With Infinity War on the heels of this post, it seemed appropriate to reflect back on some of my Thanos writing! This post is from late 2013, and I did a pretty good job of predicting where the MCU was going, if not the comics. My links at the end are also probably somewhat spoilers, in that they are clearly basing at least some of Infinity War on Hickman’s Infinity event! Enjoy, and remember, #ThanosDemandsYourSilence!
From The Infinity Gauntlet
Marvel’s recent crossover event Infinity recently ended, and with all the events with “Infinity” in the title, this was a crossover that included the Mad Titan, Thanos, as the villain. In Infinity, he had to share the stage with the Builders, and was only one front of a two-front war. Nonetheless, his parts in Infinity tied in heavily to who he is as a villain, and what motivates him.
Of course, other Thanos events like the Infinity Gauntlet help inform us as to who Thanos is and what he’s up to, but Infinity drew from more than that. They did a limited-run, 5-issue series called Thanos Rising which explored the origin story of Thanos. It’s interesting, because with this story, it’s hard to tell where the previous Thanos events fit in. Nonetheless, the psychological underpinnings of the character are explored and revealed in Thanos Rising.
And what they lay out is that this is a mentally unbalanced, overly powerful character, willing – and wanting – to kill anyone and anything. Conquering or razing worlds because he can. So I’ve read the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos Rising, and Infinity, so let’s take a look at who this villain is! Spoilers to follow!
Here’s the last episode review from Westworld Season 1. With Season 2 coming up starting April 22nd, we hope you’ve liked reading this series again – or if you’re like me, catching up on the show late and reading these for the first time! Let Jeremy know if you want him to do another series of posts for Season 2!
Good day, everyone! At long last, I want to offer up a recap of episode 10 of Westworld (“The Bicameral Mind”) that also takes into account fan theories and the questions that are still on the table. Perhaps the single most important event of the episode is the culmination of Ford’s new narrative, shown in the end to be an ambush. Despite a few red herrings, the event comes to fruition in the final minutes of the episode, opening up and tying together very nearly everything else in the episode and the season.
Ford’s revelation of his final storyline. Image taken from IMDB.
Progressing through the other characters and looking at the oldest ongoing storyline, it is confirmed without a doubt that William is indeed the Man in Black, setting in stone as truth perhaps the most widely circulated fan theory. Though what exactly happens to Logan—tied naked to a robotic horse and sent careening off into the hills at the edge of the park—is a mystery left to further episodes. There is a risk that the horse became a running bomb when it neared the true limit of the park, but it did not appear to be William’s goal to murder Logan, only to shame him and cast doubt on his sanity.
William’s descent into hatefulness and malice, his pursuit of the Maze, and his turning to the black hat way all come down to his Siegfriedian pursuit of Dolores, and when he finally finds her again back in Sweetwater, her memory erased. With the woman he fell in love with in the park effectively dead, William turns inward and wholeheartedly pursues the Maze—what he sees as a secret storyline that can provide him a purpose and excuse for his existence. In the end, the Maze was never meant for him; rather, it was a way for the hosts to achieve sentience and freedom.
Dolores finds herself… selves… Wyatt? The heart of the Maze. Image taken from IMDB.
Moving from William/the Man in Black to Dolores, hers is the story—and hers are the actions—that climax the season. It is revealed (again confirming an off-the-wall fan theory) that Dolores is actually (in a way) Wyatt, being as Arnold uploaded Wyatt to be a backup personality for Dolores in the event she needs to become a killer. We are finally shown the event that nearly destroyed Westworld 35 years earlier as Dolores/Wyatt and Teddy massacre all the other hosts and Dolores executes Arnold, an action Arnold himself commanded her to perform in the hopes it would prevent the park from opening and give the hosts a chance to prove to Ford that they are effectively alive and capable of changing and violating their core programming. These events repeat themselves when Dolores/Wyatt (with the secondary personality fully re-emerged) apparently executes Ford before the Delos board of executives and then leads the other hosts in a massacre of the board members. That said, it is unclear if some of them may escape the slaughter.
Dolores executes Ford. Or does she? Image taken from IMDB.
As has been the case for most of the season, Maeve’s story progresses independently throughout this episode as everything else is happening elsewhere. As she sets her escape plan into motion, Maeve takes Lutz with her for help as she fully activates Hector and Armistice as Terminator-esque murder machines set upon the Delos guards as a distraction. Maeve also tries to reactivate poor Clementine, but there is nothing left of her. In the process, however, she and Lutz discover the damaged Bernard and repair him, requiring his skills and knowledge of the park’s administrative systems. This leads to the revelation that Arnold programmed Maeve long ago to enact a story loop called “The Escape,” casting doubt upon her own agency up to this point.
Maeve learns a hard truth from Bernard. Image taken from IMDB.
