Now sex…um…I mean six episodes in, we are finally getting somewhere.
By Anna May @AnnaMayMight
Now sex…um…I mean six episodes in, we are finally getting somewhere. All those unanswered questions are being slowly answered, but not so conclusively that we can say one way or another what’s going on. That’s a good thing, though, right?
So…to all those who are just too impatient to wait it out and let Anthony Hopkins work his magic as the slightly creepy, but totally bangable, Ford…just hang on in there pardner!
Most importantly, do NOT take your eyes of the screen for a second, because the direction here is second to none where ‘show don’t tell’ is concerned. Every little gesture and facial expression is there to help us really learn about these characters and dig deeper into their emotions than first seemed possible. Also, there are several ‘blink or Yul miss it’ shots that give away the odd secret here and there. (sorry, I had to)
Yes, the hosts started out as glorified robots, but their gradual progression to higher consciousness seems to almost parallel our own realization as an audience. We are all discovering what’s already been and what’s to come at the same pace. I really feel like I've been with Dolores and Maeve every step of the way…and that’s what’s so great about the writing here. We are as much in the dark as the hosts and, indeed, humans are. This helps us feel more empathy towards them. Also, no spoilers either way.
Talking of spoilers, here are a few, so look away now if you’re not up to date…
So, after the latest episode, we now know who the little boy is that Ford was spending time with. He and a handful of early generation androids were a gift from Ford’s partner, Arnold, who died some years ago. They live together in a house hidden in the woods and would appear to be clones of Ford’s real family from when he was a boy…and that little boy is Ford as a child.
In other news, Maeve has now woken up to the reality of it all and even has a devoted employee helping her learn more. Turns out someone else had already been tinkering with her, so her sudden change in game-play is no accident. Even better, she’s managed to convince her new human accomplice and his colleague to change her settings, so she’s pretty much invincible now. Why they didn’t just delete all her files and folders as they tapped away on their mini computer, I don’t know. But then that would have been the end of that, I suppose...and killed the storyline dead. Forgiven.
Interestingly, after a rewrite of Teddy’s backstory was uploaded to his data banks, he’s no longer stuck in his never ending loop with Dolores and is now accompanying The Man in Black on his journey to find what’s at the centre of the maze that keeps cropping up everywhere…be it engraved into stone, scraped into sand or printed on the inside of a host’s scalp. Nice.
Now it seems the Man in Black has history with Ford, who popped into Westworld in person to have a little natter and a cheeky pint with him. He’s utterly horrid to the hosts, though, isn’t he. So a baddie, right? Not sure now.
Dolores, on the other hand, has also left the safe confines of Sweetwater and is now roaming further afield with a human guest, having transformed into a gun-toting killer. The further away from Sweetwater the guests are, the more hurt they can get. However, the hosts should still be unable to actually harm them too viciously or indeed kill them. Somehow, I don’t think they’re going to stick to the rules so easily from now on.
You see, Arnold, although dead, seems to be communicating with the hosts and helping them discover the truth about Westworld. The thing is, he’s also able to instruct them to keep their little ‘chats’ secret…so Ford and some curious members of staff are determined to close in on the source. An implant has also been found in the arm of one host, which can transmit data outside Westworld.
So, what do I think so far?
A voice in the hosts’ heads is urging them to, “Find me.” Find who? Arnold? He not only wanted to create androids that were as close to humans as possible, both physically and behaviourally, he also wanted to give them fully conscious minds to match. So, did he upload his own brain activity to the collective host community in an attempt to spread it throughout the Westworld population? It’s all getting a bit ‘I am Borg’, isn’t it.
Teddy explained to The Man in Black that the all-important maze relates to a myth. Legend has it that a man built a house at the centre of this maze that only he can navigate. Is that because it’s a virtual maze that can only be accessed digitally? Maybe the ultimate state of awareness can be found at the centre of the maze.
Maybe dead Arnold is using Ford’s fake family to draw the hosts to their little house in the woods so they can download his human consciousness from them. What better way to preserve the data than to store it in hosts that Ford himself would fight to protect.
I'm guessing they were much more than a thoughtful gift...and, whether it's dead Arnold or some evil villain pulling their strings, Ford may possibly have to choose between destroying his beloved ‘family’ in order to stop a potential mass rebellion, or allowing them to be instrumental in the downfall of Westworld.
Westworld: Sky Atlantic - Tuesday, 9pm