Posted on Thursday, November 3rd, 2016 by David Chen
I’m five episodes into HBO’s Westworld and I’m already hooked for life. The show is not only technically dazzling but also thought-provoking in how it raises issues surrounding A.I., game design, morality, and what it means to be human.
One of the most interesting elements of the show is how it plays with the audience’s sense of reality. Many scenes (particularly “diagnostic” scenes featuring Dolores) are introduced with with zero context, while several of the hosts such as Dolores and Maeve start to encounter hallucinations and visions from the past(?), causing them to deviate from their “loop.”
Through all of this, one major fan theory has emerged: Westworld is actually taking place in two separate time periods, and this fact is being concealed with some skillful editing. Below, I edit together some video evidence of the non-linear timeline theory. Note that there are SPOILERS through this week’s episode of Westworld.
One key piece of evidence are the Westworld logos that we see in the William/Logan storyline, which are distinct from the other logos we see throughout the park. Evidence of a different time period or just poor production planning? The official tweet below, made before the season premiere, seems to suggest the former.
— Westworld (@WestworldHBO) September 30, 2016
Another piece of evidence centers on Clifton Collins Jr.‘s character Lawrence, who is seen getting exsanguinated and hanged, before being introduced, totally healthy, to Logan and William in the same episode. Sure, there are non-timeline-related explanations for how Lawrence could’ve ended up in the town of Pariah totally intact, but it seems equally likely the show is trying to communicate that something is amiss in the way we are perceiving this sequence of events.
To listen to more Westworld discussion, you can subscribe to the Decoding Westworld podcast at decodingwestworld.com. Also: read my co-host Joanna Robinson’s detailed breakdown of the questions behind Westworld here.Cool Posts From Around the Web: