the further I go, more letters from home... never arrive...
Sunday, December 04, 2016
WESTWORLD: pre-finale crazy talk…
Some rambling thoughts on WestWorld-ness before the first season finale plays…
BERNARD = ARNOLD 2.0…
This revelation was not a surprise, but I *am* annoyed that I didn't untangle the name/wordplay before last episode. I just hadn't thought about it and had forgotten Bernard's full name until I saw it in print again: BERNARD LOWE. Which probably every fan by now knows or has seen anagrams out to ARNOLD WEBER.
That find is kind of at odds with Ford's own words, when we see him bring Bernard online for the first time and apparently pulls the name "Bernard" from out of thin air.
Perhaps Ford's own programming doesn't catch that consciously? Heh, yeah. I have a zany out there theory that Arnold created Ford and Ford created Bernard. Ford's mechanical family fits Arnold's philosophy of trauma = character, right?
Anyhow… So! Ford created Bernard in the image of his murdered-by-Delores partner, Arnold. Do Hosts age? Does Bernard look the way Arnold did when he died? If so, then…
I haven't found the time to do a re-watch, but when I do, maybe over the holidays…
I'm gonna want to look for scenes with just Bernard and a Host. Or Bernard with random Rosenrantzy types, if there are any such scenes. Cuz, the first time thru, we assume we're watching Bernard interact with someone or some Host. However, if Bernard was designed to look just like Arnold, then we may have actually been watching ARNOLD interact with someone or some Host, and thusly many of his words might have more and/or different significance, and also place the conversation 34 years in the past.
BERNARD'S CONTINGENCY PLAN?
I think that Ashley Stubbs (security chief) getting lured out to the park and than captured by the (G)Host Nation as part of Bernard's (contingency) plan. Well, I *hope* that's the case. I like Bernard! And Ashley is the only one who sussed out and acknowledged Bernard's relationship with Theresa. He has an eye and head for uncovering truths and secrets, so Bernard setting him on a trail that leads to Ford's levels of manipulation and deceit might avenge or even save him.
But—the lure was Elsie's transponder signal or phone or whatever. Did Bernard remember what happened to Elsie before confronting Ford with infernal device Clementine?
But actually—he knew that Elsie was conspicuously absent (supposedly away), and knew that she'd gone snooping in the park before that. So, Bernard could have programmed the park's system to register Elsie's signal without an actual source present.
THE REAL WORLD?
I'm really hoping for a revelation that shows us that the real world, outside the park, is a serious mess. Dystopian in some way or ways? Post-WW3? Environmental catastrophe? Plague? Corporate fascist state/s? Maybe an extreme 1%/99% schism? It *is* implied that it takes a decent fortune to afford a ticket to WestWorld, right? A playground for the rich.
What if WestWorld is in a bubble, or a Matrix-like sim, or in orbit…? =)
So the board itself is behind the transmission of proprietary data out of the park, presumably to some umbrella corp's military R&D division, right?
But maybe it's something else? And maybe Ford knows about it. Why would he allow it to go on? Perhaps because it's information he doesn't give a damn about.
Maybe it's not technical info at all, but compromising data/recordings of the behavior of certain patrons?
Maybe he's allowed certain data to leave his kingdom because he knows it's useless or unimportant? Or because he's intentionally poisoned it so that it's useless.
When Bernard goes searching for the Woodcutter data, it’s registered as an anomaly. When he asks if any other anomalies are found in the park, Ford’s “family” is returned as five hits.
Charlotte had Sizemore load up a decommissioned Host—Delores's father?—with the data that didn't make it out via the Woodcutter, right? But we learned from Felix and Sylvester (the two cartoon cats =) that modern Hosts are designed to self-destruct on leaving the park. Presumably this is no big secret, right? So Sizemore and Charlotte would take steps to disable this…
If they can't modify the Host—Felix and Sylvester made it sound seriously nontrivial, right? Requiring something like building a new body from scratch?—that means that they'll have to deactivate the detection grid that signals that a Host is leaving or outside the park.
Perfect opportunity for Maeve to escape as well!
But—how the heck did she arrange for all of this to happen?
Hrm…Has the show been playing with time even within a single era (the "now")? So that the shenanigans with the Woodcutter and Charlotte and the data occur slightly later than Maeve's awakening and are in fact the result of Maeve's choreography? She could have tinkered with the Woodcutter's programming to get him to tilt the way he did, and then force the board to find another way to get the data out of the park—in the body of a Host!
MIB = WILL || LOGAN?
I think a lot of people are set on MIB being an older Will, but bits and pieces of MIB's dialogue don't quite tip the scale decisively for me. Is Logan the prince of the money family that saves Delos? Does young Will marrying into Logan's family give him enough power to "save" Delos? Even if Logan dies in some park related mishap, or the fallout from one? I don't know.
The idea that MIB kept a dark side hidden from his wife and daughter works for both Will and Logan, with Will's dark side manifesting itself for the first time in his visit to WestWorld. Maybe he has to kill Logan? Or not save Logan? Or let Delores do him in?
His connection to Maeve… It's weird and kind of weak to me that MIB would test himself by savagely killing two Hosts, a mother and child, in WestWorld. *Knowing* their Hosts, is it really a test of his potential for evil/darkness? Hrm…Maybe only if he believes that Hosts are *alive* as well…
Which—points to MIB being Will.
But—maybe Logan does eventually see and acknowledge something different in Delores alongside Will. After all, she's not really hiding her difference-ness 30 years back, is she? And if that's the case, Logan may know, or be ready to believe, that Hosts have the potential for the spark of life?
Yeah, I'm reaching…
The maze itself is the sum of a man’s life—the choices he makes, the dreams he hangs on to. And there at the center, there’s a legendary man who had been killed over and over again countless times, but always clawed his way back to life. The man returned for the last time and vanquished all his oppressors in a tireless fury…He built a house…Around that house, he built a maze so complicated, only he could navigate through it…I reckon he’d seen enough of fighting.
MIB is repeatedly told that the Maze is not for him. Whom is it for, then? If we buy into Arnold as benevolent Creator, then I’d say it’s for the Hosts. A trial for a Host to experience, at the end of which she or he is made…complete, or free, or, y’know, something like that, right?
While I love the idea of a game hidden within the world of the WW park, I’m not sure I buy any more that it’s all Arnold’s doing. It seems like it might be a diversion, or a trick, to somehow trigger Arnold’s sentience Easter eggs, to fool potentially troublesome Arnold code or Hosts into revealing themselves. Maybe it *is* Arnold’s creation, but a distraction from his real secrets…A shame to think of Delores and Teddy’s and even MIB’s journeys as a decoy, tho, right?
But, doesn’t Maeve’s arc seem like the real maze?
Randomish aside—LOVED the appearance of a “Minotaur” as part of Wyatt’s marauders. =)
GUESS WE’LL SEE SOON ENOUGH…
While watching this show, I've been torn between sitting back and leaning forward. Do I want to work at seeking and solving puzzles, or do I want to sit back and enjoy a fascinating, ingenious, gorgeous, and thoughtful bit of storytelling? I’ve been watching it pretty much alone, too, and keeping away from reviews and theories, only chatting with a high school friend who’s been very much more lean-in than I have been so far. Maybe I’ll lean-in harder next season…
Who’s got the energy, tho? *sigh*
Well, season finale and all, I guess I can mostly sit back for this one, right?