Dolores discovers a new level to herself. William realizes he can be a little more black hat than he initially thought. The Man in Black continues his search for the center of the Maze and Ford continues his search for answers, in the deepest corners of his shrinking living memory. Maeve finds her wings.
On Westworld Season 1 Episode 5, “Contrapasso,” Dolores attempts to find a meaning to what she has been seeing and hearing, and attempts to figure out if the center of the Maze will offer her the same fulfillment as it will for the Man in Black. The Man in Black’s pursuit of the center of the Maze is an unstoppable force, one that cannot be altered or changed even by Ford, whose self-discovery is taking him down the hole of reminiscing, his belief that he can dig through the holes of his memories to fill the voids that he is missing. William and Dolores both learn a little bit about themselves, and Logan learns just how deep and dark the path can take him.
The Running Dog
Welcome back to your stay in Westworld! Just as in the premiere episode, reminiscent of Arnold, Ford sits with a robot, one of the older ones in the park, now decommissioned, a piece of what used to be. In describing his childhood dog, he seems to be describing the hosts themselves or how he designed them, even a little unknowingly. Specifically Dolores, the hosts are chasing after something, but will not be sure what to do once they have caught it, and it might be to the horror of everyone else at what they might do or be capable of doing. Despite that it ended up being a horrific sight, Ford still commented on it being beautiful to see the old dog run; despite what the hosts could provoke, and what their awakenings could entail, it would be beautiful to see the creations reach conscientiousness, for them to realize their true potential, for them to realize Arnold’s goal, and perhaps even find the center of the Maze.
As the Man in Black attempts to find the same goal, he realizes that his first partner, Lawrence, might not be the ideal candidate for his purposes. As he figures out his next move, which entails a rather gruesome but seemingly easy choice for him, the boy who Ford ran into appears again, clearly an attempt of the park to keep visitors at bay or from reaching a certain area, like a protective agent, even though the Man in Black doesn’t pay him any mind. Now sans Lawrence, the Man in Black recognizes that he needs Teddy because of his newfound ties with Wyatt, and maybe even Teddy’s ties to Dolores. The Man in Black admits that he’s seen the insides of the hosts, and that the mechanical pieces were more beautiful than making them real like people, indicating that the park’s attempt at making the hosts more real was an indication of cost rather than of helping the hosts to feel more real themselves. Both the Man in Black and Ford are recognizing beauty in the little things, the tiny allowed freedoms of a controlled thing, Ford with the running of the dog and the Man in Black with the tiny parts that make up the hosts.
As Dolores begins to notice things she isn’t supposed to, like when William mentions the real world, she also sees another her in the Pariah crowd, seemingly more comfortable and contended than she is currently. And then a familiar voice finds her and Ford acts as her questioner for the first time since we have seen her in the Westworld underbelly. Once again, Ford’s conversation reveals more about him than the person he is conversing with, as he attempts to dig through Dolores’s many faces and mindsets, trying to discern if Arnold is still there; indicating a sharp sense of loneliness, Ford seems to recount to Dolores in an attempt to find Arnold and to preserve the world as he knew it then. Just as visiting with the decommissioned host in the basement, he attempts to find someone who “understands”, as he so puts it, and seems to have a memory of Arnold, wishing his friend back in his own way. But Dolores is not only just hearing him, she reveals to be speaking to the voice in the air, seemingly Arnold.
In a fun reveal, Lawrence is El Lazo. Rather than being the father and caught criminal, he seems to be in a different part of his loop altogether, and seemingly not one that is sucked into the Man in the Black’s loop too. While acting as bandits, Logan’s delicate sensibilities are offended, leading him to be attacked by a man and for William to discover he might be more of a black hat type after all, perhaps more than even he thought.
Back in the underbelly, Elsie abandons what she’s supposed to be doing, i.e. minding her own business and focusing on the tasks at hand, and chases after the stray host and the as of yet undiagnosed problem running through the hosts. Digging through the stray literally, rather than in his mind, she discovers an uplink drive within the body of him, indicating that the safety that Arnold and Ford so desperately craved when first creating the hosts is now at risk. Similar to Willy Wonka, Ford’s creations are only as good as the secrets they keep. Like with most large companies, if their ingenuity is able to be replicated, the attractions lose their main draw. The invaluable becomes unimportant, and Westworld itself has the ability to lose all its power.
Logan and William have a standoffish tête-à-tête, resulting in Dolores leaving, to make several discoveries: that Lawrence as El Lazo has pulled off the ultimate con that will set them up for failure and that a more calm and determined version of her tells to keep pursuing the Maze. The implication of her unraveling is not necessarily about it in a literal sense, but rather declaratively insinuating that she is destined to become something more, something she manifests when she realizes she doesn’t need to be saved by William or anyone else. If she is indeed unraveling, then she is recognizing that there is something more beneath her; rather than unraveling and losing herself, she is able to peel back the layers, the systematically built layers, to reveal who she truly is, the many facets of the park helping her to discover it. The Maze seems to trigger the voice, and now her newfound response to it, despite her being utterly alone in one scene and with William and Lawrence the prior.
Ford vs. Man in Black
Ford joins the Man in Black and Teddy, both of whom to seem to know one another almost too intimately, and who seems to illustrate a harrowing picture of the Man in Black, proving that he is truly the ugliest creature in Westworld. Self-declaratively a villain, the Man in Black searches desperately for purpose and meaning in his own life, desperately seeking more than affirmation and the other reasons that most visitors come to the park. His wishes somehow align with Arnold’s, even mirror Ford’s in a way, the park acting as a preference than their current reality. As Ford slips deeper and deeper into the past in search of answers, he desperately clings to the things that were rather than the things that could be. As the Man in Black seeks the Maze, despite how deep it could go, clinging to the idea that it will fulfill him and that it promises the answers he’s been looking for, and the ones he can’t find in the real world, despite being told the Maze is not for him. Deterring them does not alleviate their burdens and therefore does not stop them from affixing the answers to these issues onto their end goal; they think, if they can figure out if Arnold is still in the park somehow or what is at the center of the Maze, they will be fulfilled.
Back on the cutting room floor (no pun intended) repeatedly, those operating on Maeve recognize that her incision indicates that someone was looking for something. Just as a “butcher” dreams of another life for himself, he awakens a bird, the creature of symbolic freedom, one able to move through the sky at free will, it lands on Maeve, who has opened her own kind of symbolic wings, now deciding her own path and trying to design her own freedom.
What did you think of Westworld Season 1 Episode 5? Will the Man in Black find the center of the Maze before Dolores? Will Dolores be able to figure out exactly where the voice, that of Arnold or herself, is telling her to be? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Follow The TV Type on Twitter!