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Fridge / Westworld

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As a Fridge subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.

Fridge Brilliance
  • Dolores and Peter Abernathy are having a conversation about his wild past as a lawman. He says that that life ended the day that he became her father, and it sounds like just a sweet thing a dad might say to his kid. Later, the staff examining Peter after his breakdown mention his history as a host: this host had played the role of Dolores's father for ten years. Before that, he'd done a few years as the sheriff of Sweetwater. So that statement is quite literal: the day that he became Dolores's father was the day the staff transferred him from the Sheriff role to the Peter Abernathy part.
  • Given the revelations of episode 9 that Bernard is modelled on Arnold, this entire conversation has extra meaning; not only the overt "I shall have such revenges on you...both", but also the earlier line "The things they do to her...the things you do to her". Abernathy is not only referencing the violence and degradation visited on his 'daughter' but also Arnold's conversations with Dolores, which laid the groundwork for her independence/sentience and Abernathy's own.
    Ford: What is your itinerary?
    Abernathy: To meet my maker.
    Ford: Uh-huh. (Turns to Bernard, modelled on Arnold, Abernathy's true 'maker')
    Ford: Well, you're in luck!
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  • The Man in Black uses a LeMat Revolver. Gamers might be familiar with that gun from Red Dead Redemption, where it was the Infinity +1 Sword of revolvers. Pretty fitting for his character.
  • Episode 4: "Dissonance Theory" has a bit of Fridge Brilliance that only makes sense after the Man in Black's identity is revealed; Superficially, the two plots show a Guest figuring out a deeper layer of the game through unusual methods. It's only after the reveal that we learn this is how William first understood how the park works at all, leading to his obsession of finding The Maze and understanding that it's not going to be straightforward.
  • From the same episode, it seems the Wretched Hive of Pariah is fairly easy to find. William lucks into it. But Logan treats it like it's a rare opportunity. The thing is, the quest flags are essentially Hidden in Plain Sight to Logan. To get the invite to Pariah, you need to help an old prospector, take a banal quest, not kill the mark, and not put a bullet in his brain as he's annoying you. Anyone interested in Pariah wouldn't do a single one of these things, let alone all of them.
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  • At first, many people wondered why it would be so difficult for Westworld personnel to contact the outside world if technology was so advanced. However, episode 7 finally explains this. Since Dr. Ford refuses to have any of the host data or research moved off-site, he certainly had to institute very strict measures to prevent anybody from smuggling data out of the park. That's why staff can only communicate with the outside world in a specified room at a specified time, so it's easier for Dr. Ford to censor or monitor communications.
  • In "Trompe L' Oeil", Bernard is revealed to be a host, and Dr. Ford has used him to lure Theresa to his cottage to be killed. Before he has Bernard bash her head in, Ford refers to Theresa as a "blood sacrifice", the same words Charlotte Hale used earlier that day when instructing Theresa about the plan to oust Ford. How did Ford know? Because Hale was having sex with the host Hector Escaton when Theresa arrived, and Escaton was in the room during their whole conversation. In fact, considering Hale's manipulation of Theresa it's entirely likely that Hale brought in the Escaton host specifically with the intention that Ford would listen in on their conversation.
  • Ford states that humans have destroyed all rivals to their supremacy, saying that we "ate" the Neanderthals. Models for Neanderthal extinction that include interaction with modern humans involve either being wiped out through competition or absorbed into the species through interbreeding. Either way, one could say that the species was "eaten" by humanity. Ford uses this ambiguous terminology due to his apparent interest in cannibalism, given its prevalence in the park.
  • Ford's seemingly inconsistent feelings towards the hosts make perfect sense given The Reveal in the finale. When he was berating the techs for giving the hosts consideration like they're human, it's not because he thinks the hosts are nothing more than objects, but because he is working so hard to make them more than objects. But they're not there yet, and treating them like they are is trivial.
  • The general parallels to The Tempest: The story of a man trapped on an island, plotting a decades-long revenge against the rich upper classes who wronged him, continually toying with an ethereal beauty who can become a dangerous monster (Dolores/Ariel) and a monstrous slave who by rights ought to be the ruler of the place by his parent, whose power the man took (Bernard/Caliban; Arnold/Sycorax). In the middle of a rich banquet - "A prison of your own sins"/"You are three men of sin".
  • Arnold, Bernard and Charlie: A, B, and C. Also the title of an episode of The Prisoner, about a man railing uselessly against a system crafted to frustrate him, attempting futilely to escape from a place built to entrap him.
