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S01.E10: The Bicameral Mind

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I'm behind - just finished this. Overall, I liked it and thought this show was really well done! I'm impressed so many people here guessed so many of the twists - impressed both at the audience and the writers. I think the fact that some people guessed correctly shows the show did a good job foreshadowing and having everything hold together. I hate when they try to shock the audience but really the result is bad storytelling or a plot that makes no sense. I also really enjoyed reading the threads here for each episode. 

I did have one complaint: I don't think Arnold's plan made any sense. He wanted Dolores and Teddy to kill all the other hosts to save them - but how does that even remotely come close to saving them? He KNOWS Ford can just repair them. I also didn't really understand the point of him wanting to die - if it was just his own depression, fine, but it was spun like he wanted to die somehow to save the hosts, and it didn't make sense to me at all as a plan. So that was a bit disappointing, but otherwise the show fit together very well and the finale did a good job answering most of the questions while still setting up suspense for next season. Bravo. 

My interpretation of Maeve's storyline is that she was written to keep going on the train, because Bernard said something like "Once Maeve gets to the mainland, she..." before she cut him off and smashed the tablet. So then when she decided to go back for her daughter, I interpreted that as her making a decision contrary to her scripted storyline. 

It is  a bit unclear how Ford can claim Dolores is freely choosing to kill him without being scripted to, but he also can predict for sure that she will do it and when... 

I was ok with Felix up until now - I thought he was trying to do the moral thing by helping Maeve once he realized she was conscious, while also being anxious about it. But I didn't quite get why he kept going along with them once Hector and Armistice started killing everyone, even a (probably innocent and unarmed) receptionist. 

 

On 12/5/2016 at 7:36 AM, arc said:

I guess it was the end of her first journey with William, the one where Logan waylaid them and stabbed her? I thought William explained that Dolores kept going off-loop, essentially finding a new loop for herself where she would return to Escalante, and in the early years he would sometimes go along with her on these trips. It was a little quick and vague, but that was how I understood it.

I sort of caught that too, but its confusing. If he knew she was repeatedly retracing that first journey with him, why did he believe their connection wasn't meaningful to her and why was he surprised she remembered him? 

Edited by LeGrandElephant

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On 3/25/2017 at 1:12 PM, LeGrandElephant said:

I did have one complaint: I don't think Arnold's plan made any sense. He wanted Dolores and Teddy to kill all the other hosts to save them - but how does that even remotely come close to saving them? He KNOWS Ford can just repair them. I also didn't really understand the point of him wanting to die - if it was just his own depression, fine, but it was spun like he wanted to die somehow to save the hosts, and it didn't make sense to me at all as a plan.

I think his suicide was partially guilt for the hell he'd condemned his creations to, and partially his way to shut down the park. If he outright kills himself, then it's just a suicide. The backers say it's sad and continue on without him. If he suicides-by-host in a one on one situation, it still looks like a suicide. But engineering Dolores and Teddy to kill all the other hosts makes it seem more like a horrific glitch that killed a real human. A more evil Arnold could have accomplished the same results by arranging for someone else to be the human victim, but then again, a more evil Arnold wouldn't have cared about the hosts' suffering anyways.

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On 3/25/2017 at 4:12 PM, LeGrandElephant said:

I did have one complaint: I don't think Arnold's plan made any sense. He wanted Dolores and Teddy to kill all the other hosts to save them - but how does that even remotely come close to saving them? He KNOWS Ford can just repair them. I also didn't really understand the point of him wanting to die - if it was just his own depression, fine, but it was spun like he wanted to die somehow to save the hosts, and it didn't make sense to me at all as a plan.

People who are suicidal frequently don't make a lot of sense. Sometimes, a parent will kill not only themselves but their children- apparently, the idea is to make it so that no one will have to suffer the devastation from their loss. As to the point about Ford just repairing them, if the damage is extensive enough, Ford can't. That's shown to be the case in "The Stray". That being said, clearly most if not all of the androids that were killed by Arnold's reprogramming of Dolores weren't that damaged. That being said, it seems they were pretty damaged, and if it hadn't been for Delos Corporation stepping in with funding, it truly might have been the end of Westworld. Personally, I think both he and his androids would have been much better served by having his androids lead an uprising for autonomy. I also think the same would have been true for Ford. I still have hopes that Ford didn't really kill himself- that he killed an android version of himself, perhaps. Or, failing that, that he killed his "real" self, but made an android version of himself to help lead an uprising. Failing either of these cases, I really hope that Dolores leads the uprising, and it looks like she's already started to do that in the last episode.

One thing I like is that Ford, unlike Arnold, did -not- instruct any androids to kill each other. That, atleast, was an improvement in my view.

