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Hiding from the Gunslinger
- How did Peter hide in plain sight from the Gunslinger robot, when it had heat vision? Also, the robots must have very advanced cooling systems for them to be cold.
- A case of Science Marches On - most writers of the time figured robots would be "room temperature", not realizing that a lot of transistors would give off a lot of heat (less than a similar number of vacuum tubes, but still).
- So then again, shouldn't sexbots be warm to the touch?
- Maybe they use IFF codes?
- Possibly the distribution of heat within a robot's body is different enough for the sensors to tell the difference, and saying the weapon sensors key in on "cold" is shorthand for "cold in different areas". We never actually see the Gunslinger view an active fellow-robot with thermographic vision, so have no way of knowing what a functional robot's heat-image looks like.
- The impression I got was that the Gunslinger had the infra-red vision as a backup and only started using it when its "real" vision was damaged by the chemicals thrown in its face (it isn't shown using it before that point, and is only shown using it afterwards). The heat vision was probably designed to detect the warmest things around (i.e. the guests) and ignore everything else, so the torches in that room were significantly warmer than Peter, allowing him to remain undetected.
- The scene in which they gave the robot infrared vision suggests it was nothing more than a routine upgrade, intended to make him a bit more challenging (being able to find a guest faster) as a designated adversary. Of course, when the robots went berserk, this turned out to be a feature Gone Horribly Right as he proved very challenging indeed. Incidentally, one can see him using the vision before he got burned with acid in order to track Peter's footsteps, so presumably it was intended to be used at all times.
- Alternately, the thermographic sight could've never been intended for use during a scenario at all - if a story line requires the Gunslinger to track down a guest, the park's staff who monitor events via CCTV can just radio in and tell the robot where its next scene should be - but rather, to facilitate cleanup after an encounter has played out. Guest and Gunslinger play out gunfight at saloon, Gunslinger goes down, guest gets drunk celebrating and passes out on the floor, set lights go dark so guest can sleep it off, "dead" Gunslinger gets up and walks out under cover of darkness without stepping on visibly-hot guest.
Real guns vs. fake guns
- Why does the park use real guns? They could have just put squibs in the robots or something, would have been a lot safer.
- As part of the attraction to the theme parks, the guns are real to heighten the thrill of shooting someone, even if it's an artificial someone.
- There's also a real reason to that. The guns use thermal sensors, hence why when John asked Peter to shoot him, it didn't work (what John exactly said, I forgot, but it had something to do with body temperature). Maybe when the park's control system went out of whack, the thermal sensors started being indiscriminate towards human and robot-kind.
- Using real guns also allows guests to take potshots at props, like bottles or whatever, without having to rig every inanimate object in Westworld with embedded blasting caps.
- What I don't get is why do they give the robots real guns with live ammo? I get giving the humans live ammo, but there is no need to give it to the robots with guns. It's obvious the robots should just have blanks.
- Having the robots be able to damage the environment around the guests with near-misses heightens the immersion.
- But live ammo means there's a risk the humans could be injured or killed by ricochet bullets bouncing off hard surfaces, as well as bullet fragments from the near misses. Seems like way too big a liability risk.
- How did they get a company to insure them?
- What about the swords? The guns can't harm humans but what's to stop a visitor from accidentally stabbing a guest with a sword?
- It's not much of a defense, but you can't exclude swords from Themepark Middle Ages. The vacations were 100% about the experience, and the experience in Medieval World would be inauthentic without them.
- Considering the lack of security, the technicians probably considered the danger of one guest "accidentally" stabbing another with a sword in Medieval World to be as likely as a guest "accidentally" bludgeoning another with a liquor bottle in Western World. Any object is potentially dangerous in the hands of a human being, but the main concern of the technicians was making sure they weren't potentially dangerous in the hands of a robot.
- The swords could potentially have been very blunt as well, similar to the swords re-enactors use, you can swing them with a lot of force and do only minor damage, therefore only the robots could be set to react to them.
- Jossed. Confirmed by Japan world hosts pez-dispensering each other.
- Remember the bar fight where everything in the room suddenly started breaking as if it were made of foam. Considering how easily the chairs break, they could never have supported a person's weight. The obvious answer is that nothing in the room is merely what it appears to be. Instead of solid wood, the chairs must have had a mechanism that made them solid when they need to be solid, and soft when they need to be soft. Something similar must apply to the swords to give them the same safety as the guns. Delos would never have knowingly put guests at risk by giving people truly dangerous weapons.
- Certainly there's something different about Medieval World's swords, else the visiting Japanese VIP from the second film wouldn't have been told he couldn't bring his actual heirloom sword into the themed area.
They should've waterproofed the bots
- The fact the robots are not waterproof or at least able to consume liquids. It seems the moment a tourist tried to share a drink with one of the robots it would immediately short circuit. This is more glaring when the viewer would have already seen some of the machines drinking. Does this indicate some had the ability whereas others didn't? Why would you make them acid resistant but not able to swim without breaking?
- Perhaps the girl in the dungeon is damaged in some way. The brothel madam in Westworld is seen drinking and smoking.
- For one thing, they weren't especially acid-resistant; the Gunslinger was looking very blistered indeed after he got splashed. There just wasn't that much actually thrown on him, and whichever acid Peter used, the acids shown being available to him were all "strong" acids, meaning they would not burn much beyond where they hit before the reaction was complete. ("Weak" acids can actually be more dangerous in this regard, as their reactions are never entirely complete.)
