Dissonance Theory Where Everyone Has An Agenda Except Elsie.
This is my Westworld recap of season 1, episode 4 entitled “Dissonance Theory.” Before we move forward, some fans have asked me what the heck does dissonance theory mean, therefore I answered that over in the forums. This episode continues to expand largely with four storylines. These are: The Man in Black on his crusade to find the center of the maze. William and Dolores as they trek across the countryside on a bounty hunt. Meave, who’s possibly the brightest host in all of Westworld as she unravels her own reveries. Finally, there’s Dr. Robert Ford and Theresa Cullen and their brunch over at Agave plantation, where Ford once again demonstrates his Gold-like power over the hosts.
In the opening scene, we once again find Dolores and Bernard are having one of their father daughter talks. Dolores tells Bernard “The pain, their loss, it’s all I have left of them.” When we last left Dolores, she was in the countryside, but apparently she was brought back to the backstage or this is just some poor editing. Dolores asks Bernard if there’s anything wrong with these thoughts she’s having, and Bernard replies no. Clearly that’s not true, and like Else says, “Everyone here has a fucking agenda, except me.” I’m not sure where Bernard wants to take Dolores’ development, but she’s clearly a security risk to the park. Dolores wakes up back in the countryside with William and Logan. The trio along with Holden continue with their bounty hunter narrative. Most interestingly, Logan tells William about how his company needs to bump its stake in Westworld. William complains because he thought Logan was just here to just drink and have sex with every cute host in the countryside, but then Logan reveals that “In our family,” Logan says, “everything is business.”
Back in town, at Mariposa, as Clementine comments about things she’s had on the tip of her tongue and discusses the anatomy of a certain “cowpoke from Abilene,” Maeve chugs sherry and experiences another reverie. Maeve then starts to remember a previous scene in which a guest murdered everyone and the Westworld clean up crew came to mop it all up for the next day. Soon, Maeve goes to her room and looks for a gunshot wound she recalls from her reverie, and she keeps flashing back, so she draws a sketch of the person she keeps seeing in her mind. She turns and lifts up the floorboard to see that she’s sketched this person over and over before. The sketch is one of the technicians the appear to clean up scenes.
At the backstage, the stray host, who smashed his head in with a boulder last week is being examined by Elsie, who is being grilled by the park operations head. Theresa says her team is going to check out the stray host, and Elsie gets upset and complains to Bernard, who seems intent on throwing her off the trail, mostly by pointing out that the weird drawing she found last week isn’t actually Orion’s belt, because it only has three stars and this drawing has four. Later we see Bernard and Theresa post-coitus, and she mentions she has to meet with Ford the next day and see if she can buy some time, because the board has to approve his huge narrative plan.
Across the countryside, the Man in Black traveled to the blood arroyo with Lawrence in tow to figure out the next level of the maze, but he can’t find where the snake lays its eggs until he walks down to the water and sees the outlaw Armistice topless in the water. After murdering a few of her outlaw crew to create some job openings, the Man in Black volunteers himself and Lawrence for the task of getting their outlaw boss Hector out of jail in exchange for the backstory of her tattoos.
During this exchange, he asks Armistice if she’s heard of Arnold, basically “the original settler of these parts,” and talks about how Arnold had created a world where “you could do anything you want except one thing: you can’t die.” But then, the Man in Black says, Arnold broke his own rule by dying in the park. He shows her the scalp maze again and says her tattoos are the second part of the puzzle.
Down south at Las Mudas, Dolores confronts Lawrence’s daughter and asks her where she’s from. “Same as you, don’t you remember,” the little girl says, creepily. Dolores hears that internal voice again, saying “remember” and flashes back to a church and a burial and guns and the little girl in a dress. Also, the little girl is drawing the maze in the dirt. Eventually, some marshal-type host likely sent by Stubbs comes to bring her back to the farm, but William intervenes. “That’s my girl,” William tells him and the host backs off.
