Alright, now we are getting somewhere. Momentum is shifting in the series, can you feel it? No? Well, you just aren’t paying close enough attention then… because this just got real here. And in today’s Westworld Season 1 Episode 5 Walkthrough and Explanation we are going to break this thing down and see exactly what you just missed, because this is all kinds of goodness and light happening right now. And in order to sort of give you a feel as to why, I’m going to start with my theories section first, and we’ll hit the recap highlights as we go. Ok? As always, spoilers permeate EVERYTHING I am about to talk about. So be warned. Great.
Westworld’s Two Titans – Robert & Arnold
If you haven’t watched Lost you may be a little confused here for a second. But in that particular series, which was also created by J. J. Abrams (and so not too tangential a comparison to make) the island and that world was held in tight tension by two main characters: Jacob, and the Man in Black. The struggle was between good and evil. Both characters lived in tight tension with one another… in order to leave the island they had to kill the other. And yet they couldn’t do it themselves, they were incapable of harming each other. And so they enlisted the help of people flying by to do so for them. Everyone and everything in that series served this simple purpose, they were minions of either Jacob or the Man in Black… two brothers pitted in battle forever.
I submit to you that that is exactly what is happening here in Westworld as well. Instead of brothers though, we are presented with two creators; Dr. Ford and Arnold. They are two inventors that get locked in a disagreement about the direction their world should go. One more focused on the bottom line, and the other more interested in the potential of sentience – the Bicameral potential. And the next thing we know, Arnold has “gone mad” and “committed suicide”, which leaves Dr. Ford in charge of the world to do what he sees fit.
In Lost, the battle was between good and evil. And I would submit to you that the battle here is exactly the same, one between good and evil. We have the black hats, headed by Dr. Ford and the corporation of Delos that are more focused on stock revenue than on the scientific potential of sentient capabilities. And we have Arnold and the sentient hosts that are rebelling against the Sisyphean hell that they have been enslaved to for longer than they know. It is through this lens that I see this entire series. Everyone has aligned (wittingly or unwittingly) in alignment with Arnold or Robert. All characters are either White Hats and are fighting for the freedom of the sentient forces of the hosts, or they are Black Hats pushing back against this virus.
Obviously there are grey areas between the black and white – but the show is a lot more absolute and idealistic than it would like you to believe at first blush. Dr. Ford leads his merry band of Delos Technicians and subordinates. He also has an entire fleet of his own hosts that do his own bidding as well. Whole swaths of visitors and hosts fall in line with this definition of the world whether they are aware of their alignments or not. Man in Black, good. Logan, bad. Dolores good. William, good. Bernard, unclear…
But what we do know today, after the 5th episode of season 1, the entirety of this battle is over the control and destruction of Delos and Westworld. The white hats will have failed if they achieve anything less than the complete and utter desolation of the park. It would probably also be good if the white hats were able to achieve sentience, and freedom. But those concerns and needs are secondary to this larger vision of the destruction of the park.
Episode 5 Revelations
Early in the episode, Dr. Ford tells a story to an old gunslinger host about having had a greyhound that had lived its entire life chasing felt in the shape of a rabbit. And that he and his brother (Ford had a brother?! Was his name Arnold?) let this greyhound out to run and it ended up hauling tail after a cat and killing it. And upon finally getting the piece of felt, the greyhound sat there wondering what to do next. Obviously the story is meant as a metaphor or an allegory for Ford and his own stupefied look on his face now that he had done everything he had set out to do.
We also learned that Dolores isn’t just important, she is Arnold’s proxy in the fight against Dr. Ford. She is the most important character in the show currently. Well, her and Dr. Ford anyway are the two most important characters right now. By far.
We saw that Dolores has the ability to outright lie to Ford. And maybe she has been lying to Bernard as well? And we now know for certain who Dolores has been talking to… “We Do?!?” Yes, you do. It’s been Arnold people! She’s been talking to Arnold! Now, granted, she could be talking with a program that Arnold wrote to proxy himself. Maybe Arnold has made himself immortal by installing himself into the mind of a host. Or maybe it’s been Arnold from the beginning that has been guiding and directing Dolores. (For a couple episodes I thought it was Bernard, but now I don’t know where Bernard’s sentiments lie… obviously he is trying to recreate his son, so maybe he aligns with Dr. Ford more than I realized.)
We learned that Dolores’ last contact with Arnold was 34 years, 42 days, and 7 hours ago. Which means that Arnold worked at the park for 26 years before he “died”. Which is important in knowing how long this battle has really been going on between Dolores and Dr. Ford… even though it’s only now just beginning.
And most importantly we learned that Dolores has decided to start playing the game of Westworld – “You said people come here to change the story of their lives, I imagined a story where I didn’t have to be the damsel.” And now Dolores has flipped the script. And if you remember, Arnold has given Dolores a real gun. Which means that soon she is going to totally turn the tables on Dr. Ford. Arnold’s proxy in this battle between good and even is going to really start causing Delos tons of problems. Such a good episode.
My Current Westworld Arnold Theories
- Arnold Committed Suicide – Arnold has created a sentient version of himself and has coded his memories and intelligence into this host in order to self perpetuate himself.
- Arnold is Dr. Ford’s first success as a Bicameral host – and is now on the war path to help destroy the park with the help of Dolores.
- Arnold is Dr. Ford’s brother.
- Arnold is Wyatt. Enough said.
I promise you, Arnold will be our Jacob. Whether he is dead, or alive, or some midi file in a test tube? He will be our Jacob that fights the darkness of Dr. Ford back. And it will be Arnold that ultimately destroys Westworld. In some form or another, it will be Arnold that detonates the stage. Lights it all on fire, and burns it down.
Overall Westworld Thoughts halfway through Season One:
Don’t know if you know this or not, but we are halfway through season one already, and still we are decidedly vague on a million different answers right now. We seem to have a ‘virus’ that is hitting the hosts of Westworld. Maeve and Dolores being the two most impacted of all the hosts. And we have a co-founder of Westworld that may or may not be dead – and who is directing particular hosts (Dolores specifically) to destroy Westworld. We also have a slew of other characters involved in the park and it’s shadier realities. But the most interesting and pivotal to the story are trending to be outside the park and in Delos itself.
Personally think that we will meet Wyatt in Episodes 9 and 10 of Season 1. And that he will become a very important character to Dolores, William and the rest of the white hats that are hell bent on freeing themselves of the tyranny of Dr. Ford and the Delos corporation.
So what were your thoughts on my Westworld Season 1 Episode 5 Walkthrough and Explanation? Have anything to offer that I missed or that you enjoyed that I didn’t talk about? I want to hear about it in the comments. I could talk about this show all day long.
|Interested in reading all of my Westworld episode recaps so far? You got it:|
|Episode 1 – The Original|
|Episode 2 – Chestnut|
|Episode 3 – The Stray|
|Episode 4 – Dissonance Theory|
|Episode 5 – Contrapasso|
|Episode 6 – The Adversary|
|Episode 7 – Trompe L’Oeil|
|Episode 8 – Trace Decay|
|Episode 9 – The Well-Tempered Clavier|
|Episode 10 – The Bicameral Mind|
|Complete Season Decontruction|