***Spoilers Warning: Spoilers for Westworld through Season 1, Episode 9 follow. Spoilers***
Here we are, near the dawn of Westworld‘s season finale, desperate to put all the puzzle pieces together and somehow try to beat the Nolan/Joys at their own game. (What’s that about? ) Thing is, the series creators have been very kindly putting clues right in front of us, and despite my tendency to shy away from the simplest conclusions, so far those have panned out (multiple timelines, Hostly BernArnold, and it certainly looks like that William is the Man in Black thing is happening). With the Hosts about to march on Westworld employees and possibly (some of them) break out of their controlled environment, it’s difficult to envision where the series can go in a new season. As much as we love Maeve, I can’t see following an arc on her new life in The Big City, just a synthetic girl in a new world … turning sitcom-ish, as she learns human lifestyle ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. I have some thoughts on a possible surprise cliffhanger that’s a little shall we say, out there, but for a few minutes, I’m going to do my best to base thoughts in the reality we’ve been given — photos and a preview of Episode 10, “The Bicameral Mind”.
First the pictures; poor Teddy is again in shock (header photo)as he comes to a realization about his part in Wyatt’s (most likely, Dolores) decimation of Escalante; blue dress Dolores is remembering herself in the same town, and with the Man in Black, sees her own grave marker; Maeve, Hector and Armistice with Felix the Sympathizer, getting ready to attack and make their escape.
(Those gloves still bother me. They’re most certainly a callback to the original film; hands were the only part of the androids the technicians couldn’t get right. The Man in Black has worn them the entire season, and that’s not just a cosplay thing.)
At first viewing, the video preview mightn’t seem to give much away, though there are a few intriguing shots telegraphed much earlier in the season. Hector and Armistice both violently attack their handlers, and with Maeve, head to the basement (for lack of a better term, because who knows which level of hell they’re in?); Dolores is remembering killing herself after (almost certainly the 30 year ago “incident”, during which she also killed BenArnold) –probably — mowing down a town, Teddy’s back in the lab, this time with Ford, who may be explaining the whole Dolores is Wyatt thing to Teddy’s poor, broken artificial brain):
After combing through screenshots several times, I realized the interesting — right in front of our noses clue — bit isn’t so much in what’s happening onscreen; it’s in Ford’s voiceover.
Since I was a child, I’ve always loved a good story. Stories help us become the people we dreamed of being, lies that told a deeper truth. I always thought I could play some small part in that grand tradition. And for my pains, I got this, my new narrative.”
Pay attention while you listen; entendre is in each sentence. Hopkins voice changes when he says, “my new narrative”. That’s because all this time, we’ve been viewing him as creator and narrative builder; what we’re actually hearing, though, is Ford confessing his own condition. Read into those words, and you’ll see that Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy have — in their own grand tradition — already told us the finale story. Ford is a goddamned Host (and just like his partner, he’s going to have a rude awakening).
Westworld‘s season finale,”The Bicameral Mind” airs on HBO, Sunday.