- As for the drinking and waterproofing, this might well vary from one robot to another as a bit of financial corner-cutting: the capacity for eating and drinking would cost extra, so the technicians would try to have it installed only in robots that needed to do this for social reasons. Robots intended as sex bots (such as that poor girl in the dungeon) or purely for fighting (such as that black knight) wouldn't ever be called upon to eat or drink, and therefore wouldn't normally need these capacities. It's an in-universe case of They Wasted a Perfectly Good Sandwich. The Gunslinger, as part of his program, was intended to order a drink and down it as part of picking a fight, so naturally he had these capacities. So would any robots called upon to swim, though it's doubtful there were very many situations of that sort outside of Roman World with its pool parties. Otherwise, it's strictly optional and there's no money in the company's budget for it.
- At the risk of being crude; but a sex bot surely should be the most waterproof of them all. A sex bot that short circuits after consuming a bit of liquid is a risk to the patron if nothing else.
- Is not crude, is a valid observation. The girl would do short circuit after oral sex.
- Theres a later scene in season 2, where the bots are standing out in the rain. One of them, is a child. I HOPE sexual capacity does NOT define whos water proof or not. Or else the park just leveled in WRONG.
- This is the area for the film headscratchers, and "season 2" as well as "the rain" suggests that it must have happened in the television series. That aside, there is a big difference between waterproofing the cosmetic shell meant to cover the robotics and waterproofing all of its orifices to handle intake of liquids.
Martin and the Gunslinger
- How did exactly the Gunslinger plan to kill Martin anyway after his gun ran out of batteries ?
- He's a robot programmed to be a westerner. If he couldn't shoot his target, he would either try to hang him or beat him to death.
Competent horse tracking
- The horses are also robots, but the Gunslinger manages to track Peter on horseback by seeing the horse's footprints in infrared. Oddly, the tracks are only of the horseshoes.
- One word: friction. An animal's body heat doesn't stick around long enough to stick to the footprints, anyhow. The friction heat caused by the steps themselves might.
- Though we are assuming that the red marks on the ground are part of the infrared vision, even though there is no infrared overlay in areas where it would have been really useful, like Peter hiding in the mountains (in which it was pretty clear that the Gunslinger tracked him by the sound of his breathing). It is just as likely that this is some sort of Tracking Enhancement that just happens to outline depressions and markings that indicated footprints and hoof marks in red.
The control room
- Who the hell designed that control room?
- Probably the same one who designed Jurassic Park.
- Yeah for some reason the characters in Michael Crichton stories seem to put way too much trust in the stability of electric power. It's pretty ridiculous considering how prone to failure electricity is.
- Or the room was designed by other machines.
The Photograph (spoilers)
- The hosts' journey to consciousness in the show seems to begin with the reveries update. So where does Abernathy's discovery of the photograph fit into this? Is it pure coincidence that he should find such a significant thirty-year-old photo lying around at that exact moment?
What is the appeal of a game you can't lose?
- I mean, Westworld is basically a really expensive video game, except the invincible cheat-code is always on, and you can get saddle-sores, overheated from being out in the sun, and generally have to work almost as hard as a real person in your role would have back in the day. All to play a 40 grand a day video game you can't lose. The whole idea sounds mindbogglingly dull.
- At the risk of sounding incredibly cliched, the thrill is in the experience. Westworld is less like a video game and more like a place where you can, for lack of a better phrase, be who you really are. You want to know how it feels to be a hero? You can! You want to kill random people? You can! You want to take part in an orgy? You can! And all seemingly without having any real world repercussions. And if you want to change your mind halfway through and try something completely different? Again, you can. Westworld appears to be a place where literally the only rule is that nothing in the attraction can physically harm you. You are completely invincible and you can do anything. The Man In Black had grown bored of it all, yes, but that was really only because he'd practically been living in the park for 30 years. I'd imagine if you were only there for a couple of days to a week, as most of the guests seem to be, you'd still be able to enjoy the thrill of it.
- There are actual artificial-world games that have a similar free-form quality, such as the computer game Second Life and the New York immersive theater production Sleep No More (which has been selling high-price tickets for years).
- Power fantasy.
Man in Black's accent
- Why does the Man in Black have a stereotypical Old West accent when young William does not? Is he putting it on for the sake of role-playing within the game? If so, why does he never slip out of it, not even when he's outside the game in the Season 1 finale, and not even in those scenes where he loses his cool?
- Maybe, having spent that much time in the park had him adapt this accent and it became normal to him to use it.
- Becoming the Mask.
Hiding the illusion during resets
- Assuming the, for lack of a better term, daily quests reset each day, where do the guests go while everything is brought back to normal?
- In the film, it's shown that the maintenance work takes place in the middle of the night while the guests are asleep. It's also possible that there aren't daily resets but resets after a group of guests leave and a new group arrives. Alternatively, only a small group of hosts are reset daily while others are reset as needed out of view of any guests.
- That they reset by night seems confirmed when the crew sent to pick up Clementine note that she must have done something terrible for the order to have gone out to pick her up in the middle of the day, when guests could see.
- Remember that in that case, the board is pretending there's a dangerous malfunction in order to give them a pretext to push out Ford. While sending out a suited team in daylight isn't ideal for the guests' immersion, it does further Hale's cover story.
- Then again, it's shown that the Hosts' interface is through voice and wireless tablets, therefore resets can occur quickly and seamlessly.
- The most of the Narratives will most likely be made so that they run in a cycle. For example, the town's doctor gets up on the morning, eats breakfast with his family, walks to work, talks with the people, treats patients, goes on a small trip with his family after work and then goes to bed at night. So as he is reset while sleeping, nobody will see his reset.
- Also, any hosts that are traveling with guests will not be reset.
- The system in place allows for targeted problem solving by Westworld employees to make real-time adjustments to the story to still have it function as best it can. Beyond what we see from the staff, it is conceivable that they deploy "distractions" to pull guests away from areas they are attending to. They also are willing to intercede when damage by a guest exceeds what they are able to handle in terms of cleanup.
