Westworld 1×04 recap, “Dissonance Theory” aired Oct 23, 2016
It’s that time of the week again. Time to talk about your favorite original Sunday programming that is based on a book and starts with the letter “W”.
That’s right. Let’s discuss Westworld!
There is plenty going on in Westworld 1×04, as there is in every episode really. The writing has been so good up to this point, mainly because of common themes through complicated stories. Fittingly this week’s theme is connectivity. Let’s stick our hands in the belly of the episode and figure this thing out.
The connection between Bernard and Dolores has been the strongest for a few episodes now, and that only continues this week. As we start yet another episode with one of their chats, Dolores spits the all-too-familiar line of, “The pain, their loss, is all I have left of them.”
If you think you’ve heard that somewhere before, it’s because you’re paying attention. Bernard said the same thing to his wife last week, almost verbatim. His thoughts may be translating into Dolores’ mind and I’m terrified of the potential consequences.
Bernard also drops a bit of a bombshell and mentions the maze to Dolores. This could obviously have a huge impact on the story, and I believe it does. More on that in a bit.
The next pair we have being connected is our two main vixens, Dolores and Maeve. They’re still the hosts who have heard the phrase, “these violent delights have violent ends” and they’re also our two hosts with the best memory. Dolores has a man overseeing the entire park whispering in her ear, while Maeve is triggered by men who were “sent from Hell to oversee [her] world.” Either way, we’re getting closer and closer to these women leading the robot revolution together.
Also, both women mentioned the fear of losing her mind during “Dissonance Theory”. Dolores mentions it to Bernard and Maeve to the outlaw Hector (Rodrigo Santoro). Dolores’ worry never really subsides. But when Hector pulls that bullet out of Maeve’s stomach she realizes she’s not crazy after all. And if these two women are as connected as I think, that means Dolores probably isn’t crazy either.
Speaking of Hector, he becomes the connection between Maeve and Armistice (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal). She and Hector are part of the same crew, but Armistice is also on a larger mission. The head of her giant snake tattoo can only be filled in by the head of the snake who wreaked havoc on her family — Wyatt.
And so now we’re able to connect Armistice to Teddy. The infamous Wyatt is no longer being hunted by just our lovable loser, but also some pretty terrifying outlaws who have a much better chance of doing him some harm.
Here Comes The Man in Black, Galaxy Dismemberer
This brings me to the most important brewing connection. Throughout Westworld 1×04 we’re able to slowly but surely connect the dots and bring people together. But every single one of those people are staring at a common man. A man staring back stone-faced, like the arrogant dick he is.
The Man in Black.
The MiB finds Teddy tied to a tree, and doesn’t put him out of his misery. He breaks Hector out of jail and returns him to Armistice, which is when he finds out she’s looking for Wyatt. He’s already had his run-ins with Dolores. We know the people running Westworld are familiar with him, and he made it openly known he knows Arnold well. He even tells Armistice, “I’m here to honor his legacy” when speaking of the park co-founder.
The Man in Black is the key to unlocking the mystery of Westworld. As a result, the Internet rumors are flying about his identity. There are even some idiots who think Robert Ford might be his father. But there’s also a theory that I’m starting to get on board with. One that I think was given some credence this week.
The Man in Black and William are the same person.
That’s right. White hat William — who can’t help himself from keeping Dolores safe — and the worst person in the park are the same man, as the viewer is being shown two separate story lines taking place 30 years apart.
“How could this be!?” you ask. Well, I’ll tell you.
The first piece of evidence includes The Man in Black as he sits around a fire with some fellow park-goers. One of those poor saps approaches The MiB and tries to thank him for his foundation, which saved the man’s sister.
The Man in Black’s response is “this is my fucking vacation,” because of course it is and he’s the worst. But that exchange is actually hugely important. Flash back and William is talking to Logan about the reason for their trip a few scenes prior. Logan reveals it to be about business. He mentions a desire to bump stake in the company and “everything is business”with the family William is about to enter. Don’t forget The Man in Black mentioned he was basically born in Westworld.
The second scene connecting the two men occurs after William and Logan have captured the outlaw Slim. Here Logan discovers Slim is part of the best Easter egg in the park and wants to pursue it. Logan pleads with William to “go black hat” with him, mentioning “[Dolores] will be just fine with a trip down the dark side, and so will you.” William refuses and blows a gasket when Logan tries to call him Billy. Still, the illusion of the white hat going black is presented, which could be foreshadowing.
There are other hints as well. William says, “I know that feeling. That you don’t want to go back to your old life” to Dolores in this episode. Dolores, who William is obviously falling for, is looking for the maze what would be 30 years earlier. She’s also searching for her freedom. Later The Man in Black has an oddly human moment with Lawrence, when he tells the outlaw he has always been a prisoner and The MiB could be here to set the host free. He also mentions he’s intrigued by the center of the maze because he thinks humans can get hurt there, after William tells Dolores he can’t get hurt but she can, which he would hate to see happen.
The point is there’s a strong connection between these two men. Now all we have to do is see if there’s a moment that sets William off and turns that white hat a darker shade.
Westworld airs Sundays at 9pm EST on HBO
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Image credit: HBO