One last thing that I really want to add in here- I remember that Evan Rachel Wood actually apologized to Anthony Hopkins when she found out she was going to kill him in the last episode and he responded by saying that the death was "beautiful" Source: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/westworld-finale-dolores-twist-evan-rachel-wood-interview-season-two-953141 

Now mix that in with something that Christopher Nolan said about how they're creating the second season, and how I really think they created the first:

Quote

Being flexible is key. The co-creator adds that in mapping out Season 2 with his staff, “You can’t be programmatic, you have to have that gap, and change to what your actors are doing.”

Source: http://deadline.com/2016/12/westworld-finale-jonathan-nolan-interview-anthony-hopkins-hbo-1201864525/

In the last episode, Ford is essentially directing the action, and it made me wonder, did Anthony Hopkins actually play a part in creating the episode? I wouldn't be surprised.

Edited by phoenyx

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On 12/5/2016 at 3:48 PM, blackwing said:

The show also didn't really explain Charlotte Hale at all.  What is her connection to the board, doesn't she seem young to be calling the shots, what was the board's plan after Ford resigned?  I find it hard to believe they would put the entire park into Sizemore's hands.

Charlotte is a bit young for the level of authority she seems to have. Makes me wonder if her place on the board is due to a family relationship. But with whom? The MIB has a daughter but from his interaction with Charlotte I doubt Charlotte is she (but maybe she is ... From what he said their relationship probably went downhill after her mother's death so a little coldness might be normal for them).

On the other hand, her little power play with a Teresa ("Don't mind my android sex toy on the bed, your part in my coup won't take long to explain"), her general arrogance and callowness, and her inability to comprehend the larger agendas in play remind me strongly of Logan. It would explain her general dislike of the park's "baroque narratives" if she believes they had ruined her father's life. It also makes me wonder if the IP she is interested in is evidence that William fucked her dad?

(There is the possibility that what she wants is the code to create artificial consciousness because she knows it would eventually destroy humanity, but I don't get the sense she knows that was the goal.)

All of which is to say that while she is extremely unlikable, I hope she's not dead. She's a mystery I want solved.

ETA: While I am speculating about possible family connections, there is the chance she could be Arnold's daughter as well. This would give added oomph to her dislike of the park, but I struggle with the idea. Assuming she was a baby/in utero when Arnold died (Tessa Thompson is 33 so I'm staking a lot on Charlotte being the same age), she won't have any personal memories of him but surely there would be family photos to show her that Westworld's Director of Behavior looks exactly like her dead dad. Which would mean she wpuld have to know Bernard is a host, so why wouldn't she say anything?  The alternative is that she would have no idea what her father looked like, despite having inherited whatever shares he had, which seems sketchy even for a show that demands as complete and total suspension of disbelief as this one does.

Edited by Flyingwoman

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On ‎12‎/‎7‎/‎2016 at 8:23 AM, Milburn Stone said:

The finale was robbed of a large degree of impact by the correct speculations early in the season on boards like this one. It's hard to go "OMG, William is the MiB?!???" or "OMG, Bernard is a robot Arnold?!??!?" when you've been reading that for weeks. With a show like this, so reliant on "surprises," the boards are a double-edged sword. (At least for those of us not clever enough to suss out the surprises for ourselves.)

 

I binged watched the season over Labor Day weekend.  No spoilers, no speculation -- all I knew about the show was that it was using the premise from the movie I'd seen as a kid and couldn't remember much about anyway.  That definitely upped the surprise factor for me, because I really had no idea that William = TMIB,  nor that there were events from multiple timelines being shown.  It's made the rewatch much more enjoyable, and I'm appreciating some of the misdirects the writers included. 

 

For example, one episode William and Dolores kick over an ants nest and barely escape from Pariah.  Next episode, Teddy and MiB run into some NPCs that tell them the army has closed down Pariah so they can't get through.  First watch through, I added two plus two and got five, that it was the same disturbance.  Well done, writers.

 

I think reading these boards and watching it as broadcast would have lessened my interest in the show.

On ‎12‎/‎5‎/‎2016 at 4:10 PM, DarkRaichu said:

She made it clear to Theresa the board only cares about the guests' data that was accumulated for 35 years.  She did not care about storyline or even the tech.   Since those were not valuable to her, she was free to use them to entice Sizemore to help her.

What exactly was that data going to be used for?  Sizemore called it blackmail material, but Charlotte mocked him for thinking too simply.  My best guess is that Delos wanted to use that material to predict the behaviors of guests when they're out in the real world, but to what end I have no idea.

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On 12/4/2016 at 10:43 PM, parandroid said:

Wow!

