\W/ The Chestnut – Brokebot Mountain – 2

The Chestnut

Logan and William come to Westworld for a good time, but the latter is reluctant to indulge in episode 2 of HBO’s Westworld series, “The Chestnut.”  Though Bernard secretly questions Dolores to make sure nobody has tampered with her, Dolores’ contact with procuring madame host Maeve results in her malfunction as well. Maeve is taken in for maintenance but unexpectedly awakes and witnesses damaged hosts, including Teddy, being hosed down. The Man in Black abducts outlaw Lawrence from his own hanging, demanding that he tells him the location of the maze. Lawrence’s daughter gives him his next clue. Ford vetoes Sizemore’s new narrative calling it cheap titillation that underestimates the guests. They will use Ford’s narrative instead.

Information Overload

Last week we were introduced to the characters of Westworld.  A LOT of characters. Not to mention a wealth of storylines.

What we know:  Westworld is an “amusement park-like” environment dreamt up by it’s creator (Ford) that have all these storylines that intertwine, and create a typical day in the west.
This week, A pair of guests, first-timer William and repeat visitor Logan, arrive at Westworld with different expectations and agendas. Bernard and Quality Assurance head Theresa Cullen debate whether a recent host anomaly is contagious. Meanwhile, the Man in Black conscripts a condemned man, Lawrence, to help him uncover Westworld’s deepest secrets.

Pony Express – Mail bag

Map of the route followed by the Pony Express, along with inset images of some of the stops and a short text, 1860. The route ran between St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California. Illustration by American Pioneer Trails Association. (Photo by Buyenlarge/Getty Images)

The Church in the Steeple – What does it mean?

First up, the church as seen in Dolores flashback appears to have the same church steeple as the one that Ford sees in the ground. Writer Jonathan Nolan has revealed that the Church steeple is part of “older storylines that Ford has literally paved over, and it’s a question how they connect to the new one he’s building now.”

Was the church burned down and the steeple is now all that remains of this old town?  Or did Ford bury this entire storyline beneath the earth? Burying old theme park attractions is not unheard of.  Some of the old rides in Disneyland’s Frontierland supposedly still exist in the ground underneath the current property.

Parallel Timelines?

For those of you that have been suspicious of the Man in William theory, you may be in for a rude awakening. The theory essentially suggests we are seeing two different time periods and William/Billy is the Man in Black on his first trip to the park intercut with the Man in Black on his latest adventure into the park. And while some of the happenings in the last two episodes may seem to disprove the theory, I am about to prove to you that we will, at the very least, be seeing different timelines in this show. We are definitely seeing events from Evan Rachel Wood‘s character Dolores’ past.

Decoding Chestnut

In a previous Westworld theory breakdown, we wondered the meaning of that episode title, “Chestnut.” The most direct interpretation of the title is that a chestnut is an old, hackneyed song or story that gets repeated ad nauseum. But Joanna Robinson, co-host of Decoding Westworld, points out that the title might actually be a reference to the gun.

In the flashback, Dolores seems to have possession of the gun in the church, all new and shiny. Also, when Dolores wakes up next to William at the beginning of the fourth episode, her gun looks in brand new condition. Does this confirm the Man In William theory? Or at the very least, does this confirm we are watching parallel stories in two very different time periods?



Guts & Glory

Inside the episode

William and Logan arrive at the park. Logan, a veteran guest, has very little interest in the stories of the park. William, a newcomer, is unsure of the park and what it is all about. Dolores, having been wiped clean by the staff of the incident involving her “father”, seems to remember more than she is supposed to. It even infect Maeve who later wakes up during a repair. The Man in Black continues his hunt, picking up the host Lawrence and tormenting his family for further clues on the maze. The park’s director, Dr Ford, rejects Narrative’s new storyline for his own, one that he has been working on for a very long time.

Talking Points

When William’s trying to figure out who’s real and who isn’t, Logan offers to shoot someone to find out—guns only work against the hosts, as was established last week. Later, Logan stabs a robot in the hand for pissing him off, thus demonstrating what a charming person Logan is. But it also suggests certain liability concerns; you can’t shoot other guests, but when a fight breaks out, you could sure as hell punch, stab, or throw them off a cliff. The liability insurance for this place must be through the roof.

“Are you real?” “Well, if you can’t tell, does it matter?” Thesis statement! Thesis statement!

Bernard has been talking with Dolores on the sly, presumably because he shares Ford’s deeper interest in the machine consciousness. He is also having an affair with Theresa . Jeffrey Wright’s character has a lot going on, and is definitely one to watch!

“It means when you’re suffering, that’s when you’re most real.”


Beyond the Horizon

Kari, Phil & David Theorize

Kari’s Theory

“The kid you meet a little boy I theorize he was put there by Ford as a depiction of himself.  Yes I think that is Ford as a child.  Therefore from my opening theory that this is a world Ford built for himself, about himself, may stand.”

Phil’s Theory

“I think Ford is planning his grand finale as his narrative. He may be starting to realize that the hosts are “waking up” and getting beyond his control. His story may be one that will destroy the infrastructure of Westworld and allow his creations to live as sentient beings in society.  The end shot of the steeple with the cross may be foreshadowing that as Jesus died on it as a way to liberate mankind, so might Ford to liberate his “people”. (yes, it’s possible I read into things too much.)”

David’s Theory

“The Man in Black is an investor/on the board of Westworld.”

Connect with our hosts| Kari Simms| Phil Rood| David Luzader