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Beyond Westworld Episode 3 “The Stray” Live Blog


Westworld

Everyone is hiding secrets and plotting something, a reassuring sign given that the show’s creators are trying to turn a movie with a simple premise (robots rebel against humans, humans must escape with their lives) into an intricately-layered show.

But just like any other multiplayer game, from World of Warcraft to Overwatch, Westworld also harbors all the types of jerks you hate playing with. It does, however, occasionally spark to life when the staff interrogate the Hosts. For the third week in a row, HBO’s Westworld opens on Dolores. In fact, they’re only catering to guests such as Logan (Ben Barnes) or the Man in Black (Ed Helms) who gladly pay for murder, rape, torture, and bisexual orgies without consequences.

Westworld made its television debut at 9pm on Tuesday 4 October, where 458,000 people tuned in to experience the show as it happened.

Bernard went to Dr. Ford to voice his continued concern that they hadn’t actually fixed the cause of the glitch displayed by Peter Abernathy and other hosts in the series premiere, but rather just the symptoms. By showing us the world through the eyes of the very robots we’ve come to admire, we see the true nightmare of their situation, which makes it all the more unsettling when they start to wake up from that nightmare.

Bernard sees Dolores as a child nearly.

Of course, part of Bernard’s choice is driven by his own grief. He chooses the same for Dolores: the pain of consciousness. Something to think about, Bernard.

Weapons: We learn, from both Dolores’s reluctance during target practice and Elsie’s helpful exposition about the axe, that some androids in the park are not authorized to handle weapons.

One roadblock to the theory is that Arnold passed away long ago while inside the park. Where Ford realizes that there needs to be an on/off switch on the hosts, Arnold wanted to give them conciseness, which historically is a bad thing. They thought they were hearing the voice of God, not their own inner monologue. (He, after all, is the man who wrote the short story that served as the inspiration for the time-scrambled Memento.) But it doesn’t seem to fit with the events of “The Stray”, particularly the end of the episode, where Evan Rachel Wood’s Dolores returns to her family farm as it comes under attack from a group of bandits. The man in black (Harris), appears to be someone who has never left, or at least keeps coming back to Westworld to play out his fantasies. After all, the guests and the staff of the theme park are the ones with actual, honest-to-god (or honest-to-Darwin) consciousness. When we first met him, he was trading memories with one of Westworld’s oldest models, in what seemed like sentimental streak for his creations. Could The Gunslinger not exist in corporeal form in the way we’ve assumed so far? Dolores is consistently treated as an object, as all the hosts are, to fulfill the guests desires.

Back in the park, Dolores uses that self-awareness to overcome her preprogrammed aversion to killing. Then, at night, they go to bed and forget everything, to start all over again. To have her try to choose a path. Westworld is about, at least partially, choosing paths. But is she the damsel-in-distress?

She physically can not pull the trigger, even though she wants to. When Westworld’s resident writer pitches a new storyline, he’s talking about creating an expansion pack. What will Dolores do next? Now, we know that it was so the showrunners could plan out the “next five or six years”.

Last week, Bernard’s team assured the Westworld administration that all the corrupted hosts had been found and fixed.

Snarky tech Elsie (Shannon Woodward) got to leave the lab this week. heading up to the surface with Luke Hemsworth’s Stubbs to track down a stray.

And why did The Woodcutter kill himself? Dolores convinces him of that. Or is Wyatt Ford’s narrative punishment for any Host that he catches glitching/evolving?

Further down we have the “Arrivals Monorail Terminal”, where we watched as William and Logan arrived in the second episode. In essence, she’s telling us how the park is supposed to work - the better for us to understand just how intensely it’s going off the rails. And while the history of his dead son and his (ex?-) wife (played by Gina Torres) on a futuristic Skype call might negate that theory for some, I’m not sure it’s enough.

I wish William and Logan were written with more nuance. What do you think of this theory?

Bernard said “on this planet” so Westworld isn’t on Mars.

Is Arnold Arnold’s first name or last name?

Even beyond the character interactions, the artful direction and strong writing, the most intriguing element to Westworld continues to be it’s approach to the meaning of narrative as enmeshed with reality. The guest has a celebratory roll with Clementine, and Maeve has a unusual memory of Teddy sitting in a clean room, waiting to get hosed off and sanitized. But, really, are they all robots?

Nevertheless, in recent years the robots and AI are “just tools” line of argument has begun to frustrate me. Have you guys known this all along?