Well, well, well Westworld. Color me surprised. You delivered. Finally.
You delivered Maeve.
I don’t remember when I exactly I became enamored with her but when it happened, I can safely say that she became the primary reason I continued watching the show. Thandi Newton is rocking this part and I love it. I love watching her manipulate her environment to get answers. I love watching her fight for knowledge. And I loved watching her handle the two surgeons, Felix and Sylvester.
I pity Felix and hate Sylvester, as I’m supposed to. But Maeve…
Maeve is EVERYTHING!
Ok, so full disclosure, I am not easily impressed by much. Not by movies, TV shows, acting, anything. But sometimes all the pieces come together in a meaningful and moving way that makes me feel something for both the character and the actor playing them. This episode did that with Maeve/Thandi. Watching her move through assertiveness, skepticism, disbelief, confusion, desperation, slyness, horror, stoicism, horrified fascination, understanding, disgust, shock, acceptance, pain, and sorrow…all set to a string quartet version of Radiohead’s Motion Picture Soundtrack, a beautiful melody that captures the tragedy of the scene. It was so well-done.
Watching her assert her sense of self, learning how manipulated and controlled she’s been by others and then watching her take control of her situation…
When I tell you that she won my heart? I am now rooting for Maeve and hope she ends up running this shit because other than Bernard and Felix, these people are shit.
Talking about personality shifts — Teddy. Do you remember Teddy? Delores’ white knight with a tarnished past who spent the first few episodes sacrificing himself over and over? Well, Teddy is no longer a passive victim of Westworld. Whatever backstory Dr. Ford gave him and then initiated during his conversation with the Man in Black in episode 5, or what I like to call The Big Black Dick episode, Teddy has stepped up to be a ruthless, goal-oriented killer intent on rescuing Delores. He went ham on some folks this episode and didn’t look the tiniest bit disturbed. Shit was awesome and disturbing.
Theresa and the Board
We learned in this episode that the Hosts are being f–ked with by someone. Elsie discovers that Theresa is transmitting information out of the park. She also discovers that something is being broadcast throughout the park using an outdated relay system that had been discontinued. She believes that the bicameral mind mechanism is being used to hack the Hosts, allowing someone, presumably Theresa, to broadcast messages to the older Hosts who have receivers.
Also, the older Hosts have had their code modified, making them able to lie, fight, hurt people, even kill. The older Hosts are not constrained by the rules of restraint and non-violence towards the Guests or the park employees. To be honest, it’s not the most interesting storyline except it’s how we learn the Hosts have been modified by some unknown entity… Elsie says that it seems like Arnold’s work. You know, co-creator Arnold who died mysteriously in the park some 30 years ago and was scrubbed from the park’s history. That Arnold.
Looks like Dr. Ford has some secrets living in the park. I mean, the whole park is a giant psychological fuckfest of glorified violence and unrealized dreams, but having some unregistered, old school Hosts roaming through the park at will is some shit. These Hosts were supposedly created by Arnold, Dr. Ford’s deceased co-creator and partner. Arnold seems to have left many remnants in the park.
Interesting things to note:
- The tow-headed boy we’ve seen in various parts of the park is a robotic version of Dr. Ford as a kid. I’m not sure if he was given the intelligence of Dr. Ford, but that seems a little scary.
- These Hosts only respond to Dr. Ford’s voice commands. In episode 4, young Dr. Ford encountered the Man in Black right before he murdered Lawrence. Maybe he was being helpful, but he seemed to take orders from the Man in Black. Granted, this is not an explicit voice command, but it’s something I plan to watch out for in the future.
- Dr. Ford tells Bernard that Arnold believed, “Great artists always hid themselves in their work.” We’ve seen a lot of Arnold in this story, making him a player to watch out for.
- All the older models with receivers have been reprogrammed, including this group.
Multiple Timeline Theory
One last thing to discuss. I made the mistake of talking about the show with a friend and he shared with me the two timelines theory. This is the theory that the storyline with the two investors, Will and Logan, is set in the past while the story about Theresa, Dr. Ford, Bernard, Maeve, and the Man in Black is set in the present. I admit, this is an interesting idea but I’m struggling with it. I could be missing all the clues, because of how I’m watching the show, but it seems weird and here’s why:
- Delores is with the investors after having broken her loop, something she did after talking with Bernard.
- Delores killed a fly, a Host, and some attackers in Pariah while with Logan and Will…that the Hosts can kill is a recent development, supposedly.
- The Man in Black mentioned the rancher’s daughter taking off and going to find her to Dr. Ford, who said he hadn’t heard that storyline before. If they are referring to Delores, which is the assumption, and Delores is with the investors, who Dr. For
- Logan is a current investor who is researching increasing their investment. When Dr. Ford spoke with Theresa, he mentioned that some board members were already there, something she didn’t know.
- How can Delores be breaking her loop for the first time in the present, if she broke her loop in the past with Will and Logan?
All those questions can be answered by them using descriptors instead of names and my assumption that the descriptor is a particular person. I’ve noticed how they will say “the rancher’s daughter” and I assume it’s Delores. We have seen that they can and will retask someone to keep a storyline consistent. If we go back to the beginning town, they probably have already assigned another woman to play Delores’ part while she’s off on an adventure with Logan and Will.
I dunno. What I do know is that I hate multiple timelines, potential time travel, and any timeline f–kery. This is why I stopped watching Heroes and can’t get into X-Men comics. Timeline continuity is a tedious scenario with little payoff and rarely done well. Regardless, the folks promoting this theory made a video that I’m going to watch later. We’ll see if they change my mind, but based on my extreme hatred for weird timeline crap, I’m going with no for this one.
And that concludes my thoughts on episode 6 of Westworld.
Feel free to tweet, comment, email or whatever. I’m curious about what you think.
Oh yeah and MAEVE is my hero! I hope the writers don’t screw her up.
TaLynn Kel is a writer and an avid participant in the Atlanta cosplay scene. You will find her at various Atlanta conventions in costume and participating on panels about cosplay. She is also a guest writer for Black Girl Nerds, The Establishment, The Anime Complexium, and Huffington Post.