  • The final player-piano tune over Ford's parting speech is Radiohead's "Exit Music (For A Film)". Not only are the lyrics early reminiscent of Ford's ultimate goal ("Wake/From your sleep/The drying of/Your tears/Today/We escape/We escape...Before/All hell/Breaks loose"), but also connects neatly with the overall themes. Radiohead originally composed a song for William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet - based on the play from which "These violent delights have violent ends" originates - and have said they were inspired by the ending featuring a woman picking up a revolver and shooting someone in the head. Albeit, in R+J it was herself, not an old man in a tux.
  • When Bernard questions Ford as to why he's kept host reproductions of his family and childhood home in the park, Ford asks him what he'd do to be able to see his son Charlie again. This line becomes that much sadder when you're aware that this was one of the reasons Arnold committed suicide-by-Dolores - he wanted to see his son again. The security cams were probably on during that incident; Ford very likely saw and heard, and was haunted by the memory.
  • Westworld management discourages employees from humanizing the hosts, going so far as to force them to interact with hosts who are naked to dehumanize them. Those who attempt to cover up the hosts are chastised. The personnel we do see interacting with hosts are almost uniformly pitiless, cold and self-absorbed. Sylvester makes a remark to Felix along the lines of "The personality tests should have weeded you out as an embryo," suggesting that Delos uses personality tests to specifically hire only people who will be properly unsympathetic to hosts.
  • The favorite piece of music of Arnold's son is "Rêverie", which means "daydream". It is also played during dreams and memories. "reveries" is the name of the crucial update by Arnold that allows the hosts to tap into previous memories.
  • The fact that the player pianos play songs like "Blackhole Sun" by Sound Garden might seem kind of odd, but considering that the story takes place in the future, those songs were probably contemporary when Ford and Arnold were younger, so it makes sense that they'd hold affection for them, as old as they are.
  • It's mentioned a few times (and shown once or twice) that early hosts were more robotic under the surface and that the hosts of the present time storyline are essentially 3D-printed humans that function the same as a regular human body except with computer brains. Then, in "The Well-Tempered Clavier", after William has slaughtered the Confederados, you see that underneath the facade of flesh are metallic armatures with still whirring servos at the joints. This is a subtle indication that William's storyline is happening in the past.
  • Ford's putdown of Sizemore's sex-n-violence Cliché Storm of a storyline proposal could apply as a defense of HBO as a whole — the violence and titillation only being superficial trappings for the mature stories they want to tell.
  • "Bernard Lowe" is an anagram of "Arnold Weber".
  • According to an off-hand remark, we learn that Dolores is the oldest host still functional; later, it is said she has been repaired so many times that she is like new. The reason she gets such special attention is due to William, who gets anything he wants in the park. He wants Dolores kept around to see if he can get her to remember him.
  • In the final episode of the second season Bernard has visions of Ford guiding him after he has purged Ford's influence from his system and he eventually realizes that it was not Ford, but his mind conjuring up his image to help himself. This could be seen as the Bicameral Mind model actually working to help bring Bernard to true sapience and autonomy, with Ford taking the place of hearing the Voice of God. Of course, Ford is God to Hosts already in a way, being their creator and guide.

Fridge Horror

  • There are child hosts in Westworld. It's stated repeatedly that the main draw for most guests is having sex with or killing the hosts. It seems only likely that some percentage of guests are drawn to the park specifically to pursue these activities with the child hosts. Even modern Wide Open Sandbox video games tend to make child characters immortal or omit them completely to avoid the unsavory thought of players exercising their Video Game Cruelty Potential on kids.
    • If that's not horrifying enough, how about the fact that there are human children in the park when the hosts revolt? We know there are human children that come to the park too (an example of this is in the first episode, where a family of three encounter Dolores as she's painting a picture), and Ford certainly doesn't seem like the person who would exclude children from the horrors about to become because there are both host children and human children caught in the uprising in the park.
  • Dolores' "I'm In A Dream" from Ep. 1. Imagine a dream in which you are naked, in a dark room, being questioned by strangers in odd outfits, who can immediately command you to subdue your emotions, accent and personality against your will. If not for the memory wipes, probably all the hosts would be off-the-rails if they have dreams like that.

Fridge Logic

  • Ed Harris's late-twentieth-century silver dental crowns are occasionally visible, but they don't belong on William, who would have been born long after they fell out of favor in modern dentistry.


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