We’re only two episodes in to Westworld’s sophomore season and already some viewers are confused. That’s understandable, because the entire show is a riddle inside a puzzle trapped inside of a maze. However, other viewers, especially folks on Reddit, think they already have things figured out. One fan theory about the weapon Dolores mentions in the season’s second episode seems plausible, and the implications would be huge.
This post contains spoilers for Westworld Season 2, Episode 2.
The episode ends with both Dolores and William headed for a certain location within Westworld, something of William’s creation that he ruefully calls his “greatest mistake.” Dolores, at the helm of her growing army of rebelling hosts, calls it something else:
I know what we’re going to find there. An old friend was foolish enough to show me long ago. It’s not a place. It’s a weapon — and I’m going to use it to destroy them.
Redditor jasongil posits that the weapon is some sort of satellite dish that can take control of hosts around the world that Delos has secretly replaced the rich and power with.
The first episode of the season established that Delos is harvesting their guests’ DNA and experiences as part of some top secret operation. Episode 2 contains a couple hints which suggest that Delos can make host clones of real people, perhaps with the original person’s consciousness inside. Jim Delos, William’s father-in-law, says “I won’t be here that long,” which what people on TV say when they’re dying, and later William tells him not to worry as “the process” is moving along. Combine this with the knowledge from Season 1 that “any disease can be cured,” according to Ford, and it starts to seem like Delos is chasing immortality.
That’s just the first part of jasongil’s theory, though there’s a slightly bigger logical leap to get to Part 2. Here’s how they put it:
The next step was to start replacing real guests with their identical clones, and sending them back into the real world. Guests are likely killed and disposed of, replaced with an identical copy. The rich and famous - the most powerful people in the world - have been replaced with “sleeper” hosts, and nobody is the wiser.
One thing that does support this theory is that it’s basically the plot of Futureworld, the sequel to the 1973 movie the HBO show is based on. Futureworld wasn’t written by Westworld screenwriter Michael Crichton, nor did it get good reviews, but the plot involves Delos corp cloning guests to replace them.
“You know who loves staring at their own reflection? Everybody,” William said earlier in the episode. At the time it seemed like a comment about his own journey of self-discovery in Westworld, but perhaps he’s being literal, and the new construction site is a place where Delos will make clones.
If those clones have already infiltrated the real world, Dolores might be able to use “the weapon” to take control of them, as jasongil theorizes:
The “weapon” is a huge transmitter—a satellite dish—which will allow whoever uses it the ability to control the “sleeper” hosts (former guests) around the world, remotely. In S02E01, it’s revealed that the hosts have some sort of local wireless network they can use to communicate with each other, and it’s clear that Maeve has mastered this to control the other hosts.
It’s a neat theory, one that would certainly raise the stakes for Westworld beyond the boundaries of the park. However, it’s not without it’s problems. William, a.k.a. the Man in Black seems much more concerned with action inside the park rather than a global conspiracy to take over the world, so for this theory to be true we’d have to see a new side of him. Also, it’s possible that only part of the theory is true. Maybe Dolores can just use information about clones and control them via blackmail, rather than directly hijacking them.
Maybe we’ll find out next week, or maybe there will be a fourth timeline to keep track of instead. Hard to tell with Westworld
Westworld airs on Sunday nights at 9 p.m. Eastern on HBO.