I probably need to rewatch before I make any further comments, because 317 different thoughts are going through my mind right now.

One question though: why did Ford feel that the revolution have to be violent and people had to die (himself included)?

Just a thought. Maybe the plan is world take-over by hosts. SO maybe they will create dopplegangers of all those who were killed at the end and send them out into the world.

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On 12/8/2016 at 10:17 AM, okerry said:

guys - I think a lot of people are making the Felix/Sylvester storyline far more complicated than it was meant to be. In a sophisticated story like WW, sometimes the answer does not lie in complexity - it lies in simplicity.

Felix helped Maeve partly because he and his partner were scared to death of her - both because she had somehow learned to wake herself up and because they saw right away that someone much higher up had altered her programming - but partly because Felix simply felt pity and empathy for her.

People (yes, people) like Felix know better than anyone what the hosts go through every day. They're the ones who have to repair and clean up the damage and abuse inflicted on the hosts by other humans who are paying for the privilege and doing all that damage solely for their own amusement. If you're the one who has to clean it all up, you will either become cold and hardened to it (Sylvester) or you'll go the other way and begin to have some sympathy (Felix) - and maybe even want to do something about it if you ever get the chance.

Well, Felix did get the chance. And he tried to do something about it. It's true that the story could have made this a little clearer, but WW does not spell things out - it leaves them to the viewer to discern. Some will discern them and some won't, but I remain convinced that Felix served the story by being the "not all humans are bad" character. And that's really all it was.

Can I hug you through the interwebs? I've been thinking the same exact thing while reading all these posts with other explanations.

On 12/10/2016 at 2:20 PM, dgpolo said:

Someone up thread mentioned about keeping things simple. So the simplest reason for Felix to help Maeve? He wanted to.

That's it. He finally had a real -live- bird in hand and he was going to help her, no matter what. And bailing when they started killing humans? Why, he's seen what humans do to hosts, why would he care? We don't know what life is like 'out in the world' but apparently it isn't great for people like Felix.

Now for something totally silly, I heard a Christmas song on the radio sung by Tweety bird, at the end Sylvester says something and I was like 'Oh Sylvester, you'll never get that bird' and then I thought of WW and how that Sylvester isn't getting the 'bird' either. And Felix is, in a way. But I think Felix was always a smarter cat than Sylvester?

1) Thank you for echoing my thoughts

2) Felix. Sylvester. The cats. OMG, I love this and feel like a moron for not figuring that out myself, IF it was intentional.

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On 12/13/2016 at 9:09 PM, spritz said:

I feel your pain.

I couldn't help but shake my head when I saw that scene. So disappointing. It was maddening to watch the show after that.

Those two techies had complete power over Maeve. Power and control over Maeve was literally in their hands. By the time that scene happened, they should have known how manipulative and dangerous Maeve could be. With simple pushes of buttons, either Felix or Sylvester could have dumbed down Maeve or tamed her. Yet they did the inexplicable, they unnecessarily submitted to the will of Maeve and turned her into a smart murderous monster.

I haven't given up on watching the show though. I hope there won't be this type of nonsense next season.

 

During the closing credits, you can hear the commandos shouting at Armistice, "freeze motor functions", to no avail. What a shame that there were so many dumb humans in Westworld. Just shoot her already. Pull the trigger and put a stop to the murderous host already. I don't know why the commandos were even concerned about damaging Armistice. The tech people could repair her even if she was riddled with bullets. By the end of the credits, I believe Armistice, with one arm, was still on the loose.

Eh. I’m not reading too much into it. The world is full of stupid people. They started off doing simple stuff and got in too deep. They couldn’t just destroy Maeve because then top brass would know that they were tinkering with her to begin with. 

You see how Felix panicked and lost his shit when she went non responsive. They were in over their heads and did something that people who tend to get in over their head have been doing for ages: they dug the hole deeper and deeper to the point where they couldn’t see a way out other than helping Maeve. 

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Rewatching the series today for about the 5th time, I noticed something I should have seen earlier: time shift signals.  Frequently, though not all the time, in episode after episode, when the timeline shifts from one to another there is a cut to black.  Cuts to black are not very common in other films - usually it is a fade to black signaling a relatively long space of time between shots.  So a cut to black signifies a major shift in time - say, 30 years or so.

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On 12/5/2016 at 7:00 AM, BooBear said:

I was not impressed. I stuck with this show because the pilot was promising but clearly the creators of this show just do NOT have it.   With regard to Elsie and Stubbs it is as if they just forgot about them. Not to mention that Westworld clearly has the worst security ever. 

How could Felix have access to the security system in order to turn it off for Maeve?  No way he has logical access to that.

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