WARNING: Spoilers ahead!
Westworld is HBO’s hit new show, despite a slightly disappointing beginning with the first episode, each one after it has been garnering the show more and more fans. The show has already spawned a mind boggling amount of fan theories and solutions to the mysteries it lays out before them.
With a star-studded cast and a fascinating, slightly disturbing plot line, the show is evolving and departing from your classical humans vs robots type story into an insightful, haunting commentary on the human psyche.
Based on the 70’s classic of the same name, the show is set in the near-distant future, where Westworld itself is a theme park designed to entice rich customers (known as new-comers) into a fantasy built like the wild west. The new-comers pay to interact with androids (known as hosts) in the park, who are disturbingly realistic, and built to carry out meticulously designed storylines. Customers can carry out their darkest fantasies, from gunfights to sexual encounters with these lifelike robots.
Westworld and its supposedly harmless hosts are built by brilliant minds Dr. Robert Ford (Played by Anthony Hopkins), and Bernard Lowe (Played by Jeffery Wright). At the time of writing this article, only three episodes have been released, and we are yet to figure out what Ford’s endgame is, as he is seen rejecting several of new storyline author Lee’s (Played by Simon Quarterman) plots, dismissing them as garish and rejecting the newly designed hosts, claiming that Westworld is about more than entertainment, about more than the guests finding out who they are, but rather, who they could be.
Alongside the problems with Westworlds incredible amount of storylines, as each host acts out their particular role with the new-comers they are continuously updated and improved back in the real world, getting a little more human and probably a little more dangerous each time.
We see the host Dolores Abernathy (Played by Evan Rachel Woods), Westworld’s girl next door, being interviewed by Bernard seemingly coming closer to discovering that her entire life is a lie. We see her kill a fly after stating in one of these interviews that she could neither lie, nor hurt a living being, more evidence that the hosts are changing a little too much.
Host Maeve Millay (Played by Thandie Newton), who runs Westworld’s brothel, has started dreaming about a past she doesn’t know that she had, and dismissing them as nightmares. When Maeve is taken back to headquarters due to a fault in her programming, she somehow wakes up to find herself in a laboratory with other unconscious host bodies, though is subdued and has her memory wiped before she can do any harm.
As the show’s main antagonist, we have The Man in the Black Hat ( Played by Ed Harris), who has been returning to Westworld for decades. His story line is mildly hard to follow, as we’re not sure what he is actually coming back for, whether it is to find and play out the hardest story-line Westworld has to offer, or to crack the system entirely. Either way, the heedless, violent manner in which he kills hosts to achieve his goal, despite this being entirely fixable and allowed is galling to watch. We see him murder hosts and their families, as ‘the hosts are at their most human when they suffer’ and will give him the information he needs.
All of these intertwined stories can become a little confusing, and it’s not a show that you can watch while scrolling through your text messages, it really does require some focus. Overall the show is intriguing and leaves you ready for more, ready to figure out the mystery behind the slips in the host minds, and what exactly Dr. Ford has planned for Westworld and those who come to visit.
Author: Khadijah Al-Harthi
Keshav Kant, aka Mx. KantEven, is a neuroscience nerd turned Creative Consultant and Executive Director of Off Colour!
You’ve probably seen her on TikTok or caught her work on Off Colour's many channels. From consulting on films & shows, manuscript review, conducting interviews, or hosting podcasts & panels, if there is some way to bring sensitivity and authenticity to diversity, inclusion and equity conversations, Keshav will be there.