Westworld

A Westworld Theory Or Two…

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If you’re a fan of Westworld then I have a theory to run past you. If you’re not up to date with seasons one and two already, please go and catch up before reading this. Here goes:

In season one we saw Bernard choking Elsie when she discovered the abandoned comms station with the secret diagnostics system running. We assume she is dead. But I don’t believe she is. For one, we never see her body. This show is one that makes the explicit truth explicit and leaves the rest up for question until it is made explicit. So, here’s what I believe is going on:

Elsie isn’t dead. Somehow she survived Bernard’s attack and used the diagnostics system to recode the older, less-sophisticated hosts – the terrifying Ghost Nation – to protect humans at all costs. This is evidenced by the fact that shortly after Elsie’s disappearance, when Stubbs went out looking for her, he was surrounded by Ghost Nation and we were again led to believe he was a dead man. But season two shows us that this was not the case! Stubbs is back, apparently unharmed, and working with the Delos security team to contain the rebellion and locate The Passenger, Peter Abernathy.

This is also evidenced by the fact that, when Ghost Nation came across Maeve, Hector and Lee Sizemore in the last episode, they offered to let Maeve and Hector go free as long as they handed over Sizemore – the only human among their number. Now we see the woman from The Raj washed up on the beach, surrounded by Ghost Nation and we’re supposed to think “she’d dead meat”. Of course, she won’t be. She’s someone special because she had a map of Westworld, hand-drawn in her notebook; we saw it when she was sipping tea and smoking on the lawn.

My theory is this: Elsie discovers Ford’s plans to trigger a Host uprising and, knowing that lives will be lost, she does all she can to protect the humans in the park. She re-codes the Ghost Nation Hosts to protect humans and act as a protective buffer between the rampaging Hosts and the terrified humans. Stubbs is on-board, working with her. The woman from The Raj (who is listed online as being named Grace, but I’m not convinced that she isn’t William’s daughter Emily – she’s the right age and clearly has a detailed knowledge of Westworld – she has a hand-drawn map with exits, boundaries and elevators marked on it) will likely also join forces with Elsie and Stubbs.

Also, don’t ask me why just yet, but I believe there’s a chance that Bernard is actually Teddy-In-A-Bernard-Suit and that Charlotte Hale may very well be a Host herself. I’ll theorise more about this in weeks to come – unless it’s proven right or wrong in the meantime.

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WESTWORLD RETURNS

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After a year away, everyone’s favourite show about murderous sex robot cowboys is back for a second season; and, boy! is it back! Fair warning: I’ll be talking about where we are after series one’s ground-shaking finale. If you aren’t caught up (I won’t be going into the first two episodes of season two in this post, don’t worry. That’ll come another day) then I suggest you leave immediately and do all you can to watch and understand season one in its entirety.

We left the park in complete upheaval. Ford is dead, killed by his own narrative hand. Maeve is free and, more importantly, making decisions; she’s off to find her daughter (who may or may not exist), ignoring her programmed objective to “infiltrate mainland”. Bernard (who used to be Arnold) is a Host. William is the Man In Black, who now gets what he’s always sought: a park that fights back. Hale seems to have misplaced the Host that contains all the data she’s been tasked with smuggling out of the park… are you keeping up? Do you remember all this? Maybe it’ll do us all good to go back and check out season one again. I mean, it’s one of the best seasons of television I’ve ever seen so why the hell not?!

But where from here? Well, talk is that “season one is a kind of prequel. Westworld begins now”; we’ve been promised continued chaos and a deeper understanding of not just what Westworld is but why Westworld is. Theories abound as to what on earth could possibly happen now (surely the park’s existence is over – there’s no coming back from this). I’ve got a few ideas (some that are strengthened by the fact that we’re 20% of the way through the second season already!!!) but there’s something more pressing on my mind:

Westworld the show, like the Hosts themselves, is more alive when in conversation. All I want to do is talk about this show. So where is everyone?! I’ve bleated constantly for two weeks on Twitter looking for someone to talk about this show with; looking to find someone to share ideas and swap theories with. If you’re a fan, please – PLEASE – get in touch: I’m @gabundy on Twitter and I’m MORE THAN HAPPY to talk unprecedented amounts of nonsense about this amazing, frustrating, baffling show.

We’re in for a treat. We’re going into a show with zero promises made and unlimited possibilities. I expect a prescient and powerful season of thrills. From here, anything goes. I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

Here’s my favourite trailer for season two: