Westworld: 11 Questions Raised By Episode 7, “Trompe L’Oeil”

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It would appear that things have, as they say, just gotten real in Westworld. Or perhaps more accurately, they’ve gotten slightly more artificial, with the shocking (although not entirely unpredicted) reveal that poor, downtrodden Bernard is actually a host designed and built in secret by Ford, and perhaps more importantly, the fact that he is used to kill Theresa once she learns the truth, and also to prevent her from completing her corporate-ordered mission to secretly steal all the data in Westworld for presumably nefarious reasons. Meanwhile, inside the park itself, William seems to have thrown away his entire life outside Westworld so he can stay with Dolores as she searches for this mysterious maze. This week, it is finally confirmed that absolutely nothing in Westworld is what it seems, setting us up for a roller-coaster ride to the finish of the first season.

11. What Is ‘Trompe L’Oeil’?

This is less a question and more of a fun “did you know” segment. The term ‘Trompe L’Oeil’ literally means “fooling the eye”, and it’s a technique used by painters to make images on a two-dimensional surface actually appear three-dimensional to the viewer. In other words, it gives creations hidden depths, which applies to not just the revelation that Bernard is a host, but also the growing consciousnesses of Maeve and Dolores, William’s desire to live inside a story and discover the limits of Westworld, and the ridiculous number of conflicting motivations and plots within plots that are starting to come to a head (or in Theresa’s case, suddenly unravel). And let’s not forget the line from Alice In Wonderland spoken by Bernard in the opening scene, “If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t.” In Westworld, just like Wonderland, nothing is as it seems, and that’s going to be a major factor as the first season barrels towards a climax.

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10. What Is Maeve’s Plan?

Okay, so Maeve now wants to escape, despite the fact that it’s clearly impossible, because as Felix and Sylvester said, every part of her was made there and can be tracked somehow. They even said that short of literally peeling off all her skin (and presumably all the rest of her physical body), there’s no way she can’t be found, so it’s presumably not as simple as removing an obvious tracking device. Once again the vague security levels of Westworld come into play, as it’s supposedly the most secure compound on whatever planet this happens to be (hey, it doesn’t necessarily have to be Earth), but there’s literally a robot becoming self-aware and subverting techs with nobody apparently the wiser. Now, some of that can be explained because Maeve is getting additional help from an unknown source (who is probably Ford), but what makes her so sure that she can pull this off, to the point that she just casually offers to murder Felix and Sylvester, an action that certainly won’t go unnoticed, if they don’t help her on this supposed suicide mission?

http://ereads.club/westworld-recap-about-that-big-reveal/ Source: ereads.club

9. How Long Was William’s Trip To The Park Supposed To Be?

When William refers to his life outside the park, with a fiancee to marry and a company to presumably inherit one day (at the very least, a job to go back to), it suddenly made us realize that he has been inside Westworld for, at least, multiple day-night cycles, which presumably pass at something of a similar rate to time outside the park. How much vacation time does William have, that he can spend what appears to be an open-ended amount of time in the park? Should he have been done by now? It seems like it would be incredibly hard to plan vacation time if there’s a chance it could end up lasting for an indefinite period of time while you track down a plot thread. Does one buy time at Westworld before they arrive, or do they just let you run freely until you decide to leave, then charge you for the time you spent there? Was William’s speech to Dolores him completely giving up on his life outside the park, and if so, won’t presumably losing his fiancee, job, and connection to a very rich family handcuff his ability to pay for his vacation? Do they just send security out to remove you mid-adventure if your credit card maxes out?

http://online–news.com/2016/11/14/westworld-just-delivered-a-brutal-reveal-that-left-fans-reeling/ Source: online-news.com

