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Our Biggest Questions After Westworld, Episode 4

Clifton Collins Jr. as Lawrence, Ed Harris as the Man in Black.
Clifton Collins Jr. as Lawrence, Ed Harris as the Man in Black. Photo: John P. Johnson/HBO

Mystified about the Westworld pilot? You’re not alone. We don’t have many answers yet, but HBO’s sci-fi brain teaser will surely parse out a few from week to week. So we’re following up each episode with the myriad questions we’re pondering.

In “Dissonance Theory,” Dolores and William wander off on a life-changing journey, Dr. Ford fumes at Theresa’s opposition in his own condescending way, and there’s a whole lot of stuff about snakes and the man they call Wyatt. We’re still grasping at straws and shooting mostly blanks in our effort to stay one step ahead, but if you want to make a Westworld prediction of your own, give it a shot in the comments.

What is Logan’s family business?
Is it a haberdashery? A hedge fund? Something else entirely? All we know is this little trip is more than a chance for Logan and his future brother-in-law William to bond. It’s also something of a reconnaissance mission to determine whether Logan’s family should make a run at buying into Westworld. (And yes, the Logan’s Run reference was intended. As much, I imagine, as naming him Logan to begin with.)

What does the Man in Black do outside of Westworld?
We know his “foundation” saved the life of a guest’s sister, not that the Man in Black really cares. While he’s in Westworld, he only wants to get to the end of that maze and unlock the meaning of existence as God and Arnold intended. If Bernard seems intent on reckoning with his son’s death by giving life to innocent hosts who can’t compute pain and grief, perhaps something happened to the Man in Black that twisted his philanthropic former self into the “vacationing” nihilist who looms before us. Related question: Is he one of Dr. Ford’s most eager backers?

Does Arnold really exist?
Or is he Dr. Ford’s long-suppressed split personality? Indulge me here: What if Dr. Ford and the Man in Black shared the same vision until Dr. Ford quieted his alter ego’s curious intellect and set about something more superficial and self-absorbed, sending the Man in Black into a maddening, rage-fueled quest to pick up where he and “Arnold” left off? Eh, that’s probably about as logical as a stray Neanderthal stuck in a loop ruminating over the mysteries of the constellations. But honestly, how do we know Dr. Ford isn’t the fully realized id made possible by smothering his Arnold ego? After all, the guy can make Westworld rattle and freeze in place with his mind.

What’s going on with Armistice’s accent?
Actress Ingrid Berdal is Norwegian, so maybe her snake-tattooed host character is supposed to have emigrated from over yonder? Or perhaps Armistice is actually Southern and Berdal just has a funky honky-tonk accent? Also, it’s worth wondering whether it was absolutely essential that we saw her bathing nude in a lake like Tanya Roberts in The Beastmaster.

Who are Lawrence’s friends in Pariah?
Hopefully, they’re the kind of people who will bail out William when he, Logan, and Dolores clod into town concurrent with Lawrence and the Man in Black’s arrival. Generally speaking, it’s best to avoid towns named for the embodiment of shunned and discarded folk. Unless this all leads to our first, fated human-on-human act of violence, like the Man in Black pounding Logan to a bloody pulp. That would be okay.

And why does Lawrence keep cheating death?
In a world where hosts are born to die, Lawrence skirts the reaper with regularity. The cartoonish comic relief that comes with Lawrence’s lack of self-awareness (even for a host) and blindfolded brushes with fleeting immortality are welcome nonetheless, so long live Lawrence — or at least until the Man in Black no longer has use for him.

How much does Lawrence’s daughter know?
She’s awful prescient, having triggered Dolores’s flashbacks (or flash-forwards?) of the white church Dr. Ford prattled on about earlier in the season. Sheesh, keeping a handle on this series makes you empathize with those poor hosts trying to recall and reconcile all the data from their decades of duty.

Does Maeve love Hector?
Once the madam with a heart of wires awakens to the very conscious epiphany that life is utter madness, she makes haste to make out with outlaw Hector. Perhaps she has, over time and incarnations, stored and developed true emotion for him? Whatever the answer to that bit of wonderment, we’ve seen what simple kisses can do for revelries (looking at you, not-so-innocent Elsie), so it’ll be worth keeping an eye on how this rocks Hector’s world, and his story lines.

What are Theresa’s tells?
Stop toying with us, Bernard. We want to know! Still, we’ll settle for a bit more of Theresa’s backstory and how it came to pass that her family brought their little girl to Westworld — and how she later became the park’s operations leader. It certainly seems like Dr. Ford and the Man in Black aren’t the only ones seeking some truth about themselves at the center of it all. Too bad Dr. Ford’s bulldozing half of it to hell.

Did the lost host make a sketch of Orion?
I vote yay. Like Ashley remarked, the aforementioned brutish stray didn’t seem to have the steadiest of hands. If the sketch was deliberately inaccurate, maybe that star is missing from Orion’s belt for a reason. Maybe they’re inhabiting the fourth.

How much do the natives know?
And to think, stupid Lee Sizemore treats the tribal hosts like they’re the bane of his day. Seems as if these so-called “savages” have been crafting sophisticated renderings of the “shades” that walk between worlds. Those space men are more morally vacant under those suits than the hosts are beneath their supposedly unfeeling flesh. How much longer until Maeve discovers that truth?

Are series co-creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy WWE fans?
It has to be asked. The notion of a self-proclaimed backwoods mystic named Wyatt rounding up a loyal “family,” if you will, of menacing ne’er-do-wells sounds awfully familiar to wrestling fans.

Would you rather be set free or simply feel free?
Does it matter? Only if you’d like to know who will survive the impending war for humanity as a “human” experience. It’s an interesting philosophical question, to say the least, and it remains to be seen which characters will settle on either answer.

Our Biggest Westworld Questions After Episode 4