Warning: Spoilers ahead for Westworld Episode 3, "The Stray."
As we've come to expect, Westworld provided another thrilling episode this week with Episode 3, "The Stray." As some of the human employees entered the park to find a host gone walkabout, we delved further into the narratives of other hosts, as well as learned about the origins of the park and the parks other creator, the mysterious Arnold.
After being presented with so many mysterious scenarios in the last two episodes, it was nice to get some background on Westworld, as well as to gain some understanding around Mr Ford's sometimes sinister approach to the hosts. Though for every answer or piece of insight the audience is given, it does seem as though several more mysteries are added - but hey, that's all part of the fun!
But between stray hosts, bandit shoot outs and Dolores firing a gun this episode, you were sure to miss a moment or two. So without further ado, take a look at the five things you might have missed In the Westworld Episode 3:
1. Dolores is a total Alice
At the beginning of the episode, Bernard gives Dolores a copy of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, something that he reveals he used to read with his late son, Charlie.
Aside from potentially dating Westworld to around 1865, which is when the book was released (presuming of course, that Bernard was giving Dolores an era-appropriate book), the novel was also a pretty strong metaphor for Dolores herself.
Dolores with her blonde curls and very Alice-like dress is basically the mirror image of the titular character. And knowing that Dolores is currently overcoming her programming and seems about to embark on her own journey outside of the world she knows (most probably into the maze), the story of Alice falling into a rabbit hole seems to apply to Dolores perfectly. Not to mention that the section of the book that her and Bernard start to discuss seems to sum up Dolores' current dilemma perfectly. Here's the full passage:
"Dear, dear! How queer everything is to-day! And yesterday things went on just as usual. I wonder if I've been changed in the night. Let me think. Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I'm not the same, the next question is 'Who in the world am I?' Ah, that’s the great puzzle!”
Is it just me or is that last line rather prophetic sounding? Seems to hint that Dolores is about to enter the maze — a literal puzzle — to find out who she is once and for all.
2. The name of the saloon was very cool
After Teddy and a guest take down a criminal, they enter into the saloon for a drink. As the pair enter we quickly see that the name of the business is the Mariposa Saloon & Hotel. The word 'mariposa' is Spanish for 'butterfly,' which in itself is a pretty word and nice name, but it's also a nice little nod to what the hosts are currently experiencing - a sort of metamorphosis.
Like caterpillars spinning themselves into a cocoon and emerging as a butterfly, the hosts are also undergoing a transformation. While most are still in their initial 'caterpillar' stage, gathering information, knowledge and reveries, some hosts like Dolores and Maeve have moved onto a sort of cocoon stage where they're beginning to go past their initial programming. Then, at some point in the not-to-distance-future they will no doubt emerge into the butterfly stage where the hosts realize their true potential, and possibly become fully conscious. The park employees can only hope that when that happens, they stay as harmless and as beautiful as a butterfly and don't use their new found consciousness to do harm.
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3. Hosts need to be authorized to use weapons
After Stubbs and Elsie entered Westworld to find the stray, they came across his original group who had been stuck in a loop for two days as they argued over who was to cut the wood. As it turned out, none of the group could cut the wood because the missing host was the only one with authorization to use the axe.
The revelation that only certain hosts are authorized to use weapons puts a whole new spin on things, especially concerning Dolores. Obviously Dolores is not authorized to use a weapon, and this was shown when Teddy attempted to teach her how to fire a gun. While at first it might seem like Dolores couldn't mentally bring herself to fire a weapon (telling Teddy "I can't"), after learning about authorization we now know that Dolores' programming is what won't allow her to pull a trigger.
But, by the end of the episode it seems like Dolores is tripping her programming (remembering the host who was her original father, repeating "interrupt... this... time") and reveals that she can shoot a gun after she steals the bandit's gun and shoots him with it. How long until Dolores has overcome her programming completely and can shoot a guest?
4. Ford's worried Bernard might go the same way as Arnold
After learning about Ford's original partner Arnold, it's suddenly clear why Ford is so intent on employees treating the hosts as objects and not humans, and why he flipped out so dramatically when one of the programmers draped a host with a towel. Because of the hosts looking so life-like, there's the inevitable pull to treat them like humans, and perhaps fall into the same trap as Arnold and attempt to create consciousness.
However, as viewers know, it seems like Bernard is already falling into the same trap as Arnold, and has formed an unhealthy relationship with at least one of the hosts, Dolores. Notably, Bernard always questions Dolores when she's fully dressed, and seems to be questioning her to see how her thought process is developing. Dolores has even almost become Bernard's sounding board for his issues or musings. Is this another sign that Bernard is going the way of Arnold, who in his final days and weeks only communicated with hosts? It sure seems like it - especially seeing as though the one thing that may have kept him rooted in the real world, his son, is now gone.
5. Is 'Arnold' telling the hosts to self destruct?
After Elsie and Stubbs spent the best part of a day tracking down a stray host, the host manages to free himself as Stubbs was about to cut his head off. However, just when it looks as thought the host is about to hurt Elsie, he smashes his own head repeatedly with a huge rock until he appears to kill himself.
Initially this behavior seems totally whack, but considering the host had wandered off course, it seems likely that he was actually under the influence of the Arnold voice and searching for something, but became trapped before he could find it. Because the host's search was thwarted by Elsie and Stubbs, and his head was about to be taken back to be analyzed, it makes sense that Arnold (or what/who ever the voice the host are hearing is) commanded the host to destroy his central processor — which is located in his head — to prevent the park employees knowing that he had be tampered or altered in anyway.
Bonus: Debussy's 'Reverie' was playing as Bernard and Ford talked
This moment was cleverly picked up by Redditor HoneyNutNealios, but as Ford and Bernard go to talk in his office, the host begins to play Claude Debussy's 'Reverie' on the piano. It seems like a beautiful little detail to add in the episode given that Ford's reveries were thought to have kicked off many of the problems in Westworld in the first place.
Watch Westworld when it returns with Episode 4 on October 23
What are your thoughts on Westworld Episode 3?