Opening Westworld Reflections
Happinesstan from YouTube, here.
Delighted that the show is back, and equally happy to be sharing the experience with you all. Just wanted to share one or two of the zillion thoughts that this show inspires, and maybe some inspired by the discussions on your own show, which is always my first port of call.
The Opening Shot as an Establishing Shot
A naked Dolores, in a swimming pool.
We later find out that she has never been in a pool before, so, it could be said, that the scene represents her being submerged in a new environment. But why naked? Naked is often interpreted as vulnerable, and you would expect somebody, in an alien environment, to be vulnerable. However,that perception of nudity as vulnerability gives rise to the possibility that it can, in fact, be empowering. The cast during Season 1 spoke of the empowering effect, of acting in their birthday suit, so I would say the nudity represents empowerment.
TL:DR The opening shot establishes Dolores, submerged in an alien environment, Empowered by her alienation.
Opening Credit Sequence
We all knw that there are clues in there, I’m not too keen to examine them too closely, too soon, as I like the way that something new can be derived, over time, from something that never changes
However, the opening discussion on your show, triggered something that I hadn’t realised I’d noticed, and it excited me, a little. What I mistakenly took for a stage light, you guys pointed out was a jet engine. And that switched the lightbulb on. An eagle (freedom) flying too close to the technology that enables humanity to emulate the eagle. Could this be a metaphor for humanity flying too close to the technology that simulates our freedom? The fact that the said technology is marketed in a way that suggests eliminating the need to make choices, might be a hint to the meaning of “Free will is not free”. If free will is the ability to make choices, and freedom is the elimination of that need, then free will is not free(dom).
Another thing you mentioned, in discussion of the OCS, were the reflections. And this made a connection to my thoughts on the show itself, that there were a lot of reflections. And this inspired my Youtube chat outbursts.
Simulation is a major theme of the show, and when we speak of simulation we imagine a copy, but the truth is a simulation is an attempt at copy, through reflection, and as such is, in itself, a reflection.
A humorous side-note to add; reflecting on my reflections has altered my reflections upon my reflecting.
The thing that short-circuits my brain is the idea that, it would seem to be best if we were responsible for our own simulations, and yet our most trusted reflection (the mirror) is already flawed by inversion. Since season 1 I’ve felt that there was something about the people we fantasise oursleves to be, as opposed to the people we truly are, and I like the fact that this continues along that theme. But it also points at something that I have been considering, about simulation. Is it necessary to make a perfect copy, or is it simply necessary to create a simulation that the individual is happy to accept as a true reflection of themselves?
TL:DR Our desire for the perfect reflection, has sent us flying too close to the technology that might set us free.
I feel like I’m rambling now so I’ll rush through my thoughts on Caleb:
He’s human. He is the reflection of Dolores. His choice of dialogue, whilst describing George, his colleague, to Francis, was the most human interaction in the episode.
He’s ex-army, involved in the program to develop the implant. I think his principled “won’t do personals” stance is inherent. He joined the army as a proud defender of his country, but the implant affected his free-will and he ended up doing mercenary work (possibly for REHOBOAM) throughout the world.
He was shot in the head. In the scene that reveals this fact we see the scar, momentarily, It’s close to the point that Dolores claims is the Nucleus Accumbens. It could be that he was merely grazed, or it could be that he was saved by a plate strategically positioned to protect the implant.
Anyway that’s enough from me, I’m sure it’s more than enough for anybody,
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- Theme Song – “The Ecstasy Of Gold” (Hip Hop Instrumental Version) by Dj 2 Bad
- Outro Music – By Simon Eric Haywood