Just like finding a dead spider in your bunch of bananas, a hair in your soup or discovering that Nickelback will be warming up for your favorite band, more often than not the good things in life are hopelessly ruined by the bad. Unfortunately HBO's latest cash cow, Westworld, is no exception to this disappointing tradition.
With its exquisite acting, intriguing storylines and visually arresting cinematography, Westworld is a masterclass in how to construct a television narrative, but for one small snag: Why on earth would the parks resident "butchers," Felix and Sylvester help Maeve on her quest for ultimate Host sentience/park dominance?
In one of the most under characterized, under developed storylines in an otherwise brilliant web of cleverly constructed narrative arks, Felix and Sylvester stick out like the red thumbs their crimson butcher aprons mark them out to be. Luckily, with two Episodes still to go before the Season Finale, there's hope that the writers may be able to salvage their storyline. Here's how.
The Problem With Felix And Sylvester
The problem with Felix and Sylvester isn't that they're helping Maeve become a sentient being, it's the fact that they currently have no clear motive for doing so. Yes, we can argue that Felix wants to help her as he's fallen for her charms and that Sylvester is terrified she'll tell management that he's been indulging in some secret Host necrophilia, but neither of these options really merit firstly them losing their jobs, secondly putting their lives and risk and thirdly jeopardizing the safety of everyone in the park.
This lack of motive became even more apparent when they were both given opportunities to clearly avert the impending Host uprising but chose not to. The very fact that they were able to hack into Maeve's personality mainframe on her request and proceeded to make her terrifyingly clever when they could quite have easily have solved all of their problems by whacking those levels way down to an IQ score that even Kylie Jenner would struggle to reach, is either a huge plot flaw or an indicator that a bigger picture is in motion here. Let's take a look at theories for the latter.
Motive No.1: Felix & Sylvester Are Working For The Board
With the introduction of Charlotte, the Boards' most prominent representative, the past few Episodes have made it undeniably clear that Delos wants to get their hands on Ford's data to understand how he has created the Westworld Universe. Consequently, this theory suggests that the board is encouraging Maeve to escape the park, giving them access to all of her delicious programming.
Sylvester and Felix are therefore either working directly for them, pretending to have their reservations so that Maeve doesn't suspect she is walking straight into a trap, or they are working for them inadvertently, the board making sure everyone is turning a blind eye to their many inconspicuous meetings with the feisty madam.
Motive No.2: Felix & Sylvester Are Working For Ford
Given that Felix and Sylvester seem to be able to illegally reprogram a Host within a clearly visible glass room, not to mention the fact that Felix took Maeve on an epic tour of the entire facility, and not one person battered an eyelid, this theory suggests that Ford knows what they're up to and has permitted it. Seeing as he is the all seeing all knowing presence both within the park and amongst his employees, it is impossible to believe that Ford did not notice that Maeve's core code was being seriously messed with.
Yet the fact that he hasn't interfered with their little rendezvous' suggests that he wants them all to pursue this path, perhaps to distract the board as he unleashes his grand, inevitably sinister, narrative into the park. Or perhaps Maeve leading a Host uprising is integral to his storyline, Felix and Sylvester being mere pawns in his larger, more complex game.
Motive No.3: Felix & Sylvester Are Hosts
Possibly one of the simplest explanations as to why Felix and Sylvester are helping Maeve is that they too, are Hosts. Firstly, they both have the names of cartoon cats, which coincidently is also the name of the domestic cats wilder ancestor, the 'Felis Sylvestris.' This suggests that they were created to work together and that their creator had either a sense of humor or, as they were created by Ford, a more pretentious, ideological namesake in the idea that they are between being Hosts in the park and human, like the 'Felis Sylvestris,' not quite domesticated, but not fully feral. Not to mention the imagery of them both re-animating or catching birds. Oh, and then there's this image of what appears to be Felix's face hanging as a Host prototype in Ford's office:
Then there is the scene in Episode Eight where Maeve slashes Sylvester's throat and Felix immediately burns his skin to fuse the gaping wound, which is something they do to repair the damaged Hosts when they arrive in their dock. This suggests that not only are they both Hosts, but they are sentient Hosts, aware of their animatronic status. Further, in the same Episode Maeve says to Sylvester:
This indicates that he has also been robotically programmed, and that she has read both his and Felix's personality coding, later suggesting that Felix has a higher compassion rating than Sylvester. It also implies that as we see her doing in Episode Eight, that Maeve's intelligence is now so high that she is able, like Ford, to completely control the other Hosts in the park, Felix and Sylvester therefore becoming nothing but her helpless little puppets.
Motive No.4: The Entire Workforce Are Hosts
How do you get an entirely controllable workforce who will work for free and technically have no workers rights? You create them of course! As Ford said to Theresa before her untimely passing in Episode Seven "I built all of this," we can only presume that he meant exactly what he said, that every person aside from the Guests that we've been introduced to is actually one of Ford's Host creations.
This explains how Felix and Maeve managed to walk around the entire of HQ without being detected — because they "didn't look like anything" to the other Host employees, i.e. they were essentially invisible, and it would confirm Ford as being the true puppet master he believes himself to be.