After Episode 1 of Westworld this week, the internet has exploded with theories about HBO's newest hit. With secrets spread across a corporation, humanoid hosts and a mystery man in black, viewers know there's an insane amount of depth to the plot of the show, and haven't wasted any time jumping in and voicing their opinion.
One such theory recently cropped up over on The Coli from a user called TheGodling, and combined with a comment made on Reddit by the series co-creator, Jonathan Nolan, I got to admit, it seems damn convincing. Check it out:
Throughout the episode, flies are constantly referred to. In the very first scene we learn that the hosts don't react to flies as normal humans do, when a fly crawls across Dolores' face and eye.
This is later reinforced when he see the human guest swatting away flies while on the hunt for Hector Escaton:
But then moments later a fly also crawls across the face of a malfunctioning host who makes no move to wave it off:
Despite the breakdown, after the Sheriff gets back to the lab for diagnosis, Bernard talks about how the host's core code is in tact meaning "he literally couldn't hurt a fly."
So why are they important?
So after all this chat about flies, why are they so important? Well the theory posits that how the hosts act with flies becomes important because of the introduction of the reveries. Ford's reverie update allows hosts to recall human gestures from past experiences that make them seem more human - such as the saloon prostitute rubbing her lip. Obviously being the wild west there are flies all over Westworld, so the hosts must constantly see the guests swatting flies. However, this is one movement that they shouldn't be able to replicate, because it goes against their core coding not to harm a living thing (the flies in Westworld are the only live animals). So, in adding reveries to the hosts, Ford and the programmers have accidentally created a paradox in the system, and this is what's causing the hosts to glitch.
But what of Dolores, who seems to have overcome the glitch to be able to swat flies? Well, we were told she was the oldest host in the park, meaning that her artificial intelligence had probably evolved farther than any of the others. And, because Dolores is such an old host (at least 30 years old, according to what the Man in Black says at the start of the episode), she has so many memories to draw upon, meaning she probably has far more reveries than any other host.
So, with Dolores being so old and having progressed far beyond the other hosts in the park, it would probably make sense that the programmers have no idea just how far evolved "good old Dolores" is. Nor do they realize that Dolores is simply playing along with the programmers, and answering questions the way she knows they want them answered. Basically: Dolores is intentionally passing the tests the employees give her in order to stay inside park and not be sent to cold storage.
Crazy right? Well hold on to your hats, pardner, because It's about to get a whole lot more convincing.
Over on Reddit about a month ago (weeks before Westworld premiered), a user in the Shower Thoughts subreddit made a post titled "I'm not scared of a computer passing the turing test... I'm terrified of one that intentionally fails it." This on its own, completely aside from Westworld, is a pretty scary prospect. The Turing test tests a computers/androids ability to display behavior indistinguishable from that of a humans. But then things got more interesting when Westworld co-creator Jonathan Nolan chimed in on his account and commented below "Boy have we got a show for you!"
Did Nolan unintentionally just confirm this whole theory that Dolores has evolved to a human level and is fooling all the humans employees of Westworld? It sure looks like it.
Watch Westworld when it returns to HBO with Episode 2 'Chestnut' on October 9.