Posted on Friday, November 11th, 2016 by Jacob Hall
The beauty of Westworld is that there are several ways to enjoy it and to talk about it. You can pick apart its mysteries and examine every detail and try to discern the meticulous puzzle that showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy have so gleefully assembled. You can enjoy it as a scathing commentary on art and entertainment in the 21st century, an examination of how we enjoy ourselves in a world where consequences are nullified. You can respond to its philosophical musings, its grand science fiction ideas, and the clever way it recontextualizes western iconography. I like to think that our Westworld coverage here on /Film has managed to touch on all of this.
But today, we’re looking at a video that’s all about mystery solving. If the puzzle box aspect of Westworld is your thing, you’re in the right place. If you just want the show to unfold around you, this is the point where you turn back.
Still here? Okay. Let’s do this.
One thing that has become increasingly clear over the past six weeks is that Westworld is set in two different timelines, separated by 30 years or so. Early in the timeline, park guests William and Logan explore the park with Dolores, a robotic Host who has broken free of her loop. Decades later, the host known as Maeve has gained sentience of her own as the park deals with corporate espionage and a variety of in-park issues related to a recent software update. Once you know what to look for (like changing logos, the fact that some characters never interact with others, etc.), it’s easy to discern which part of the timeline you’re watching. And now, YouTuber Zen Zep has started putting the key events of Westworld in chronological order.
The resulting Westworld timeline video is an excellent start for everyone looking to dive off the deep end. It’s not comprehensive – And how could it be? The first season isn’t event over yet! – but it does give all of your theorizers out there something to build upon.
Interestingly, this video doubles down the idea that the scenes of Dolores speaking with Bernard Lowe are actually taking place in the past, which suggests a few possibilities. It could mean that these are memories that have been tampered with and that Bernard is acting as a stand-in for Arnold, Westworld’s deceased co-founder. Or it could mean that Bernard is Arnold’s son and that we’ve been actually watching Jeffrey Wright play two characters this entire time. Or it could mean nothing at all and everyone is wrong.
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