Bill Bradley Entertainment Editor If you didn’t watch the season premiere of “Westworld” on Sunday, what are you even doing with your life? The HBO show, based on the 1973 movie of the same name, introduces us to a theme park with lifelike robots called “hosts.” These hosts are there to entertain actual people, known as guests, in an artificial Wild West setting. You can kill the robots, love them, and do whatever you want. It’s fascinating; it’s horrifying. Over the course of the premiere, the robots start to malfunction, and things get real. The show’s premiere left us with so many questions that we’re wondering if we’re robots, too. It’s still early, but here are the theories that’ll already blow your mind. (Spoilers ahead, duh.)
1. Everyone is a robot. OK, maybe it’s not everyone. But after James Marsden’s character Teddy is shockingly killed in the beginning of the show — remember, the bullets in Westworld can only kill the robots — we’re left wondering who’s real and who isn’t. There’s almost no doubt someone isn’t who we think they are. Two suspects come to mind already: Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright) and Theresa Cullen (Sidse Babett Knudsen). Theresa, as Reddit user shelfdog points out, leaves the room in a scene before Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) and Bernard examine a malfunctioning robot. Perhaps they made her leave so the voice commands given to the malfunctioning robot wouldn’t affect her. Bernard being a robot could make sense, too, because he’s Ford’s right-hand guy. To have total control, why wouldn’t Ford make a robot his second in command?
2. The Man in Black was involved in the “critical failure” 30 years ago. We learn from Bernard that the park hasn’t had a “critical failure” in over 30 years. The Man in Black (Ed Harris) is a regular who says he’s been coming to the park for 30 years. This just makes sense.
3. The Man in Black reprogrammed Dolores. One of the most horrifying moments happens in the very beginning of the premiere. After the Man in Black kills Teddy, he drags Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) away to a barn. It’s heavily implied that she was raped. But what if she wasn’t? We don’t see what happens in the barn. This is the moment that starts the whole series. And now, Dolores, who is programmed not to harm a living thing, is swatting bugs like it’s nobody’s business. Plus, remember we also learn that Dolores’ father badly malfunctioned. Yeah, it happened after he found a modern photograph, but it also conveniently occurred after he had a visit from the Man in Black. That dude might be messing with the robots.
4. Ford is intentionally making the robots malfunction. Damn. Dolores just killed a fly, y’all! Shiz is about to go down in Westworld, and we think Anthony Hopkins is behind it all. Reddit user twbrn thinks so, too. The user explains: I think Ford is deliberately trying to introduce glitches in the hopes of making his robots evolve. We’re told how he keeps pushing things, and the last code he introduced was what enabled them to start exceeding limits. I think this dude sees himself as the god of artificial life. Agreed.
5. The Man in Black is an android and the critical failure was the original movie. Harris’ character is clearly based off of Yul Brynner’s Gunslinger character from the original “Westworld” movie. In the movie, Brynner’s character was an android that started killing people. It appears the new version of The Man in Black is a real person, since Teddy couldn’t kill him. But what if he is actually an android, like the original Man in Black/Gunslinger, and he has become privy to the fact that Westworld isn’t real? Redditor jz68 suspects that’s the case: I’m still going with the theory that Ed Harris is an android. For some reason, he became self aware long ago and has been going around looking for answers. If the Man in Black is a robot, it’s also conceivable that he is the exact robot from the original movie. That means the events in that movie were the mysterious “critical failure” we hear about in the premiere. Until next week, may you all rest in a deep and dreamless slumber. “Westworld” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO. --- --- ...