***Spoiler Warning: Spoilers for Westworld through Season 1, Episode 8 (and possibly further) follow. Spoilers***
Yes, it’s true. Here at Oohlo, we’re truly Westworld obsessed, and not the least ashamed of it either. So, it should come as no surprise I’m digging around, or thinking even the craziest or unlikeliest theories could be true. Strap in.
Looking through the previews we’ve gotten for any as yet unseen footage, there are a few interesting happenings headed our way. With Maeve now in control of her permissions and programming, able to rewrite not only her own storyline, but to command other Hosts begs the question: Will her verbal directions affect another altered Host, like Dolores? It’s very possible we’ll soon find out; These shots of Maeve (from the “Hidden” promo) appear to be outside her usual Sweetwater location:
Later in the same promo, one of Wyatt’s Beastie boys is holding something that looks like a shotgun shell. Does this mean Maeve gets to where the Man in Black (last seen with Teddy) is being held by NuAngela?
And, did Maeve do this, or was it Dolores? That looks like Hector on the left (the guy on the right looks a little like Old Bill, but I’m sure it’s not, right?)
There is little doubt we viewers are being fed non-linear, multiple timelines; what’s difficult to decipher is who is when? There are some clues, for instance, in the clothing characters are wearing during particular scenes. We may not know exact years or timeframes, but we can generally figure out who is where and with whom during a given scenario. We know blue “Alice” dress Dolores has (in her narratives) interacted with the Man in Black, Teddy, William and Logan, and Clementine (partial list). White shirt (and pants) Dolores has not yet interacted with the Man in Black, so if we see that happen, it will be something new. From HBO’s “TheMaze -Weeks Ahead” promo, which covers multiple episodes, there are these shots of white shirt Dolores …
… which could indicate something many people believe impossible: William (who’s with white shirt Dolores in her recent to us narrative) and the Man in Black crossing paths. We know Logan recently (again, our recent) reunited — if you can call it that — with William and Dolores, and from the episode 9 preview, we know this delightful scene is headed our way:
That right there is a power move, one that given what we’ve seen of his attitude toward Hosts doesn’t exactly surprise, but the question is whether Logan is trying to shake up William again, or the ever-stronger Dolores? She’s no victim, and at some point Dolores makes her escape (which is probably where she and William separate).
Like I said, because we’re seeing white shirt Dolores with the Man in Black, William may or may not finally meet him (and lose a knife?); it could be the Man in Black shows up after Logan either escorts William away from her, or convinces him to leave her. It does appear that white shirt Dolores is eventually on her own, because we haven’t seen her in these previewed shots yet:
In that second photo, it’s hard to discern exactly where Dolores is. The first is inside what looks like one of the programming or tech levels of Westworld, what with all the white and glass. The lower shot may also be; that plexiglass or plastic sheeted area to her right could be one of those areas where old Host bodies are tossed/washed down, or somewhere entirely different. Does the first shot mean Maeve and her army has already come through, taking out area guards and personnel? Speaking of …
… here’s Maeve, and she’s wearing a little number we haven’t seen before. I think you call it her Badass Outfit. Is that possibly Armistice in the background behind the white coats? Those could be regular WW techies, or maybe …
Because there’s a little scene I don’t believe we’ve caught happening yet. It’s from a preview so way, way back, you might have forgotten the timeline: before the first episode.
As is this little moment where I imagine Hector is taking back control, so not one more guest will laugh at his last dying twitches.
We Need to Talk About Dolores: There’s something else we need to discuss, from a discussion Evan Rachel Wood partook in quite a while ago. Something she said stuck in my mind.
We’re kind of going against stereotypes and gender norms a lot, and I think as the show progresses, you realize that these creations aren’t necessarily male or female, they kind of transcend that. They’re evolved past that. They’re very advanced, highly intelligent beings, um and so I think we’re really going to be taking down gender roles and um … it’s a weirdly feminist show actually, despite some of the flak we may have gotten early on, um it’s all there for a reason and all part of the story that is leading up to something much bigger.”
Here’s where my thought process goes a little wild. Wood’s talk of transcending gender made me think that there’s no reason somewhere in her history, Dolores couldn’t have had the narrative of what is considered a traditionally male role. For instance, Dolores could theoretically have had a “male” narrative in her past, so for all we know she might once have been Wyatt. According to Armistice, Wyatt mowed down her entire village and in “Trace Decay“, there’s that scene where white shirt Dolores leads William toward a “home”, and seemingly experiences a memory. Blue dress Dolores walks toward the town where she sees presumably, first generation Hosts (including Maeve) learning to dance. She walks down the street, meets the little girl we know as Lawrence’s daughter (“Did you find what you were looking for, Dolores?”), and they hear shots and screaming. Blue dress Dolores sees more people being shot, then (a double of) herself, holding a gun to her own head. William reenters the picture, and takes the gun from white shirt Dolores, and she is duly confused.
Is Dolores somehow having memories that connect her to Wyatt? Let’s go backwards in episodes for a minute. Remember that the Dolores we first met — damsel in distress, rancher’s daughter, Dolores did not have the programmed capability of shooting a weapon — couldn’t fire Teddy’s gun. Later, in “The Stray” that changed, and she was suddenly able to shoot the Man in Black with the gun she found hidden in the barn hay. At the time, I surmised that she was somehow able to change her own programming, but what makes more sense is that Dolores accessed a previous build, a narrative in which she was able — had coded permissions — to shoot weapons. And we, in our habitually gendered thought processes, hadn’t really considered that Dolores might have been Wyatt in another narrative life, but it is very possible she was. Let’s go a step further, into those dangerous outer edges of park theory.
Similar guns, but like William and the Man in Black’s similar knives, it could be because they’re WW provided.
Teddy and Dolores have this feeling they’re meant to be together; lately, more so on Teddy’s part, but that’s because Jimmi Simpson, duh! When they have been together, we saw Dolores and Teddy as a traditionally sappy romantic pairing, but we’ve also discovered over the course of episodes that Teddy has a dark side; he’s at some time been Wyatt’s accomplice. (MiB: “You think you know someone.”) In “Trace Decay“, NuAngela — “rescued” by Teddy during his maze hunt with the Man in Black, stabbed Teddy and she told him that Wyatt is going to need him soon. Were Teddy and Dolores once Teddy and Wyatt, partners in crime?
Memory is at the bottom of Arnold’s theory, and the question becomes, does Dolores’ anagrammed name — Arnold Base Theory — refer to the literal base in his pyramid, or to the whole of Arnold’s theory on creating consciousness? More likely, the latter, but possibly both; Dolores’ (trace) memory is leading her, along with her presumed creator’s voice in her head.
Finally, you’ll note that in the header photo of the Man in Black, his neck wound — given by Maeve, if his story is true — is visibly bloody, which I don’t believe we’ve seen before. And all hail nudity equality (and Jeffrey Wright)!
But, what’s this all about?
Here are the “Weeks Ahead” promos listed above.
Westworld, Episode 9, ” The Well-Tempered Clavier” is directed by Michelle MacLaren (Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, The Leftovers, Better Call Saul, The X-Files), and we cannot wait.