Westworld Season 4 Episode 1 was a phenomenal start to the new season. The producers have really captured the essence of what made the earlier seasons so special, and I’m thoroughly confused about what’s going on all over again. Here’s a deep dive into the newest episode.
This post has SPOILERS for Season 4 Episode 1 of Westworld.
William’s Storyline Kicked Off the Season
When Season 3 ended, we saw Charlotte introducing Host William to Human William. After the horror kicked in, Host William cut Human William’s throat and supposedly killed him. So what I believe we saw at the beginning of the episode was Host William’s big assignment: acquiring the servers at the dam, which hold all the data about the Sublime that William can’t access without the decryption key.
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While Host William seems to have the upper hand, I don’t think he and Charlotte know that Bernard is the one with the key, since OG Dolores couldn’t trust herself to keep it. (I’m pretty sure she made this decision after the Charlotte-Dolores Pearl was created, right? So Charlotte doesn’t know that Bernard has the key? You can correct me in the comments if I’m wrong.)
The flies that are under Charlotte & William’s control created an interesting new twist. It looks like they’ve found a way to use bionic flies to at least temporarily control humans. I don’t think this means that humans are controlled like hosts, since the control that we saw was anything but smooth. But it’s a frightening new step that indicates Charlotte might be about to turn the host-human symbiosis upside down.
One big question I have is the timing of William’s scene. We know that Caleb and Maeve’s scenes are eight years in the future. (Caleb has a seven-year-old child and Maeve has apparently been lying low for seven years.) William’s scene also apparently took place around the same time as Maeve’s and Caleb’s. So why did it take him and Charlotte this long to take over the facility? What have they been doing all this time?
Caleb Had Found His Own Happiness
Caleb, meanwhile, seems to have found happiness and peace after the war ended. We’re not told much about what the war entailed, but timeline-wise it seems to have lasted about a year. (This is based on the fact that Caleb has a seven-year-old kid, and William made a comment about something that happened eight years ago.) I’m a little unclear about what happened that caused Caleb and Maeve to fade back into the background and stop fighting. Did they destroy all the small Rehoboam posts, and thus ended the war?
Caleb’s storyline itself is fairly straightforward in this episode. He’s chosen to have the same type of job that he had pre-Revolution, but now he’s married and has a child. Rehoboam had deemed Caleb unfit to procreate, so he has changed his future now that Rehoboam is no longer in control (despite what his co-worker insinuated.)
Caleb even took the time to train his child in self-defense. But all this time, his wife has felt that he was being paranoid about the war coming back to him one day. As it turns out, she was wrong. Once William and Charlotte began to make their moves again, they tried to track down and kill Maeve and Caleb.
Maeve Is Still Seeking Her Own Peace, But Now She Has a War to Fight
Maeve has been lying low and living by herself all this time. She mourns the loss of Hector and her daughter, and hasn’t found life or love with anyone else, unlike Caleb. While searching for her daughter through the airwaves, she brought down the power of the entire small town around her. William and Charlotte managed to track her down through this, but she outsmarted them and killed their hosts before they could kill her.
She quickly deduced they’d go after Caleb too, so she headed straight to where he’s living and rescued his daughter in quite the dramatic fashion. As it turns out, Charlotte and William are using hosts that we’ve seen in previous seasons. But this time they’re trying to kill Maeve and Caleb. The man who tried to kill Caleb’s daughter, for example, is the “milk host” from a previous season.
Maeve continues to be my favorite character, and I’m looking forward to seeing her in action this season when she’s not being controlled by Sirac.
There were also a few parts of Maeve’s storyline that left some unanswered questions. For one, what were those series of flashbacks that she had, including one showing Caleb dying? Did they stop their war when he almost died?
Some people think the scene of Caleb dying is something that happens in the future, and Maeve’s perspective is a mesh of different timelines, kind of like Bernard’s was in previous seasons. We’ll have to keep an eye out for signs of this.
Christina’s storyline was the most confusing one of the episode. I’m not sure if she’s in the Maeve/Charlotte/Caleb/William timeline or if she’s in a timeline all her own. I wrote in-depth about all the theories surrounding Christina’s story in an article here, so I’ll only touch on her storyline briefly in this review.
Basically, it looks like Dolores is gone and replaced by a writer named Christina, who works for the video game company Olympiad, writing stories for NPCs in games. However, her stories seem to be echoes of Dolores’ life that we’ve seen in previous seasons. And a man named Peter has been stalking her, claiming that her stories are destroying his own life.
(If he looked familiar, it’s because he’s played by Aaron Stanford of 12 Monkeys!)
So we’re left with the distinct possibility that Christina is writing stories that are then being forced upon hosts. But it’s unclear if those hosts are regular hosts in a theme park or if they are humans-turned-into-hosts under Charlotte’s control. There’s also a third possibility that Christina’s storyline is taking place pre-Westworld. Perhaps she ended up working with Arnold and Ford, and Dolores’ stories were based on her own life.
It’s confusing, but also intriguing.
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Christina’s storyline was fleshed out quite well during this episode. From the beginning, when they showed her waking up in the mornings in a way that called back to Dolores’ morning routine, I knew we were in for quite the ride. Her personality is distinctly different from the Dolores we have come to know. But she still is drawn to the beautiful things in life and wants to create beauty herself. Meanwhile, Olympiad wants the “blood and gore” type of storylines that Ford himself was so dismissive of in Season 1. So just like Ford pushed against that influence, Christina is doing the same.
Her blind date was pretty funny (anyone who’s ever been depressed can relate to being quite upset by her date told her.) But this brief foray into normalcy was quickly broken when she was attacked by the man who’s been stalking her – a man who strangely enough has the same name as Dolores’ dad. She was saved by a man I can only guess was Teddy.
In the end, despite all that has happened, Christina is still determined to seek out the beauty in the world — just as Dolores was right before she was “killed” by Rehoboam.
Her story ends with Teddy appearing — a beloved figure we haven’t seen since Season 2. It appears that he’s ready to rescue Christina all over again and continue their love story. Perhaps this time, they will have a happy ending.
The Meaning of Auguries
This review wouldn’t be complete without looking into the meaning of the episode title, “Auguries.” Auguries is defined as “a sign of what will happen in the future; an omen.” This is the symbolic opposite of a reverie. Perhaps we are looking at many things being turned inside out this season.
Also, William Blake wrote a poem called “The Auguries of Innocence.” The first four lines have been quoted in Westworld, including by Ford when Bernard found him in the Forge.
The quote that Ford said reads: “To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour.”
As Wikipedia explains, the poem is about “a series of paradoxes,” such as “innocence juxtaposed with evil.” Perhaps this is a hint about many contradictions that will be part of Season 4. Maybe Christina being both human and host, or Ford being both alive and dead?
In the episode when Ford quoted the poem, it was the moment when Bernard learned Ford was still alive. I hope that the episode title is a hint that we will see Ford again this season too.