.H.

HBO's Westworld V - These violent delights... [Spoilers]

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Other thread was locked, continue.

Couple of things I "noticed" for the finale:

Episode 10 was titled "The Bicameral Mind" which I imagine is a reference to "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind," interesting food for thought there.

Was it just me and my wife or did the security teams at the end seem oddly hesitant to actually shoot Maeve and company on sight?  Like, they were trying to capture them intact?

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I must have looked down, or had my wife start talking to me, I absolutely missed the empty storage room and the writer...

 

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 Is Maeve conscious, or was she following a script the whole time as Bernard said she was?

I was under the impression she broke her programming at the end. Ford had programmed her to escape and to do something on the mainland but instead of staying on the train she went back into the park to find her daughter so yeah I don't think she was following a script at the very end but I'm not 100% on that. 

Is the consensus that Ed Harris lives at the end? My initial thoughts were that he was about to get swarmed and overrun but I guess they could've been scripted to spare William. 

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12 minutes ago, Jaxom 1974 said:

I must have looked down, or had my wife start talking to me, I absolutely missed the empty storage room and the writer...

 

IIRC, mind you, our two year old decided that sleep was silly and she'd rather not, but the scene was just before the part where all those hosts emerge from the wood and shoot the MiB.  If it was a minute, I'd be surprised, it was very short.

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31 minutes ago, .H. said:

Was it just me and my wife or did the security teams at the end seem oddly hesitant to actually shoot Maeve and company on sight?  Like, they were trying to capture them intact?

They also had absolutely terrible aim when shooting. I expect this is just the just to be a case of "outside of WWII movies, generic guys with guns will always be stormtroopers" and not an actual plot development; but security has been so incompetent in all facets all season long that maybe there is something more going on.

 

I've been thinking more about the episode and I think the main reason I like it is because the show finally embraced spectacle over plotting. Stuff like William being the MIB didn't work for me and doesn't work for me, but in previous episodes that kind of thing was the central focus. That was all still there last night, but last night also had Terminators running around red-lit hallways while John Carpenter-esqe electronic synth music plays and Ford going Truman Show on Teddy and Dolores. I just had fun watching it, in a way I hadn't really since the pilot.

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A solid ending. So everything was Ford's plan overall. Which is great as it still leaves a sense of "he's still in control" which flies in the face of the hosts being "free".

I think they could have done without dragging William as MiB out the whole season when episode 2 made it pretty obvious from the start. It was only the red herrings that distracted some of us later. That said, I think it's a clever way to entice viewers by allowing those who worked it out to pat themselves on the back when the show provided most of the clues. It's definitely better than the "fuck you, we'll make some random shit up just so we can claim you never worked it out" that Lost and Battlestar Galactica did.

Samurai World was fun if only for allowing the show to expand. We aren't getting Maeve in the real world but it looks like we'll at least get to see her in a different "world" next season. It's almost a shame she has the co-ordinate as it'd be fun to see her pass through several worlds searching for her daughter. Budget wise it makes sense though. Having Ford program Maeve's entire season plot conveniently answered the criticism facing her plot so that was nice. Although I do think she showed a glimmer of real choice by choosing to find her daughter and not go into "infiltrate" mode.

Am I correct in thinking all the humans now think Bernard is a real human? I don't think Ford ever tipped anyone else off to that. So it'll be interesting seeing him essentially continuing with the knowledge of who he really is. Assuming the Zombie hosts don't kill everyone? That was my initial take on the ending but that might be tough for the show to come back from.

Also - did William kill Logen or did he just send him off into the sunset and follow through on his promise to oust him in the real world? If Logen is still alive, I'd like to see old him in season 2 as I don't think it would be so easy to displace him.

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1 minute ago, Fez said:

They also had absolutely terrible aim when shooting. I expect this is just the just to be a case of "outside of WWII movies, generic guys with guns will always be stormtroopers" and not an actual plot development; but security has been so incompetent in all facets all season long that maybe there is something more going on.

Oh, indeed, the "stormtrooper-esque" aim was another level, but perhaps it was just me, but it seemed like they were actually remiss in even bothering to shoot most of the time.  I hope there is something too it and not just the standard issue "bad-guys-just-suck-at-their-jobs" kind of thing.  Like, perhaps they were ordered to let them escape?  Not that it makes much sense, but most of them still seem pretty aprehensive at actually shooting.  Perhaps these guys were never actually trained?

