Westworld - Hopkins, robots, six-guns


#722

Instead of timeline shenanigans, we can now have reality vs. matrix shenanigans.


#723

“Why not both?”


#724

Anyone have a theory about what was going on at the beginning with Bernard and Delores? Obviously a call back to the episode with Delos, but is it a new timeline? I didn’t really get it.


#725

I can’t keep track of the overall timeline well enough to really know, so I’ve probably got parts of this wrong, but it seems like in season one we were seeing two versions of those interviews—Arnold interviewing Dolores long ago, and later Bernard continuing to interview her. That fact that Bernard was modeled after Arnold and we were seeing those two different situations (instead of Bernard being a human who was interviewing Dolores all along) wasn’t obvious until late in the season.

This looks like it’s in the early days of Bernard, it’s long before the current revolution, and it’s revealing that at least some of these interviews weren’t actually about Bernard analyzing Dolores, but about Dolores testing to see if Bernard was working out as a faithful copy of Arnold.

The importance of this is that now that we’ve seen the process Delos went through, we know that it’s likely Bernard is actually built on a digital copy of Arnold’s mind. Last season didn’t make that explicit, we didn’t know if Bernard merely looked like Arnold, and if he was designed to think like Arnold, we didn’t know that it was done via an actual copy of Arnold’s mind (the difference in Delos and Bernard is that Bernard’s origin was hidden from him). Seeing the process of perfecting (or attempting to) Delos suggests they also may have gone through a lot of Bernards trying to get it right, so there’s the possibility of multiple Bernards.


#726

It’s probably in the sim/matrix where Ford is trying to bring back Arnold.


#727

Yeah, ok, both of your explanations seem plausible. I don’t think we have enough info to know for sure though.


#728

Notice that when Bernard went into the Cradle, the shot went to widescreen (you could see the black bars at the top and bottom of the screen).

Same thing at the beginning, when Bernard is talking to Delores and she says fidelity.

The Cradle is widescreen.


#729

Dolores telling Bernard it was a test for fidelity was a direct call-back to the Delos tests, so my money’s on some version of that scenario.

Of course, I’m also a little skeptical of the “sim/matrix” interpretation of where “Bernard” found Ford, or at least of that nickname for what we saw. It seems clear enough that some version of Ford’s mind is “alive” and running things from inside the “cradle”. Referring to it as a simulation or comparing it to the Matrix brings a lot of connotations I’m not convinced of yet though.

I’m not ready to assume that this was part of an effort to convincingly put digital copies of human consciousnesses into simulated worlds. It might be that, but it also might just be another version of attempts to achieve the kind of real-world immortality they were attempting with Delos, giving the human consciousness an artificial host. We didn’t see them ever get it right with Delos, we don’t know to what extent Bernard was a successful copy of Arnold (and here the interview with Dolores is relevant as it highlights at least one point in which he was still not a faithful copy).

Ford may have found the means to digitally preserve the consciousness in the Westworld version of a mainframe, but still lacks the means to successfully maintain one in a host.

So everything we just saw with “Bernard” waking up on the train and and arriving in the saloon to find “Ford” could still just be a fancy dramatic interpretation for television to visually represent their interactions within the cradle.

tl;dr:
Ford could just be “alive” in the cradle as a stop-gap as he continues to pursue the methods to achieve immortality via the hosts (or some other goal all together). Or the cradle could be the goal, immortality in a completely digital simulation, rather than in the real world. I think both are possible, but I think jumping right to describing it as the matrix strongly implies the latter, and I slightly suspect the former, so I’m avoiding that description.


#730

I didn’t catch that, I guess that’s a good point against my interpretation.


#731

I’ve noticed them do widescreen in earlier episodes, but I didn’t tie it to the Cradle until last night.


#732

Oh that’s interesting! Which scenes earlier were widescreen? /me goes hunting on the internet for answers


#733

Masterful trolling. This is from Anthony Hopkins a month ago:

That’s the same piece he was playing in this week’s show.


#734

Hm, someone please tell me wtf just happened! I mean I think I understand the meta that they explained to us, but I still can’t keep the timelines straight. I’m usually good at this stuff, too.


#735

Perhaps one of the dumbest security team ever presented on film. These guys are Prometheus scientist dumb.


#736

Timeline explanation:

Current:
Bernard’s jig is up and the Delos rep, Thor’s brother, and discount Jason Statham know that he’s actually a bot. Delos rep still wants Dolores’ dad’s brain.

Recent:
Ford has downloaded himself into Bernard’s brain. They now reside together in his consciousness, and (for limited periods) it seems Ford can take over Bernard physically.

Ford revealed that the purpose of Westworld was to copy people.

Dolores, Teddy, and the gang invaded the facility and blew up the core which held the host’s backups.

Bernard sent Elsie off on her own, then gunned down some Delos security with the help of Inner Ford.

Maeve finally linked up with her “daughter” just in time for her to get shot and grabbed by the security team and Lee. Her daughter was snatched up by the Ghost Nation.

William got shot a lot, but managed to crawl into hiding.

Lawrence finally freed himself, but was killed in a hail of bullets from the security team.

Clementine went down in a blaze of glory.

Dolores got her dad’s brain and left the facility.


#737

So what it sounds like is that the Valley Beyond is Westworld’s futuristic version of people having their heads cut-off and frozen.

Tons of rich people got their brain scanned or whathaveyou and put into control units, and the idea is that Delos was working on the technology of uploading them into host bodies. But they kept running into the “cognitive plateau” problem where the human mind goes haywire once it realizes it’s in a robot body. But, no biggie, all those rich people who died and have their brains on storage are all in storage anyway. Delos can spend years or decades solving the problem.

The parks themselves were a way to faithfully record their true natures, which is somehow part of the process.

Now, this ticket to eternal life is probably one of those rich people’s secrets, because it’s not realistic/practical to resurrect everyone, and if it were to come out then everyone would want it. But since it’s eternal life, Delos can also charge monstrous amounts of money, which sort of explains how they can fund everything.


#738

Loved the use of that passage from Beethoven’s 7th Symphony at around the 48 minute mark.


#739

Not convinced this is a great followup season so far. It feels … theoretical, abstract, detached. It’s kinda difficult to get excited about watching for that reason. How many more episodes now? One more?


#740

Oh, and a big shout-out to what may be the worst implementation of an enemy proximity alert in any sci-fi media. When the system detects baddies, it will light up your vest and make noise, alerting the enemies to your presence.

WTF


#741

They called them haptic vests, so presumably the main benefit is some kind of rumble or sensation against the user’s skin. Hard to convey that to the audience without the glowing lights, though!