Just finished episode 10 and season on 1 of Westworld, and I think I just need a moment. Breathing. In. Out. Wow. So much goodness just fell from the Westworld sky. So so much. There was the… and the… oh right and don’t forget about the thing, after that other thing! GAH. Ok, so needless to say this entire post is going to be one big massive spoiler after another. So, if for some ODD reason you didn’t realize that you should flee. Run for your life, because it’s about to crazy in here. So much so, that I think I may post my first ever split blog post. Usually don’t shy away from a lot of words but this is going to go to a whole ‘nother level I’m thinking. I have also been working on an infographic that details out the relationships of the characters in season 1 – but I had to wait until the season was over before I actually published or I would have looked stupid. Bernard is a nice man / scientist that likes robots. Wait. Hold on, this just in… Wait wait, this just in… hold the presses… this is unfolding as we are watching now. No. That wouldn’t have worked. (I know because I tried.)
Alright, so where do we start with this hot mess? Right. Let’s recap first. That’s straight forward (cough) – we’ll just talk through what actually happened in Episode 10 and then we’ll see where that takes us. Ok? Great. Let’s go. (Taylor the time traveler here – below, I wrote and wrote and wrote about what happened in the episode. Which was fun… because it helped clarify even for me what actually happened. I will be posting a more conjecture laden conversation about what it all really means in the next day or so? But I’ll post the link here as soon as it’s ready.)
Westworld Season 1 Episode 10 Recap and Overview
Well, Episode 10 of Westworld at least started slowly (not) with the actually creation of Dolores and a conversation between her and her creator Arnold. And really, the only way we can know with any simulacrum of certainty that this was her creation was because she hadn’t physically been built yet. (Which, arguably, could have been any of her major upgrades and retoolings over the years which Bernard did for her. But let’s just assume that this was Dolores and Arnold – and it is the creation story that we are seeing here. Ok? We have to say SOMETHING in this show is certain. Please? Something? Thank you.)
Arnold Creates Dolores
There are flash backs to the Man in black and this conversation with Arnold. And it’s during this conversation between Arnold and Dolores that we have a fairly interesting exchange about consciousness and what it takes to make a machine conscious – self aware. It begins with Memory and then improvisation Arnold says, consciousness is a maze inward, and the center is awareness. And we even at the opening of the episode we see Arnold tell Dolores that he can’t allow Dr. Ford to open the park because she is alive. And we know how well that conversation went, right? Well, Arnold has his chat with Dr. Ford, but Ford has none of it. So Arnold tells Dolores to kill all the other hosts – to break the loop before it all begins. But to do that she’ll need the help of someone else, most likely Teddy, in order to do the job. Which explains all the flashbacks of the mass murders that Teddy had been committing. He had been killing them at Arnold’s and Dolores’ request.
The Man in Black Owns Delos
But it’s the Man in Black that catches our attention because he is getting more and more and more frustrated that Dolores is having this epiphany, but she isn’t saying anything out loud. She is giving him no answers – and no insights. So he punches her and knocks her down. And Dr. Ford arrives to talk to the Man in Black (Dang, I just want to use his name now!!) and that is when we learn that the Man in Black purchased a majority share in Delos. He is the President of Delos. Which, is no small revelation. But in the larger scheme of revelations in episode 10 it is… it really is. But the Man in Black doesn’t give a lick about the company or about anything else. He just wants to know how to get into the maze and boy is he getting extraordinarily frustrated with Ford and Dolores. But Dolores knows that William will eventually find her and save her from the Man in Black. (I was laughing out loud at that. Just how good the writing was… because I saw this shoe dropping from day one. But even so! Which if you’ve read my past few blog posts about the show you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about here.)
The Threads Start Unraveling
We are also given a couple of other threads at the outset of the show that we would do well to keep track of. Teddy appears on the train and watches as people die all around him. He sees himself killing everyone, just like we have seen in the past. We also see that the board of directors has arrived at the park and they are coming for a vote and also for a special celebration. But the real fun starts to happen when Maeve and her friends begin arriving at Delos.
