Posted on Tuesday, November 1st, 2016 by Peter Sciretta
As Episode 5 of Westworld seems to substantiate the Man in Black theory further, it also introduces a bunch of new mysteries and questions. We return once again from having cocktails at the Mesa Gold to bring you a new batch of Westworld theories that will make you question who you are seeing, when you are seeing, the meaning behind the names and much much more. Hit the jump to board the train to Sweetwater.
We Are Seeing Many Different Timelines, and Dolores Is Retracing Her Steps From 30 Years Ago
Some Westworld fans have noticed that Dolores is sometimes shown alone where others should be around. Is this part of her malfunction? Is she really hallucinating and seeing another version of herself or is it possible that she has been here before and is remembering and retracing her steps? Is it possible that we do not just see two timelines, but many different timelines, with Dolores recalling past attempts and retracing her steps in an effort to find the maze?
Let’s not forget that the show’s creator/showrunner Jonathan Nolan, is the screenwriter of Christopher Nolan’s film Memento which plays a lot with the perspective of time. In that film, a character is retracing his steps through the help of his tattoos. The Verge theorizes that Dolores’ story is actually in the distant future and we are seeing “the composite of countless loops and memories that, cumulatively, will help Dolores — in the distant future — solve the maze at the center of the park and the show.”
“I believe that Dolores has planted signposts for herself for decades, and we’re following her at different stages of this process. This week’s episode hinted that the majority of Dolores’ experiences are in the past, including her adventure with William. First, Dolores spotted a version of herself while visiting the border town of Pariah with William. This “alternate” Dolores sat across from the “real” Dolores at a table, and presented tarot cards, including a card with the maze icon. Like the tattoos of Memento, it’s possible that Dolores has left clues throughout her loops, guiding her closer and closer to the center. This tarot reader isn’t Dolores from the future, rather a prompt left by Dolores in the past. So, by that logic, it would seem like we’re following Dolores and William on the most present timeline. But another moment, near the end of the episode, hints at her adventure with William being just one of the many loops that will gradually lead her to the center of the maze. When Dolores sees the maze icon on the coffins, she says “I’m coming” to herself. And the camera pulls back to reveal William and the smuggler, who were just with her on the train, have disappeared. Why are they gone? Because this moment takes place on a loop long after William’s initial visit. The real “present” timeline of Dolores is long after the events of the show, her own lonely path to self-discovery.”
It’s definitely an interesting theory that I’ve seen all over Reddit. We’ve definitely seen flashbacks to Dolores past, which possibly includes Arnold. So I don’t doubt that we have been seeing more than these two timelines, it’s just a matter of from which perspective are we viewing these events.
Arnold, Not Bernard, Is Interviewing Dolores Over 34 Years Ago
Previously we’ve theorized that Bernard is actually a robot based on Ford’s lost partner Arnold. Joanna Robinson over at VF believes that Bernard is actually a host based Westworld’s dead co-founder Arnold and that Dolores’ interactions with Bernard may be set in another timeline and that the person we see in these scenes might be Arnold himself and not Bernard:
If Bernard looks identical to Arnold then, as is the case with all the scenes featuring the ageless Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) and Maeve (Thandie Newton), we have to wonder when any scene with Bernard/Arnold are taking place. Was the scene where he was Skyping his wife (Gina Torres) actually taking place in the distant past? And, more crucially, are those intimate interviews with Evan Rachel Wood and Jeffrey Wright actually very early conversations between Dolores and Arnold? We know from Episode 5 that Arnold’s death pre-dates William and Logan. Is this, in fact, a third timeline? Since Dolores is clothed when talking to Bernard/Arnold and nude when talking to Ford, are we seeing a flashback to Arnold’s dangerous dalliance with over-humanizing his creations? The maze seems to have been Arnold’s idea, so it would make sense that we see Wright as Arnold tell Dolores about it. It doesn’t really make sense to have Wright as Bernard bring it up. Lawrence’s daughter tells the Man in Black the maze is not for him. Is that because it’s just for androids? Just Arnold’s little test for his favorite robot (the one who he kind of sees as a replacement for his dead son) Dolores? To help him, as Dolores tells Ford in Episode 5, “to destroy this place”?
But why would Ford ever make a replica of his partner? Especially one who has been erased from all the history books and there is no known public photo of in existence?
Hector Is Based On Logan’s DNA
More than a few viewers have noticed just how much Ben Barnes‘ visitor character Logan looks like Rodrigo Santoro’s host character Hector Escaton. Is it possible that Hector is based upon Logan’s DNA? Of course, if this were the case, why not have them played by the same actor? The only reason I can think to not have that happen is to hide a reveal. Yeah, this theory is pretty thin, but I thought the visual was worth sharing. Maybe this is a potential set-up for one of them swapping places or being somehow mistaken for each other.
PullTheOtherOne suggests the following:
In Episode 4, MiB says he never bothered with Hector because he seemed too “market-tested.” In Episode 5, Logan tells William that areas like Sweetwater are too “market-tested” (which is why he prefers more chaotic areas like Pariah).I have seen this as one (of many) parallels between Logan and the MiB. HOWEVER, your post brings up an interesting idea: If someone really wanted to ridicule, spite, or annoy Logan, it would be pretty brilliant to create a host in his image to loop forever in a “market-tested,” “color-by-numbers” beginner-level Sweetwater quest like the Saloon robbery. I can’t think of anything that would piss Logan off more.I’m not going to suggest that this is how Hector came about. But it’s a funny thought.
Logan and William Work For DELOS
William and Logan’s trip to Westworld is partly a business trip. We know that William is an Executive Vice President at Logan’s company, a company that is considering buying out Westworld, as the park has been hemorrhaging money. Ford says Arnold died 34 years ago, right before the park opened, and Logan references the rumors that the co-founder killed himself. A lot of Westworld theorists believe that the William/Logan storyline takes place three decades earlier, probably a few years after the park opened.
We know that a company named DELOS now owns Westworld, and it’s been teased that that company is using the park for their own secret purposes. We’ve theorized that it may have to do with reaching the singularity by progressing artificial intelligence, or maybe something to do with the fact guests must give up their DNA rights when entering the park. Is it possible that Logan and William work for DELOS before the company bought out Westworld?
The interesting thing here is that The Man in Black, who a lot of people now assume to be an older timeline version of William, says early in episode 5 that the robotic hosts used to be beautiful, but that the change from elaborate animatronics to 3d printed skin and bones was a cost-cutting measure. This seems to indicate that there isn’t some sinister plan behind this technological progression. And if William is the Man in Black, and he does (or did) work for DELOS, you would think he would have a good understanding of the company’s real motivations, right?