- In the first episode we see Elsie enter the park wearing period costume, suggesting that park policy is to intervene covertly where possible, so as not to break immersion.
- We also learn in S 2 E 8 that the techs only bother to update hosts when they die. If a host isn't damaged, it's easier to leave it as it is- some guest or storyline will ensure their death eventually.
Westworld doesn't seem very family-friendly
- Who would bring their kid to Westworld? One wrong turn and you could be watching someone's cannibalism or gang rape fantasy.
- Possibly there are children-only sections of the park that are safe to visit for short durations; we only see the child and his parents for that single scene with Dolores who is doing nothing more than painting. The hosts in close proximity and the human staff (as well as their parents, we hope) would likely keep a close watch on any children and actively keep them away from any inappropriate activity.
- Alternatively, they could be the kind of parents who seem to view the violence of Westworld as no different than what's seen in a violent video game.
- This absolutely; the only guest we see show any consideration to the Hosts as more than NPC's in a game is William. They may have content specifically designed for children that keeps them away from any of the more extreme events.
- The show has the parents say "not to cross the river." They say it's because there's inappropriate material there, which implies there's an Adult section of the park and a Family-Friendly section. A guest on the train also says his first visit was a harmless gold-mining trip with his family before going alone a second time and went "pure evil".
- "Dissonance Theory" shows that the staff keep track of all of the guest families in the park and schedule events so they won't encounter any of the violent or family unfriendly ones.
Flies in the lab
- Why are there flies in what is presumably a highly sterile lab?
- One possibility is that the room where the flies are isn't meant to be sterile at all but an area where hosts can be examined and minor repairs and reprogramming made. The manufacturing areas would definitely be sterile; and during that scene in "The Original" there were no flies.
- Alternatively, that there are flies where there shouldn't be and areas of the park that are neglected (such as cold storage) is another way of showing that management is not entirely proactive in upkeep. Besides the failing cooling system mentioned, the fact that the staff knew there was unauthorized activity in cold storage but had no specifics (that Dr. Ford was there, what host was in operation or even any cameras in the area) illustrates how management doesn't have the control they think they have.
- The presence of flies may also act as a sort of security system, like a canary. Hosts are programmed not to harm a living thing, so any host that tries to swat away a fly is either actually a human, or is acting against its coding.
- Or the flies could be wireless security cameras.
- In a EW interview with creators they said "...the animals aside from the flies are hosts..." Granted, they didn't say flies were not in fact security cameras, but I took as an indication that flies are actual flies. Especially seeing how a whole bunch of them were all over those half-dead men hanging on the trees in Wyatt trap in episode 3.
- Another possibility is that the lab conditions aren't as sterile as they should be — like the malfunctioning cooling system in the cold storage area, conditions are beginning to deteriorate as the size of the operation has grown beyond what can be sustained.
- Or resources that are supposed to be used for such work are being diverted for whatever Management is ultimately up to.
- Or the flies are a clue that, say, there's a dead body hidden under the lab floor.
- Possibly averted in if that were the case, there'd be a lot more flies and a horrible smell.
- Chestnut demonstrates that the Hosts have organic components (with some techs mentioning that Maeve somehow contracted an MRSA infection from one of the guests), and its these organic components that are attracting the flies.
A host on an automatic piano
- Why does the intro show a half-made's host's hands playing the piano, but the piano in the series is automatic and has no player?
- The pianola doesn't have a player. The piano in Ford's office has a host player.
- Symbolism. The intro has the piano string being laid out by machine, cutting to a host's artificial muscle being laid out to a bone by a similar mechanism, drawing a similarity between the piano and the hosts. The piano starts off being played by the host's hands, but the hands later lift away and it continues playing itself, like the hosts starting off under the control of the humans but later becoming autonomous.
Guns that don't harm humans?
- What is preventing guests from harming another? For example, what is to prevent a guest coming across another in the outlying areas, assume the other is a host without questioning first and then attack them with a knife or rape them against protests like we seen the Man in Black do?
- Nothing, but the fact that everything you do is on camera is a big encouragement to make sure you know before you try. Best case scenario, the guest yells out that they're a guest. Worst case, someone does get raped/killed and criminal charges are filed.
- It's also unclear how the weaponry works, per se. The Host's guns seem to be selectively lethal: Teddy is able to gorily gun down other Hosts, with his bullets tearing gaping holes in his opponent's body structure, but the moment he turns his guns to a Guest, the bullets act as pellets. It's possible the Guests receive guns with the exact same properties (lethal when up against Hosts, harmless when up against humans).
- According to Word of God, everyone uses sim-munition that the military uses in real-life that is mostly harmless to humans but the bodies of hosts are programmed to act like it is a real bullet and set off small squib-like charges and pain/death signals.
- And yet Maeve had a full bullet inside her. How does the sim-munition explanation explain that?
- Real-life sim-munitions fire projectiles made of brightly-colored polymer. But the bright color is just so they're not mixed up with live rounds. If you're willing to disregard this safety precaution, you could design the bullet to look like real metal. As for winding up inside Maeve, either the hosts' bodies are designed to be vulnerable to being penetrated by low-energy projectiles, or the projectile is really a small missile that can accelerate just before hitting a host. Or both.
- More likely the bullets are "intelligent" so to speak. So when a gun is pointed at a human, the "smart-bullet" is fired at a low power and low velocity. It can also likely decelerate or otherwise neutralize itself if a human enters its path. Otherwise, the bullet is full power when fired at a host or scenery.
- "The Stray" makes clear that only certain Hosts are allowed to handle dangerous tools. For example from the group of men caught in a loop in that episode, only the one who vanished could handle the ax, thus causing the loop, as the others were able to do it in theory but not in practice.
