Westworld Episode 9 Answer-o-rama

Sooo many things going on, where to start.

Theories confirmed or pretty close to confirmation:

Bernard is the Host version of Arnold.

Arnold is dead, killed by Dolores.

Arnold is kind of a ghost in the machine, in that his code is all over the place and he lives in the memories of the original hosts, which they see and which they experience with the same force and clarity as they do present events.

William and Dolores in their adventures are definitely in the past. Confirmed when Logan cuts open Dolores and we see the old machine-like robotic host workings of the early days of the park.

William seems to be en route to becoming the Man in Black given the way he butchers his former captors.

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So where does that leave us? Here are my final episode predictions.

Dolores, I am guessing, goes back to Tester Town, where they train the hosts There she shoots any that get in her way, and goes through the church, where she sees the hosts going crazy and arguing with the voices in their heads (their Bicameral minds). She goes under the church to the work shop and after some sort of discussion, kills Arnold.

Above ground in the present the Man in Black reveals to Dolores he is William and the past and the present sync up. End of Dolores/Man in Black story for season One (their might be some additional stuff, not sure)

In the past William goes looking for Dolores in a park that is rapidly descending into chaos, he might find her. Either way Ford pulls some final switch that shuts everything down and ends outbreak of sentience. We’ll probably see a whole lot of crazy going on then as well, William might end up killing Logan and making it look like an accident. William goes to marry into the Delos family and his star will rise.

Meanwhile, in the present, Maeve and Hector get to C&C and start building their army and trying to gain control of the complex. This could be the big cliff hanger for the season.

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Other weirdness

Maeve seems to not only be able to sense other hosts, she seems to be able to look at the code inside of them. How hard would it be for her to take the Arnold parts of the code and inject it into the newer hosts, bringing them closer to wakefulness as well?

Ford has back doors into all the hosts. Does he have additional secret controls as well, he seems a little too thorough to just place all his trust in only one master shutdown tool.

Westworld – Trompe L’Oeil

Where to start with all this right?

Ok, let’s set the timeline stuff aside for a minute and talk about Bernard.

There is a theory going around and it has some possibility that Bernard is Ford’s recreation of his old partner Arnold. There were a lot of clues pointing to Bernard’s host status, the whole “been around the park forever”, the picture that Ford showed to Bernard of him and Arnold that looked like it had someone missing on the right side of it and so on. If we are to believe that Arnold built the house and the bots there as a gift to Ford then one might assume that the lab under the house was originally Arnold’s as well. Thus explaining the times when we thought we were seeing Bernard talking to a clothed Dolores it was actually Arnold talking to her.

Remember though this would be Ford’s construct of Arnold. Not the real Arnold who seems to have disappeared into the code of the park somewhere.

Speaking of the code in the park, I was at least right about that, while Delos owns the park itself, the code and contents still belong to Ford.

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Other stuff, if you can create a host as complicated as Bernard who is to say the two techs, Felix and Sylvester aren’t hosts? I mean they basically do scut-work, what better job for hosts? Which makes things interesting, what if in the process of getting liberated Maeve accidentally wakes those two up as well? That would be something of a mind fuck right? Something I missed and was pointed out to me, Felix and Sylvester are both names of fictional cats.

Maeve continues to be pretty badassed, from avoiding the mass freeze effect to slamming shut the player piano she is starting to assert a great deal of control.

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Other, other stuff. So according to the Delos map Dolores and William are almost out of the park, either they are in the site of Ford’s old church and town set up near the sea or the sea wraps around the entire park and they are south of the ghost nation. If they are in the “Under Construction” part of the map they are where the church was in the past (and will be in the future) which still leaves the time lines a little muddled. None the less Dolores is just about as far as she can go. As Sylvester and Felix pointed out the hosts can’t leave the park, it is somehow hard coded into them.
westworldmap
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So this felt like a transition episode, establishing certain truths, advancing some plotlines, laying some groundwork for what follows.

The title of the episode “Trompe L’Oeil” is defined as a visual illusion in art, especially as used to trick the eye into perceiving a painted detail as a three-dimensional object.