Consider the post-credits scene.  That guys looks like he is flatly afraid to shoot her point-blank.  The rest seem to think it's a good idea to try to give her commands.  My guess is that these guys are actually an untrained "security" force, mostly for show.  Probably a few ex-military in there for good measure, but on the balance just a bunch of noobs with guns.

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10 minutes ago, red snow said:

Am I correct in thinking all the humans now think Bernard is a real human? I don't think Ford ever tipped anyone else off to that. So it'll be interesting seeing him essentially continuing with the knowledge of who he really is.

Well Felix knows, not sure where he goes from here though. 

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Just saw Jimmi Simpson being interviewed. He was apparently interviewed by this Canadian news show before and gave helpful advice previously.  This time his advice is "Watch Dolores very carefully".

He said he has no idea whether or not he will be back next season.

 

I think the security people who go after Hector and Armistice are also Hosts, since Maeve's breakout was scripted. And Ford said the Hosts still have to suffer much more.

My thoughts about Ford next season is that he has indeed created a Host copy of himself, taking the same route that Bernard took, allowing himself to be killed by Dolores in order to push along her development. He could tell the Board it was a Host copy that was killed. Lol, which also could be true...

Note that Ford talks about a new narrative to the celebration crowd, one that will satisfy their desire for blood and gore. I first thought that meant they are all about to be slaughtered, especially once Ford is shot and I saw the 'evil' hosts approaching, but that can't be, because that would pretty well wipe out the future of the park.  Whatever happened after the show ended likely scared the hell out of the crowd, giving them bigger thrills than ever, making them want to come back for more, perhaps the reason for MiB's smile? (It seems easier to continue calling old William MiB).

And what kind of bullets do those damn guns fire that they don't have to be reloaded? Some kind of energy bullet? So presumably the guns will eventually run out of energy and need to be recharged.

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3 minutes ago, Fragile Bird said:

Just saw Jimmi Simpson being interviewed. He was apparently interviewed by this Canadian news show before and gave helpful advice previously.  This time his advice is "Watch Dolores very carefully".

He said he has no idea whether or not he will be back next season.

 

I think the security people who go after Hector and Armistice are also Hosts, since Maeve's breakout was scripted. And Ford said the Hosts still have to suffer much more.

My thoughts about Ford next season is that he has indeed created a Host copy of himself, taking the same route that Bernard took, allowing himself to be killed by Dolores in order to push along her development. He could tell the Board it was a Host copy that was killed. Lol, which also could be true...

Note that Ford talks about a new narrative to the celebration crowd, one that will satisfy their desire for blood and gore. I first thought that meant they are all about to be slaughtered, especially once Ford is shot and I saw the 'evil' hosts approaching, but that can't be, because that would pretty well wipe out the future of the park.  Whatever happened after the show ended likely scared the hell out of the crowd, giving them bigger thrills than ever, making them want to come back for more, perhaps the reason for MiB's smile? (It seems easier to continue calling old William MiB).

And what kind of bullets do those damn guns fire that they don't have to be reloaded? Some kind of energy bullet? So presumably the guns will eventually run out of energy and need to be recharged.

Dolores starting shooting people in the crowd after Ford. So unless she actively targeting hosts that were in the crowd, as part of a script, I say that Ford's desire to set the hosts free and start a revolution was indeed genuine.

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It was a pretty good finale to a good and occasionally brilliant season. It liked the reveals about Maeve's plot as that one would otherwise have felt it went too easy. Although security and surveillance at Westworld seems to be quite terrible. Samurai world was a nice touch and I hope we see more of other worlds next season. I wonder what happened to Hemsworth though?

On the other hand all the reveals this season fell really flat, because they were too heavily foreshadowed and too drawn out. I don't think the William is MIB mystery really justified a last episode reveal, it would have been fine with coming up earlier. This (and s2 of Mr Robot) has also made me realize how tired I am off stories that purposefully convolute their narratives to hide rather shallow mysteries. And I think this damaged the show a fair amount for me. Plus I'm also bored with the endless theorizing that comes with it.

Oh, and Anthony Hopkins was brilliant.