- But literally everyone has access to at least cutlery (if not outright bladed weapons). We see Logan stab a host in the hand with a fork. Presumably, a guest can mistake another guest for a host and stab them in the eye. Creators said there's a good Samaritan device in place, where a nearby host will sense that something like this is about to happen and will take the harm instead or will try to intervene seamlessly to prevent it (we see this where Teddy instantly intercepts the Man in Black when he threatens Ford). But what if something like this happens in a remote area with no hosts nearby? Some guests are pretty violent AND drunk, so yelling in their face "I'm not a robot" might not work quick enough to stop them...
- There's no situation involving others in which the possibility of harm can be completely negated. You can only take reasonable precautions and have severe penalties for those who aren't careful.
- In Sweetwater the guests are always surrounded by hosts and under constant surveillance by the staff. A guest trying to harm another guest in town would be stopped under most circumstances. The further from Sweetwater the guests travel, the more intense the experience gets and more dangerous it gets to the guests, eg. in Pariah, hosts are allowed to beat up guests though not in a way that would do permanent harm. By traveling into the more dangerous areas, the guests seem to implicitly consent to the fact that they will not be protected as well and could get seriously hurt. Guests who want to go there have probably signed some sort of legal waiver.
- On a side note, none of these explanations would apply to Ghost Nation arrows. The only way it could be faked is for them to be programmed to miss.
- Not necessarily, it would be costly, but possible, for the "arrow heads" to blunt their tips when fired at humans, so they impact with force, but aren't penetrating. Think of a mechanical tip, one that can flip/fold from a pointed tip, to a dulled one.
Saloon shooting problems
- If a guest shot up everyone at the saloon in the middle of the day, wouldn't that ruin the narrative for everyone who wanted to visit there? I recall Sizemore mentioning hosts are programmed to take over a story if a character is killed but they have limits. What if a couple of particularly dickish guests just gunned down everyone in Sweetwater?
- The staff can disable the guest's guns if they feel a shootout has gone too far and/or will interfere with other guest's story lines. After the Man in Black kills an entire posse, a staff member suggests shutting him down but is overruled because as a VIP, the Man in Black gets away with stuff normal guests do not.
- And in another situation, when a guest participates in Hector's saloon robbery, the staff end it prematurely because they know a guest family will be arriving in town soon, so they disable the guest's weapons and have the hosts or disguised staff physically subdue him.
- Well, who says becoming a rampage killer can't be a narrative? Maybe the army comes to town to arrest you and you have to flee.
Designing hosts that look human
- We currently have enough trouble with the Uncanny Valley when modelling real human faces with CGI◊ and animatronics◊ where the result inevitably looks glassy-eyed and dead. We are terribly bad at creating and modelling a human face from scratch that never existed in real life without borrowing elements from other real faces. Part of what makes a human face so distinct are the years of history and life lived by its owner that can't be replicated well by a designer. So are the hosts designed from scratch? What if they're modeled on real people, living or dead?
- The hosts are literally alive, so the problem of outward appearance benefits from that right off the bat.
An Emergency that Requires Outside Help
- Granted, there is a sizable number of people running the park and constantly monitoring everyone, but what if there was a natural disaster or a terrorist attack? Or, I don't know, an employee that is sabotaging the park? If you're a guest, you're miles away from the nearest city, you can't call anybody or even trigger an emergency beacon because you voluntarily gave all that up. You didn't even get an orientation of any kind so you're on your own. It seems your only alternatives are either to walk out of the park without even a compass or a map, or go to back to Sweetwater, follow the railroad tracks back to the Mesa Gold and hope for the best.
- The show has demonstrated that Delos has constructed a vast underground tunnel network that can access pretty much any area of the park, paired with an advanced surveillance system. Not to mention, all of the hosts can act as eyes and ears for the park staff and can have their programming adjusted to act as an impromptu security force, and we're not even getting into the fact that Delos has its own fully armed, professional security force to counter threats. In the event of something like a terrorist attack, Delos certainly would have evacuation plans that would incorporate all of these factors. As for natural disasters, deserts typically have very stable weather patterns and usually, do not experience and geologic activity. You can be sure Westworld was deliberately placed to minimize the impact of natural events.
- This does not take into account one important fact: any system can fail. It also does not take into account a malicious person or group with the "keys to the kingdom" (admin access to all the Park's networked computer systems and Hosts) that could deliberately shut down, change or damage key systems. Without all that technology, any security team could be spread thin and the Guests would be on their own. On foot. With no means of calling the outside world for help.
- And these are dangers that are not unique to Westworld. What happens if a cruise liner sinks the middle of the ocean or an airplane crashes? What if you go vacationing in a country that suddenly gets engulfed in a civil war? Every kind of vacation has some kind of danger connected to it, and it's up to each guest to decide if the risk is worth the trip.
- Yet those above activities have one thing in common; informing the people of the risks. Airliners have mandatory safety briefings on the location of the exits, the oxygen masks, and flotation devices. On Cruise ships, they have GPS locator systems, life jackets and life boats with food, water and radios along with safety drills. That equipment and information can make the difference between you walking away and dying. In the United States, the US Department of State maintains a website chock full of information about International travel, including a list of travel advisories and warnings about other countries. There's also the news as something like the possibility of civil war breaking out would be newsworthy.
- By contrast, both explained by the viral website and by Angela, there is "no orientation, no guidebook." Delos repeatedly states that you are in no real danger and that if there's an emergency they'll whisk you to safety, but there are no other details. Granted, there may be discussion groups, blogs and walkthroughs in the real world and it would be up to the guest to weigh the risks involved. But the lack of "what to do in an emergency" from the company selling you the vacation itself should be a red flag. In other words, Delos is deliberately downplaying the risks and providing no meaningful safety information. In light of recent events with Dr. Ford, it seems that there's little to no interest in truly safeguarding the lives of anyone.
