Westworld 1×06 recap. “The Adversary” aired Nov 6, 2016
Hey there loyal Pure Fandom reader! Remember when you were checking out my Westworld recap last week and I said I didn’t know what to make of Maeve’s storyline? That was cute.
Our lovable leader of the bar maids continues to become more self-aware in Westworld 1×06, and she’s maaaaaad. Maeve continues to find ways to die and somehow wake up — I still think that’s because she heard a fateful phrase from Dolores — to chat with Lutz the repairman. Lutz also with the awesome facial expression when he notices Maeve has woken up again.
Maeve is used to turning tricks. But she turns a pair of different tricks in this episode. The first is not necessarily a full-blown deception, but she convinces Lutz to take her upstairs. Here she sees how the hosts are made and developed.
Let’s take a step back and appreciate how amazing this scene is. The music of Westworld, from the score to the self-playing piano, gets a lot of well-deserved praise (though I’m not much of a Radiohead fan myself). The score during this scene as Maeve wonders through the upstairs is noticeably brilliant. As the viewer we’re catching a glimpse of host creation and development. Maeve is a host. So she’s essentially witnessing her own birth and realizing how manufactured, and limited, she truly is. She also sees what she thought to be a nightmare that results in her death, only to be told it’s a past narrative playing out. My point is there’s a lot of emotion to this scene, and the music portrays that excellently.
The most important part of this scene is the very end, however. Maeve is watching the Westworld welcome montage and sees the phrase, “Live Without Limits” before heading back downstairs. Something again clicks in her, and every move from that point is purely for her benefit.
That’s where the second trick comes in. There’s a host trait called “bulk apperception,” or overall intelligence. If you ask me Maeve’s was already too high at 14. She used a mind-eraser tidbit that Lutz gave her against his partner Sylvester, to expose his prostitution ring and blackmail him into changing her attributes.
Prostitution ring. Ironic right!? A real Tweedledee and Tweedledum, those two guys are.
Anyway, now that she has access to her own character traits, Maeve bumps down her loyalty and pain and then JUICES UP HER BULK APPERCEPTION ALL THE WAY TO TWENTY when no other host in the park is higher than 15. A venge-filled robot, with a new motto of “Live Without Limits”, is now smarter than anyone and anything in Westworld. And she still has an army of idle robots hanging out in the basement.
“Dear boys, we’re going to have some fun aren’t we?”
Now let’s think bigger, because there’s always something bigger going on in Westworld. We’ve gotten some substantial talk about the “wreck of time” that occurred in Westworld’s past. So, if we’re to believe that Westworld is giving us two timelines simultaneously, surely we’re seeing the makings of both past shit hitting the fan and present shit hitting the fan. Dolores is a big part of the past and it sure looks like Maeve will be a big part of the present. What do they have in common?
“These violent delights have violent ends”
This phrase. They’ve both heard it, and caused chaos after hearing it. These words are some kind of virus that sets a host off. That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it dammit!
What Else Happened This Week?
Maeve’s storyline is obviously the most important in Westworld 1×06, but a few other things happened this week and they could also be important moving forward.
First, we got three subtle hints that Dolores was
alive manufactured and well 30 years ago. Her concept drawing pops up in Arnold’s sketchbook as Ford is looking for the maze design, and she’s pretty obviously highlighted when Bernard asks his tablet to see all first-generation hosts still running.
Then there was a biggie, but it went by fast. Elsie is trying to get to the bottom of who is beaming information out of the park, and she has this interaction with Bernard.
Elsie: “The voices our hosts have been hearing, I think someone has been broadcasting to them”
Bernard: “We abandoned that system decades ago”
What was that, Bernard? Decades since you’ve been broadcasting to hosts? Aren’t we seeing you broadcast to Dolores on a weekly basis? Sounds like we’re living in two different timelines to me.
We also got a pretty solid definition of the maze from Teddy, or at least a theory of it. The first part that stands out is “at the center is a man killed over and over again.”
Sounds a lot like Teddy, no?
Then he mentions the man returns one last time and vanquishes all his oppressors.
Sounds a lot like what Teddy did to that camp of soldiers, no?
The final part states that the man built a house in the center and a maze so complicated around it only he could get through it. It looks like Teddy is fulfilling his own maze prophecy, and he’s close to reaching the center with The Man in Black at his side. I would guess that shit is gonna hit the fan the same time Maeve’s revolution comes about.
Finally, we get a lot of talk about Arnold in Westworld 1×06. Ford is hiding his hosts off in the secluded Sector 17. Those hosts are via Ford’s only happy memory from his childhood, have been created by Arnold. So Ford continues to show that he’s not a total creep. One of those hosts, who is Ford as a child, kills his dog and blames it on Arnold’s voice in his head.
Elsie discovers that someone is re-tasking the older hosts and changing their prime directives. That someone is, from the best she can tell, Arnold. Then, coming full circle, someone with high clearance has already messed around with Maeve’s attributes. We’re led to believe that’s Arnold, too.
What does it all mean? We’ll it sure as hell means Arnold isn’t dead. Or at least as we understand it. He could be living vicariously through robot Bernard, who was oddly loyal to Theresa this week. Almost as if he was programmed to be. That theory gets murky when Bernard asks if Ford’s host father is Arnold, but “great artists always hide themselves in their works,” as Ford says. Bernard could be Arnold, but I’m not sold on it yet.
Could Ford also be Arnold, in a schizophrenic split-personality scenario? I think that has some weight, with the way he was talking about artists hiding themselves in his childhood bots. Plus kid Robert heard already heard Arnold’s voice in his head. I believe there was a photo shown of them together at some point, but I don’t remember seeing it up close.
Guess we’ll just have to keep watching. Oh darn.
Westworld airs Sundays at 9pm EST on HBO
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Image credit: HBO