CAUTION: LOOK OUT FOR FALLING SPOILERS.
Pretty much the last person I would have suspected of being a secret robot was Bernard, the thoughtful, morally upright right-hand man to Robert Ford in Westworld. That was the big reveal in episode 7, Trompe L’Oeil.
Equally shocking was Bernard bludgeoning Theresa to death with apparent super-human strength, on the orders of Ford. At least he took her out for lunch first. But is she really dead? The HBO web site has Theresa (Sidse Babett Knudsen) down for nine episodes. So unless she has a whole bunch of corpse scenes, we’re going to see more of her than we thought.
Like just about everything in this show, the murder (the first human death on this show) presents more questions than answers. For instance, why that whole scene in episode 6 in which Bernard finds Ford’s little family cottage hideout? Once Bernard walks in, Ford could just turn him off, and reprogram him to forget it.
When you get down to it, here’s what’s most troubling to me: J.J. Abrams is listed as the first executive producer in the Westworld credits. Sure, Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy are the creators, and Abrams isn’t writing or directing any of the episodes. But he’s executive producer for a reason.
Abrams, of course, created Lost. That’s the ABC series (2004-10) which gave us the Smoke Monster, the Hatch, time travel, the Widmore Corporation and a freakin’ polar bear on a tropical island. After the first season Lost seemed like the writers were making it all up as they went along — there was no coherent story arc until they neared the end and they had to try and wrap things up.
But they left behind more loose ends than the late Abraham Lincoln. And Westworld has so many plots running concurrently (some speculate over multiple timelines), that it may be impossible to tie them together, even in two seasons (Westworld was renewed for a second season on Monday).
So the looped question that little Ford keeps asking strangers, “Are you lost?”, just makes me twitch nervously. First, don’t approach strangers kid — especially in a place like this. And second, I hope to God this is not Lost. I really like Westworld, but that would make this all an incredible waste of time.
1. Maeve. Gaming the system and gaining strength with every episode. How much range do those computers have, because she’s blowing this pop stand. Now impervious to pain.
2. Robert Ford. His encounter with Charlotte Hale and the results of the host test keep him out of the top spot. But did you really think that you could take the thing that he created away from him?
3. Arnold. The next in a long line of recurring TV characters whom you never see: like Norm’s wife in Cheers, Niles’ wife Maris in Frasier, and Federal Reserve Chairperson Janet Yellen.
4. The Man In Black. My theory is that The Maze is a MacGuffin — a featured prop which is never going to be fully explained. It was invented by Ford as a distraction to keep nosy rich people off his back. But the guy can really keep those Mesa techs busy with repairs, eh?
5. Dolores. She doesn’t seem like such a fun date right now. Unless you like ’em fleeing on horseback and heavily armed.
6. Teddy. Has possibly died thousands of times, but still seems to play a critical role. Kyle: “Oh no, they killed Teddy! You bastards!”
7. William. Finally starting to have a little fun. Getting some sweet robot action. Possibly really a younger version of The Man in Black (remember, J.J. Abrams loves to diddle around in time).
8. Stubbs. Still oblivious to any and all shenanigans. Peaked in high school.
9. Felix Lutz. Somehow still has his job, despite making a host into a deadly superwoman killbot and reviving a bird, both against company policy.
10. Elsie. Not dead.
Worried that Elsie (Shannon Woodward) has been killed? She’s probably alive — at least according to Internet Movie Database. According to them, Woodward appears in nine episodes, so her absence in episode 7 is the only one she’ll miss. Hopefully we get to keep her interesting character, and that adds intrigue. Who grabbed her? And for what reason? Was it Yul Brynner? (Did you catch his vintage Westworld poster in Ep. 6?). It smells as if Arnold has possibly come out of hiding, like Obi-Wan in Star Wars: A New Hope, but who knows? … And what is the fate of Logan (Ben Barnes), whom we left being pummeled by Confederados is episode 6? According to IMDB he appears in seven episodes, and since he wasn’t in episode 1 and was absent this past week, well, make of that what you will … Do you keep having that feeling that you’ve seen Hector Escaton (Rodrigo Santoro) somewhere before? He’s the black-clad bandit who keeps stealing the safe from Maeve’s saloon/whorehouse. That’s because he played King Xerxes in 300 … So if all the animals in the park are robots — horses, snakes, birds, etc., then what’s to prevent real animals from wandering in? Birds, for instance? Prairie dogs. Coyotes. As Michael Crichton himself wrote: “Life finds a way.” … Interesting theory from Cedrick Heraux on Facebook: “Is Ford the first host, built by Arnold?”