Warning: Spoilers ahead for Westworld, Episode 8 "Trace Decay"
Well there's no doubt #Westworld Episode 8 has aired, but I'm just not totally sure how much of it I even grasped. One thing's for sure, this show is written by absolute geniuses, and we're all just along for the ride.
After the shock murder of boss bitch Theresa Cullen in last week's episode, this week it was revealed that actually Ford wasn't as predictable as we imagined and rather than just create a host-Theresa, instead he just told everyone she slipped and fell. Along with mad Ford, mad Maeve also made an appearance in Episode 8 and now she's gained the ability to manipulate hosts and is in the process of forming an army of allies. Altogether it looks like we can expect an explosive penultimate episode next week, and as for the season finale? I can't even imagine.
But before we get ahead of ourselves thinking about what's to come, first take a look at the four things you might have missed from Westworld, Episode 8 "Trace Decay."
1. Ford wasn't making a Theresa-host, he was making an Elsie-host
Alright so I admit it, I was totally off the mark last week when I predicted Ford was building a Theresa replacement to cover up his murder by proxy. This week it was revealed that instead he went the old fashioned route of just making her death look like an accident, but the question still remains: Why was he building a new host?
Now that a Theresa-bot is out of the question, the most likely answer is that he's going to replace Elsie, who we learned was indeed murdered by Bernard. Unlike Theresa, no one knows that Elsie is dead yet and instead Bernard and Ford have everyone believing she's on her scheduled time off-site. It seems possible Elsie will either return next episode or in the season finale, and when she does, I doubt she'll be going off on any side quests of her own.
2. Ford quoted Frankenstein
"One man's life or death were but a small price to pay for the acquirement of the knowledge which I sought, for the dominion I should acquire."
There are many influences of art and literary works throughout Westworld, but it was Ford's quote from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein that stood out during Episode 8. Ford is very obviously a Dr Frankenstein type, a man who thinks himself godlike, doing whatever it takes to make his experiment of creating living creatures viable (heck, the Delos staff even refer to the hosts as "creatures" in many episodes).
But of course, in Frankenstein the creature eventually turns on its creator, killing his loved ones before the story ultimately ends in Dr Frankenstein's own death. Will Westworld head in a similar direction?
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3. There was even more evidence to suggest William is the Man in Black
For weeks now fans have theorized that not only are we seeing multiple timeframes in the show, but that the character of William is actually a younger version of the Man in Black. First we had evidence thanks to the old and new Westworld logos popping up, then last week there were some very revealing book-related quotes, and finally this week we had a reappearing host, and some new information about the Man in Black's life outside of Westworld.
The first host that William met when he entered the park was Angela, played by Talulah Riley; she helped William choose his costume including his white hat before seeing him onto the train and into the park. This week Angela made a reappearance, however this time she was on a totally new narrative — something which almost certainly couldn't have happened within the time William entered the park. As if that wasn't enough to prove that William and the MiB are the same person, the MiB even commented "It's you, I figured they retired you," after he came across her in Episode 8.
In addition there was also the timing of William's upcoming nuptials and the MiB talking about his wife. William's wedding is planned for just after he leaves Westworld, and the MiB mentions that his wife of 30 years recently died. If William really is the MiB, and has something to do with the critical failure which occurred 30 years ago, this timeframe fits up perfectly. Then there was also the matter of the MiB telling Teddy how Westworld "reveals your true self," something which basically echoed what William said to Dolores in Episode 7, when he told her that Westworld "reveals your deepest self. It shows you who you really are." Pretty compelling stuff! Convinced yet?
But speaking of multiple timeframes...
4. Dolores' flashback gives the show a third timeframe
We already knew there were two timeframes going on in Westworld (one in present day with the Man in Black, and one set 30 years ago with William) however this week we learned — thanks to Dolores flashbacks — that there was a third timeframe in play, one from about 34 - 35 years ago, probably before the park even opened.
During Dolores' flashbacks we saw a scene where the Delos employees are going through training with the hosts, teaching them basic interactions. But soon it was revealed that this scene was the precursor to the massacre that Dolores had been witnessing in flashbacks, and in fact the person who shot all the hosts was in fact a gun-toting Dolores.
What's more, this was the very same scene that we saw in Ford's flashback from Episode 3 when he was telling Bernard about Arnold and what happened to him. Dolores' flashbacks of this time period are becoming more and more clear, so it seems inevitable that we'll see this era in more detail some time soon, and maybe even see the real Arnold — if he exists at all.
Westworld returns to HBO with Episode 9 on Sunday, November 27.
What did you think of Westworld Episode 8 "Trace Decay"
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