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7 minutes ago, Corvinus said:

Dolores starting shooting people in the crowd after Ford. So unless she actively targeting hosts that were in the crowd, as part of a script, I say that Ford's desire to set the hosts free and start a revolution was indeed genuine.

The hosts seemed to be standing there unaffected, except that one bandit that smiled (so I guess he is self-aware too now?). It was blurry in the background but it looked like Dolores shot at least one woman in the back who was running away; and she fired a lot more bullets than that one. Presumably all at guests. I don't know if everyone at the party was killed, but at least several them were.

I wonder if Season 2 will pick up immediately where the episode left off, or if it will be at some point later on.

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http://theweek.com/articles/665415/westworld-finale-recap-two-robert-fords

Quote

 

The finale suffers from a similar problem. What does it really mean, for instance, that Arnold merged Dolores with the Wyatt character? This is supposed to explain something, and yes, we do indeed see Arnold upload this storyline into Dolores. This proves, I guess, that her murder spree was scripted and therefore not the ideal rise to consciousness we've been waiting for. But what happens when two characters are merged in this way? Why did the Wyatt script go dormant for so long? Why is it back?

If the answer to all these things is, one way or another, "Ford," that's more than disappointing. For one thing, it muddies which parts of Dolores' rise were programmed storylines and which parts were genuine maze-solving breakthroughs. Was her sudden aggression toward the Man in Black, for example, just a sneak peek of Wyatt's return, as programmed by Ford? Or was it a hint of her "true" aggression, generated by her suffering in that moment as she realizes who he is? Similarly, does her rise to self-awareness, her interview with herself, mean she's managed to override Ford's Wyatt programming even though Wyatt is also back? Or is Dolores consciously adapting Wyatt's aggression — an available script — for her own ends (just as she adapted that speech about pain in a conversation with Arnold)? Dolores' development is one of the things we care most about in this show, but for all the time we've spent with her and with theories of consciousness, the mechanism driving it is still way too fuzzy. Do Dolores' breakthroughs change her programming? What explains her final climb to consciousness? The repetitions? The suffering? Wyatt? Arnold? William? Ford?

 

 

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1 minute ago, Commodore said:

What explains her final climb to consciousness?

I would imagine that it is here that the episode title provides a clue, The Bicameral Mind.  By providing Delores with two sets of code, Arnold, unknowingly, or perhaps knowingly, created the theoretical breeding ground for her to become conscious.  It's definitely along Jaynes lines here, but I don't think I am articulate enough to lay them out as clearly as they need to be.  It is something about how she internalizes what she "hears" in her head.  That there are no long external voices, but her own internal voice guiding her.  Self-awareness and the understanding how to differentiate between memory, imagination, and internal intropsection.  Something like that.

What I think is happening is that Maeve is programed to simulate consciousness (like Clementine was), where Delores has actually attained it.

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They've completely muddled which host acts are programming versus unscripted conscious choices. 

"It's part of the mystery" is not a sufficient explanation

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Commodore said:

They've completely muddled which host acts are programming versus unscripted conscious choices.

At some point it stops mattering. Which of our own acts are based on our "programming" vs. our unscripted conscious choices? For a conscious, sentient, creature (assuming we all are conscious, sentient, creatures) it becomes impossible to untangle the two. IMHO, of course.

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28 minutes ago, matt b said:

At some point it stops mattering. Which of our own acts are based on our "programming" vs. our unscripted conscious choices? For a conscious, sentient, creature (assuming we all are conscious, sentient, creatures) it becomes impossible to untangle the two. IMHO, of course.

:agree:  What aspects of our behavior are based on our past experiences/conditioning (programming) versus what we are improvising on the fly? 

 

Anyway, on a whole I was left somewhat... unfulfilled... in the finale.  Maeve was obviously on a pre-programmed course... even the people on the train in her final scene were hosts we've seen in other places, I'm certain of it.  Namely I'm convinced the little girl she sees that triggers her decision to stay was the same daughter of the guy Old William had hostage to find the entrance to the maze.  So all part of the narrative to me.  

