Westworld: 9 Questions Raised By Episode 8, “Trace Decay”

https://www.f3nws.com/news/westworld-episode-8-recap-trace-decay-rights-the-ship-back-on-course-RQvfnF Source: f3nws.com

The end is coming fast for the first season of Westworld, and while some questions have been answered, more continue to mount as we barrel towards a climax. So, before things hopefully start getting revealed in both the penultimate ninth episode (assuming this show operates on the same principle as early seasons of Game of Thrones) and the extra-large finale, here’s another handful of queries we came up with while watching the latest offering from HBO’s newest hit.

9. So, Theresa’s Just Dead, Then?

All those thoughts that Ford might cover up Theresa’s death, and possibly replace her with a host, are apparently for naught. Her death is quickly explained to have been due to an “accident” of some sort, and it seems like absolutely everyone is okay with that. So, do enough people die in this park behind the scenes due to accidents that this sort of thing is just waved away as something that just happens? Shouldn’t someone be investigating the reasons why a high-ranking member of the company funding the park somehow died in a way that absolutely nobody noticed? Perhaps the explanation was that it was related to the sabotage to the hosts, making her completely at fault, but it still seems like something that everyone seems to have accepted very quickly. Ford did say that Delos has tried to test him in the past, is the possibility that you might die mysteriously just seen as an acceptable potential risk when you’re sent to investigate Westworld?

http://www.digitaltrends.com/movies/westworld-recaps-and-analysis/2/ Source: digitaltrends.com

8. How Could Ford Be So Smart And So Dumb?

So, Ford is so on top of things that he knew what Theresa was up to, set up Bernard to get into a relationship with her so he could keep tabs on her, has every possible trace of his actions erased…and then erases Bernard’s memory so poorly that there’s now a noticeable hole revolving around the fact that he was sleeping with Theresa? Did Ford really think that nobody, in this (theoretically) high security facility with video cameras absolutely everywhere would notice that Bernard and Theresa were having a relationship and that maybe someone might try and console Bernard after her death? Just because the security chief is the least of all Hemsworths doesn’t mean he didn’t notice something strange going on with Bernard’s attitude, or the fact that people keep suddenly disappearing lately. The crazy thing is, maybe this is all part of Ford’s grand plan. See, this is what casting Anthony Hopkins as an intelligent mastermind character will do to people.

https://www.f3nws.com/news/westworld-episode-8-recap-trace-decay-rights-the-ship-back-on-course-RQvfnF Source: f3nws.com

7. Why Keep Helping Maeve?

Seriously, Sylvester must have a death wish of some kind if he’s going to keep helping Felix and Maeve now that she’s made it clear she’s willing to slice his throat open with a scalpel at the first opportunity. Sure, he’s afraid of that, and of being fired, but she’s back inside Westworld, her actions are becoming noticed by the higher-ups, now might be the time to say “hey, this host is going insane and tried to murder me, which is way above my pay grade, how about you deal with it now.” Getting fired can’t possibly be worse than gambling that Felix will decide to close the hole in your neck next time, right?

http://www.geek.com/television/the-hosts-get-smarter-on-westworld-1678460/ Source: geek.com

6. Can Maeve Actually Leave The Park?

She seems confident, but we still don’t actually know where the park is. Is it on Earth, or as some have theorized, somewhere like the Moon? It seems hard to believe that you could build something the size of Westworld on Earth, so even if she can leave the physical buildings, which carries its own multitude of problems considering she’s already been noticed by park security for acting out of character, is there anywhere for her to go? Sure, she might succeed at raising an army of hosts with her newly acquired “Voice of God”, but if they emerge from Westworld into the vacuum of space, then they didn’t really accomplish much.

http://www.dolphnsix.com/news/1875278/westworld-episode-maeve-black-backstories-galore Source: dolphnsix.com

5. Do Maeve’s Powers Have Limits?

Okay, so Maeve can change the story by slipping into her “Narrator” voice and give orders to the other hosts. But when she gets pursued by park employees, she only detailed a couple of hosts to divert attention and then ran away. Maeve knows she’s in a world where her actions can all be seen and tracked, and it’s pretty clear her plan is to raise an army and escape through force, but she still chose to run and hide, rather than just start yelling at every host around her to rise up and start fighting back. Could she even do that if she wanted to, or would the programming that prevents hosts from hurting guests and staff still block her? She can modify her own attributes at this point, but can she do it to other hosts with her voice, or simply work within what already exists? In that case, isn’t her rebellion foredoomed to failure, since an army that can’t actually hurt humans wouldn’t be very useful as anything but a distraction. This is going to be very important for her plan, given that the cat is at least partially out of the bag and people are now going to be suspicious about her diverting from her program.

