Westworld: Episode 4

Morgan Herrmann - October 25, 2016

The fourth episode of Westworld takes viewers into the yet unseen, unsettling depths of the park. What appears to be a theme park is actually a complex arrangement of psychotic invention and individual agendas driven by greed, lust, and emotional loss. While the complexity of Westworld is breathtaking, the creators only concern themselves with whether or not they can, rather than if they should. And as the environment encapsulates its guests, it also poisons those who created it.      

While the series consists of several storylines, they are slowly converging on an unnerving reality. In early civilizations, some of the first signs of true human nature was the mourning and burial of passed loved ones, observations and drawings of the environment, and the establishment of deities or religious beliefs. The supposedly inhuman hosts of the park have done all three.

When Elsie Hughes points out a hosts constellation drawings, Bernard is quick to dismiss it. He claims the hosts have reached into pieces of their code to create meaningless images that do not signify thought - since the constellations are not scientifically accurate, they must have no significance. The audience believes this idea is dismissed until Maeve arrives at a similar conclusion.

As Maeve continues to suffer from flashbacks, her dreams are haunted by masked figures in white suits. Her drawing the figure and stashing it under the floorboards reveals this nightmare is something she has drawn many times in the past without recollection. Later her discovery of a figurine of this creature reveals that the “native” population of Westworld believes in strangely similar deities. Wandering hosts create etched drawings in the rocks of wildlife and constellations. And from memories meant to be erased, groups of hosts have developed a basic religion centered on feelings and experiences they do not fully understand. They believe these beings to be creatures from hell that watch over and punish the people in the land.

This is a key moment in causing us to wonder, where do we draw the line between artificial intelligence and human? Likewise, Dolores is suddenly able to remember the death of her father and exhibits trepidation and exasperation over those unprogrammed memories. If an artificial mind can feel, create new ideas, and deal with complex emotion, who is to say that it isn’t real?

The next episode is now set to reveal more secrets about the park. In a sense, we are in the same position as the hosts, with little to no knowledge about what occurs behind the scenes. It is only with time that we, like the hosts, will learn the riveting truth about a world where nothing is as it seems.

Morgan Herrmann

Morgan Herrmann is a freshman currently majoring in Digital Media Design in the School of Engineering. Her favorite film genres include comic book films and science fiction. Outside of class, Morgan enjoys working on drawing, novel writing, and game development. She is a part of the Write On! program at the Kelly Writers House and is also developing a cosplay and costuming organization within the university.