Warning: Spoilers ahead for Westworld Episode 8, "Trace Decay," and the original film.
It's been a few days since the latest chapter in the ever-fascinating Westworld saga, and fans are still trying to figure out the mysteries behind HBO's sci-fi thriller. But amidst the deeper character development and possible evidence of another big character twist, this week's episode also may have confirmed an important plot point from the source film.
Before we delve into this topic, here's the preview for "Trace Decay" to refresh your memory of the episode:
Are your spines properly re-chilled? Good, now let's dive in to potentially the next big twist for HBO's latest hit series.
We learned in "Trace Decay" that Ford is the one behind Elsie's disappearance and that Ford has been tampering with hosts' memories for years, erasing Bernard's memory of apparently killing Elsie as well as attempting to erase Maeve's memory of having a daughter in a previous narrative, despite still having memories of her daughter.
But the most compelling plot line of the episode was The Man in Black and Teddy's journey to find and kill the maniacal Wyatt, Teddy's former union army sergeant. Seeing Teddy's transition into a darker character through slight narrative adjustment has been captivating to watch, but the introduction of antagonist Wyatt has given Teddy a better emotional motivator than the initial one of saving of Dolores. In introducing Wyatt's character, the show has seemingly started the transition into the next phase of Westworld's conflicts.
Westworld Is Not The Only Park Out There
For those who have seen the original movie, you know that this is not a theory, but for those who haven't, I'll explain.
In the original film, Delos is very much a company offering realistic entertainment, however, unlike the series, not only is Delos one large amusement park, they have not one, but three different "worlds" in the park, including West World, Medieval World and Roman World. When the hosts started breaking down and the two main guests are fighting their way out of West World, they end up in the Medieval and Roman Worlds, discovering both dead guests and hosts.
While the show has deviated from the source material to expand storytelling and character development, the biggest reason this multi-world park is still possible is thanks to its multiple timeframes.
It's been confirmed that the show takes place in at least two different timeframes, The Man in Black's story being told in the present day while William's story is being told approximately 30 years prior, one of the biggest hints to that being the different logos on display during each story.
In William's time, Logan mentions that to attend the park, one must pay an outrageous $40,000 per day to stay in the park (Disneyland passes don't seem too expensive anymore, do they?). Seeing as how the park is supposed to be catered for anyone to enjoy, chances are Logan and William are attending the park very early into its inception, which means that not only does The Man in Black's story take place much further into the present day (there's even an influx of park attendance during his story), but it also suggests that due to Westworld's long-running success, it's very feasible that more worlds are being worked on or possibly are already in operation during MiB's timeline.
This possibility has also been hinted at with some of the various villains seen during MiB's time, particularly the difficult to kill horned cultist that attacks him and Teddy multiple times during their journey. While the seemingly invincible enemy looks like a crazed cultist that could be part of the western theme — and all the cultists are led by Wyatt — it's what happens in the final minutes of the episode that make it feel like the cultists are not just part of Westworld.
At the end of "Trace Decay," Teddy had MiB tied up and interrogated him after remembering MiB taking Dolores away from the first episode. After The Man in Black told Teddy his need to find a purpose in his life through the maze, Angela, the host that greets all guests before they enter the park that Teddy and MiB "rescued" from Wyatt's cultists, reveals herself to be part of Wyatt's crew and stabs Teddy in the shoulder with an arrow, telling him it's time to return to Wyatt.
As Teddy lays on the ground in pain from the arrow, he and the tied-up MiB watch as more of Wyatt's cultists walk out from the woods in the background. But what's interesting to see is some of the weapons and outfits some of the cultists have. Many are wielding swords, shields and broadaxes with the majority of the group also wearing armor reminiscent of knights from the medieval era, practically solidifying the potential for another "world" to be in operation or under construction nearby Westworld.
While still not revealed in detail, Ford has been planning a new narrative of some kind, relocating and digging up an entire town to create it. Though the area is still primarily desert, there is no reason to believe that this new narrative and area could not be the ground site for an extension or premiere of the Medieval World from the original film.
Plus, with Programming's struggles trying to contain the glitches occurring in Westworld, it's entirely possible that Wyatt's "cultists" are strays from Medieval World that are now a part of the Westworld narrative.
With only two episodes left before the finale, thins are ramping up and the potential for combining the parks might finally become a reality.
Here's the trailer for the next entry in HBO's Westworld, "The Well-Tempered Clavier" for Sunday, Nov. 27: