Saturday, November 12, 2016

Westworld Ho! - The Adversary




As I noted in my previous blog post for Westworld, I won't be doing any recap of the episode per se as I am going to focus my energy on divining what exactly the heck is going on.  (Theorizing!)

Granted, a little recap will seep in here and there and I caught myself taking notes while I watched the last episode which I strictly forbade myself to do!

Ah well, it looks like I am hooked.

By the way, before I get too far, the above screen cap is from when Bernard goes to the deepest part of the basement (Level 82 or 83?) and gives a brief sideways glance at an ancient figure standing in the gloom.




It's a nod to the character that Yul Brynner played in the movie "Westworld".  Yes just a nod.  Jonathan Nolan has already gone on record that he likes to introduce these little nuggets but his story is not literally a continuation of that earlier property. 

Still, seeing that old ghost was a fist pumping  moment for me.  I loved it.

So, how are we doing with my little theory that Arnold is an "AI" living at the center of the Maze?


Teddy's Speech




Well, if we can trust what Teddy tells the Man in Black then I am doing pretty well.  Here's what the MiB when asked what lurked in the Maze.

"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."





It's interesting to note that Teddy qualified the story of the Maze as "An old native myth."   To me, it recalls the time when the Maeve character stood by and watched the sad line of Native American Indians as they made their way towards the train.  

She spotted in the hand of a child a doll that bore an amazing resemblance to her janitorial handlers that got her ready for each new day.  What with their over sized headgear and Hazmat like clothing.

It makes me wonder how close the Native Americans in the show are to the reality of the Maze and stark hell that is the sub-basement level.  In that particular "doll scene" the Indians looked dispossessed.  Almost as if the were adrift between two worlds and belonging to neither.

Such is the stuff of myth making especially when it is born of suffering.   In the Westworld park the Indians are pathetic beings hardly worthy of notice.  But what if they are not just a metaphor?  What if they actually serve as a conduit that somehow channels the suffering of the Westworld Hosts and act as a bridge to that dark underworld keeping that memory alive.  

So, as a people, they are acting as a collective unconscious so that the suffering will not be forgotten and someday can perhaps be acted upon. 


Parsing the speech

It starts out pretty metaphorically.  As if Teddy is speaking of men or mankind in general instead of one specific person.  



 "The maze itself is the sum of a man's life - - choices he makes - - dreams he hangs on to."


This is rather nebulous if you just try to apply it to Arnold.  Teddy seems to be saying the Maze itself is just a figure of speech, an ideal or just a metaphor.  

It's quite possible the Maze isn't something tangible.  Something you enter and venture through in order to reach an actual physical goal.  It could be just a mind puzzle that is philosophical in nature.  I rather hope not.  We've seen maps and maps outline real destinations.  And since Westworld is an actual place itself, I'm hoping there really is a maze that is like a Russian doll inside a Russian doll. 


"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."


If my theory is true, then the "Legendary man" at the center would have to be Arnold.  Being killed over and over again may refer to the various defeats the real life Arnold may have suffered as a designer of the park.  Perhaps these personal defeats led him to commit suicide.  Always clawing his way back to life may refer to his resiliency as a designer and co-creator of the park and suffering personal/professional setbacks until they eventually became too much.

Or...

If Arnold is truly an AI at the center of a maze then his dying may be a constant rebooting of sorts wherein his own personal artificial design gets more and more sophisticated as he gets back online.  He's getting smarter.


"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."


AI Arnold may have gotten so sophisticated as a program that he finally overcame every effort to erase him and manged to bury himself so deep that he became virtually unreachable.  Like some sort of deeply embedded virus if you will.  

There he lies in wait for some white knight to save/release him.  So the White Knight is the Man in Black?  Too ironic? 

Perhaps he just waiting for a suitable Host to reach him so he can physically embody that Host.  It might even be Dolores.  Wouldn't that be interesting.  Dolores seems to be the linchpin to everything and as I've said before she may be the "Host" embodiment of the woman the real Arnold once loved and lost.  If Arnold takes her over then one could say he finally won her back.

Yes, even I think that sounds a little creepy.  But we are talking Westworld here.


The Other Mystery: Who Grabbed Elsie?




As you may recall, Elsie went deep into the catacombs that is the underworld of the Westworld park.  In typical horror flick fashion she did it alone.  Also in typical fashion she was grabbed from behind by an unseen assailant.

Who was it.

The suspects.

Ashley Stubbs


 
The "typical" answer would be Stubbs her erstwhile flirt fascination.  I can image him saying something like, "Oh I was worried about you so I followed you down here."  Naturally, he couldn't resist giving her a good scare.  

Groan, so typical.  

If this happens I wouldn't be too surprised or a little disappointed.    My own personal radar would go off because also typically he may be spying on her for whomever is stealing secrets from the park.  Ashley you rat!


Peter Abernathy




This is who I am hoping for. 

Dolores' old Dad that was regulated to deep storage.  Ah, you may have thought he was put away but he is really roaming around down there like an old ghost.  Hopefully working on behalf of AI Arnold.  The perfect watchdog.


Cottage Dad







Speaking of watchdogs.  Remember the robot facsimile that grabbed Bernard and nearly choked him to death?   It was in the cottage that Arnold supposedly had built for Dr. Ford and populated with "members" of Ford's family including the dog.  Ford suddenly appeared out of nowhere to rescue Bernard.

I'm thinking that secret door that Ford used to access the Cottage also allows "Cottage Dad" to move about the sub-basement and seek out interlopers.

Poor Elsie.

So, sorry this was out so late.  Too much work and a wicked Election Day hangover.  The next episode is entitled, "Trompe L' Oeil".   It's a French term for a 2 dimensional painting that represents three dimensions.

Sound like an "AI" to you?


  

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