Sunday, December 11, 2016

A Quickie: From William to the Man in Black (Westworld)

One of the things that people have been saying after the Season 1 Finale of Westworld is that William being the Man in Black makes no sense. William was such a good man that someone as cruel as the Man in Black could never possibly be the man he becomes. That the change was too swift and sudden.

I'm here to tell you that William was never as good as he seemed to be.

William might not be one for violence or sexual desires but he was one to like to move up the corporate ladder. He was a business person which means he could be capable of terrible things. Not killing a lot of people but using any means to get to the top while still appearing humble even to himself.
We don't know William's feelings towards Logan's sister, his fiance. It's because William seems so innocent that we think he truly loved her. He pushes away the chance at sex with Hosts because he says he loves her. That's the noble thing to do. The good guy thing to do.

However, he abandons all thoughts of his fiance once he gets into a relationship with Dolores. How true can a man be if he so easily goes to another's arms?

So it could be that there was more of a selfish reason for William to marry Logan's sister. It could be that he saw this marriage as a way for him to gain yet greater power in Delos.
The more devilish side of William's character may be hard to see upon initial viewing as he seems so innocent. His physical appearance is one that better describes a nerd than a serial killer. He seems to do such good guy things which means he can't possibly have a darker nature. Right?

Upon entering Westworld he becomes smitten with Dolores. He finds, in her, something real and will do anything for her. It's because of her that he makes such a long journey to find a way to free her. If only Escalante hadn't been buried, their love story might have had a different ending.
Besides William's romance with Dolores, he also opens up to his darker side. At the start his violence was justified and could be seen as a good guy thing. He kills to defend Dolores and save Logan when stealing the nitroglycerin. He abandons Logan after the man has shown himself to be a little crazy and it being safer to go on without him. You can argue that he did kill the dying boy and, if he did, it was that the boy was already dying and had been on the side trying to harm him. Well him and the woman he loves.
But then things take a darker turn. He kills a whole group of Hosts. You could argue that it was to keep Dolores safe but it was still overkill. Then he starts killing because he likes it with no other real reason.
The final thing to happen in his first visit to Westworld was planning to take over Delos. He let Logan ride naked on a horse and continued on without his former friend. If William even considered Logan to be a friend in the first place.
Explanation of Westworld

William was always selfish and the only reason you wouldn't think so is his outward demeanor. He held himself one way while being the opposite. The cruelty that came out was always there. Ford even says that Westworld is all about the journey of discovering yourself. You find who you really are when you go to the park. William just happened to find out he wasn't a good guy.

Dolores even senses this when she tells William that she isn't the key to something, she merely is. William always wanted to find a purpose in his life even if he had to create it. At first it was Delores and then it was the Maze.
The ease with which William is able to perform dark deeds is because the good guy facade is just that: a facade.

There is a darker man underneath and one that is more than ready to break free. It is only because Westworld is so immersive that the other side of him is able to show itself. After he leaves Westworld for the first time he keeps the darker side of himself hidden and only lets it roam free once he enters the park again.

But though he does a good job of hiding his true self, his wife figures it out and kills herself.
The truth is that William was always searching for meaning and even admits that. He finds meaning in Dolores and after she fails to keep his interest, he just moves on. He will always be moving on until he finds something real and true. Something that he won't get bored of and abandon.

The real question about William's future is if that will ever happen.
Westworld did to William what it does to everyone: revealed his true self.

When you go on any soul searching quest of who you are you run into some dark areas. You run into parts of yourself that you like to pretend don't exist. You make excuses for your actions and pretend to be who you want to be, even if that is just a facade. A cover that protects you from who you are.

Say what you want about William's journey of self-discovery, but it was brave. He saw who he really was and didn't run away from himself: he embraced it for better or worse.

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