– by Nick Doll

Welcome to Breaking Geek, a weekly column where uber-geek Nick Doll offers commentary and reactions to the most interesting news of the week, using his expansive knowledge of all things geek!

SPOILERS AHEAD For Westworld Season 2, Episodes 1-4

Seriously, stop now unless you want me to just go ahead and SPOIL the first half of Season 2 for you. Because I can do that.

It doesn’t look like anything to you?

Good. Let’s continue.

Last weekend, HBO aired the fourth episode of Westworld’s second season, “Riddle of the Sphinx.” I found it the most disturbing episode of the series, specifically the storyline with William and Mr. Delos. It was also the best episode so far this season, and though it is impossible for us to determine if this season will end up better than the first, it is on track to at least match it!

A good portion of these theories come from episode 4 specifically, though they do range from episode 1 theories that haven’t been touched on to new layers only revealed in the fourth episode. I will refer to all episodes by their number, not title, as it is easier, especially with the wacky name of episode 3 I can never remember.

I am a giant geek, but I don’t read articles like these myself, so all theories are my own. I do like to discuss theories with friends but no one is caught up this year. I am sure all these theories have all been cooked up by someone else out there as well, unless some of these are so damn wrong that I appear crazy…

But these are what I think are some of the most likely answers to questions we have been presented in the latest season of Westoworld, and some we’ve had to ask ourselves.

The Present Is Not The Present

“Is this now?” Bernard asks as he awakens on a beach, which we learn over the course of an episode takes place right before what could be the end of the season, or considered the farthest forward in time we’ve been so far, in a series that jumps through different timelines. You know the scene I mean, it comes in the same timeline that ends with them finding the drowned hosts and Bernard admitting he killed them.

But, this is not the first time Bernard has experienced this, in a way. By which I mean it is his first misplaced memory he experiences as they drift and rearrange. But, the beach scene is just that, a memory, as he was able to finish the Delos Head of Operations sentence, even in his state of confusion:

“Though the circumstances,” starts Delos Head of Operations.

“…Are not ideal,” Bernard joins him to finish the sentence.

Could be a misdirect, as it is an obvious statement, but it is an obvious beat that was no accident. Though up to Episode 4 it feels like the drowning of the hosts is actually the farthest in time we’ve seen, it is not Bernard’s present. Just a floating memory that starts the unraveling of others.

William Is Poisoning Mr. Delos

So, we hear the tech monitoring old man Delos’ say he doesn’t degrade until William shows up. And what constant do we see in every visit, aside from his final one?

William always brings his father-in-law in a host body a bottle of whisky. And William doesn’t drink it until their final encounter, always saying “It’s early for me.” But who does drink it everytime without hesitation? Host Delos, who starts to decline moments after. One could look at this as William’s cruelty is frying Mr. Delos’ brain, but I think William is intentionally, physically poisoning him.

At first I thought it was an ideal host poison, or a regular poison that would work on anyone. But, why would William drink it the final time? Is he already dying? Or is alcohol itself that causes these cores with human brain copies to degrade?

Whatever the substance, William is poisoning each Delos Host recreation, likely because he always seemed to hate his father-in-law and was just using him to get his hands on Westworld. William never cared about eternal life, it was just a lie he told Mr. Delos so he would buy the park and all the host tech.

Dolores Is Still Part Of Ford’s Narrative

I still don’t think Delores is self-aware.

She seems the most wild of the “rebelling” hosts yes, but I just think this is her “Wyatt” program, that comes as part as Ford’s final narrative. Yes, twice she has said she is finally “playing herself” and not an assigned role. Yet, she seems to want what all the hosts want, a trip to “the valley beyond” or “glory.”

And she still refers to herself as Wyatt, most the time, with the other hosts calling her that…

Even the stable boy that the guests beat to death in Episode 1 calls it “the valley beyond” before Dolores has likely met him, seemingly on the night of the party.

So, I think “the valley beyond” being a cause of all the hosts, makes Dolores too just a part of a narrative. Hell, even the memories of the real world could be either implanted or revealed to her through Ford’s latest adventure, so that she plays along just right.


Dolores Has Brain Damage?

Elsie tells Bernard he is slipping through memories because he was shot in the head in Season 1 and is leaking a special fluid used in the brain of hosts. So, if he is lost in his memories due to remaining brain damage from the last season, wouldn’t that mean Dolores has damage in Season 1, as she experienced the same phenomenon?

We see no specific brain damage done that isn’t repaired in Season 1, so maybe her slippage through time is a result of her becoming self-aware? If so, this negates my previous theory.

If so… what has been wrong with Dolores? Is this simply because she is the “original?” Is she too old for her own good?

Bernard HAS Been Out Of The Park

When Dolores comes across Bernard, she makes the good point that though Bernard has a backstory and is based on Arnold, who we have seen outside the park, since he is a host even he has not been out of the park.

But, where was Bernard when Elsie says he took his leave? She says he disappeared during his time off, everyone thinking he was at home with his non-existent son, so where was he? Did Ford shut him down during his “leave?” Was he doing secret chores for Ford in the park like a drone? Or, has a host been off the island recently?

Are there people in the real world who thinks Bernard is a real person? I sure hope we get more answers soon!

Ford’s Game Is About Redemption For William

William is an awful human being ever since his first visit to Westworld. We’ve seen how cruelly he treats hosts in the park, but what he does to his father-in-law is even more terrifying and morally wrong.  He also mentions his wife killed herself because of him.

Is Ford’s narrative for William to have a chance at redemption? In episode 4, William does save Lawrence and his family, which gives him the next clue that tells him if he is looking forward he is headed in the wrong direction. William must come to peace with his past, reuniting with his daughter, as I think the mini-outbreak in the other park was meant to send her on a path to her father.

William needs to return to where he came from, a nice man with love in his heart. Because Ford feels guilty that his park twisted him into the haunted Man In Black.

The Core Is For Arnold, Or William’s Wife

That core with a human consciousness Bernard picks up in episode 4… it could be nearly anyone from Dr. Ford to even William. But I think it is either Arnold’s, or William’s dead wife.

Because I think Ford’s endgame has one of two endings…

Arnold is brought back to life, perhaps molded with Bernard’s latest consciousness. In his final act, Ford had himself killed in order to bring back a friend he fells guilty for losing. His last narrative is a gift to Arnold, giving the hosts “their freedom” and giving Arnold a chance to see his own dream realized. Even if it is more horrific than Arnold intended. After all, Ford has been leading Bernard around the park, in the latest episode to the same facility where he made the core…

Or, the core is of William’s wife, one of the last things he will encounter in his personal game. Either a final test… or perhaps a sick and twisted reward? We shall see.

Eternal Life Is NOT The Endgame

This one is pretty easy to figure out. The pre-opening titles for episode 4’s “Previously on Westworld” segment pushes the idea of eternal life so hard that it is obvious it is a misdirect, coming in the first half of the season. They even use a clip from Season 1 of Ford discussing immortality to throw us off! I don’t think the creators would show their hand so obviously this early, so likely, none of this is actually about eternal life at all, even if it does continue to be a theme of the season.

How likely do you find my theories? Do you have some of your own you would like the share? Let’s discuss in the comment section below!

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