Which seems to reference Bernard at first, but really the park in general. A whole sprawling field of smoke and mirrors.

The sad, and kinda weird, love story that could be at the heart of Westworld

This theory requires two other things to work so keep that in mind.

1. The two timelines theory is true
2. William and Logan work for the Delos Corporation

Ok, in the first timeline William and Logan go to the park. During their stay Dolores begins to wake up as her and William travel around looking for the maze, etc. other hosts begin to show signs of wakening too. Dolores and William begin to form a relationship. The Hosts get more and more aggressive and out of control until awakened hosts, outraged at their treatment begin to attack guests and staff alike.

Dolores completely wakens and William’s suspicions are proven, Dolores is the real deal, a thinking being and not an automaton, they both fall in love as the park goes to hell around them.

Ford realizing things have gone to hell, decides to take drastic measures and initiates a full memory sweep and wipe of all hosts. “Arnold” goes off and does whatever it is he does. In the process Dolores is wiped in front of William, in essence killing her.

With Ford’s company in financial ruin facing lawsuits and funding crisis Delos steps in and buys Ford out, Ford agrees but only if he can stay in charge of Westworld and all ownership of the code in the park belongs to him. Delos agrees and the park becomes like what we see today.

Outside of the park William rises up through the ranks in Delos and attains a position of authority, even doing some good (that foundation we heard of). Meanwhile he keeps returning to the park time and time again trying to find the spark of the person that Delores was. Using his special access he arranges for longer stays and additional perks. As time passes he becomes bitter and violent, but because of changes in the park he learns of the maze and the possibility he can bring Dolores, in a sense, back to consciousness. And that is where the Man in Black’s side of the story starts.

That weird love story could be at the heart of the show and both timelines.

Westworld Thoughts

SPOILERS here and in the comments.

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Yul Brenner, right? I know, that was pretty awesome. Producer Nolan says it was just a tip of the hat to the movie so I wouldn’t get too excited about it.

So here are some quick theories about Arnold.

1. He is not dead and is some how creeping around the park still getting involved in things.
2. He is dead but has left a bunch of programming in the Park’s data architecture that is slowly unspooling over time through various hosts and appliances (like the router that was discovered) for a reason.
3. He has become some sort of AI that is a ghost in the system and various hosts.
4. A confederacy of awake hosts and sympathetic humans are acting under the name Arnold for some end, probably to wake up all the hosts.
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Ok, there was more evidence of the two timelines theory this episode. The area that Bernard went down to had the old Westworld logos all over the place. Additionally the area looked practically war-torn. Was the Event of 30 years ago the first attempted awakening and uprising of the hosts that had to be put down across the park and then floor by floor through the complex? Things seem to be pointing that way, was Arnold leading that revolt killed and then had his death disguised to look like a suicide by Ford…maybe, too little data on that one.

We saw some evidence that Maeve is in the present time line, all of the employees were using those new datapads for example, and all the hosts were the new woven muscle look not the old robot in a skin suit look like young Robert bot (which we got to see the interior of in kind of an unsettling reveal)

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Fully awake and brain amped Maeve is scary in ways that Yul Brenner only dreamed of. The Yul bot wanted to murder every human in the park, I get the feeling Maeve wants to rule it. She fought her way out of one of those logical lock down flaws, something we haven’t seen any other host do. It was kind of badass in a weird way.

One way or another Maeve is going to cause some havoc.
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One of the technicians let slip the phrase “Orbital launch facility”, there is a lot behind that casual little statement.

Finnish Filmmakers are at it again.

I got this funky press release a bit back and kept spacing on posting it. I tell you, you’ve got to keep an eye on those wild folks from Finland. They are really starting to lead a movement in ‘from the ground up’ film making. A bit indy beyond indy film.

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Do you really know someone before you’ve learned his darkest secrets? Finnish writer/director Miro Laiho is asking this question with his next film “8”, which is a 30-minute psychological horror film and the best thing is that it will be posted free on the internet.

