Monday, November 21, 2016
Mini-Review: Westworld "Trace Decay"
In this review of the Westworld episode "Trace Decay" there will be spoilers. So if you haven't seen the episode, stop reading now and go see it before continuing.
The Man in Black (MiB) has been a mysterious figure throughout the show. We haven't learned anything about his past, or at least it hasn't been clearly stated, but in "Trace Decay" we got a nice little helping of information about the mysterious man.
Westworld allows people to discover themselves and who the MiB is in the park isn't how he is outside of it. However, his wife saw the darker part of himself he hid and so committed suicide. This sent MiB into a spiral of anguish which eventually lead him to the park yet again.
Either he realizes he is in a game and can't really get into Westworld. Or, the more frightening possibility, he doesn't care about killing people. Whether the people be Hosts or humans.
This...I don't know how to feel about it. He is a bad man but I can't think of him as a villain. He has been committing horrible acts but he still has to do a few more things to make me think of him as a pure villain. Of course I'm a person that doesn't consider Hannibal Lecter a villain as he's a much more complex character than good or evil.
So take that for what you will.
After the MiB killed her daughter, Maeve seemed nearly impossible to control. The MiB even commented before she died that she truly seemed alive for once. It is as though pain and grief triggered something in the Host. It is also if her dying in the Maze symbol was for the audience to know that she was entering the Maze.
The theories that the Maze is a way for Hosts to become sentient, fully alive in other words, would seem to have a little more meat on them after this one scene.
Anyways...one of the changes that is made is that she can actually kill humans if she so chooses. She demonstrates this by slicing Sylvester's neck but doesn't allow him to die. She gets Felix to heal him as having a dead body would bring too much attention to her.
So, to clarify, Felix and Sylvester have just given an extremely angry robot the ability to kill. Do you want to create a Terminator? Because that's how you create a Terminator.
She would make one awesome villain, which seems to be the road she's going down, if she does survive.
There was a nice Westworld theory that Bernard was modeled after Arnold Weber, Ford's partner, which seems to have been disproved this episode. It turns out that Bernard was originally created to help make emotions in Hosts more complex. The Anthony Hopkins character refers to the simplistic emotions of the early Hosts as "primary colors".
Of course this doesn't rule the theory out completely as Bernard might have been modeled after Arnold. Just that the original goal of creating him wasn't for Ford to control his former partner.
So maybe it's me overthinking Ford's word choices to imply that he isn't human. He says "human engineers" that could imply he's a Host. Of course it could be that the new engineers aren't human which implies more than one worker at Westworld is a Host. But I think he is indicating he is a Host.
There does seem to be some genuine emotion to Ford and yet he is callous enough to do what is needed to stay safe. This makes the character complex as he does care but his own survival is the thing most important to him.
Ford claims he is also keeping Bernard safe but the man might just see that as a bonus. Something that isn't needed, but is good anyways. Which implies Ford considers Bernard a friend.
*Maeve might become Charlotte Hale
*Dolores can't tell when she is so we don't know when her story is happening, might be across multiple timelines
*Picture of the Maze was revealed when they were diagnosing Maeve
*A Minotaur, which one of the Hosts that the MiB encountered was dressed up as, is related to mazes