Staying true to form, not only did the sixth episode of #Westworld really ramp up tension on The Great Plains this week, but it also threw yet another head-scratching #theory into the mix. This time, that theory created a case of déjà vu, taking us back to the Westworld of old.
Although we are already in danger of short circuiting due to information overload, thanks to "The Adversary" the question on everyones lips is: Was this episode's cameo a clever nod to what came before it, or a sign of what's to come?
This week saw Jeffrey Wright's Bernard Lowe go on the hunt for old technology, prompting him to descend to the deepest depths of the facility (level B82 to be precise). Note that everything here looked decidedly '70s — from the flashing strip lighting to plaid office furniture, it screamed a time of sherry trifle and duck à l'orange. As well as coming across that elusive "retro" Westworld logo, did you spot the appearance Yul Brynner's Gunslinger from Westworld the movie?
Eagle-eyed viewers spotted his signature blue shirt "bad guy" black hat. For those who don't know, Brynner's turn as the psychotic Gunslinger made him the villain of the original Westworld, and a (brief) cameo in sequel Futureworld. In case there was any doubt that our eyes were deceiving us in the depths of the park, Twitter then confirmed that it was a robotic likeness of the character that we saw in Episode 6.
Westworld the Sequel
It could just be a homage to the late, great, Brynner, who arguably made the first Westworld what it was. However, with co-creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy saying that everything in Westworld means something, I'm not so sure. We have already been pawing over theories that suggest the show has dual timelines, but the appearance of The Gunslinger poses a new theory that the HBO Westworld is a direct continuation of Michael Crichton's Westworldverse. The critical failure 30 years ago that everyone keeps referring to could actually be the original Westworld incident. Admittedly it is dangerous to keep a murderous robot down on level B82, but it doesn't look like anyone has been down there in a while, and it would also explain Bernard's restricted access protocol.
But what happened after Westworld? This is where it gets interesting. The sequel, Futureworld, may not have been as popular as the original, but carried on Crichton's story with the unique idea of taking the hosts out of the park. This could be echoed by Episode 6's introduction of Tessa Thompson's Charlotte Hale. Hale is our first real Delos worker who is separate from the park. What her motives are remain to be seen, but let's assume they aren't savory.
The Clone Wars
Beyond Westworld picked up after Futureworld with Delos continuing their mission to replace world leaders with robotic clones — Delos aren't all long desert walks and robot romances, you know. Beyond Westworld was short-lived (three episodes in fact), but (put on your tin foil), if Westworld 2016 picks up where the series ended in 1980, we can plot where this season might end. We know that Theresa Cullen and someone else, posing as (the deceased) Arnold, have been beaming information out of the park to a Delos satellite. We have already heard Dr. Robert Ford's threaten that they know everything about their guests (and staff), so I foresee the Delos end goal as replacing people in the real world with robotic hosts — a'la The Island and their #clonegoals.
Heralded as some sort of VIP humanitarian, Ed Harris' mysterious #ManinBlack seems like a pretty big deal outside the park, and as he has no intentions of leaving the park "this time," he seems like the perfect candidate for robo-replacement. Futureworld and Beyond Westworld had no involvement from the original author, but if Nolan and Joy plan on honoring Crichton's legacy, it would make sense not to ignore the history of the franchise. So what do you think — does not compute, or order received?