The entirety of Sunday’s Westworld episode revolved around Maeve and Dolores (and like two seconds of Bernard, bless his sweet robotic heart), which means that for the most part we can finally can take a break from theories related to The Man in Black and make room for a whole new slew of theories related to Shogun World. As usual, I’m dividing things up by timeline—so let’s kick things off with our leaky buddy Bernard in the present-day.
Present Day: Bernard
Okay, so Bernard is definitely in a loop.
There’s a compelling theory that Present Day Bernard is on a narrative loop, and this week’s episode included some more key evidence thanks to a shady conversation Karl has with Antoine. But first, a quick roundup of proof that Bernard’s on a loop—starting with the fact that he knew what Karl was going to say before he said it in Episode 1:
The fact that Westworld is making purposeful continuity errors:
The fact that a Delos computer looks different in two shots:
And the fact that Bernard’s outfit in the Bengal tiger scene is completely different in the show versus in the trailer:
This week we find Bernard chilling in the Delos labs as Karl & Co. analyze bodies pulled from the lake—and Karl says something to Antoine that I believe proves they’re messing with Bernard to extract info. To quote: “That’s quite a story you gave him. And one hell of an ending. How did all these disparate threads come together to create this nightmare? If we figure that out, we’ll know how the story turns.”
A new theory on Dolores.
IMHO, this episode also proves my personal theory that Dolores did not kill any of her host friends and dump them in the lake. She simply swapped out everyone’s control units into new doppleganger bodies and headed into the real world. “New bodies?!” you ask. “WTF?” Sounds crazy, but thanks to a Westworld trailer, we know that there are multiple versions of Bernard sitting in a closet:
I think it’s possible that Dolores discovers this backlog of host bodies, and ingeniously decides to create a massive diversion. Karl’s conversation with Antoine (who literally mentions “host backups”) offers compelling evidence:
Antoine: “We’re pulling what we can off the recovered host’s control units, but what’s really unsettling is what’s in about a third of them.”
Karl: “What’s that?”
Karl: “What, they’ve been wiped?”
Antoine: “More like they’re virgin. Like they never held data to begin with. No user prints or anything. And that’s not the worst of it. We put the fire out but there’s nothing we can recover…the host backups have effectively been destroyed.”
Two Weeks Ago: Shogun World
So, Shogun World is basically Westworld.
Turns out Lee Sizemore was deeply lazy when setting up the narratives in Delos’ various worlds, because Shogun World is essentially Westworld—only in Japan. Lee helpfully explained some key truths about Shogun World to both Maeve and the viewer, including:
1) All Delos hosts are written with communication code that allow them to speak in any language.
2) Per Lee, Shogun World is relatively new. Most of the narratives seem to have been written by him, and he made it clear that the world was produced while he was around. Lee’s a young guy, so we can probably assume that Akane and her friends are new edition hosts who likely won’t be able to achieve the same level of consciousness as Maeve and Dolores. This could be why Akane seemed so reticent about the concept of “truth” and “freedom” during her chat with Maeve.
3) Almost all the key players in Westworld have a Shogun World doppelganger, including Maeve, Hector, and Armistice. That said, I find it slightly suspicious that out of all the doppelgangers these three could have stumbled across in Shogun World, they came face-to-face with themselves. I smell either a set-up or, more alarmingly, lazy writing.
4) The robots are off narrative. We know this becuase a) It’s very obvious, and b) Lee said the fact that none of them switched to English upon seeing him meant they were afflicted with the same problems as hosts in Westworld. I’m assuming this was Ford’s doing, though when he had time to infiltrate all these different worlds and mess with the code is beyond me.
5) Contact with one’s robot doppelganger can potentially mess with coding and heighten aggression/suspicion.
A note on Maeve’s mind control.
Maeve’s ability to control her fellow hosts using only her mind seemed a little far-fetched at first—but I think she’s somehow tapping into the host mesh network—hence the pre-ninja attack scene where she seemed to be experiencing what her fellow hosts were seeing.
Bernard recently/helpfully explained that this network is a “subconscious link” that allows hosts to contact and exchange information with each other—akin to ants communicating in a colony. If there’s a human vs. robot war, the fact that robots have a hive mind seems helpful—and I think Maeve’s revelation in this episode is setting the stage for her (not Dolores) to lead the fight against humans by taking over what’s left of The Shogun’s army.
Two Weeks Ago: Dolores
After this week’s episode, people will likely think Dolores is the literal worst. Which, she definitely is thanks to sleeping with Teddy and then forcibly altering his code to heighten his aggression so he’s ready to fight before hopping on the midnight train to
Georgia the real world.
But before you write Dolores off as a pure dictator, remember that she knows the key to full consciousness is suffering. She even says to Teddy, “to grow, we all need to suffer.” I think what we’re seeing here is Dolores slowly becoming Ford. She’s turning into her maker: forcing hosts to suffer for the “greater good.” And TBH I am very much here for it.
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