The ‘Westworld’ Confusion Index: We Finally (Probably) Know What Delos Is Up To


The Westworld Confusion Index is your guide to what we know, what we kind of know, and what we don’t know about Westworld, one of television’s more confusing shows. We will make mistakes, surely, because we rarely know what is happening or why (and whenever we think we’ve figured it out, they go and change it on us), but we will try to have at least as many jokes as mistakes. This is the best we can offer. Here we go.

What We Know


Hey, Elsie is alive

Well, that’s nice. We like Elsie. It always kind of seemed like she was alive, just because the last time we saw her she was getting choked by Bernard — when he was on a mission from Ford — for the crime of Knowing Too Much And/Or Asking Too Many Questions, which, as we remember with Theresa, can be punishable by death. But nope. Elsie was alive the whole time (probably) (unless she’s a robot now) (and who even knows anymore at this point, right?), chained up in a cave for an unknown amount of time and subsisting on protein bars that looked like ketchup packets. (Imagine the markup on food once Westworld has you in the park. I bet it makes Disney World look like a socialist utopia. A bottle of water probably costs $32.)

She is justifiably a little shaken and displeased about all of this “chained in a cave” business, and at a later point ended up with a shotgun in her hands, which she was surprisingly judicious with. A part of me wanted her to go Season 1 Maeve and just start mowing everyone down, Bernard included, which, given some things we saw and will discuss later, might not have been a terrible idea. Instead, she fixed him up and gave him that fluid and now she’s still in constant peril. So there’s that!

Hey, that’s William’s daughter

To be fair, by the time we reached the “Hi, dad” moment at the end, we’d been tipped off pretty good that the woman referred to as Grace in the show notes was actually William’s daughter and the granddaughter of Papa Delos. There were a few pretty foreshadow-y editing moves where the show would smash cut from her straight to him, and there was the thing where what appeared to be a photograph of her — or someone who looked genetically similar to her, like a relative, possibly her mom and William’s wife — was burning up on the floor after Papa Delos’ stylish dungeon apartment was incinerated, and there was her general demeanor (shot that guy before hooking up with him) and knowledge of the park (tried to escape the tiger by running through a sensor at the end of the park). It’s official now, though. William’s daughter is in the park as the robot revolution — created as “a game” for William — is going down. So there’s that, too!

One other note on the reveal: A tip of the hat to the show for paying this one off quickly. Introduced last week, fought a tiger, revealed this week to be William’s daughter. The mysteries this year are so much more efficient. We still have a few big umbrella mysteries that are stretching across episodes and seasons, but more of them are getting paid off quickly this season, which has made the show more enjoyable to watch. Another two episodes of “Whoooo is this mystery woman?” and I might have pulled my hair out.

There are less cool ways to die than drinking nitroglycerin and getting shot with a shotgun

Rest in peace to the cartoonishly violent and evil Confederado played by Jonathan Tucker. Some run that guy had. He learned he and his gang of hooligans could come back to life after being killed, he was double-crossed by Dolores/Wyatt at the Alamo-style showdown with Delos’ army, and then his hostages got free and forced him to drink nitroglycerin and walk far enough that they’d be unharmed when they shot him with a shotgun and he went kaboom in the night. If you gotta go, though, I mean, that’s pretty cool. Not that I want to die that way. Or any way, in particular. Don’t get any ideas.

You know what? Let’s be really clear here: Please do not make me drink nitroglycerin and then shoot me with a shotgun.

It would be wild to see William and Delos get hauled into a congressional hearing and grilled over all of this

SENATOR: Now, uh, Mr…

WILLIAM: [dressed in all black, cowboy hat included, with a general demeanor that shouts “I’m Ed Harris, screw you”] William’s fine.

SENATOR: Okay, William. Let me see if I have this correct. You are the largest shareholder and primary controller of a series of theme parks in which the one percent can frolic in some sort of debaucherous playground, and at some point, quite possibly as “a game” created for you by your recently deceased employee, the robots in the park began killing many of the guests and terrorizing the survivors with long speeches about the ethics of the whole thing?

WILLIAM: [pulls bottle of whiskey out of jacket and pours self a shot, on the floor of Congress] I think you’ve about got it.

What We Kind Of Know


Delos is working toward immortality or something like it

The only reason this is in the “kind of” category is because there always seems to be a bigger game Delos is playing — the murdersex theme park was a data collection tool for marketing but also a way to research a form of artificial immortality — that it honestly wouldn’t surprise me if there’s another, bigger reveal coming. I’m not sure exactly how one goes bigger than “cheating death through science,” but who knows with this show, you know?

The whole thing was explained through repeated check-ins with its first subject, the aforementioned Papa Delos, a man who enjoys dancing and whiskey and swearing, even from beyond the grave. It did seem quite wasteful that the team would incinerate not just Papa Delos but also his entire little apartment every time they went to restart the experiment (I guess they buy the furniture for the room in bulk and have it stuffed off in some storage facility?), but then you see a murderous un-incinerated version of him in a crimson-lit crime scene and you’re like, “Ahhh right. Yeah. The future is terrifying and artificial intelligence could turn on us at any moment and enslave us. Burn him up.”

What We Don’t Know


What’s up with Bernard?

There’s the thing at the end, yes, of course, with the flashback where Bernard ordered the nude milkdroids to kill the staff and then Bernard stomped out the last straggler. That’s not great, potentially, especially if you’re poor Elsie, who hasn’t had a damn vegetable in weeks and now has to deal with all of this.

What I’m more interested in right now is the Ford of it all. Ford had him put Elsie in that cave, something — probably Ford’s code, from beyond the grave — made Zombie Clementine drag him out there, and then we discover the cave is littered with secret rooms and immortality experiments and such. This all appears to be part of a bigger thing and I’m sure we’ll find out more at some point in the near-ish future.

What the Voynich manuscript says

Has nothing to do with the show, admittedly, but I feel like if we would devote 30 percent of the effort we put toward unraveling mysteries on this show to decoding the Voynich manuscript, we could have that sucker figured out in a couple weeks. Maybe between seasons.


What’s up with William’s game?

Still not a lot of clarity on exactly what William’s “game” is, although he did he get another clue about looking back instead of forward and… look. This is all fine. I’m sure when he — and we — eventually figure all of this out it will open everyone’s eyes and reveal the mystery behind all of the things that have happened so far on the show, possibly including what and/or where this whole Glory thing is, but we really have to stop having clues delivered by creepy all-knowing children. This isn’t any sort of plot-based criticism. I just do not like it. Creepy all-knowing children are weird and scary. Let an adult give him a clue for once. Then fill him with nitro and blow him up. Keeps things simple.

Where were Dolores and Maeve?

An episode spent on caves and immortality left little time for our two hyper-woke female revolutionaries, one of whom is presumably bound for Glory on horseback while answering Teddy’s endless stream of questions with the disdain of a mother on Hour 8 of a family road trip to Florida, and the other of whom is looking for her fake robot daughter with a safecracker and a whiny British writer. I assume we’ll hear more from them next week. I hope so. Trying to jam their stories into an already-stuffed 71-minute episode would have been a bit much, but I did miss them a little. Maeve more than Dolores. Her story is almost becoming a sitcom at this point. I hope she finds her daughter and the four of them get an apartment together in Cleveland.