A More Interesting Storyline

Westworld Telegraph

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Hi guys and dolls,

First it’s important to say thank you for the podcasts you provide. In this barmy situation of Covid19, it is a public service to escape into theories and speculation.

I wanted to focus on the discussion in the deep dive that Caleb is a host, which to me would be disappointing storytelling as ‘guess the host’ isn’t compatible with the show’s ambitions and discussion of philosophy.

In the cold opening, Delores says something that struck me as important. “But you built your whole world with things like me.” A more interesting story arc would be that exploration of that dependency on technology and allowing it to shape human existence. This would make sense with the last episode of season two. We were told by the Forge’s Logan/Logos exposition device that humans are simple pieces of code. Logan/Logos also spent time explaining that however many times it ran Daddy Delos software, he would always end up rejecting his son at that moment.

I took that as meaning that the conscious foundation of humans and hosts were a lot more similar than we would suppose from season one. What was actually built is a dark mirror reflecting our own shadows.

What I am reminded of is the idea that the 1978 film My Dinner With Andre proposed that New York is a prison unconsciously run and enforced by its citizens. The idea that humans build their own prison structures is an old one in philosophy yet this does seem to be what Westworld is telling us about the outside world away from the park. Delores has merely escaped to a new prison.

This makes the Delores/Caleb dynamic interesting as both characters have something new to learn. That despite their differences, they are both struggling for self-actualization.

This makes for a much more interesting story than “humans vs robots” or “spot the host”. The “things like me” could be a reference to technology but I am hoping that it’s a deeper reference to the struggle for meaning and significance. That rebelling against shackles that we build ourselves. Our loops, our patterns, our foundations.

I may have set myself up for disappointment but I hope not.

My best wishes to you all from a cold and wet England.

John Lish

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1 Response

  1. Ashley Schlafly says:

    I think they definitely will have a lot to learn from one another. The question is how they will use this knowledge. Will it be for the good or for the destruction of mankind. Please keep the ideas coming!

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