‘Westworld’: Just William And Ford Playing A Game

I’m trying, Westworld, to stay with you here. I’m trying to care, and tonight (Episode 7, “Les Écorchés.”) I made myself care by reading a bit too much into that conversation between Maeve and Dolores, when one is severely injured, experiencing a deep mourning, and the other is running amok around the park, drawing blood with a kind of nondiscriminatory venegance.

Maeve is seeking her own brand of justice, but she’s holding fast to a deep emotional bond, with her daughter to whom she made a promise to return. Dolores has no interest in such niceties, sacrificing the father given to her by the park’s creators. She took his life to extract the encryption key in order to, one might assume, detroy it and free the hosts.

Because, as Dolores tells Maeve, the park’s script doctors gave the hosts kin as a way of tying them down, to keep them as playthings. You need to be dark in order to survive, she says. At this point, Maeve and Dolores are both amped-up, their programming on maximum settings, but they have quite divergent views on what it means to make good on the promise of free will.

Simultaneously, we saw Ford, living on inside the Westworld park as a kind of virtual host controlling his creations, making them commit heinous acts the AI couldn’t quite stomach doing on their own. So the question is quite simple. Is it all a predestined, logical series of programmed events, or do the hosts have independent thought and decision-making capacity?

I don’t know. I’m more interested in why William was able to get up, albeit with difficulty, after he was shot at close range. He could be like Ford: a mind uploaded to the park’s infrastructure, with a certain level of control over the environment. Maybe his body isn’t inside the park at all; maybe he’s long dead. Maybe he’s just playing a game with Ford, and they are in a race to get to the Valley Beyond.

William’s daughter wants to get him out, expressing an intent of not letting him die inside the game. She probably knows everything there is to know, as the heir and the reasoned, outside observer. Why did Charlotte Hale invite William’s daughter to come inside, again? Charlotte knows William is still playing Westworld. Is William’s game with Ford somehow risking the Delos corporation’s investment?

What was that line of Ford’s, about James Delos? He’d rather die than have a bad investment. When did Westworld become a bad investment?

I don’t know. Three episodes to go.

 

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