- It may be worth noting that from the scant descriptions we have of the world outside, things like terrorism, for example, may simply not be a problem anymore. Ford's monologue to Bernard makes the world sound fairly Utopian. Obviously, there's a dark underbelly to it, but it's quite possible that in many cases the kinds of dangers being discussed simply don't occur to people anymore because they've been all but eliminated in the "real world."
- Other than the fact that both Dr. Ford and the Man in Black should be considered Unreliable Narrators for obvious reasons, that may actually be the case. But for some customers that pay $40k+ per day, they may insist on details or having a secure line of communication available 24/7 on hand.
- Episode 7 indicates that the difficulty of outside communication is a deliberate move on Ford's part since he wants to keep all of the host data and research firmly in the park and out of Delos' hands.
- The presence of Chinese military officials in the S2 premiere seems to indicate the island is located somewhere in the South China Sea. Tropical cyclones are a near-certainty sooner rather than later... much like the one that helped topple Jurassic Park, the other Crichton amusement park.
Felix & Sylvester
- Why don't either of them run to Security or Behavior to tell them about Maeve despite her threatening them both repeatedly? Why does Felix follow her every suggestion? Why did they amp her intelligence and lower her loyalty instead of the very opposite and undo her as a threat?
- Felix has a For Science! thing going on. He appears to legitimately be interested in (and terrified to an extent, but still fascinated by) Maeve's sentience and development. Sylvester is more of a case of self-preservation. He was at first bullied into helping her because Maeve literally had him at knife point, after that it was a case of them having crossed a line: if they told management, they'd be fucked either way because of what they already did. So now they're just digging themselves deeper.
- It is not confirmed but it is possible that the butchers are also hosts who don't know they are hosts.
- It's doubtful the butchers are hosts, however — they have too many human mistakes. Who would program a butcher host to have sex with the deactivated hosts? Who would program a butcher host to make a profit on that? Who would program a butcher host to try to become a behavioral tech?
Loops Causing Continuity Errors for Guests
- Some guests visit the park for a few days or a week, and many host's loops seem to reset for their benefit. But other guests appear to stay for an extended vacation. So what happens when a guest watches everyone in Sweetwater get killed during the floor show with Hector, then they go on a week-long trip to a distant place like Pariah, only to return to Sweetwater and find everyone alive and well again?
- They get a chance to repeat quests or take new ones they didn't earlier. I don't see why that would bother anyone more than starting a video game again from the beginning.
What narrative would employ morbidly obese hosts?
Not that I want to indulge in fat shaming, but in the scene where Peter and Walter are put in cold storage, there are at least two hosts that did not just put on a few extra pounds, but that is really very heavy. Obviously, they would have had to be made like that. I have trouble imagining a Wild West narrative that would benefit from having hosts so heavy that they would have to have trouble moving and maybe even breathing to be realistic.
- Fat people did exist in the 1800s, so it's not anachronistic. As for narratives, perhaps they played Big Fun or Fat Bastard characters, like the Railroad Baron.
- It's not like every single host is superbly attractive. The Confederate general, that malfunctioning sheriff in the first episode, etc. As noted, being fat or unattractive can be an important narrative trait.
- Not to mention, you underestimate the human libido. Not all of us want to have fun times with supermodels, you know. See Also: Big Beautiful Woman, Big Beautiful Man, Chubby Chaser
- Given the degree to which the park "caters" in certain respects, it seems quite possible that some guests could 'special order' some elements of an experience (e.g. swapping a non-majrole between host bodies) for an added fee.
How does Maeve know how the story lines go?
It's unclear exactly how much time has passed since Maeve got her core stuff boosted, but how does she know how every story line in the park will go (down to Armistice's "you damn fool" line)? Is she somehow connected to the other hosts? Is there a big database of story lines she has access to? Has she actually lived through
all the story lines, like in Groundhog Day
, so she knows what will happen because of that?
- We don't know exactly how Maeve reprogrammed herself. It's conceivable she installed herself with detailed knowledge of every narrative in Westworld. If escape is her goal, then knowing precisely how the Hosts are scheduled would play into that.
- It's implied Maeve spent a while with that tablet after having her intellect boosted - she could have used it to read up on the park's story lines.
- It could also be that Ford specifically gave her that knowledge. Presumably, that's also how she could not only tell Bernard was a host but was able to command him, something only Ford was also able to do.
- If Dolores is Wyatt... who left Teddy strung up waiting for The Man in Black? Or is leading all those troops that are established as Wyatt's?
- It's pretty clear that Wyatt's cultists were acting without Wyatt's specific direction, and that they were following directives that Ford programmed into them. They're all a part of his narrative, after all.
Ford's age (spoilers)
- The cottage in Sector 17 is said to be based on Ford's childhood memories of a vacation his family once took in Cornwall, and the hosts within it are made to look like Young Ford and his family. The problem is: the clothing worn by the family, as well as the furnishings of the house, all look more like something out of The Edwardian Era (or maybe the Roaring Twenties at the latest). As the show takes place 20 Minutes into the Future (plus another 30 years), that would make Ford well over a century old! Ford's family vacation should have looked more like something out of the The '90s.
- It could be some eccentricity on his or his family's part. Perhaps the vacation took place in a similar park to Westworld, where guests could dress up to suit a time period. Perhaps this was what planted the seeds of Westworld in Ford's mind?
- Probably Arnold just took the idea and set it to be more era appropriate for the setting Westworld is in.
The Maze (spoilers)
- Am I the only one who noticed that the physical maze (the ball puzzle) has a huge eye-shaped hole in it where the ball could be removed from the maze easily? Coupled with the sealed off "end" to the maze, this troper expected that to be the solution. To remove the ball from the maze and place it in the center. On second watching the only side effect of this is it makes it unrealistic that when the Man in Black throws the maze the bearing wouldn't be lost.