More interestingly, that night, as he sits around a campfire, a guest comes up to the Man in Black and says he’s a big fan of his work outside of Westworld, and mentions that his foundation literally saved his sister’s life. The Man in Black cuts him off and threatens to cut his throat if he continues, then tells him he’s on vacation, but still this further deepens his backstory.
The next day, the Man in Black and Lawrence somehow find themselves in a prison stagecoach where the he tells Lawrence that he has “always been a prisoner” and “What if I told you I’m here to set you free?” Lawrence probably thinks he’s being literal because Lawrence’s narrative, so far, seems to always involve him being in jail. Once arriving at the jail, a Marshall decides to have Lawrence shot in front of a firing squad, but the Man in Black uses a clever exploding cigar to free himself and the outlaw Hector from jail and kill everyone in the firing squad just as Lawrence is about to be shot.
Lawrence, the Man in Black and Hector soon return to the outlaw Armistice. She tells her backstory about the tattoos to the Man in Black. Apparently her whole family and village were brutally murdered by “masked men with horns.” She had to put her mother’s blood on her body so they’d think she was dead, and so when she tracked down each of them, she used her blood to paint her skin again. Now she only has one person left to find, so she can finish her face tattoo with blood. When replying to the Man in Black she eerily said “He has many names, most know him as Wyatt.”
Later we find Dr. Robert Ford and Theresa together, eating at the Agave plantation. Interestingly, we see many hosts with pickaxes working the fields, while Ford and Theresa talk. He says he knows she thinks he’s gone mad and lost his way, and she says she’s merely concerned with the extent of the changes being made at the park.
Ford talks about Arnold and how they made 100 hopeful storylines, but Arnold had a dim view of people, and begged Ford not to let the “money men” into the park, but Ford was convinced that the money people wouldn’t see the bigger picture. Theresa looks at him, and Ford appears to have hit the time stop button on the entire park. The waiter serving them the wine keeps pouring wine into a glass until it overflows and empties. Everyone in view is frozen, like time has stopped. Ford sadly says “Arnold lost his perspective. I haven’t. I have always seen things clearly.”At that moment, Theresa realizes that this was the exact seat at the exact table, she sat in with her parents when she visited the park as a child. Ford knew that and he also knows she’s sleeping with Bernard. He tells her to stay out of his way. Remarkably Ford somehow starts the world up again.
William, Logan, Dolores and the Marshal Holden soon become involved in the bandit raid and capture “Slim,” who tells the marshal who he works for Alonzo. Logan, not so surprisingly kills the marshal because it turns out Alonzo is their “ticket to the best ride in the park,” and they stumbled upon an “Easter egg.” Dolores objects to setting Slim free. Logan and William briefly hold guns to Dolores until Logan reassures the group that everyone will be fine. Out in the desert, the Man in Black and Lawrence stumble across Teddy, who’s tied to a tree. They set him free, and continue on.
When Hector comes into the brothel, she puts a gun to his head and shows him upstairs to the safe, where she offers to give him the combination if Hector tells her about the technician. Hector tells her that the thing is a “shade,” from sacred native lore, a man who walks between worlds, sent from hell to oversee our world. Maeve tells Hector that she remembers getting shot and the shade standing over her and all of a sudden she wasn’t shot anymore. So she asks him to cut her open where she thinks she was shot.
Hector declines to cut her, so she does it herself with his assistance, and asks him to reach inside her. He pulls out the bullet. Maeve is so relieved. “I’m not crazy,” she says, as the Sheriff and his posse stand outside the door ready to shoot Hector. Meave now understands her dissonance theory when she realizes that “none of this matters.” Hector and Meave begin to make out as bullets are fired through the door.
Next week, Westworld episode 5 entitled “Contrapasso” debuts on Sunday, Oct 30 at 9:00 PM ET on HBO. Here’s a preview of what’s coming.
— Westworld (@WestworldHBO) October 24, 2016