This post contains spoilers through the sixth episode of Westworld, "The Adversary." Head to Westworld World, our home for reviews, theories, and deep dives.
For those of us obsessively wondering about the relationship between Westworld and Delos, the mysterious corporation that owns the luxurious theme park, this week's installment, "The Adversary," brought the goods. The episode had Elsie in full Nancy Drew mode, further investigating the secret satellite uplink uncovered in Episode 5 and feeding Bernard tantalizing clues about who might be sabotaging the park.
Of course, the answers that were revealed also raised new questions -- like, Who grabbed Elsie at the end? And, What's up with Arnold (who very well could be an inter-dimensional vampire, living somewhere in outer space, laughing at viewers and feasting on the blood of their speculative theories, so as to get stronger and stronger every week)? To stave off the madness, let's break down everything we know so far about Delos.
What we already know
The corporation in charge of Westworld boasts a backstory more nebulous than the Man in Black's. Vague dialogue and the possibility of multiple time frames make it tough to determine which characters, aside from Dr. Robert Ford, have anything to do with Delos' origins. Here's a breakdown of everyone's ties to the corporation, based on the info we've received thus far:
Theresa Cullen: She's the Quality Assurance head at Westworld, and as such, she's one of our closest links to Delos. Her job entails monitoring the park's safety and standards, giving her power over the engineers and narrative artists. She also effectively acts as the board's messenger, liaising between people like Ford (the park's creative director) and Charlotte Hale (Delos' newly introduced executive director).
Logan and William: The black-haired bro is the scion of a wealthy clan whose family business is interested in buying out Westworld, which, he purports, is "hemorrhaging cash." It's unclear what Logan's family business is, and what his role in it might be, but we do know that William is Logan's EVP of upper middle management.
The Man in Black: He's a wealthy VIP who has been a park patron for years, and who, in Episode 4, threatens to kill a guest for bringing up his life away from Westworld. "Your foundation literally saved my sister's--" a young man begins to say, before the MiB cuts him off. What's this foundation, and does it have anything to do with Delos? As the seasoned visitor tells Dr. Ford at the end of Episode 5, he's not here for fun and games, or to make friends. He just wants to unlock the park's final level.
Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins): He's creating chaos in the park with his elaborate new Wyatt narrative, and he views the Delos board members, whom he disdainfully calls "the moneymen," as obstacles. They want to secure his legacy, according to Theresa -- which sounds like a euphemism for delaying, or ending, his involvement with Westworld. But for Ford, Westworld isn't a business venture or a theme park; it's an entire world, one covered in his fingerprints.
The creative director also said in "The Stray" that, 30 years ago, things weren't as complicated. When Arnold was still around, there was much less corporate oversight. There weren't even guests -- just "pure creation." Regardless of whether you buy into the time-frame theories, Delos has overseen the park and its developments for at least the past several years, and the relationship between Ford and his corporate overlords can be, at best, described as antagonistic.
What's the deal with Charlotte?
Near the tail end of "The Adversary," Westworld viewers finally got their version of an Evan Peters surprise: Tessa Thompson finally gracing the screen. We first meet her at the Mesa Gold, as a bikini-clad visitor whom drunk Lee Sizemore takes a shine to and mistakenly thinks is a guest. But a few hours and sips of alcohol later (and after he pulls a Justin Bieber on the control-room map), Lee re-meet-cutes her: She's Charlotte Hale, the executive director of the park's board, visiting on behalf of Delos to oversee administrative changes.
It's tough to guess what Charlotte's real purpose is. Do "administrative changes" imply that some key people might be getting fired or shuffled around soon? Sizemore seemed to think so earlier this season, when he flattered Theresa with talks of a promotion. Theresa also said in Episode 4 that the board would be sending a representative to assess Westworld's narratives and future plans; this was said to Ford as a veiled threat, but he quickly spat back that the representative had already arrived, and we can now assume that he was referring to Charlotte. He didn't seem worried about her at all.
Based on her quick scenes in Episode 6, Charlotte seems to be playing things purposely coy and withholding crucial information from people so she can catch them off-guard later. She also seems like the kind of person who's 10 steps ahead of the game, with corporate largesse in her arsenal. If you're Ford, you might want to be wary.
Who's working with Theresa?
As Elsie learned tonight, the head of QA is one of two people using old hosts to sneak data out of the park with satellite uplink implants. What kind of data? Unclear. Who's the other culprit? Unclear. Where's the information going? Apparently to a Delos satellite. Why?
It's too early to say, but we know that the board doesn't view Westworld as a park. As Theresa and Sizemore discussed during a chat earlier this season, the corporation's interest goes "way beyond gratifying rich people." The park is one thing to the guests, another thing to the shareholders, and something "completely different to the management."
What's the bigger game here? Could it be that Delos is trying to steal Ford's IP for other projects and products? Or for other worlds? ("For the first season, we only explore the West World," production designer Zack Grobler told Inverse last month. "There's talk about in the future season, if there's more, that there will be a different world.") Or is it something more nefarious?
During her investigating, Elsie was able to deduce that a mole has been broadcasting info to the park's older hosts, who still have their bicameral-mind systems intact. This should explain why the earliest bots -- including Dolores, Peter Abernathy, and the woodcutter -- appear to hear Arnold-like voices, and why their current programming is susceptible to overrides. The problem with such reprogramming or retasking, Elsie points out, is that it means the hosts can outright lie during their analysis sessions. And worse, the sabotage might render them capable of hurting people.
We still have yet to see what the world away from Westworld is like. Will Charlotte shed light on where the park is, how it functions, or even how people get there? Will anyone? For now, we'll content ourselves with pondering where the corporate espionage is heading -- but at least it's clear that Arnold's original plan, whatever it was, is still a go.
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