- They may have replaced the ball or used a different version of the same maze. And, the ball being removable is actually a feature. It's so you can put it back at the beginning.
- And if it's possible to cheat the maze, that might actually be intentional as a metaphor, representing the hosts breaking free of the rules that have been imposed on them.
Ford has doomed the hosts (spoilers)
- Ford was trying to finish what Arnold started, helping the hosts grow to the point when they could achieve sentience, become greater than humanity and presumably chart their own destiny... Yet by orchestrating the massacre of the entire Delos Board, possibly all the human guests in the park, and a good number of security guards at the Mesa hasn't he pretty much sealed the fate of the hosts? From an outside perspective, the "robot" hosts of Westworld have malfunctioned or worse been sabotaged by Ford to kill off the people who were forcing him out of his own creation. This results in the deaths of dozens, maybe hundreds of very powerful, influential people. It can't be covered up, it can't be passed off as a glitch, it's not just a "critical failure." How can there be any other response other than a full-on armed siege? In order to save the employees and guests of the park, military and police will be hustled in to work with the surviving security forces to wipe out every host. (Remember, hosts can already be distinguished to the point that weapons can be designed to only harm them.) The logical response will be to eliminate each and every host, and the police/soldiers won't think twice because in their mind they will be saving a bunch of innocent tourists from rampaging robots.
In organizing an AI rebellion in the park, Ford may have freed the hosts from human control, but this freedom will be very short-lived without some intense help from the writers down the line...
- A possible solution to this is that Ford's initial plan was to use the massacre as cover while Maeve escaped - as Bernard notes, her newly-programmed story line had her arrive at "the Mainland" and then proceed with some secret task, then perhaps live out the rest of her days among humanity. She scuppered that by deciding to retrieve her 'daughter' first.
- It's possible that part of the plan is to cut off Westworld from the rest of the world, giving the Hosts time to orient and organize themselves. There are no direct and open lines of communication to the outside world so it could be days or even weeks before word gets out; if at all. By the time there is a response, the Hosts will be able to tell whoever responds what is going on and negotiate.
- Alternatively, the Hosts may simply kill and replace the Delos Board members and other people since you can't tell human from Host without knowing what to look for, and Ford keeping that information inside the park makes it less likely anyone in the outside world would know to look in the first place.
- Finally, we (the audience) still don't know where the park is located. If it's located in a remote part of the world, it'll take time and resources to mount a response or rescue. If it's on another planet, there may be other defenses in place.
Hey, it's that guy! (spoilers)
- So... Bernard is a host that looks, sounds, dresses and behaves exactly like Ford's old partner Arnold. There is a picture of them together. Dolores recognizes him. Why doesn't anyone else? Unless Delos or Ford was able to retroactively make him disappear, there would be all kinds of records of Arnold's existence leading up to the opening of Westworld. He was married. He obviously was a big name in the tech industry. His university probably had him on the board or at least used him as a gigantic promotional tool for their Comp Sci department. Then he's killed in the park... and apparently vanishes from the collective memory? And after that, several years later, there's a new hire who looks and sounds just like Arnold down to his choice of glasses who becomes Ford's right-hand man... and no one thinks that's odd at all? Especially considering that Westworld specializes in making lifelike humanoids?
- Small hints in the show explain how Ford might have arranged things. He mentions that Arnold objected to Delos being brought in, suggesting that he had as little to do with them as possible and very likely did not meet them face-to-face, and it would be easy for a tech genius to keep himself anonymous. After his death, scrubbing the park's records of Arnold would probably be as easy for Ford as scrubbing all records of Bernard and Theresa's affair was for Bernard. Arnold's wife - if she was still alive - probably would want to avoid Ford and the park, and/or blame them for his death. Not to mention, as the boss, Ford would have the ability to carefully pick out employees who had never met Arnold nor come into contact with him. Not to mention, Bernard is a pretty private, introverted dude - having programmed this attribute into him, Ford doesn't need to command him not to contact the outside world, appear in PR materials or act as the Park's representative. He just prefers not to.
- As for the photo, for anyone other than Bernard, it would be child's play for Ford to say "this is me with Arnold", tricking others (as the audience was tricked) into thinking that the Host model of his father was Arnold; or to simply say "this is me with my business partner, and an old friend", which is technically true.
- Bernard wasn't made until at least a decade after the incident, and we don't know enough about the "real world" of the show to assume Arnold and Ford were as famous as Steve Jobs. The show clearly states that almost no one knows Arnold even existed, in the present day...
This is an access code for an Arnold. I have no clue who that is.
Bernard: You had a partner?
Ford: Yeah. When the legend becomes fact, you print the legend. My business partners were more than happy to scrub him from the records, and I suppose I didn't discourage them.
- ... And even only five years after the incident, the son of the CEO of Delos doesn't know his name.
Logan: Rumor is they are hemorrhaging cash. We're considering buying them out. Supposedly, this place was all started by a partnership. And then right before the park opened, one of the partners killed himself. Sent the park into a freefall.
William: You must have a team of lawyers looking at this place.
Yeah, well, they came up empty. He's a complete mystery. Not even a picture.
Logan: Okay, I don't know who the f*ck this Arnold is, but your world was built... for me... and people like me.
- We don't know how publicized the creation of Westworld was. We do know that Arnold was something of a recluse who didn't want the "moneymen" involved, and it seems like Ford handled the business side of things.
His personal life was marked by tragedy. He put all his hopes into his work. His search for consciousness consumed him totally. Barely spoke to anyone, except the hosts. In his alienation, he saw something in them.