The Delos Host Insurgency
After Maeve, Hector and Armistice arrive at Delos it gets all kinds of crazy. Hector kills the tech that was working on him. And Armistice uses her tech’s head as a battering ram. And as Maeve walks in to see the death, blood and mayhem and we see one of the greatest exchanges in the entire season:
Maeve “I see you’ve already met your makers.”
Armistice “They don’t look like gods.”
Maeve “They aren’t, they just act like it.”
And we also learn in this exchange Maeve’s larger goal and purpose for bringing Wyatt and Armistice to Delos. She has decided that she wants to escape. “And go where?” asks Armistice. “I want to see their world.”
The Man In Black Tells William’s Story
When we left Dolores, she was under the impression that William would save her from the Man in Black. Dolores is remembering her love for William, and the Man in Black is touched almost and says, “Well you do remember some things after all.” And so the Man in Black begins telling Williams story. That after they were separated, he and Logan searched high and low for Dolores but could never find her. And eventually William got the taste for killing – found himself out in Westworld. And eventually he killed Logan by sending him off the end of the park – “over the rainbow”. And he states that he is going to use Logan’s family’s company to purchase a majority share of Delos – which is how the Man in Black took control over the company. So at this point, if you had no idea what was going on, William is a board member, and the Man in Black owns the company. Right? Right.
And it’s then that the Man in Black tells Dolores that he is William. And it was then that I heard, screams throughout my neighborhood yelling, WHAT?!? NOOOO!!! How could they! But I’ve been telling you all this for several weeks now. All the signs were already there!
But it was Dolores’ response that was so classic, “What have you become? You are exactly like everyone else.” But William (THANKYOU, so much better) doesn’t want any of it. He just wants to know where the maze is thank you very much. When Dolores realizes how old William now is, and that she hasn’t aged at all, she has the greatest lines of the entire season:
“One day you will perish. Your bones will turn to sand, and upon that sand a new God will walk…”
And that is when Dolores tells William that the maze wasn’t intended for him at all. It wasn’t even meant for humans. William and Dolores fight and eventually Dolores is stabbed. And William decides that he’ll have to go and find Wyatt himself. Which is so besides the point it actually hurts to say out loud. But that is when Teddy rides up from out of nowhere and shoots William several times.
The Board Votes for Dr. Ford’s Retirement
It is during this section of the episode that most of the action flips to Delos. We have learned that the board has voted that Dr. Ford will retire after the release of his final story. And Lee Sizemore is going to take over as the story writer – and he’ll be able to do whatever he wants, as long as things get a whole lot more simple around Delos. Because this is craziness right here! hahah. Which brings us to Maeve again, who was assembly a small army of hosts to get what she wants – which is, her freedom. And everything else in the way of that was going to be lit on fire.
When Maeve sees that Bernard is dead, she gets Felix, the Tech, to bring Bernard back on line. But Felix had no idea he was a host! hahaha. Which caused him to wig out himself because now he was doubting his own humanity. (brilliance.) Once Bernard is online again, they begin talking about those who have awoken. “How many are there?” “Oh, I don’t know – what? A handful?” Which, by my math makes sense. Who are they?
Clementine (does she count anymore?)
There might be more, or even less… but you get the idea. But Bernard very clearly says there aren’t many because “most of you who have awoken go insane.”
We Find the Center of the Maze
I actually didn’t call this one – I had assumed the maze really was a storyline that would be carried forward into season two, but apparently I was just as confused as William was. Basically, the Man in Black had followed Dolores out to the cemetery, where she pulled out the child’s toy buried in the door at the plot with her name. (Right? It was Dolores’ name there wasn’t it? Can someone confirm for me?) Which Arnold said meant that Dolores had actually gained sentience and a consciousness – not just a mechanical trick of programming. And when Dolores had said to William, the maze wasn’t meant for you – she really meant it, because he had as a human, it is certifiably provable that he already had a consciousness. (Well, it could be argued that the Man in Black didn’t have one, but I digress.)
You Are Ordered to Have Freewill!
