Khoury Reading Response #5 Westworld Ep 1

HBO’s Westworld created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, based off the 1973 film of the same name by Michael Crichton takes place in Western themed amusement park (A technological advanced one), that is run by hosts (androids) that must cater to the needs of the high paying individuals who come to the park. Whatever those needs may be. The first episode of season 1 titled “Original”, finds us in the West with a woman named Delores, who is living with her father Peter. She is traveling to a town called Sweetwater for some things that she needs and ends up meeting an ex lover, Teddy. He joins her on her way back to her farm, in which they discover that Two bandits have attacked her father stating they also killed and raped his wife. Teddy kills both bandits, but can not kill a third man, The Man in Black. This is because all host are programmed to not be able to kill humans (guest) and also can not feel things like flies on skin. The MIB kills Teddy and (technically) kidnaps Delores but it seems that he knows who she is.

What happens next is that an update is given to the host in the park by the creator Dr. Robert Ford, however it causes the host to act up. At first it was ignored, but then an incident causes all host that have ben updated to be taken for a check up.

Peter finds a guest photo the next morning, which is a picture of the regular world and confuses him. This is because the androids technically don’t know about life, since it is not their programming. Peter warns Delores in a cryptic message, which is discovered after the head of security asks Delores some questions. All host but Peter, and the Sheriff Walter who was the first to malfunction are cleared. However, the host are asked questions multiple times, one of which is can Delores harm a human being, to which she answers no.

The next day, Peter is replaced (Delores does not realize this) and a scene of Delores killing a fly on her neck is shown.

This last scene is the most important part of the episode for me. We see how regular people treat the park simply because those in it are simply androids that technically are not real people, but by having the Man in Black know who Delores is, represent that maybe there is something deeper. Also, an entire amusement park with androids who have some type of human capabilities is very high tech. But to show what may or may not be an android actually ‘feel’ despite this being something that should not happen.  This is even hidden by the fact that when asked by the head of security can she harm a human, she says no. These contradicting actions already paint a picture for what may happen in the show. Maybe the androids will develop actual personalities and become self aware, or maybe people can be programmed with technology.

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