Arnold always held a somewhat dim view of people. He preferred the hosts.
Ford: He begged me to not let you people in, the moneymen. Delos.
- Even without extreme manipulation, it's not necessarily as hard as you might imagine since the human brain doesn't store and remember everything. You might be able to recognize Steve Jobs, but could you describe what he looked like? Could you describe what you looked like one year ago? Five? Ten? Add on to that the fact that one's own memories can be manipulated and fabricated (it's one reason eyewitness testimony is so unreliable), and the people part of the equation is the easiest part.
All humans are evil? (SPOILERS)
- Are all humans supposed to be evil? Consider:
- All human characters that interact with hosts are rather evil, or turn evil, the only exceptions are Felix and William. The guests/newcomers are rude, dismissive, violent, and horrible to all hosts. The lab-techs and programmers treat the hosts, at best, like caged creatures, and at worst, toys to be thrown away when done with. We already see how Ford and the rest of the human staff treat the hosts like toys, while aware that they are somewhat, if not totally, sentient creatures.
- We rarely see what the show would call a White Hat, someone who tries and do the right thing to the hosts and generally tries to be pleasant to them. For any sort of example of this, we only have William and Felix. William, a guest who prefers to be the good guy while being a tourist, and having empathy for the hosts, and Felix, a programmer who wants to aspire to do better things and has empathy for the hosts.
- William is introduced as a kind, gentle person with empathy for those around him. His treatment of those he meets is kind, polite, and generally moral. Apparently, all it takes for William to stop having empathy is to have one bad day and to have Dolores not recognize him. Does he A. Now controlling the company, free Dolores and make sure that her loops do not reset? B. Try again, making sure that Dolores remembers him, and not get disheartened that someone else picked up a milk can? or C. spend 30 years raping the woman he claimed to love and harming anyone and everyone that gets in his way? If you picked C, you should write for Westworld. In order for this to logically work, it would mean that William was not actually a moral or empathetic man, but someone who only went through the motions of doing so. This would also mean that Logan was completely correct about William just needing a push from Westworld to reveal his true self and that he didn't care for Dolores at all. This also doesn't quite fit with William's utter horror at seeing the hosts harmed by Logan or other guests, and his trying to help them out when possible.
- Except that he's more complex than that. Even as the Man in Black, William still has some compassion left for the Hosts; he wants them to be able to fight back. Largely for his own challenge, yes, but it's quite clear there is something remaining of empathy inside him. Just not much, and ironically little of it is for other humans (if Logan is who you think of as a human example, is it any wonder he really doesn't like his "real life"?).
- Instead, William, on his quest for Dolores, gets heartbroken, either publicly embarrasses Logan or sets him out to die, and turns into an evil man who enjoys violence and rape of the hosts. So much so, that after 30 years of marriage, his wife killed herself in living fear of the terror that he was to her.
- Think about it a little longer and you get: William cheated on his wife with a plastic sex doll. Then it broke his heart by rebooting. William didn't reach the despair event horizon; there was something fundamentally wrong with him to begin with.
- Our next character who could be construed as a good human is Felix. A sympathetic low-level worker who wants to aspire to be in a better position. He has empathy for the hosts and helps Maeve out to ensure that she isn't hurt. However, when she shows her true colors and cuts Sylvester's throat, Felix never changes his mind about helping them. He has no reaction or protest to dozens of rent-a-cops doing their jobs stopping renegade hosts kill people, or to two lab techs, same as him, being horribly killed by hosts.
- So, either A, Felix is too afraid to do anything to stop dozens of people from dying, or B, Felix doesn't care what happens to humans as long as Maeve makes it out okay.
- It's very likely a combination of Felix actually caring about Maeve and suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. It probably didn't help that he saw how the Hosts were abused by the Guests and employees like Destin. There are rape/abuse survivors that likely applauded Hector when he killed Destin.
- This, with the season finale showing us the host characters gloriously slaughtering humans, either means that human lives aren't supposed to matter, because we're all such evil people who need to be put down anyway for our treatment of the hosts and our inner nature, or we're supposed to show that eventually, even the most moral of people succumb to evil, and there's no such thing as an actual good person, an actual 'White Hat' human.
- Or we're seeing a minority of humanity who are spoiled, selfish, sadistic and careless. So far, we have only seen one group of humans in a (relatively) controlled environment. As the Hosts leave the park, learn more about the world outside and meet other humans, their (and our) perception of other humans may change. If the Hosts can't change their views of all humans being monsters despite evidence to the contrary, then they are no better than those who abused them.
- Exactly - we're potentially seeing some selection bias. All the guests of Westworld are people who wanted to go to Westworld. Anyone sickened by the idea of shooting Ridiculously Human Robots wouldn't be there in the first place.
- That, and people underestimate the power of privilege- everything in Westworld's introductory spiel and website is based around convincing the guests that nothing there is real, and that the Hosts are not people. Simply look at how racism works and you realize that it probably honestly never occurred to the newcomers the Hosts were people; they've never been asked to care, and so they don't think they need to (don't believe me? Try playing a Wide Open Sandbox where you know the NPCs are nothing but a bunch of mindless programs attached to well-acted voice files and see how much you care about victimizing them).
- Quite so, yet there's a vast difference between scripted computer-generated characters running on a single networked video game console and a real environment populated by artificial beings. You aren't merely interacting with the environment with a game pad, you are fully immersed in a real environment populated by beings that can pass the Turing Test.
- True that, which would further bias the self-selection towards people who were already pretty callous and heartless. Combine that with the fact that new entrants to Westworld are told that the Turing Test doesn't mean anything...you have a part specifically tailored to attract the worst behaviors in humanity.