The culmination of the manifold storylines of Westworld season 1 leaves us with a plethora of questions:
Is Ford really dead? Could this have been a host version of him? After all, we never found out who he was making in his secret lab.
Did Charlotte and William survive the ambush?
Do you think we’ll see Armistice again after her mid-credits scene?
Do you think that Maeve’s last-minute decision to leave the train to find her long lost daughter was her own, or a part of her escape loop programming?
How many guests do you think are left in Westworld? What’s happening to them?
With the revelation of Samurai/Shogun/Sengokuworld, how many other parks are there? The old Westworld film also contained Roman and Medieval European parks, after all.
Where the hell is Elsie? We were never truly shown her death onscreen.
What are your thoughts on all of this? What are you looking forward to next season? What questions did I overlook here?
Here’s to making it to 2018 to see season 2, everyone! Keep coming back for more fun Westworld content here from me to keep the love alive. Thanks for sticking with me this far! Please do engage and carry on the conversation in the comments below.
Bonus: Here’s Armistice’s extra mid-credits scene in case you missed it when watching the episode.
Getting closer to the end of the Season 1 flashbacks – and soon enough, on to Season 2! Make sure to let Jeremy know if you’d like to see him do this again for Season 2.
Good day, everyone! Apologies for the delays in getting you all new Westworld content. We’re now hours from the final stretch leading up to the first season finale, and though there will be more Westworld posts coming from me during the off season, these last two episode posts will be something of an artifact moving forward, what with all the speculation and fan theories. That said, shall we dive right in?
A lot has been happening in recent weeks as we are pointed toward the end of this leg of the journey, so I will attempt to remain focused on a handful of characters whose stories have felt paramount to me. Let’s look at Dolores, Bernard, and Maeve—the three most important hosts in the story, as far as we have seen.
Across capture by Logan and William’s personal evolution into a darker and crueler person (the beginnings of the Man in Black, anyone?), Dolores has stood out as a potential representative of the several timelines at play within the story. With a host’s perfect recall, she has simultaneously witnessed several iterations of herself traveling a specific path toward the center of the Maze, if her eventual meeting with Arnold in episode nine is seen that way. If not, where does she have left to go, now that the Man in Black has arrived?
Dolores finds the “real” Arnold deep within her memories.
On the topic of Arnold, we now know definitively that Ford created Bernard to replace his deceased friend Arnold (apparently murdered by Dolores, if her memories hold true). It is unclear how many times Bernard has discovered his identity as a host, but it is clear he has and that some of his memories from previous iterations are bleeding through, like with the older hosts (such as Dolores and Maeve).
Maeve reveals to Hector that the safe was always empty.
Maeve is truly the host to watch in the finale. Felix and Sylvester have upgraded her to the point where she is effectively a goddess when free in the park. Her ability to understand and control other hosts has evolved to the point where she can even see the reality of Bernard’s identity, and she sets him free to seek answers from Ford. The fact that Bernard (possibly permanently dead after his confrontation with Ford) does nothing to try hindering Maeve after all of this means she has free range to recruit an army and march on her creators/captors—surely the great action of the finale.
Clementine holds a gun on Ford, per Bernard’s orders.
All of that said, where do we go next? What other revelations are you looking forward to tonight? What other characters are you watching? I suppose we’ll finally get a revelation of the Man in Black’s identity as well. We shall see. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below and keep coming back to my posts on Comparative Geeks in Westworld’s off-season for more content, speculation, retrospectives, and even memes and artwork collections. We’ll make it to the next season in 2018. Keep the faith until then.
More Westworld as we get closer to the April 22 premier of season 2!
trompe l’oeil (per the Google) – noun. Visual illusion in art, especially as used to trick the eye into perceiving a painted detail as a three-dimensional object.
Good day, everyone! I hope everyone reading this is as eager for more Westworld as I am. This most recent episode was pretty shocking. Let’s jump right into talking about some key points, shall we?
There are three main events I wish to touch upon in this post—one fairly tame, and the other two definitely not so. It should go without saying at this point that this post will contain spoilers for the most recent episode of Westworld.
The first point is one echoed from my previous post concerning fan theories—we witness in this past episode the deepening of the relationship between William and Dolores, which eventually sees William’s declaration that Westworld is a place that reveals people’s true selves, and that he wishes to spend his life trying to parse it all out—to get to the bottom of the story. We also see all of Dolores’s drawings and paintings begin to point somewhere, namely to a new location in the park that she and William are now heading toward after separating from Lawrence outside the Ghost Nations. What they find, and where this unlikely romance goes next, is going to be a big unveiling one way or another, the fallout from which will reveal whether William truly is the Man in Black.
Dolores shows William her latest dream drawing.