As we join back up with Maeve, stuff is starting to get pretty pollo loco. Mainly because of something that Bernard told Maeve about her programming. Someone had changed her storyline and her new directives were to breakout of Westworld and to get an accomplice (Hector) and to break her way out the front door. Which, she was well on her way to doing. Right? But now? This is just a different form of slavery apparently. (Which is CRITICAL to understanding the ending of the season. So don’t just let this detail pass you by. At the very end of this walk through we’ll touch on this point again. But to say that this detail is important is an understatement. “No, I am in control”, pshaw-right.
Journey Into Night Storyline
And in possibly one of the greatest scenes in all of television history we see Teddy ride Dolores all the way to the ocean only to talk momentarily and then for Dolores to die from the knife wounds from William. And when she dies a spotlight snaps on, and there is Dr. Ford, and there is an audience, and everyone is clapping?!? What the helllll?!? Well, in a life imitates art imitates life sort of flip, we are watching the Board of Delos and family celebrate the end of the Wyatt Storyline and commencement of a new storyline. Right? And that storyline will become Dr. Ford’s legacy, his pièce de résis·ance. He doesn’t really give the audience much in the way of an explanation as to what the new storyline will be about. But we know it’s going to be good.
And the camera flips back to Delos, where Maeve and the team have brought headquarters into a lockdown. The lights go out and the security teams are locked into their rooms, etc. And as Maeve and team head through the corridors they come to a world with Samurai and old Oriental styled hosts. At first I assumed that the Acronym SW was Sino-World instead of Westworld. But I think I may have read into it a bit much… and it may possibly be Samurai World? And when Maeve asks Felix about what was going on, Felix responds simply with, “It’s complicated.” But when it is finally time to make a run for it and leave Delos for the larger world beyond Maeve tells Hector that he can’t come and that she wants him to “Kick up a row”… which, I have to say, Row is one of my favorite words, but I never use it because no one in America understands it. Hopefully Westworld will change that and I’ll be able to use it in public at some point.
Westworld Finale – coup de tat
As the show hurtled it’s way onward towards the best car crash of all car crash endings we learned that when Arnold understood that Dr. Ford was intent on continuing he decided that death was a better option. So he programmed Dolores to kill him, kill Teddy, and then kill herself. “These violent delights have violent ends.”
Which mirrors how Dr. Ford chose to go out as well apparently. Dolores has become quite the popular suicide method. Because, in front of the audience and the large group of people Dolores slowly walks up to the stage… Dr. Ford continues to talk about the goals and aims of Delos. And eventually Dr. Ford ends his stay on planet earth in front of everyone with the quote, “These violent delights have violent ends.” and then Dolores shoots him in the head. Then she opens fire on the board and on anyone nearby.
The Bicameral Mind In Question
And as Maeve is sitting in the train, waiting for the train to leave the station, she ponders her daughter. Before Felix left he gave Maeve a slip of paper with the location of where her daughter could be found. “Park 1 Sector 15 Zone 3“. Right? But that was just one more chain of slavery that wasn’t real. So Maeve continued to leave the park. But sitting there on the train I think she realized that her storyline was to leave the park. To break free and cause as much chaos as possible on the way out. And until that moment she had done exactly that. But how does she reassert her freewill? By doing what she’s told not to do. Not leave the park. To turn around and head back into the park. To find her daughter. And figure out how to pick up the pieces. Right? So we know at the end of the season that probably Maeve, more than anyone else was truly free from the demands of their code and programming.
Which brings us to Dolores, who finds herself reflecting on the conversations she had had throughout the course of the last 30 or more years with Arnold. If Arnold was dead… then who had she been talking to? Which is when she realized in a sort of epiphanic way, that she had been talking to herself all along. She was conscious. She was alive.
Fade to black.
Dang. That was something like 3000 rambling words just recapping the episode. I’m publishing this and will post another separate post just discussing the important ins and outs of the episode and the entire season. So many things. I alluded to many of them in this post – but some are not so obvious. Also, there is news about where this show is going and there are details there that will impact our thinking on this past season for sure.