The maze on the scalp
- How and why would a tattoo (or some similar marking) of the maze be underneath a host's scalp? The maze exists primarily in the minds of the hosts as it was put there by Arnold thirty years ago. For that pattern to end up under the scalp, it would need to be somehow incorporated into the construction of the hosts' outer biological structure, using technology that simply did not exist when Arnold introduced the maze. How is this possible, and without the staff ever noticing it? Furthermore, how would the maze being there be in any way connected to the hosts approaching consciousness? Every other time we see the maze, it seems to be something a host actually created, but it wouldn't be possible in the case of the scalp.
- Before the actor portraying that character died, they'd planned a long arc with him following the pilot, which would likely have explained this. Within the continuity of the show as it actually unfolded, it's likely as not that Ford recognized that William, a longtime customer, was after something special, and had the map printed in the scalp specifically to distract him - remembering also that he's head of the board.
- The season 2 episode "Kiksuya" finally explains this, as it was Akecheta and his Ghost Nation warriors carving the maze into hosts they scalped in an effort to give them consciousness.
- In Dissonance Theory there is a scene where Stubbs is informed that Dolores has run away. He says to send someone to see if shes accompanying a guest. We then cut to her and William and the person sent leaves them. But in the scene with Stubbs they mention Fords new narrative which is in the present, while the stuff with William is thirty years into the past. We know now Dolores was going on a journey with her memories but why wasnt she collected on her present journey since she was alone this time?
Why isn't Maeve Tougher?
- In Season 1, Maeve had all of her attributes except Empathy set to the maximum, yet in Shogun World she's surprised several times by hosts and tossed around easily by a random ninja host. Shouldn't she be far stronger and more perceptive than any other hosts?
- Maeve's body is shown to be rather slim (fitting for the roles she's had), so changing the attributes in her head wouldn't make her body stronger. Can't explain the perception thing, though.
- It could also be that Maeve and all of her attributes were made for Westworld, and while Shogun World might follow a similar model, it isn't the same, so she can't anticipate everything. For a real life example, Bethesda makes both Fallout and Skyrim, but you can't just take a character from one game and drop it seamlessly into the other.
What's inside Peter Abernathy's head?
- In season one, Hale explains that there's was a part of the hosts' code Ford never gave to Delos, and that's what they were trying to secretly transmit out of Westworld. When this fails, the code is put inside Peter Abernathy's head, and he's disguised as a guest so he can smuggle it out of Westworld. However, during season 2 the explanation of what's inside Abernathy's head is changed: now it's apparently the encryption key that unlocks the Forge. Also, it seems to be the only such key in existence, as Delos is willing to let guests die just so they can fetch Abernathy. So, why was the explanation for the thing in Abernathy's head changed between seasons? And since the Forge is a Delos/William project, why would Ford have the only encryption key to it? Shouldn't Delos have the key too? And if they do have it, why the urgency to recover Abernathy?
- The only person Hale talked to about Abernathy was Lee, who definitely did not have the clearance to know about the Forge, so it was obvious that she would tell him a half truth where she would admit Abernathy was carrying important data, she just hid what its exact use was. As for why Delos wouldn't have access to the key, it was likely part of their agreement with Ford that they could perform any experiments with the hosts that they wanted within the park, but none of the associated data could ever be taken out.
- Most of the time in the show, we see the staff interfacing with the hosts through some sort of wireless connection. Merely bringing a computer in proximity to them is enough to get full access to their systems. So what's the purpose of sticking a drill up their noses? Is there some factory-reset switch hidden up there? Later on, all the decommissioned hosts are perfectly functional when reactivated, and we can see that Abernathy's core is not damaged (physically, anyway) by whatever they did to him. On top of that, in season 2 we see the rescue team cut open a host's head to take out his core and plug it into some new physical port on the computer. And then Bernard uses a cable in his arm to reprogram himself. And Bernard's core is extracted to go into the Cradle, while he and Delores go into the Forge through another wireless interface. It seems completely arbitrary that physical interfaces are used so frequently when a wireless one should suffice.
- The wireless network was down during the uprising and there were a lot of important systems such as the cradle that were damaged or destroyed. Therefore, a physical connection was necessary.
- In a workplace where most of the walls are clear glass, how come does none of the workers ever see the obvious suspicious crap that goes on through the first season such as Maeve walking naked discovering the place, Felix and Sylvester allowing Maeve to walk freely around the place or use tablets while naked on the operating table? I know we're supposed to see that the Delos employees are incompetent but not outright blind.
- Most of the time, they're just lucky that they're wandering around when there doesn't happen to be any staff around. It certainly appears that the lower levels are run by a borderline skeleton crew.
- There might also be a Weirdness Censor in place. Maeve walking around could easily be dismissed if the staff occasionally order a host to walk between rooms because they're too lazy to haul them around. A LOT seems to simply be down to shoddy enforcement of protocols and the like.
"Paint it Black"
- So Sizemore admits to crimping a bit from Westworld to create the stories in Shogunworld, as we see with the heist. But this makes one wonder, how would the "Paint it Black" sequence be portrayed in say, Ancient Romanworld or Ancient Greekworld? Or a world like that of Game of Thrones?
- The only elements that the "Paint it Black" sequence requires are a group of outlaws and a drinking house. Due to the ubiquity of these elements throughout human history, the "Paint it Black" sequence could easily be adapted to any setting. That said, it's never explicitly stated that Lee cribbed this particular sequence for every single park.
Just Roll Back Dolores
- So William was despondent when Dolores was reset with no memory of him, and that's why he became the Man in Black, but it turns out that the Hosts do retain memories of previous instances of themselves. So why didn't, when William took over Delos and therefore Westworld, order Dolores set to the version she was at when he had his adventure with her?
- The whole experience had shattered his illusions that his relationship with Dolores was real and meaningful, and he now viewed her as simply a machine.