It makes complete sense that, after only four episodes of Westworld, we are all trying to decode its meaning like it’s ancient scripture – as opposed to something being written in a conference room with a box of donuts in the corner. But Westworld deliberately leans in to its mystery, fueling more and more speculation about this wonderful new world we are watching.
Ahead, we will break down all the clues and try to figure out where the next ten seasons are headed based on these first four episodes. So let’s try to discover what it all means, together, because this is all very, very important.
1. The Maze
The Man in Black (Ed Harris) is searching for the maze. But here’s where the trickery of Westworld deals a devilish hand: He’s not looking the kind of maze that you solve (you know, like Pac-Man), he’s looking for maize, because he’s hungry. When’s the last time we saw the Man in Black have a good meal? All he wants is some delicious maize. And if you look closely at the map on the inside of that scalp, that’s clearly a maize field where some aliens left crop signs. So that’s a big clue about this show: The robots harvest delicious maize, but they keep it a secret. Will the Man in Black ever get to eat the maize? My best guess? The last scene of the series will be a close-up of a smiling Ed Harris. He will look at the camera and say, “hot damn,” then bite into the maize.
2. Is William the same person as the Man In Black?
Yes, he is. This is undeniable at this point. But, the twist is that he’s not Ed Harris’ Man in Black, but someday William will become the Man in Black on Lost. It’s so obvious now that it’s getting embarrassing. For example: William and Logan set off on an adventure out of town and, frankly, seem lost at times. Hello! They are “lost.” Um, Lost. I really wish Westworld wouldn’t telegraph this stuff so easily. I feel so confident about this that I predict the second to last scene of the series, right before Ed Harris’ Man in Black eats maize, William will say to Logan, “Well, I have to get back home, smell you later,” then he will teleport back to the island and look like Titus Welliver again. Look, it’s all right there in front of you, folks.
3. Does Westworld take place on another planet?
It’s hard to take any of this at face value; that this is all just your normal, average, everyday Westworld theme park. And I do think that the final episode will reveal that these characters were, all along, somewhere they never could have even possibly imagined. The third to last scene of the series finale of Westworld (right before William goes back to the Lost island and Man in Black eats maize), Anthony Hopkins’ Ford will turn to Jeffery Wright’s Bernard and calmly say, “What they never realized is that they were in Eastworld the whole time.” Then, the camera will pan to the theme park mascot, Clint Eastworld. And this is why William returns to the Lost island, because he’s so mad that he’s been tricked. The Man in Black doesn’t care, because he’s too busy enjoying the free maize. And this brings us to the final theory:
4. Is Bernard a robot?
Again, during this climactic final episode, right after Ford reveals that the park is actually Eastworld, Bernard looks at Ford and says, “That does not compute. I am a robot. That does not compute. Does … not … compute. Compute!” Then sparks start coming out of Bernard’s ears as he starts doing the classic “bent arms up and down” motions that robots often do. In other words: we’ll never know. What will be frustrating about this is it will all still be so vague that we will never know for sure if Bernard is a robot or not because Ford never tells us. Instead, Ford just winks at the camera. This argument will be the cause of heated Westworld debates for years after the show ends.
Mike Ryan lives in New York City and has written for The Huffington Post, Wired, Vanity Fair and New York magazine. He is senior entertainment writer at Uproxx. You can contact him directly on Twitter.