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
Maeve had a busy week
When we last checked in with Maeve, the all-powerful robot who started out as the madam of a Wild West brothel and eventually became self-aware and able to adjust her own code, she was waking up in Nazi Germany, or at least something resembling Nazi Germany, because Westworld is exactly the kind of show that will introduce a futuristic hellworld of on-demand crime and AI overlords and then tack on post-credits Nazis as a twist. Let’s take a look at where this week’s episode took Maeve:
- She died attempting to escape the Nazi world and when she woke up she discovered Lee Sizemore survived his gunshot wounds
- Hector was there but he wasn’t Hector, which stunk because Hector was much cooler as a cowboy safecracker than as some sort of Teddy-ass Resistance good guy
- Maeve learned Lee put her in WarWorld to be close to the Forge and her daughter, and the two of them ran off on an adventure
- Whoops the Forge was fake
- Whoops Lee was a robot
- Whoops everything she saw and experienced was a simulation
- She overloaded the simulation by getting the robots stuck in math loops and making the Nazis think they were all traitors
- She figured out her core brain thing was stored in a facility somewhere
- She sent a maintenance drone after it in battle mode and the drone got mowed down by armed security guards
- She woke up in a mansion wearing a designer white dress that probably costs more than your car
- And more things we’ll get to in a minute
That’s a lot! That’s so much. On another television show, or possibly even previous iterations of this television show, that all takes multiple episodes and maybe even the full season. She started in Nazi Germany and ended up sending a drone on a doomed brain heist in the future because everything was a secret simulation. And all of that was just the preamble to get us to the real business of this season. It was cool watching Maeve do her thing, strutting around confidently and slapping people and frying robots with logical fallacies like she’s Bugs Bunny, but I wonder if we needed… all of that. I guess it depends on where things go from here, but there’s a non-zero chance that 80 percent of it all was very fancy throat-clearing.
Bernard and Stubbs are robots and best friends now
It’s official, Stubbs is a robot, which we mostly knew thanks to the season two finale but now know for certain because he told us. Ford built him to protect Bernard. Bernard found this out when he stumbled across Stubbs’s mangled body in the park, and yes, this is where I would normally discuss how easy it was for some guy to hop on a boat and sail right up to the site of a theme park robot-led massacre and start walking around, but let’s all agree to brush past that for now. There’s too much to try to make sense of already. Let’s just acknowledge this happened and move on.
Bernard had two items on his to-do list in the labs: Find Maeve and figure out what’s going on with his code. Both went… okay. He and Stubbs did find Maeve’s body, but her brain core thing had been ripped out, which defeated the purpose. And he did get to plug himself into a tablet that Dolores couldn’t have corrupted (probably, who knows), but he only got part of the way through the process before he had to disconnect and flee with an ax-wielding Stubbs.
The important thing here is that Bernard altered Stubbs’ code and now Bernard basically has a new bodyguard and best friend and they’re both getting back on a boat and setting off into the high seas. I’m sure their conversations will be riveting.
Everybody has jokes
Well, look at that. It’s Drogon the dragon, from Game of Thrones, in the Delos lab, getting dismantled by two techs who were played by Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, one of whom wanted to take the dismantled dragon to Costa Rica. Your appreciation of this moment will depend on your appreciation of cross-series Easter eggs that have very little to do with the actual plot of either, but it is worth noting for the implication it raises. There are two possibilities here: One, all of Game of Thrones took place in a park at Westworld, with all of the characters actually being robots, except for maybe one who was a secret billionaire human living out his medieval fantasies (my money is on Bronn, if only because I would want to be the cool and badass sellsword in that situation, too); two, Delos licensed Game of Thrones to create a theme park based on the show, kind of like how Disney has Star Wars Land now.
Thinking about any of this for too long will melt your brain a little and is not recommended. If we’re just out here crossing over HBO franchises, though, I must suggest we get Noho Hank from Barry in here somewhere. Just take a full episode to have Bernard explain everything that’s happened so far and let us watch Hank attempt to process it. This is my only request.
What We Kind Of Know
This is headed to some sort of Maeve v. Dolores showdown, probably, unless it isn’t
It is my great pleasure to introduce one Engerraund Serac, played by Vincent Cassel, a character who sure looks evil based on the things we know or can deduce so far. He appears to be the other co-founder of the Incite AI company Dolores was trying to infiltrate, he appears to be the only one in control of the Rehoboam system that controls the world, he probably killed Liam’s dad, he created the whole simulation Maeve was in to try to discover where the host info was hidden, he is the only person who can control Maeve and freeze her (came in handy when she tried to stab him 90 seconds into their meeting), and he really just gives off big-time supervillain vibes.
Run down the list: Lives in a weird compound, has armed guards and robot drones, kidnaps women and dresses them in expensive clothes so he can meet with them and explain his plan to them. All very classic supervillain shit. He is going to tell someone, before the end of the season, that the two of them are not so different. Book it.
During their meeting, he explained to Maeve that he thought it had been her who broke into the forge to steal the host’s info. Now they both know it was Dolores. He wants Maeve to help him fight a battle he says is already lost. It’s a whole thing. What it seems to be getting at is a situation where he enlists Maeve to stop Dolores, which could result in anything from a world-ending battle between two powerful robots with all the technology you can imagine coursing through their circuits to Maeve double-crossing him and teaming up with Dolores and ending humanity as we know it. Or… something else! Maybe he’s a secret robot, too. Maybe he decides it’s all too complicated and buys the Knicks instead. I don’t know!
I do like him, though. I hope he’s evil as all hell. He just needs a mustache to twirl and he’ll be perfect.
What We Don’t Know
What is Bernard’s deal right now?
Bernard was rebuilt by Dolores and sent out into the real world, where he is hellbent on stopping her, which might be exactly what she wants, unless it isn’t, and Bernard knows this, kind of, because he knew to track down a tablet that he didn’t build so he could run the clean Dolores-free test on himself, but his theory is that she made him to stop her from going too far, which flies in the face of everything we’ve ever learned about Dolores, but whatever, he’s on a boat now, I’m sure it’s fine.
Why did my big genius man have low-tech droids?
Serac has world-predicting software at his fingertips and the ability to concoct an entire simulated Delos in his spare time. He seems to be a brilliant guy with unlimited resources. He lives in a world where robots can be so lifelike that they can fool humans and each other for years at a time. So why does he have these weirdo 1990s-looking Asimo droids running around his house? My dude, you live in the future. You can make your robots look like anything, not just robots. You could have had, like, koala bears or the Spice Girls or a dozen Vin Diesels in tuxedos. Your options were only limited by your imagination, which is allegedly pretty impressive, given the fact that you created that whole simulation. Come on.
I’m still a fan, but I am definitely going to need to see more effort going forward.
Who else is a robot and is everything on the same timeline and where was Charlotte during all of this and what’s William up to wherever he is and do you think Delos sent out a “To Our Valued Customers” letter about how everything went down?
You know, the standard stuff. It’s wild that this — the episode that included robot Nazis and a dragon and a genius billionaire who controls the world — was about as straightforward as this show ever gets.