“Westworld” fans, bring yourselves back online.
Sunday’s episode, “Trace Decay,” was a lot to take in. There’s no doubt you’re feeling all kinds of emotions, but now it’s time to take a step back and examine the darkest “Westworld” reveal yet.
First, Episode 8 basically confirmed that William and the Man in Black are the same person. We’re just viewing them about 30 years apart.
There are too many connections between the two to ignore. William is getting married; the Man in Black was married for 30 years. William is introduced to Westworld by a specific female host; The Man in Black encounters the same host and can’t believe she’s not retired yet. And so on ...
Plus, just be mesmerized by this:
Next, it was also confirmed that we’re looking at multiple timelines, or rather multiple periods of time on the same timeline.
Dolores sums this up when she asks William, “When are we?”
The show has been bouncing us in and out of multiple time periods this whole time. The popular theory is that we’re seeing three different periods simultaneously. One is about 35 years in the past (when the park was first opening), another is 30 years in the past (when William and Dolores are on their adventure), and the third would be the present (when the Man in Black and Teddy are looking for Wyatt, and Maeve has gone rogue).
There are a few different things that confirm the period of time we’re seeing. One is this host:
On the left, the host is seen when she welcomes William to the park (30 years in the past); in the middle she’s seen by Dolores in a flashback (thought to be 35 years in the past); and on the right she’s met by Teddy and the Man in Black.
Another possible anchor concerns the flies, or lack thereof.
Remember how the Man in Black once recalled opening up a host and realizing it was a robot and not humanlike?
He tells Teddy, “And then they changed you. Made you this sad, real mess. Flesh and bone, just like us.”
Redditor audiosemipro points out that there seem to be a lot of flies on dead bodies in the time period where we see Teddy and the Man in Black. You can hear them buzzing when the pair come across the bodies left by Wyatt’s men.
There are noticeably fewer flies (and they may even be completely absent) when Dolores and William come across dead bodies in the same episode.
The Redditor suspects this is because in the time period that we’re seeing ― Dolores and William (the Man in Black in his younger days) ― the hosts are still more robotic than flesh and bone.
Now that we’ve covered all of that, let’s get to the big theory from the episode:
Dolores is Wyatt
Various Redditors jumped on the idea after the latest episode, but NoMereVeneerofVanity perhaps explains it best why Dolores is Wyatt.
The biggest evidence is that flashback Dolores has when she reaches the church with William. The Redditor points out that this flashback is oddly similar to Teddy’s flashback of Wyatt:
Teddy’s Wyatt flashback mirrors Dolores’ almost perfectly. We know that when hosts “relive” violent memories, they act them out (like when Maeve slashes Clemantine 2.0’s throat remembering MiB), establishing that Dolores really did shoot a bunch of hosts and then put her gun to her head, as she does this in the present.
As Redditor ProperNorthernDrink says, this also makes sense with Teddy’s storyline. The Man in Black has made it clear that Teddy is there to be the loser. What would be harder for him than if his main villain is also the woman he loves? The Redditor says:
While I was also considering that Dolores was in fact Wyatt, it made me think of how Teddy, who is born to lose, is stuck with having to defeat Wyatt in order to end up with Dolores. He will never be happy.
Another layer to the theory claims that Dolores may have killed Arnold in the original massacre, since the two events ― the massacre and Arnold’s death ― seem to happen around the same time period. Some fans even believe Arnold made Dolores kill him in order for her to self-actualize. This would explain how Dolores, created as a damsel in distress, became involved in the massacre in the first place.
But what if there’s an even deeper game going on? What if Arnold never really died?
Dolores has Arnold’s memories/consciousness
In Dolores’ flashbacks, such as the one of the massacre, she often sees herself. Perhaps this is because she’s seeing things from Arnold’s perspective.
We already know Dolores has an unexplained connection with Arnold. Despite the fact that he died about 35 years ago, she appears to still talk to him.
The theory says Arnold may have uploaded a piece of his consciousness into Dolores before he died.
If so, and if Ford is making Dolores take on the role of Wyatt, he might want to shut down that new narrative. After all, the last thing Arnold told Dolores while he was alive concerned helping him destroy Westworld.
Are Ford and Dolores old friends?