8. Where Have We Seen That Room Before?

This is really just a leading question, because we already know the answer, but it certainly does lead into more questions. The room where Ford has been creating his own hosts has shown up before, as it is the room where Bernard was talking to Dolores in previous episodes. Combined with the blueprints for Dolores that were found alongside Bernard’s, obviously she is caught up in Ford’s plan as well, although to what extent we still can’t be sure. More importantly, was Bernard acting on his own when he talked to Dolores, or on orders from Ford? Given that Ford has said in an exchange which appeared in the original trailer for the show that they aren’t “old friends”, what side is she actually on, if any? And, bringing up the show’s likely deliberately vague use of time, when did the conversations with Bernard take place in relation to the other events of the show? Ford’s one of the park’s original creators, Dolores is a first-gen host that’s been repeatedly upgraded over the years, and Bernard has been around forever, although not as long as Ford. How long has Ford’s plan been in motion?

http://imgur.com/a/nTfG3 Source: Imgur.com http://imgur.com/a/nTfG3 Source: Imgur.com

7. Is Bernard A Reproduction Of Arnold?

Both a tech at the beginning of the episode and Ford reiterated that hosts can’t see things that would cause them harm, such as references to things outside the scope of Westworld, and in the specific case of Bernard, the door leading to Ford’s secret room (although as we just covered, he’s obviously been there before). This brings us back to one of the big mysteries, the identity of Arnold, the mysterious and supposedly dead co-creator of Westworld who absolutely everyone, it seems, believes is still actually alive. But the only actual picture of Arnold we’ve ever seen is the one Ford shows to Bernard, and as we covered last week, that photo is a picture of one of Ford’s unregistered hosts that live in the house in Sector 17, and may not even be Arnold at all. In fact, given that we’re seeing the picture through Bernard’s eyes, what are the odds that Bernard is a host made in Arnold’s image, and the reason we can’t tell what Arnold looks like is because Bernard can’t see it? Even Ford himself is a little unclear about how long Bernard has been in the park, with the line “You weren’t around then…were you?” in reference to whether Bernard even knows Arnold. In fact, it stands to reason that if Bernard didn’t exist until after Arnold died, that there’s a better chance of this being true. It’s a longshot, but as this week proved, even the oddest theories about this show could turn out to be right.

https://www.snapmunk.com/westworld-episode-6-recap/ Source: snapmunk.com

6. When Did You Figure It Out?

We want to give credit to this episode dropping so many hints about Bernard that only really come to light in retrospect. Yes, there is the obvious “What door?” which is likely when a lot of people clued in, but throughout the episode, there were small indicators that showed how it would be possible for someone like Bernard to exist. His dream of his son (which reminds us, was his wife real or just something set up by Ford? Because we’d be sad if we never saw Gina Torres on this show again), combined with call-backs to the “Reveries” update, remind us that some hosts have been updated to have actual dreams and memories to enhance their backstories. When Charlotte and Theresa reveal the team member who attacks Clem to be a host designed to register as a human, it shows that it’s not only possible for there to be hosts working as part of the behind the scenes staff at Westworld, it’s incredibly likely. Meanwhile, Maeve shows that any host of sufficient intelligence can override direct vocal commands not given by Ford, and it’s interesting to note that before Theresa mentions the presence of the door, it doesn’t show up in the original shot, seen from Bernard’s point of view as he enters.

http://codejunkies.co.uk/why-we-loved-westworlds-big-7th-episode-reveal Source: codejunkies.co.uk

5. Who Else Is A Robot?

Possibly the most obvious question in the fallout from this week’s show is the fact that Ford has had the ability to create new hosts for an undetermined amount of time, and we’re pretty sure he didn’t only make a handful of hosts with that ability. So, how many people working behind the scenes are actually robots? Are either of the techs working with Maeve? Is Charlotte just a host sent by Ford to ferret out Theresa’s plan? What about the third Hemsworth, who seems way too willing to brush off information that he doesn’t need to know? Heck, did Ford create a drunken, temperamental writer just to distract people from his own storyline plans? Now that anyone could be a host, everyone’s motivations are in question, and the guessing games can truly begin.

