Westworld: 4 Burning Questions From 'The Adversary'
We're officially over the halfway point with HBO's futuristic Wild West-theme park drama Westworld, and it feels good.
Episode 6, titled "The Adversary," continued the trend of giving us more questions than answers, though we did manage to glean a few new facts. Including who was really behind transmitting info out of the park (maybe), Wyatt (Sorin Brouwers) and Teddy's (James Marsden) "past relationship," and exactly who that little bot boy was/is (Hint: Baby Dr. Ford (Anthony Hopkins)!)
Check out our biggest questions after watching this week's crazy episode.
What's going on with Maeve?
This week's episode opened with our favorite brothel owner, Maeve (Thandie Newton). We see her wake up in bed and walk to work, not surprised by what's going on around her, which is unusual enough behavior by itself for a host that is supposed to react to her surroundings. She arrives at the brothel and takes a clearly violent guest upstairs, whom she quickly coerces into choking her to death. All this, just to see lab lackey Felix (Leonardo Nam) again. Either charmed or intrigued by Maeve and her ability to recover memories, Felix answers her questions diligently and even takes her for a tour of the lower decks.
Why Felix is doing this is still pretty unclear, as he doesn't even seem to know when he mutters "This is so stupid," while weaving through Westworld's departments with the host. It definitely isn't stupid to Maeve though, who at the end of her tour of enlightenment sees a commercial for Westworld (telling guests to "Live Without Limits") that features her "memories," in a heartbreaking, Radiohead-backed scene showing Maeve's tipping point.
Later in the episode, we see Maeve convince Felix and coworker Sylvester (Ptolemy Slocum) to fix her "attribute matrix," in her favor, particularly, bring her intelligence to max capacity and dip her pain perception as low as possible. There's a mischievous twinkle in her eye, and we're not talking about her pre-programmed twinkle, that makes us think Maeve's just beginning her master plan.
Also of importance: Sylvester discovers that someone had already been making unauthorized changes to Maeve's personality -- perhaps this is the push that began her path towards becoming self-aware? Either way, we are positively bewitched and can't wait to see what these literal changes mean for her future.
Is Teddy Going to Be OK?
We've been a little wary of Dolores' (Evan Rachel Wood) lovelorn do-gooder since Ford uploaded this "Wyatt" narrative into his system — and now we know why... kind of. While traveling with the Man in Black (Ed Harris), Teddy runs into some Union soldiers who recognize him. What should have been a quick shoot-off and escape, turns into a full-on massacre as Teddy hops aboard a Gatling gun and takes out every last soldier. During this, we see Teddy's war "memories" and it definitely looks like he and Wyatt were more buddies than adversaries.
Surprisingly, this wasn't even the most unsettling thing Teddy does in this episode. In an earlier scene, Teddy tells the Man in Black a myth about the maze that is either spot on, or a red herring placed in by Ford to throw the Man in Black off the scent:
"The maze is an old Native myth. The maze itself is the sum of a man's life. Choices he makes, 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."
Make of that what you will, but we think all signs could point to Arnold, the mysterious Westworld co-founder who killed himself in the park over 30 years ago. And we're not the only ones who think he might have been hiding out this whole time.
Who took Elsie in the basement?
Elsie (Shannon Woodward) is starting to catch onto the Arnold trail. At least, it was the last question she offered to the dark corridors ("Arnold?") of Westworld's basement before she was snatched trying to uncover the corporate espionage going on. Luckily, she did not get kidnapped, or worse, in vain. While snooping around in the dark, Elsie made a number of important discoveries:
- Someone is using the hosts to beam information and messages outside of the park through a Delos Corp. satellite. Delos is Westworld's parent company, so this contributes to all the chatter about the mysterious people in charge.
- Supposedly, the person who set up the hack was Theresa Cullen (Sidse Babett Knudsen), who made her transition to full-fledged baddie after her weak break up with Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) earlier in the episode.
- Not only is someone sending info out of the park, but someone else is using this satellite to transmit info into the heads of the first generation hosts, like Dolores, probably causing even more self-aware hosts than we as viewers are aware of. And it looks like that someone is Arnold. Gulp.
- And finally, the news which really had Elsie nervous: There is an update that allows hosts to veer from their narratives and potentially hurt guests.
The answers to who is doing these unimaginable things to the park coincides with who took Elsie. Is it one of Theresa's cronies? Do we really believe Theresa set up this hack, or could it have been Bernard who snatched her ID/log-in to frame her, and who then subsequently snatched Elsie? He was the only one who knew she was down there. Or, is Arnold living a Phantom of the Opera-like existence in the abandoned theater and not at the center of the maze and/or dead?
Who is "The Adversary"?
In the fifth episode, the Man in Black pointedly asks Ford about Wyatt. "Is he just another stooge for the tourists to mount on their wall at home, or have you finally made a worthy adversary? Someone to stop me from finding the center of the maze?"
So, when the following episode is titled "The Adversary," there's raised eyebrows as to who that really refers to. Though we have not seen a true antagonist emerge, there are more than a few routes the show could take. Could the adversary be Ford, trying to claim back his creation? Is it his partner Arnold, back from the grave, or living on through decades-old code? Or is it the world the adversary? Urging guests to "Live Without Limits," when the park itself seems to become more and more limited every day.
Westworld, Sundays, 9/8c, HBOAlertMe