Season 1 of #Westworld is reaching its crescendo, and fans are running rampant with theories and speculation. Suddenly a character briefly touching their left arm has the potential to be well-disguised foreshadowing, and the colour of someone's shirt is "proof" of any number of theories.
And you can hardly blame them; this is, after all, a show that's absolutely laden with cultural references, blatant metaphors and rich symbolism. Even at this late stage in to the season, it's still hard to tell the red herrings from the Easter Eggs. It pays to suspect that everything could mean something.
The recent revelation that Bernard is a host has given us a lot of food for thought. With humans being virtually indistinguishable from hosts, everyone is a suspect in the secret cyborg stakes. Here are the seven Westworld humans most likely to secretly be hosts:
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As far as minor characters go, Stubbs is the most likely host. His antagonistic jock personality leaves a lot to be desired, and it wouldn't be surprising if he was literally built to do one job. It would also explain why that malfunctioning host attacked him in the park. And wouldn't it make sense for Ford to create a robot and "hire" him as head of park security to ensure his secret murder cabin isn't busted?
Just look at Stubbs' confrontation with Bernard over Theresa's death. Yes, it's his job to investigate the incident and question those close to Theresa— especially her secret lover. And he certainly looks suspicious of Bernard's denial (or lack of memory) of their relationship. But maybe Ford sent Stubbs to question Bernard to make sure he really had forgotten all about his connection with Theresa. Well played, Ford.
6 & 5. Felix & Sylvester
First of all, I'd like to point out the fact that two technicians both named after cartoon cats working together is so comical that it's basically enough to prove that host theory all on its own. Either that's lazy writing, or Delos HR have a real sense of humour when pairing up their employees.
But the strongest evidence that Felix and Sylvester are hosts comes from a comment made by Maeve in Episode 8. As we discovered when Maeve maxed out her own stats, hosts' attribute levels are a reference to Dungeons and Dragons. Maeve's charm is set at 18, the maximum natural level a D&D character can have for any given attribute. Maeve cranks up a select few of her stats, particularly apperception:
When Maeve unexpectedly springs to life on the chopping board (eliciting a hilarious profanity-laden response from Sylvester), Maeve drops another subtle D&D reference:
"Even at a 14, you were never a match for me. Turns out your friend has a little more compassion than you. He couldn't snuff out a life just like that."
This could indicate one of two things. The first scenario is that she's simply referencing her prior high intelligence level of 14, the highest stat granted to a host. In other words, even before she re-rolled her attributes, she could still outsmart Sylvester.
But the other possibility is far more tantalizing. While she was messing around with that fancy technician remote, Maeve was prying in to more than just her own software. Her newfound super intelligence allowed her to hack in to the database and discover that Sylvester and Felix are hosts, with their own set of attributes. Sylvester has a 14 in maybe intelligence or perception, and a lower compassion level than Felix— hence why he's much more ruthless towards Maeve, and less likely to empathise with her than his meek coworker.
Not to mention his quick recovery from Maeve's throat slash, which is quickly becoming her signature move. Sure, medical technology is pretty advanced in the future, but would a regular human really recover that quickly? Kind of reminds me of Teddy's ghetto blood transfusion.
4. Man In Black
The predominant theory about the Man in Black (MiB) is that he's actually William in the future, and the show is existing on dual (or more) timelines.
In Episode 8, we find out the truth about what happened between MiB and wholesome prairie Maeve. After murdering her daughter in front of her, Maeve turns on MiB and slashes his throat. And yet he doesn't quite react the way you'd expect someone to after they've had their throat cut with a sharp knife. He's definitely injured (as you can see by the blood), but otherwise appears nonchalant. Could it be that he's a host with his pain levels turned way down?
Of course, this is grasping at straws a little— most likely Maeve was using a special dull knife that can harm hosts within the park, but barely has any effect on guests. But MiB as a host would explain his fascination with the Maze, a quest that appears only to serve hosts; a sort of path to enlightenment and perhaps even freedom. His recent heart-to-heart with Teddy had him spilling the beans over his past— the presence of an emotional backstory definitely sets off alarm bells.
And don't forget his mysterious comment over his history with the park:
Again, the big theory surrounding William is that he is MiB, and what we're seeing is a flashback to how he met Dolores. But what if what we're seeing isn't actually the past, but a present-day Dolores being accompanied by a host version of William? He does make reference to his life outside of the park; back stories are almost a dead giveaway for hosts.
Host William could be a ploy to encourage Dolores to remember her past and lead her to the Maze; a sort of trigger for the significance of what had once been between the two of them. Or maybe he was sent in to distract her from finding the Maze— after all, why did he lead her away from the church and the buried town in such a haste? What was his hurry? What's this guy's agenda?
So it looks like Westworld pulled a Hollywood and killed off their only gay. Disappointing move, show writers. Elsie's death isn't officially confirmed yet, but Bernard's violent history with his female colleagues indicates that their encounter in the theatre was no friendly hug.
But this won't necessarily be the last we see of Elsie. There's been a lot of speculation over who Ford is building in his quaint little cabin of horrors, and all signs point to Elsie. This way she can return to work, with all of Delos none the wiser, and pose no threat to uncovering whatever she was digging up before her solo recon mission.
There was a theory that Theresa would come back as a host, but considering she's already been confirmed as dead, that would be kind of awkward. Unless the writers are going to pull a Stranger Things and just hope everyone rolls with her return from the dead.
There's no denying that Arnold is still pulling strings in the hosts' minds from the grave, but did he leave more of his legacy behind than code? Assuming he really is dead and not still alive and well— perhaps in the centre of the Maze— he may have transferred his consciousness to a host body before his death, Chappie-style.
Which leads to a whole new question: which body is Arnold hiding in? My money's on this creepy little girl:
Who do you think will be revealed to be a host in next week's episode of Westworld?