Westworld Season 1 Episode 4 Review: Dissonance Theory

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We're finally getting a more well-rounded view of The Man in Black.

Not only did we get our first hint to who he might be in the outside world on Westworld Season 1 Episode 4, but he also shared while he was so interested in the maze. 

And The Man was not the only one talking about this mysterious maze, as Bernard mentioned it to Dolores and she, in turn, started dreaming about it in some detail. Could the maze be the key to freeing the AI from their bicameral mind and to gaining consciousness? 

Just Who Is The Man In Black? - Westworld Season 1 Episode 4

I know, right? What the heck?? 

But this is getting really juicy. When they made the mention of the bicameral mind when talking about Arnold's pyramid of thoughts and how he saw his creations growing, I had to look it up. It's who we were once, and essentially how the AI are now in Westworld.

Their actions are being dictated by gods or voices in their heads, which is quite literal. They have established a religion, even, based upon the gods, or Shades, they have found who are evil and sent from hell to oversee their worlds.

So many of the AI are now questioning these beings and voices, why they're there and why they do what they do. It's fascinating.

Hey There Hector - Westworld Season 1 Episode 4

So how does The Man loop into all of this? What we learned on "Dissonance Theory" is that he's here because Arnold broke his own rule and died in Westworld, a place where you cannot die. He said he's honoring Arnold's legacy by finding the end of the maze, which he believes holds the final story Arnold wanted to tell.

The Man also showed some more compassion for the AI during this hour than in hours past. Sure, he's still killing them to further his endeavor, but along the way, he's actually treating them more as humans than as mere robots. The change was subtle, but noticeable.

The same didn't cross over to a human who recognized him from outside. 

Man: Excuse me, sir? I didn't want to intrude, but I just had to say that I am such an admirer of yours. Your foundation literally saved my sister's life.
Man in Black: One more word and I'll cut your throat, understand? This is my fucking vacation.

So he has a foundation that saves lives. Whether it is a medical foundation or one that focuses on drugs or mental health, well, maybe we'll find out. But something tells me it will tie into Westworld in some way, and that he either greatly identified with Arnold or perhaps was related.

Maeve Remembers - Westworld Season 1 Episode 4

The memories both Maeve and Dolores are having are more detailed than ever. 

Bernard: There's something I'd like you to try. It's a game, a secret. It's called The Maze.
Dolores: What kind of a game is it?
Bernard: It's a very special game kind of game, Dolores. The goal is to find the center of it. If you can do that, then maybe you can be free.
Dolores: I think...I think I want to be free.

Do you think Bernard is planting information in Dolores to help her to be better equipped to make it to the end of the maze? And if he knows what the end of the maze is, does that mean he's already gone beyond the warnings from Ford about not getting to involved with the AI?

Because if I'm right and at the end of the maze is consciousness, then Bernard is just playing a waiting game. Dolores and Maeve are neck and neck on their way to the end of the maze.

I don't know what it was about the scene with Maeve and Hector at the end, but it seemed so erotic. There are to AI who aren't supposed to be thinking quite at that level, yet she's trusting him to dig into her abdomen and he's willing to do it.

It was a level of intimacy most humans would never reach, but that's what came out of their quest for information during a moment of understanding very few others could share. 

Black Hat - Westworld Season 1 Episode 4

It was surprising that Dolores got called out on going off her loop considering the chaos from Ford's big park change and how many others are off their loops. Lawrence certainly isn't on his loop. 

Oh...total aside, but how sad was it to see Teddy's new story included him being strung up and left for dead in the middle of the desert? It would have been so terrible if it was Dolores who ran into him instead of the Man in Black.

But she could still, I guess, since they're heading off toward Pariah. We also learned William is marrying into a family that holds a stake in Westworld. One not big enough to appease Logan.

Logan's the guy I can't wait to see gunned down by newly weaponized, conscious AI who is sick of being shot in the face by his fantasies. 

I keep thinking of that little tiff in the street between Dolores and Maeve and how much I want to see them working together, William, Hector and, possibly, a Man in Black we don't quite know yet standing by their side against the garbage humans.

Am I the only one who likes Ford less and less by the episode? Something about his new "narrative" or whole world just feels off-kilter. He talks about Arnold as if he got too carried away, but Ford seems to think he is God.

The whole scene when he was lunching with Theresa, stopping the AI, then barreling the huge digger to mow the place down showed just how addicted he is to the power. 

What did you think of all the talk about the maze and what was revealed about The Man in Black? Could he turn out to be a good guy on the side of the AI when all is said and done? What's his connection to Arnold? What does he do in the outside world? Does it matter?

How are you feeling about Ford? What's coming our way on Westworld? Now that you've recovered from watching The Walking Dead, take some time to talk about Westworld!

Dissonance Theory Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (20 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), enjoys mentoring writers, wine, and passionately discussing the nuances of television. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Westworld Season 1 Episode 4 Quotes

Clementine: Penny for your thoughts.
Maeve: Ever had something on the tip of your tongue and no matter how much you try to recall it, it slips away?
Clementine: Most things touch the tip of my tongue I'm happy to forget.

Bernard: There's something I'd like you to try. It's a game, a secret. It's called The Maze.
Dolores: What kind of a game is it?
Bernard: It's a very special game kind of game, Dolores. The goal is to find the center of it. If you can do that, then maybe you can be free.
Dolores: I think...I think I want to be free.