WestWorld continues to intrigue. While they haven’t made it obvious, they’ve made it unavoidable that the show actually takes place in at least two different eras. One era has the human “Guests” Billy and Logan going on adventures with the android Dolores; the other has Dolores being interrogated by park overlord Ford, with something going kinda funny with the robots due to the latest update and the park being stalked by the Man In Black. In the later era with Ford, a few hints as to the past have been dropped… something like 35 years earlier one of the two park founders killed himself; something like 30 years earlier something went *really* wrong at the park. In the earlier timeline with Billy, the founder has already offed himself, but there has been as yet no mention of something going really wrong at the park. So presumably the two eras are separated by between 30 and 35 or so years.
Billy is a “white hat,” thinks himself a Good Guy and tries to behave as such. Logan is a “black hat” and indulges in all forms of debauchery and robo-murder at the park. Billy likes Dolores; Logan thinks of her as a toaster. And then years later the Man In Black annually returns to the park, where he tortures and “murders” Dolores. You’d think that that wouldn’t really be the sort of thing that Billy would become. But in the most recent episode, you see the start of Billy becoming a different person. So what are we heading towards?
My speculation: sometime in the near-ish future, we’ll see that massive screwup at the park. My guess is that something happens to the robots so that they no longer are inhibited against killing the Guests. Perhaps they will become self aware and will actively try to exterminate the Guests. Billy obviously survives but is changed by it; perhaps Dolores, who we saw starting to undergo some pretty substantial personality changes, does something pretty nasty to Billy (have we seen the Man In Black without a hat? Perhaps there’s no scalp there…). Maybe she murders Logan, who is at least nominally some sort of friend of Billies.
But then… perhaps all that, but Logan actually becomes the Man In Black. It would seem a straighter course. Perhaps Dolores leads the Bot Uprising and kills Billy; that could easily set Logan on the course to becoming the Man In Black.
An episode or two back there was a brief sequence set clearly in the “past,” with a much younger Ford. This was done via computer trickery, presenting a youthenized Anthony Hopkins. So perhaps we will see more of that. And I kinda hope so: one of my favorite character actors, Michael Wincott (he played Malcolm Reynolds in “Alien: Resurrection” and Donald Trump in “The Crow”), plays an early model robot kept in storage. It’d be nice to see him out and about… and if he’s shown out and about with Billy and Logan, it’ll pretty well nail down the fact of the different eras being depicted.