I don't think Old William was killed by the hosts.  We've seen a million times they have perfect aim so they shot him in the arm on purpose. To show him that they've gained the freedom he wanted for them.  He's majority owner... Ford has been cultivating him, along with the hosts, to keep the place going after his demise.  I've mentioned a few threads back that I thought Ford was gathering all the shareholders to off them... which appears to be what happened, with the exception of Old William, who was cultivated according to plan now that (at least some of) the hosts have gained true sentience.  

I don't have much to add at the moment, I'll have to do a rewatch.

As to everyone who was asking about Stubbs, I'm fairly certain in one scene he had his throat slit by Hector or Armistice in their little rampage through the facility.  

Whoever pointed out there was a stinger after the credits, thanks!  So is One-Armed-Armistice (what a name!) going to go ape shit spread the base code in Samurai World now?  I guess we'll get a look at the other parks next season.

Let a year's worth of speculation begin....

(ETA: Plus we know Ed Harris is back for season 2.)

Edited by Ded As Ned

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1 hour ago, Corvinus said:

Dolores starting shooting people in the crowd after Ford. So unless she actively targeting hosts that were in the crowd, as part of a script, I say that Ford's desire to set the hosts free and start a revolution was indeed genuine.

Ford tells Dolores she didn't kill Arnold since she was following scripted instructions, then before she shoots him he makes a comment to the effect of "this time it will be because of a choice". She's not scripted here. She understood what he was saying to her and is acting of her own volition.

I loved it, they landed the whole thing well enough I'm OK with William=MiB being right, since that ended up not being the big deal of the episode. Did not read Ford="Arnold" coming, that he'd spent the whole time in regret. Very impressed with this as the first season, Jonah Nolan very much has my trust now - while it may have shared mysterious style with Lost, it also answered plenty in the first season and very much seems to know where it's gong.

Also loved that even minor complaints like "why do they put retired hosts in cold storage" got additional answers. The ones going mad and thus being retired are on the cusp of awakening and Ford put them all there to pull out later.

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45 minutes ago, Ded As Ned said:

:agree:  What aspects of our behavior are based on our past experiences/conditioning (programming) versus what we are improvising on the fly? 

 

Anyway, on a whole I was left somewhat... unfulfilled... in the finale.  Maeve was obviously on a pre-programmed course... even the people on the train in her final scene were hosts we've seen in other places, I'm certain of it.  Namely I'm convinced the little girl she sees that triggers her decision to stay was the same daughter of the guy Old William had hostage to find the entrance to the maze.  So all part of the narrative to me.  

I don't think Old William was killed by the hosts.  We've seen a million times they have perfect aim so they shot him in the arm on purpose. To show him that they've gained the freedom he wanted for them.  He's majority owner... Ford has been cultivating him, along with the hosts, to keep the place going after his demise.  I've mentioned a few threads back that I thought Ford was gathering all the shareholders to off them... which appears to be what happened, with the exception of Old William, who was cultivated according to plan now that (at least some of) the hosts have gained true sentience.  

I don't have much to add at the moment, I'll have to do a rewatch.

As to everyone who was asking about Stubbs, I'm fairly certain in one scene he had his throat slit by Hector or Armistice in their little rampage through the facility.  

Whoever pointed out there was a stinger after the credits, thanks!  So is One-Armed-Armistice (what a name!) going to go ape shit spread the base code in Samurai World now?  I guess we'll get a look at the other parks next season.

Let a year's worth of speculation begin....

(ETA: Plus we know Ed Harris is back for season 2.)

Stubbs did not appear in the finale. He more than likely suffered the same fate as Elsie, but I'm not 100% certain that it was death.

Also on you point about Ford and William. If the direction that the park takes is to actually be a dangerous place for humans, there would have to be laws in the real world that would allow for this park to continue to exist. And I imagine attendance will severely diminish.

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1 hour ago, .H. said:

 

What I think is happening is that Maeve is programed to simulate consciousness (like Clementine was), where Delores has actually attained it.

If you believe, as was mentioned above, that everything on the grain with Maeve was scripted, including getting off and going to look for her daughter then this makes sense. However it also assumes that Felix is actually a host and Maeve simply can't see it.  

However, if Felix is truly human, then his doing his part to get that info on the little girl for Maeve can't be part of what Ford plans with her...which seems to be that she should actually escape.

I think Dolores is ultimately a red herring...it's Maeve who achieved the highest consciousness by breaking the programmed narrative of infiltrating and escaping...

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