Westworld Season 1, Episode 7 “Trompe L’oeil”

Westworld has come into sharper focus this week with one honking huge reveal and the promise of another, bigger twist looming on the park’s horizon.

Hop aboard the major spoilers train!

Wow, so when I said it would make sense but not be very exciting if Bernard was revealed to be a robot? Naw, that moment was pretty damn exciting. Watching where Bernard will go from here is even more exciting.

Before I could even process the horror of Bernard realizing what he is, I moved onto the next theory. Bernard is Arnold, right? Bernard, who understands the hosts more than the humans. That’s why we haven’t seen casting news yet, right? Arnold is already calling from inside the park! If Bernard is a host, he’s been designed by Arnold, who could not resist putting himself in the game. Thus, when we see Bernard talking to Dolores, trying to unshackle her mind, she’s really talking to Arnold. We heard her hear Arnold’s voice, which… was the same as Bernard’s voice. She is the oldest host in the park and thus would be around when the Man in Black comes around.

This is the earliest timeline we’ve seen, before the park opened, before Arnold uploaded his consciousness into a host.

jeffrey-wright-as-bernard-lowe-sidse-babett-knudsen-as-theresa-cullen-credit-john-p-johnson-hboOh, and also R.I.P. Theresa Cullen. How bizarre to learn you were having an affair with a host, that because he was a host, your lover probably told your boss about your affair himself, oh and then your boss would have you murdered by your lover-bot. That’s a pretty bad day at the office. Am I bad for kinda thinking that Theresa had fair warning that you do NOT mess with Hannibal Lecter? What was interesting was the hint that we will pull back from Delos to look closer at the board of investors interested in the I.P. of Westworld.

But as Cullen was rightly horrified by Bernard learning he is a host, I do feel sorry for her. She wasn’t all ruthless, she wasn’t all wrong about Ford being dangerous.

But does Ford, who always thinks a step ahead, have a Theresa-bot waiting to continue the corporate espionage? Dumb move. Theresa-bots are notoriously hard to control. Trust.

On the train to the edge of the map, William ponders what is drawing him to the park. Logan, he says, wanted to get to the end of the game. Lawrence suggests that William might have more of an appetite for it. And now I am totally sold on William being the Man in Black, 30 years prior. Between this and and the corporate logo differences and the fact that, you know, the writers so very clearly are holding back on the Man in Black’s name for a big reveal… well, I’m damn sure this is it.

evan-rachel-wood-as-dolores-jimmi-simpson-as-william-credit-john-p-johnson-hboSo, we have William and Dolores boinking in the past. This seems to be leading to a mass park event similar to the plot of the movie Westworld.  Not the boinking, their “journey of self-discovery.” But as I wait for a big event, we’ve got a few too many side quests. Hey, this show really is a Rockstar game! Ghost Nation Indians and Confederados feel like a distraction when we’ve got Maeve, Wyatt, Ford’s narrative, and Delos drama unfolding.

Ford is interacting with all of the current Delos flack, so I believe this to be present-day Delos. Whatever The Man in Black “saved” the park from is coming back again, thanks to Bernard/Arnold’s sabotage. Ford’s narrative gets much trickier; his church story must be very old indeed, perhaps even before the park opened to guests, if William-era Dolores is remembering that build.

As for Maeve, she has only been the Mariposa boss for a year, hence why William and Logan met Clementine, but not Maeve. She’s also an Arnold build. Is her rebellion something only Arnold could foresee or is Ford planning something bigger for Maeve in his narrative? It really seems as though no higher-up notices Maeve at all.

thandie-newton-as-maeve-angela-sarafyan-as-clementine-credit-john-pFinal reveries:

  • “You think I’m scared of death? I’ve done it a million times.” Badass, Maeve.
  • Give Anthony Hopkins his Emmy now for that “The hosts are free. Here. Under my control.” speech. Cold.
  • I had a real hard time caring much about naked robot cowboys tonight. But they sure are appreciated. Charlotte’s got the right idea for some down-time, but, uh, damn, you know how powerful she is if she doesn’t give a shit which coworker gets to bask in her post-Me-Time glow.
  • What do we think of the cityscape we saw during Hector’s self-realization test? That looks distinctly terrestrial, almost like Hong Kong, but who knows?
  • Was not fun watching Clementine get beaten. Or lobotomized. I’ll miss her, a victim of a corporate coup. What will Maeve do without her confidant?
  • Here’s an interesting read: “What People Who Make Video Games Think of Westworld.” Wish they could’ve gotten some Rockstar employees talking, but I bet those NDA’s are even tougher than Delos’.
  • Next week: “Trace Decay.” Will we get concrete evidence of William as the Man in Black?

Westworld airs Sunday nights at 9PM E/PT on HBO.

Theresa DeLucci is a regular contributor to Tor.com covering TV, book reviews and sometimes games. She’s also gotten enthusiastic about television for Boing Boing, Wired.com’s Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast and Den of Geek. Reach her via pony express or on Twitter.

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