One of the greatest things about Westworld is the way it invites theories and fans their flames without much effort at all. With each new episode, it continues to differentiate itself from Game of Thrones by swinging a scalpel instead of a broadsword.
The teaser for the next episode continues to quietly play with our expectations. (It’s also NSFW, so watch out.)
Dolores gets a regularly scheduled check-up, and apparently going down the rabbit hole involves pulling a robo-vein right out of your arm. Meanwhile, Ford and the Man in Black have a friendly face-off with only one knife attack included.
At the halfway mark of the inaugural season, it makes sense that the puzzle pieces are starting to line up (or at least starting to share screen time). Granted, nothing in this tease proves whether we’re experiencing a single or multiple timeline yet, so the question of whether William is actually the younger Man in Black, romancing Dolores as a wide-eyed newbie, still isn’t completely confirmable or dismissible. I still hope they aren’t the same person, mostly because the show doesn’t need that kind of twist to work, and because, if they are the same person, it’s required too many tricky editing shifts already.
The other problem I see with the MiB = W theory is that, if it takes place 30 years in the past, that’s an awfully long, obsessive time to finally get a lead on the maze you’ve been looking for (and to do whatever the Man in Black did to Dolores in the barn). And why has the technology stagnated in that time?
Still, the wistful way the Man in Black keeps talking about places that William is now traveling to has got to make you wonder.
That theory is clearly the one the internet is most obsessed with. In fact, pretty much all fan theories have something to do with the Man in Black’s true nature (is he a board member? Old William? Is the woman in the photograph his dead wife?), Bernard’s true nature (is he human or is he dancer?), or the true nature of time.
Then again, there’s also a question about where in space the show takes place.
Donna Dickens at HitFix makes a compelling case for our favorite murderous theme park to be on Mars. The best clue is when Screaming British Guy mentions “rotating back home” in the first episode, as if Phoenix or Santa Fe aren’t within driving distance. That and Sam Bell walking in the background all the time with GERTY.
Yes, I know they’re on the moon. They put in for a Mars transfer. That’s why the joke works.
Maybe DELOS isn’t just the name of the corporation behind Westworld, but also the planet the theme park was built on. After all, we’re in a future where all diseases have been cured and mankind has effectively ended evolution. Why not toss in colonization? Like traveling to a remote island to see dinosaurs, maybe people in the Westworld universe utilize Uber Space to take a trip to the 19th century.
In short, none of the prominent fan theories have been debunked quite yet (even if Dolores joining forces with William puts a lot of pressure against MiB = W), and they aren’t likely to be in this next episode. Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy seem to be in no rush to provide those kinds of macro-answers — happy, instead, to revel in the characters — so if you’re desperate to know the truth, I hope you’re willing to wait at least until the season finale.
For now, let these new character images from the upcoming episode, “Contrapasso,” tide you over in our gallery below.[brightcove video_id=”5167317762001″ brightcove_account_id=”3653334524001″ brightcove_player_id=”2bfa565b-5412-4cfd-9211-6269880b8a5e”]