At long last, HBO’s Westworld finally unfurled its major mysteries by Season 1 finale “The Bicameral Mind,” opening the door to a year’s worth of speculation before Season 2. Even so, producers tease that Ford’s new narrative will be “defined by chaos” in Season 2, which itself will explore “the dawn of consciousness.”
Okay, so I guess William got that mole of his taken off at some point? Who knew he was so into cosmetic surgery? He should have gotten some plugs for that bald head of his while he was at it.
Or a little trauma can be deceptive. Tonight’s episode of Westworld, “The Well-Tempered Clavier,” named after a famous composition by Johann Sebastian Bach, showed both. For some characters, trauma opens their eyes to the reality that they’ve deliberately avoided. For others, trauma blocks them from discovering a truth.
The Man in Black has an origin! It explains nothing and rules out nothing! Ah, Westworld. You are very entertaining even when you are kind of frustrating.
Even as Westworld finally gave up one big secret, we still don’t know exactly what to expect from the final episodes of Season 1, let alone the un-ordered Season 2. That said, producer Jonathan Nolan may have dropped a major clue about what to expect from the Hosts’ awakening in Season 2, including where the park itself is actually located.
Looking back at my recaps of Westworld’s first season to date, I find that I am very bad at theories. I’m not great at creating them and I’m not great at debunking them. I pretty much dismissed the “William is the Man in Black” theory right off the bat, but the show itself has left enough wiggle room that it could still be true. While I’m not entirely convinced that’s the way the show is headed, it does seem increasingly likely that the accompanying theory that the show’s narrative exists simultaneously yet invisibly in multiple timelines is true. (Then again, now that I’m saying this, that could negate the whole thing. I’m like the George Costanza of Westworld theories. When I say something could happen, you should assume the opposite will.)
Tonight’s Westworld, “Trompe L’Oeil,” concluded with maybe the show’s biggest bombshell to date: Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright), the head of programming Westworld’s artificial hosts and the right-hand man to its director and creator, Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins), was revealed as a robot. It calls into question just about everything Bernard’s said, done, or thought in the previous six episodes, along with some of the seeming truths about Westworld and its reality. So who exactly is Bernard Lowe and what does his true identity mean for the future of the show? Here are three different possibilities about his backstory:
This week’s episode of Westworld, “The Adversary,” made me rethink a lot of my opinions about this show. First and foremost, it made me wonder whether the character I thought was the best member of the Westworld ensemble might actually be the worst.
One scene really stood out to me on this week’s Westworld. Robo-madam Maeve (Thandie Newton), one of the Hosts in the Western park who is beginning to develop consciousness, suddenly remembers one of the many times she’s been killed. She also has a vision of a terrifying man in a white and red suit, pulling her away, performing surgery on her, tossing her body in a hap of others. She draws the figure on a piece of paper, then goes to hide it under the floorboards in her room where she discovers a pile of similar slips of paper, indicating she’s played this scenario out over and over again.
Three episodes in, Westworld is quickly becoming a show of theories. Tonight’s “The Stray” didn’t advance much of the show’s overarching narrative, but it did throw a major monkey wrench into one of the more notable theories which has been written about a lot after it popped up on Reddit. It proposes that William, the character played by Jimmi Simpson, is actually the young version of the guy played by Ed Harris, the so-called “Man in Black.” According to the theory, Harris’ scenes take place years after the ones with Simpson, something that would hypothetically be possible because the robotic Hosts never age. The series already alluded to trouble at the park some 30 years ago; perhaps those are the events in young William’s “timeline”?