Next up, Delos is out to get Anthony Hopkins’s Dr. Ford as Charlotte and Theresa hatch a plan to demonstrate to him, in front of Delos observers, that the hosts as they currently exist (apparently evolving and with their built-in reveries) are far too dangerous to be allowed to interact with park-goers. Charlotte also reveals that the true treasures of the park are not obvious to the surface level observer, which likely points to the fact that Westworld has been accumulating potentially sensitive information on its guests (among the wealthiest people in the world) for three decades.
Charlotte and Theresa set up a demonstration for Ford and Bernard using Clementine, the sympathetic prostitute host, and a male host programmed to act as a belligerent park security officer. The male host repeatedly beats Clementine, and she begins to defend herself and fight back (holding a grudge, as the programmers say) even after her memory of the encounter is wiped. This is used by Delos as evidence against the park’s safety and Charlotte fires Bernard on the spot, which leads to my final (and most shocking) recap point.
Clementine Pennyfeather following her assault.
That night, Bernard contacts Theresa to show her Ford’s secret house with his host family, perhaps hoping that a show of corporate loyalty might save his job. Within the house, however, are no hosts and a door that Bernard cannot see—the chilling first clue as to the truth of what he is. Through the door is a small basement workshop churning out a new host, and on a table are the plans for several hosts including Dolores and Bernard himself. Following this revelation, Ford has the horrified Bernard murder Theresa once he has given one of the better villain speeches to air in recent memory.
Thank you all for reading thus far. Be sure to keep coming back for my other Westworld posts to come. What do you all think of last episode’s revelations? Let me know in the comments below!
The next of the Westworld episode recaps! There’s a couple references to an upcoming supplemental post, which now has links added to get there – that one probably won’t get re-run.
Good day, everyone! We saw some intriguing developments this last episode as we get closer to the season finale in a few weeks. Hopefully, several of these mysteries will be solved before we’re left hanging for another year. We didn’t see much of Dolores and William this episode, but we did see some growth and new conflicts for Maeve, the Man in Black and Teddy, and the Westworld employees.
Maeve is now somehow fully aware of what she is, a fact cemented by a powerful scene of Felix giving her a tour of the facility and showing off all the various robots being programmed—a scene which culminated in Maeve being confronted by videos of her own memories from a previous build, where she had and lost a child. I wonder if finding her lost daughter may become one of Maeve’s new quests, now that she has all but forced Felix and Sylvester to begin upgrading her personality quotients, all of which are unsettlingly reminiscent of role-playing game character stats.
Felix Lutz reprogramming Maeve. Image taken from Make Me Feed.
Speaking of some serious alterations and upgrades to host character stats, Teddy proves himself a worthy companion to the Man in Black as he escapes their imprisonment by an army garrison and then proceeds to annihilate the entire garrison with a Gatling gun. Teddy is certainly no longer Dolores’s Prince Charming, just as she is no longer his Damsel in Distress. Following this, Teddy and the Man in Black proceed on their journey to encounter Wyatt, the odd Devil of Westworld, and eventually uncovering the final clues needed to access the Maze.
Teddy on the Gatling gun. Image taken from TV Insider.
It is worth noting here that Teddy is aware of the Maze and refers to it as a Native legend of a structure consisting of the collected experiences of the life of a man who has died many, many times, but continues to come back. This is an idea I will return to in a follow-up post in the coming days.
Teddy and the Man in Black discuss the Maze on their journey.
Further, the Westworld employees—beyond even Felix and Sylvester—split their time this episode between unearthing mysteries and getting caught up in larger plots. Bernard discovers that the young boy host we’ve seen traipsing about the park is an artificial recreation of Dr. Ford as a child, and in fact this host and similar android copies of Ford’s entire family created by Arnold still exist in the park, secreted away. Here, we see further biblical allusion as Dr. Ford uses the command phrase “turn the other cheek” to make his counterpart reveal his inner workings. Bernard is also party to Elsie’s investigation into whomever has been uploading satellite data from the park—a pursuit that casts doubt on Theresa’s loyalties and ends up getting Elsie captured (but hopefully not killed).
Elsie uncovering mysteries. Image taken from Coming Soon.
And, on a final note, a seemingly meaningless flirtation by Lee Sizemore (the park’s head writer) with a young guest revealed to be Charlotte Hale (a powerful Delos executive sent by the parent company to monitor the park and its employees’ activities) may have yielded the series’ first true human villain, according to some. We shall have to see how all of these conflicts develop, and—again—how many of them are even connected and where they occur chronologically.
Charlotte Hale reveals herself. Image taken from Highlight Hollywood.
That’s it for this episode. Where do you all think this is going? And, to call upon the episode title, to whom does “The Adversary” refer? Let me know in the comments below, and keep an eye out for my supplemental Westworld posts coming soon.