https://player.fm/series/westworld-fm/108-trace-decay Source: player.fm

4. What Is The Deal With Sizemore?

Listen, we’re creative people too, and we know that taking criticism for your work is often hard. But Sizemore put his energy into a narrative involving a roving group of bloodthirsty “evil” Native Americans, a concept deliberately designed to make guests frightened and uncomfortable, which gets shot down for being massively un-creative (and also because it turns the guests into observers instead of active participants), and his very next idea is, apparently, to make another bloodthirsty and uncomfortable character designed to scare guests? Is “scary set pieces ripped out of low budget horror movies” the extent of his creative abilities? Shouldn’t he have learned about getting at least a little more input (and maybe permission) from Ford before putting all his effort into something else, since Ford is the one making the calls on this stuff? How has Sizemore kept his job for this long?

http://www.sorozatjunkie.hu/2016/11/21/westworld-1×08-mar-megint-a-narrativak/ Source: sorozatjunkie.hu

3. Was Hale’s Choice Of Host A Coincidence, Or Not?

Think about this, she and Sizemore could have taken any of the hundreds of stored hosts for their purposes, since they only need it as a glorified thumb drive, and for convenience’s sake, they probably should have just used the first one they came across, but they moved further into the room and went specifically for Abernathy, a host who Sizemore should already know was put in storage because his previous personalities were starting to surface and drive him insane. Sure, there’s some law of conservation of actors at play here, but it seems like a huge coincidence that they would end up choosing that particular host to put back into circulation. So, is his insanity, which will undoubtedly come into play, an error on Hale’s part, or an extension of her earlier scheme to show how out of control that update had made the hosts?

http://www.warehouse1101.com/5-illuminating-new-discoveries-from-westworld/ Source: warehouse1101.com

2. Have They Actually Confirmed Multiple Timelines?

The theory that William eventually becomes the Man in Black hasn’t been confirmed yet (at this point, we’d almost find it more interesting if it turned out not to be the case), but it would seem like the evidence is mounting, thanks to the appearance of the host who originally introduced William to the park, now re-purposed as a damsel in distress/mole for the gang of masked murderers. The Man in Black even mentions that he’s surprised she’s still in use. This doesn’t necessarily confirm the theory itself, because the Man in Black has been coming to the park for years and could have also seen her along the way, just like William did. However, it does at least confirm that at least some significant amount of time has passed between William’s entrance in the park and the current predicament of the Man in Black, since it’s unlikely that her transition from tutorial host to her new role happened quickly. With that said, the buried town Dolores and William find is also buried when visited by Ford earlier this season as he talks about his “new storyline”, so how much time difference is actually going on still remains frustratingly vague.

http://movieandtvcorner.com/westworld-episode-9-trailer-what-is-hidden-in-this-game.html Source: movieandtvcorner.com

1. Can They Surprise Us?

We’re eight episodes in, and with one popular fan theory (Bernard as a host) already confirmed, and signs continuing to point towards several others being correct, the question that has to be asked is, could they be wrong? Is there still a way for whatever big reveals almost certainly will come in the final two episodes of the season to actually shock the majority of people watching, and even those who have pored over the footage, come up with detailed theories, and questioned absolutely everything they can think of? More importantly, can they do that in a way that makes sense and isn’t just a way of pulling the rug out from under what has been a very logically set up mystery thus far? We wouldn’t necessarily be disappointed if most of the obvious theories do turn out to be absolutely correct, because a lot of them would make sense, but we can’t help but hope that at some point in the next couple of weeks, we can sit back in our chair on Sunday night as say “Well, didn’t see that coming.”

https://www.f3nws.com/news/westworld-episode-8-recap-trace-decay-rights-the-ship-back-on-course-RQvfnF Source: f3nws.com

Stephen Randle

Stephen Randle

Stephen Randle is an avid wrestling and film fan. He's been writing about WWE, movies, and video games for Goliath since 2015.