“8” tells a story about people who have to relive their worst memories and re-experience their most painful traumas all over again. The film is based on the theory of 8 circuits of consciousness created by the LDS-psychologist Timothy Leary in the 1960’s and 70’s. It combines Inception, David Lynch and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Official website of “8”

“My dream is to raise the awareness of Finnish genre film on an international level, because I think that we Finns have the potential to create not only the everyday drama or comedy films but something more out of our crazy imagination. “8” merges dark drama to psychological horror reaching surreal levels. I’ve always been fascinated by the structure of human mind and how we maintain defence mechanisms and therefore a certain false identity, unable to find our true selves.“, director Miro Laiho states.

Director wants to thank you in advance for supporting the project “8” on Indie Gogo
and thus he gives you all of his previous films for free:

The Reach (FIN: Loppuun palaneet) 2010
(made in 48 hours, was nominated for best cinematography and sound design / music in the Uneton 48 short film competition)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nalabn32zD8

The Border Guard (FIN: Rajavartija) 2010
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oh548uY6GHA

The Awakening (FIN: Herääminen) 2009
(Miro Laiho’s directorial debut, winner of best short film’s award in Iik! Horror Film Festival of 2009.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QYLFrQuPNs

Laiho is doing his written thesis in Tampere School of Art and Media about the subject "Innovative methods in short film marketing and funding." It is related to the crowd funding campaign started about a month ago at the crowd funding site Indie Gogo. “8” is also the thesis work of the director of photography, film editor and digital effects supervisor. It will be a business card to help the film students jump into the professional world as filmmakers and thus is a very important film to them.

Support the film in the crowd funding – page:
http://www.indiegogo.com/shortfilm8

In the film’s official website you’ll find an interactive trailer, making of – material, concept art and much more:
http://shortfilm8.com

An Open Letter To Permuted Press

[ Neutral Mood: Neutral ]
Dear Permuted Press,

Hi, Matt C. here. I’ve just read some books of yours I’d like to review but I feel like I need to say a few things first.

I like you guys, I really do. I’ve read a lot of your books over the last few years. You’ve introduced me to some great writers I would have otherwise missed. I think you do a great job of fostering new writers and getting them out there. Plus I like your format choice, the books look great on the shelf.

Still I have a few gripes I have to make, some things I see writers there doing a great deal and editors just letting them go. Not every book is guilty of all of these just sometimes in combination, sometimes just one, sometimes none.

1. Using the title of the book repeatedly in the book. This is kind of a pet peeve of mine. In some cases this is understandable, if your novel is about a rabid dog named Cujo and you name your book Cujo obviously it is going to turn up quite a bit. On the other hand if you name your book Death Storm and every other page uses ‘death storm’ to describe the storm that causes zombies, rainfall in general and worst of all if a character makes a play on words on the title – "The rain has stopped but the zombies are out…let’s go make a death storm of our own." WINK. it makes one feel as if they have been hit by a shovel. Think about a movie that you’ve seen where a character during a speech did that pause ‘title of movie’ pause take and how a small light in your soul went out.

2. You, the writer, know guns. You’re a LEO or former (or current) military or an avid collector, for whatever reason baby you know guns inside and out. That’s good it gives some realism to the story. What it shouldn’t be is a license to list the contents of every weapons cache the survivors find, itemized by make and model, boxes of ammunition by caliber and type and any special extras like laser scopes, combat webbing, etc. Once I noticed this I started paying attention to the phenomenon. One author provided excruciatingly detailed lists of weapons finds all of which were never mentioned again after being accounted for. It was like reading a copy of Guns n’ Ammo. Say more with less.

3. Don’t fall in love with your protagonist, give them some flaws. And no "Just cares too much" and "Will keep trying and trying until they succeed" are not flaws.

Ok, that’s it for me.
Remember always try the head shot first and don’t forget to double tap,
Matt C.

Gamestuff

Fantasy Flight Games has an interesting new book in their Warhammer 40k line Black Crusade. It gives players a chance to walk on the dark side of the WH40K universe as agents and soldiers of Chaos. If it is like the other books in the line it will be high quality and a must have for fans of the RPG.

Paizo’s RPG superstar contest is down to the final four contestants. The titles alone are interesting.