tone. The two talk quietly, you wonder if this is the first time they’ve met and does Ford understand the Man in Black more than he admits…

“I always figured this place was missing a real villain.”

Teddy doesn’t quite realise he’s having a conversation with his creator, but protects Ford nonetheless.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Hopkins is solidly the scariest person in the whole show.

The episode ends with one of the “butchers”finally programming a bird to fly and Maeve waking up in the room seemingly more content than she was the last time she woke up in a dream. Maeve seems to understand the Westworld a little better than the other hosts, she could be the dark horse that fucks up their entire world.

Five episodes left and I don’t think we’re going to get a conclusive ending but like the guests in Westworld I’m just enjoying the journey.

Evan Rachel Wood talks Westworld

The first four episodes of Westworld have marked our officially introduction into a world of robots, intrigue and a weekly dose of Antony Hopkins being a terrifying mofo.

A lot of the show is seen through the perspective of host Dolores, a ranchers daughter living a simple life just off the edge of the village. We see a horrible barrage of violence enacted against her only for her to wake up the next day with no memory of what happened.

There’s something tragically intriguing about Dolores arc, compared to the others she lives the most in the dark. But as her systems begin to malfunction we realise there’s something sinister lurking underneath the amenable exterior. A lot of this is to do with Evan Rachel Wood, who brings nuance to a character who could potentially be quite plain.

Talking with Variety.com she explained the nuances of playing a robot who doesn’t know she’s a robot.

“To her, her father is dead, and this is very real, and her suffering is happening and is very painful to her….And the other side is this core analysis mode, where you are actually a highly evolved being and fiercely intelligent and beyond pain and beyond death and a supernatural being almost. So to play with the juxtaposition of that and the internal conflict that Dolores had was a ride.”

In the next few episodes Dolores is undergoing quite a transformation from quiet country girl too a horse riding bounty hunter. We can’t wait for the next phase in her character development.

Westworld Episode 4: None of this matters…

Score: A+

The fourth episode in the Westworld series answers some of questions but overall has us diving further down the rabbit hole.

Like the park itself, episode four sees several storylines playing out concurrently but never quite overlapping (or so it seems…)

We start with Dolores sitting in with Bernard talking through the loss of her family and as she refuses to have her pain of her families death taken away from her. Ironically Bernard utters Ford’s warning about not reading humanity into the robots to the young programmer and it seems that Bernard is searching for the answers to his own loss within one of the hosts.

In Dolores reality she’s accompanying William and Logan on their bounty hunt, William is slowly falling head over heels in love with her and Logan keeps pointing out it’s just a game. William and Logan seem to be the most 2D of all the guest representing the personal choices one makes within the park. But as they keep referencing the world outside we begin to think there’s more to Logan than evil and there’s more to William than good. After all there’s reference made to Logan’s sister whom William seems to be set on marrying even though it seems likely he’s going to cheat with a robot and Logan understand the park because his family has a stake in it.

Speaking of reality, we get an unsettling insight into exactly whom the Man in Black is, as he finds the next part of his journey to the maze (the snake tattoo on the gunslinger) another guest approaches him and thanks him and his foundation for literally saving his sisters life. The Man in Black might be an amazing person in his real life but spends his holiday in other peoples misery.

What’s more Man in Black seems aware of Arnold and tells us that Arnold died within the park. Flash to Ford creating a new story within the park and Theresa is handed the less than fun task of telling Ford that the money people aren’t happy with him. But Ford seems quietly unperturbed by anything she or anyone else has to say, Arnold went crazy but Ford sees people for what they are. Whether it’s a misdirect or not the idea that Ford has something up his sleeve is growing more with each episode.

Maeve’s story is the most interesting of the episode as she begins to have flashes of memory, of being shot and having the bullet removed she draws a picture of what she’s seen only to discover she’s seen the thing before and drawn the picture before.

Meeting Hector in the cycle as the bandits attempt to steal the safe she uses the cover of anarchy to try and get some answers about what she’s seen even going as far as to dive into her own skin and pull out the bullet she knows is there. Maeve seems to be stuck in her own cycle a lot more than the rest of the hosts and isn’t paid that much attention by the programmers. And it might just be that  as Maeve dies in a hail of bullets se understands the world a little better than the rest of them because ‘none of this fucking matters’

 

5 Questions we’ve got for Westworld

Westworld is three episodes in and has managed too become our latest obsession as the fantastically rich futuristic drama has us scratching our heads after each episode but now we have a couple of questions that we’re going to need Anthony Hopkins to explain to us…

You can’t get shot but how else can you die?

In the rough Wild West world that the guests are thrown into we’re wondering what else can kill them? I mean no one is wearing helmets as they ride horses and I suppose you could accidentally get caught in the crosshairs of a bar fight.

How many people work at the Park? 

This is a 24 hour job with park upkeep and extracting ‘dead’ hosts, there has to be so many people working within the park to make sure it all goes off without a hitch. As well as that there has to be a least a couple of dozen people watching the park at any one time just to cover the incidents.

How do they get you out of the park?

So you get to the park via a fancy train but I’m assuming that you loose track of time between the bar fights and the brothels. So what happens if you miss the train or just decide you don’t want to leave like the Man in Black?

Can the robots be hacked?

Listen if the 15 year from Ireland can hack the world’s banks then logically a 15 year old in this universe can mess with the robot. I feel like if everyone was aware of the hyper-realistic robots existed then there would be a team of nerdy troublemakers would want to fuck shit up.

How long are you allowed too stay?

Logan makes a reference to it being 40k a day to attend Westworld but that’s chump change to some billionaires so they could easily holiday there for years and depending on how long a person is there how long are each of the individual hosts cycles.

 

 

Four of the craziest Westworld theories

Westworld has easily become our new obsession while we wait for Game of Thrones to come back. The many layers and juxtaposition between the sleek modern word and the rough western theme park allows for a multitude of stories to go on at the same time which is why fans have already started forming theories here’s a couple of the best…

William and the Man in Black are the same person 

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As William tentatively arrives in the Park for the first time donning a white hat and falling for Dolores, he seems like the antithesis to the raping and murdering Man in Black but fans have noticed that there are several differences between the park when The Man is and when William meaning possibly we are viewing two different timelines at once. And after The Man in Black references the fact he’s been coming here for thirty years and since some incident we know the Man’s life has been marked by Westworld.

However this theory has been quashed as Dolores runs into William after she shoots someone while having flashbacks to the Man in Black. But we don’t know how time works with a robot who isn’t truly memorising something, can Dolores see into the future?

The staff are robots 

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Whether just some or all of them, the idea that they’d just have these fully functional for the guests just seems shortsighted use of manpower from the mysterious board of directors. Instead  using them to work 24/7 on robot maintenance in order to maximise  profits, besides you haven’t seen them eat yet…

With Bernard’s tragic backstory off in some distant location just as Teddy’s is being written the motivation for a person staying in the sterile Westworld environment might need to be written as well.

Arnold is alive

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And he’s somewhere in the park. People are theorising it’s maybe the Man in Black, Bernard or even a version of Ford. But the idea that the code is malfunctioning right now might mean that Arnold is alive and hacking into his creations to finally give them what he truly wanted… sentient

The idea that there is some unfinished business with who Arnold is, definitely a great finale reveal if he is alive.

The maze is the escape 

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As the Man in Black desperately hunts for the maze and the next level of the game he hasn’t stopped to think about what could be at the centre of it. But when creepy child robot tells him that “The maze isn’t meant for you” then maybe it’s meant for the hosts instead.

Dolores is growing more aware of herself by the day, maybe the maze is the only way for the robots to escape the cycles.