We learned a lot more about the complex mysteries of Westworld in episode 4 of HBO's new hit sci-fi series, especially concerning the Man in Black and new details about the theme park's elusive maze.
First, the Man in Black was presented to us in a very different manner, challenging viewers to change their initial feelings towards him as being an evil character. The showrunners portrayed him in a new light, based on his life outside of Westworld.
Producer Lisa Joy explains further, "...our sympathies are so aligned with the hosts it’s easy to think of the Man in Black as absolute black evil with a wry smile. For him, he’s looking at this as just a game and he’s an expert-level gamer. Just like a life-saving doctor can play Grand Theft Auto really violently doesn’t mean he can’t be a wonderful doctor and parent outside that world. So that’s what we’re approaching here, is a shift in perspective that might allow us to imagine a different side of his character that he shows the outside world."
Now that we have gained a different perspective of The Man in Black, it may help us to understand his final mission to locate and reach the center of the hidden maze.
Westworld Episode 4 opened up with a familiar scene of robotics programmer Bernard chatting with Dolores, the oldest host in the park. Dolores has gone off her narrative and now knows that her parents have been murdered, allowing her to feel both pain and loss.
She speaks about an inherent voice inside of her that is "calling out to her," and her mind is "like a building with rooms she has never explored."
Bernard explains the maze to Dolores, saying that there is a game she might want to play. It's a hidden maze, and if she finds the center she will be set free. With that, she decides that she wants to be "FREE!"
By free, we can assume she means, free from the programmed confines of her own mind, narrative, and Westworld itself. For a host, the idea of free means gaining a conscious.
Back to the Man in Black, who keeps bringing up the fact that no one in Westworld, guests nor hosts can ever really die. Speaking to the host that he has taken prisoner, he explains that the maze is the last page of the Westworld story, the final game within the game, the only story that has real stakes, real violence, and actual death and freedom.
He goes on to explain that a man named Arnold created the maze as a way to "free the hosts," to fullfill Arnold's desire to give the hosts a human concscious and a way to escape. Remember in that the little girl told the MiB that "that maze is not meant for you." She reappeared this episode as well, and revealed the map of the maze to Dolores in the dirt, who was in Las Mudas with William.
After the tattooed snake lady explains that Wyatt is the next key to finding the entrance to the maze, The Man in Black sets out to find him. Now remember, Dr. Ford just created Wyatt as part of his new narrative, which is rooted in truth. Does this mean that Dr. Ford is trying to lead the Man in Black to the maze?
The Man in Black is clearly interested in beating the "game" and we think he will find the maze, in turn freeing the hosts - especially since Dolores is also searching for the maze as well. When the Man in Black finds the maze, he will lead the hosts to Arnold's idea of "freedom."
Westworld airs every Sunday evening on HBO at 9 p.m. EST