http://glory.news/westworld-episode-7-recap-it-doesnt-look-like-anything-to-me Source: glory.news

4. What Is Ford’s Ultimate Plan?

At one point during the big reveal, Ford quotes the immortal Bard with the line “who knows what dreams may come”, which any English major or theater buff can tell you came from Hamlet, a play about a man pretending to be crazy in order to fool everyone around him so he can have his revenge. Seems appropriate, given that Ford has spent the first half of this season playing an enigma wrapped in a mystery wrapped in period-appropriate attire. We know that Ford has to have a master plan in mind. After all, we learned that he’s taken a significant portion of the park’s funding to create some sort of grand storyline that requires digging up a vast swath of the existing park, right under the noses of the people in charge, who are either in favor of what he’s doing (if we believe Ford) or have absolutely no idea what’s going on (if Charlotte and Theresa represent the supposed will of Delos). Is a robot revolution his grand plan, or is it something to do with Arnold? Maybe he really just wants to be left alone to tell his stories and run his park, with an army of minions who obey only him. Yeah, we’re going to say he’s got a bigger plan in mind.

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3. Can We Just Give Anthony Hopkins The Emmy Now?

For anyone who doubted that Anthony Hopkins is one of the greatest actors ever, you need to watch his monologue where he lays out the way things really are for Theresa while Bernard prepares to take the necessary steps to keep her silent forever. This isn’t the Anthony Hopkins who spent the majority of the Thor movies either asleep or unreasonably grouchy. This is the Hopkins from Silence of the Lambs, the erudite and unsettling man who has all the answers, who reveals secrets even though you know that he has still more hidden behind his menacing facade. In the climactic scene of this episode, Hopkins waxes poetic about his grand plan even while preparing to witness and direct a disturbing scene of violence before his eyes. It’s a combination of cold, calculating cruelty and artistic flair that few actors could ever pull off well, and Hopkins does it with grace and skill. If he isn’t in the conversation for an Emmy when awards season comes around, then someone has made a grievous mistake.

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2. Whose Side Are You On?

With one of the most sympathetic characters now a robot, who are we really cheering for to emerge victorious in this story? Charlotte is a conniving businesswoman only interested in the practical applications of the code used to create hosts, Ford is clearly lying to a great many people and isn’t above the occasional cold-blooded murder, the Man in Black seems like a right bastard, William is either a past version of the Man in Black (we’ll get to that) or a deluded guy following Dolores around because he hates his life outside Westworld, Felix and Sylvester are idiots and pawns, and everyone else is a host. Has this show really put us on the side where we’re rooting for the AI in the park rising up and potentially destroying humanity? Frankly, Dolores and Maeve and the rest of the hosts, at this point, seem more human than the actual humans (you know, until some of them are revealed to be robots), which, clearly, is sort of the point. Well, except for Teddy. He still kind of sucks.

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1. Which Other Fan Theories Might Be Proved Correct?

So, now that the theory that at least one of the park employees is a robot had come true (admittedly, it was a pretty easy guess, but it still counts), what else have the fans come up with that seems plausible? Well, as we’ve been hinting throughout this list, for our money, there is definitely something going on with the timelines in play, because nobody seems to care that Dolores is really far afield from where she should be in both the park and her abilities, and it seems like that’s something that somebody should be keeping track of. The prevailing fan theory seems to be that William and Dolores’ story takes place in the past, and William becomes the Man In Black, and this week’s episode seemed to make that theory even more likely. William’s desire to stay in the park and experience the whole story seems to deliberately mirror the desires of the Man in Black, and we’d be willing to bet that the Man in Black’s desire to discover the center of the maze revolves around the fact that he lost Dolores in the past while she was trying to find it the first time, and has spent all his time since trying to get back to her. At this point, it would almost be disappointing if there weren’t some sort of time-based twist going on, so we look forward to that reveal in the next three weeks.

http://screenrant.com/westworld-season-1-episode-2-chestnut-questions-maze/?view=all Source: screenrant.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.