‘Westworld’: 17 Questions We Have After Watching the Series Premiere

     October 3, 2016

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Westworld has begun and, while the first episode gave us a lot of new information, there is so much this HBO western-science fiction drama has yet to reveal. We’ve taken the liberty of laying out our 17 most pressing questions (and some theories) following the series premiere. Did you have these questions, too?

Is Ed Harris’ Man in Black a host or a human?

All signs so far point to Ed Harris’ Man in Black being a human. He was immune to Teddy’s bullets and mentioned paying money to be in Westworld. However, he also notably didn’t hurt any of the other humans in the game and, in the 1973 film Westworld, his character is a rogue host out to kill all of the guests. Furthermore, he seems intent on finding out what exactly is going on in Westworld, which implies he might be ignorant to the world outside the theme park.

Are there any secret androids in Westworld Programming Division?

If you’re going to have a TV show with androids who are indistinguishable from humans, then you’ve got to have androids hiding where you least expect them. (Think Battlestar Galactica or Humans.) With this in mind, I wonder if there aren’t any androids hiding in plain sight in Westworld operations, outside of the theme park. This show is all about playing with the tension between layers of reality. Having a host playing a human in Westworld Programming Division is too good an opportunity to pass up.

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Image via HBO

How long have the hosts been gaining consciousness?

So far, Bernard and his compatriots are convinced that the “malfunctions” the hosts are suffering are a result of the most recent update, but could it be more than that? There were suggestions that Dolores and some of the other hosts have been somewhat clued into their existence for awhile. Dolores and Joe discuss Joe’s past as a sheriff, which we later find out was actually his previous role as a host before he became Peter Abernathy. Was his law enforcement past programmed into his identity or was he remembering his past role?

Is someone intentionally trying to give the hosts consciousness?

Both Dr. Ford and Bernard seem completely capable of intentionally giving the hosts consciousness. Ford seems deeply conflicted about his role in Westworld and the development of artificial intelligence. Did he know what his reveries would do? Are they some kind of attempt at peace offering for the terrible existence he has, thus far, given his creations? Alternatively, Bernard is one of those Science Is All types who could be trying to bring the hosts up to the next level of consciousness, regardless of the consequences.

Has Dolores always been Dolores?

We learned about Joe’s previous roles in the Westworld series premiere because his previous identities started bleeding into his current programming. Does Dolores have any previous identities that will rise to the surface? (If so, please let one of them be the badass female sharpshooter.)

Which hosts have gotten the update?

If the malfunctions are being caused by the update, then it seems vital to know which hosts have been affected. Is may be safe to assume that it is mostly the hosts we have already gotten to know and spend time with.

Does Bernard have a child?

When security officer Ashley Stubbs asks Bernard if he has kids, he says no. Later, however, he’s seen looking intently at a picture of a kid, which usually implies a) that kid is his kid and possibly b) that kid is dead. Which brings us to our next question…

What is management’s greater purpose?

Theresa Cullen affirms that “management” has a larger purpose for Westworld and its technology other than financial gain. What is that purpose? And, given Dr. Ford’s musings on Lazarus, might it be immortality via artificial intelligence?

Where exactly is Westworld?

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Image via HBO

Another big question that we’re given very little information on in the Westworld series premiere is where the heck this theme park is. There’s mention of having to “rotate home,” which implies they are very far from the rest of civilization. Personally, I’m thinking space or another planet.

What’s wrong with the coolant system?

When Stubbs mentioned the coolant system had been down for awhile, I immediately started wondering if the “livestock” had started murdering people and sticking them in the vents… Or maybe the coolant system is just down.

What did Joe whisper in Dolores ear?

During his existential crisis, Joe whispered something in Dolores ear. Later, Dolores told Westworld Programming Division that he said: “These violent delights have violent ends.” This is followed by the question: Have you ever lied to us. Dolores claims she has not, but this is proven false when she swats that fly. She would hurt life. Presumably she is also lying about what Joe said to her, especially given that he was talking for much longer than the space of a Shakespeare one-liner.

What did Bernard whisper in Joe’s ear?

Before Joe was put into the livestock yard, Bernard whispered something in his ear. It could have just been an order to find a cozy spot to hibernate, but why, then, would it have been inaudible? Could Bernard be partially behind this host rebellion?

Why is everyone whispering?

Seriously, Westworld, you’re killing me.

Are Dr. Ford and Theresa Cullen related?

Dr. Ford and Theresa don’t interact until the very end of the episode, at which point Ford greets Cullen formally and she is taken aback by it. Might they be related? Is this one of the reason why Theresa has so much power at Westworld? Because she inherited it?

Are the horses going to seek revenge, too?

They probably won’t, but wouldn’t that be great?

Will there be cannibalism?

You can’t just casually mention cannibalism in a scene that also involves Sir Anthony Hopkins and not expect us to wonder if someone will eat someone else before this show is over.

What’s west of Westworld?

In the Westworld film, the Westworld theme park was next to Medieval World and Roman World. Is this the case with the TV show, as well? Will we have to wait until Season two2to find out? Or maybe they’ll just wait until Game of Thrones is done, and bring all of the sets and costumes from that over to Westworld to save money?

What questions do you have after watching the Westworld series premiere?

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