With big budget television, we can admit that HBO leaves us skeptical– we just want to know whether we're getting Game of Thrones or Vinyl, you know?
Westworld, this season's runaway hit, definitely falls into the camp of the former, however, comparisons to Game of Thrones should stop at their numbers. We have a lot to say about that subject but for now, we'll chalk it up to how you can't compare Star Wars and Star Trek.
You can't compare apples to oranges, or in this case, fantasy with science fiction. Or adaptation to original content. Or tone deaf misogyny to nuanced comments about toxic mascul– you get it.
The Westworld finale, which aired last night, completed a 10 episode arc that, like most (and the best) world-building narratives, created more questions as quickly as they answered them.
We were spared LOST levels of confusion, but there were definitely enough twists and turns to keep redditors busy until the next season– which is probably going to get to us earlier than 2018. Sigh.
Spoilers for the entire season of Westworld below.
1. Will is the Man in the Black Hat
Let's just get this out of the way, because let's be real, most of us knew this was coming by like episode 5.
This "reveal" basically felt like if during A New Hope, Darth Vader asked Luke how he was doing in school, and told him he'd take him to baseball practice for two whole movies before their confrontation.
The question here? Mostly, who hurt the members of this writer's room so bad that they can never trust their audience again? We can only imagine that brainstorming sesh:
"The church doors open and Dolores says 'William' and the MIB shows up, that's nice and understated."
"Wait, what if they don't really GET IT?"
"Good point, let's put in ten minutes of exposition halfway through this film-length finale."
"GREAT, and then make sure they really, REALLY get it by doing an anime-style transition between young- Christian Slater (idk someone look up his name for us?) putting on a black hat and raising his head to reveal Ed Harris."
2. There are multiple parks
All 30 people who saw the original '70s Michael Crighton film already began theorizing about whether other "parks" would be part of this universe's mythos. While Felix and Maeve's detour through the room of training samurai confirmed this, we have yet to establish just how many other "parks" exist.
Also, just have to note that we don't think they thought through the idea of "Samurai-world" too well. It's not exactly the Wild West, right? A lot less gunslinging and brothels, and more defending your emperor's honor and seppuku.
Which other "____worlds" would you want to visit? The Crusades? The Italian Rennaissance? Colonial America? Pirates? Are we just listing Assassin's Creed games? Yes.
Another thing, the location of Maeve's daughter also said she was in Park 1, but can we even assume that Park 1 is Westworld?
3. Dolores is "Wyatt"
This was a particularly insane mindf*ck. Even if you saw Dolores as Wyatt coming (or read about it on the dozens of reddit posts that saw it coming), learning that Dolores' journey to the center of the maze or "self-actualization" was orchestrated by Ford was– well, we still can barely wrap out minds around it.
Dolores no longer hears Arnold/Bernard's voice in her head, she hears her own– but if her actions were still manipulated by Ford, were they ever actually hers? If Dolores with "conscious-ness" is simply the Wyatt narrative that was originally written by Arnold, can we even say that that's truly Dolores?
OH MY GOD.
4. Maeve's "escape" was a narrative written into her code.
Raise your hand if you felt personally victimized by Maeve's storyline. At times, it seemed like she was duping the system a little too easily, but we for one, were all too ready to chalk it up to her badass lady power, tbh.
Also, when viewing her as a counterpart to Dolores, who spends the season "playing the game," it seemed obvious that Maeve's role was to break the game into pieces. However, similarly to what we were just agonizing about with Dolores, now we don't even know if Maeve made any decisions for herself at all.
What we do know is that the one time Maeve "broke" her code was when Will (anyone else feel like Will would have totally been a gamergate bro? SORRY OFF TOPIC) killed her daughter and in anguish, Maeve killed herself.
So if Maeve's narrative was to get on the train and leave Westworld, while she didn't let Bernard read the end of that code, can we assume that getting off the train to find her daughter was also of her own volition? OR WAS THAT FORD/ARNOLD'S PLAN THE WHOLE TIME?
HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO KNOW???
5. That picture of Will's fiance has been floating around Westworld for 30 years.
Okay, we get the dramatic effect and sure, it was a neat little clue for the separate timelines but let's think about this.
Does Logan really seem like the kind of guy who carries a picture of his sister around? A printed picture? We barely print pictures in 2016, isn't this supposed to be the future?
And um, does the park just like not get cleaned? You'd think that something like this would happen a lot more often. We wonder how many hosts have been driven mad after finding an empty Doritos bag floating around Sweetwater.
But fine, let's say this picture somehow didn't disintegrate and survived 30 years of whatever elements it was exposed to, we're really supposed to go with the wind carrying it from the fringes of the park to Abernathy's farm?
God, we love you, Westworld, but COME ON.[Feature Image Courtesy ETOnline]