Love the podcast, a fan of the WestWorld edition too.
Addressing a couple things Gene and Big D talked about in River Rants for Ep 6
The reason why fans, including myself, were genuinely disturbed by Winter’s murder is not just because she was a child. Yes, she was weird and said cryptic things, but she was also full of hope. Life in that place and time seems harsh and cruel, and here is Winter: born from a brothel in the lowliest of circumstances. She asserts a sweet relationship to James. She yearns to see America. She seemed to be one of the very few, if not ONLY people that was drawn to him without some ulterior motive. If there was one person we wanted a happy ending for… I believe her death foreshadows despair for all these characters and the story in general.
As to why James is bent on reckless and self-destructive behavior, I believe he’s displaying all the hallmarks of depression and PTSD. Although not the severe bound to bed depression, it explains his lack of empathy and interpersonal relationships, as well as his hallucinations. I don’t believe James is capable of love in his current state. His lust for his sister is chemical, makes him feel human, and is one of the very few things keeping him alive. His only real passion is revenge. If he had any true love for his sister and supposed son, he would stay out of their lives because he is a human wrecking ball.
Hope this warrants conversation, looking forward to future series
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