Westworld, S1 Ep 3 – The Stray

Westworld grows more sinister as it progresses and it remains truly compelling television to watch. It’s a gradual process, but the hosts are gaining consciousness and thus initiating more spontaneous actions that are no longer dictated by a strict code. Dolores has begun to remember past atrocities and she is now able to improvise her actions to suit the situation. She no longer lives completely in her loop.

Westworld, S1 Ep3 - The StrayThis episode of Westworld also explored the differing ideologies between Dr. Ford and Bernard. They had a long, serious conversation about the nature of the hosts and how Dr. Ford’s old partner, “Arnold”, who died in the park, had been determined to create real consciousness in the hosts. Ford’s views were the opposite and he saw his creations as machines and objects, and never as living things. He is cold and calculating, more keen on experimenting with violent storylines and embedding tragic backstories in hosts like Teddy, just to see how he will react. (There was a really impressive scene that showed a young Anthony Hopkins in such a convincing manner, truly proof of the advancements of special effects technology.)

He has a vision of an arch-nemesis who had fought with him in the war and who had somehow “heard the voice of God” and was now massacring innocent lives, to clear the way for the arrival of a mysterious being. Westworld continues to have a great deal of blood and violence, showcasing the base desires of the park’s human guests. They indulge themselves in all sorts of debauchery and vice because they believe they are entitled to do so. It’s already looking like the robots are the more human of the bunch.

Westworld, S1 Ep3 - The StrayBernard, on the other hand, seems to be sharing the views of Ford’s deceased partner. He is fascinated by his creations and treats them like human beings. We understand the paternal bond he shares with Dolores after the episode reveals that he has suffered the loss of a child. We don’t know how long he has been tampering with the hosts’ consciousness or having cryptic conversations with Dolores, but it’s clear that these interfering actions will have grave consequences. Especially when Ford finds out what he’s been up to.

Westworld, S1 Ep3 - The StrayAlready, one of the technicians and the security personnel go off in search of a stray host who has broken out of his loop and begun carving maps on stones. This stray almost hurts one of the humans but that vital line of code prevents him from doing so, and he ends up hurting himself instead. But it is clear that there is something very wrong happening to the formerly perfectly-functional robots. And soon, the guests and the technicians might have to contend with very dire circumstances.

The Westworld hosts are waking up and they are about to seek some kind of justice for the awful way they have been treated. This has been the premise of the show from the beginning, but watching it unfold remains a fascinating experience. The changes are subtle but growing in urgency and menace. There are still so many questions left unanswered, but as Dolores stumbles away from the path and from her storyline, the wheels are in motion for an even more exciting story than anything Ford’s imagination could have come up with.

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