The center of the maze isn’t what we thought in “Westworld”
Spoilers ahead! Enter at your own risk!
After an entire season of Westworld that seemed to revolve around finding the center of the “maze,” we finally know what the center of the maze actually is. It’s been the Man in Black’s sole goal, and also seemed important to Dolores and Bernard. Some deeper level of the park that’s somehow more meaningful, or dangerous. To Dolores, the center of the maze always seemed to represent her finding her true consciousness. Hints to the maze have come from other hosts, from the inside of a host’s skull, and from the history of the park itself, and after all this build up — well, the answer is kinda…wtf.
The maze, it turns out, is a concept rather than an actual game. It represents the hosts’ journey to sentience, with the center being true consciousness: developing a sense of a self, and an internal voice.
There’s something satisfying about a show that got its own subreddit of people speculating about what really was at the center of the maze answering that question with “uhhhh, it’s a metaphor, guys” but there’s also something incredibly UNsatisfying about William’s entire arc for the season being utterly pointless.
In a way, William got what he wanted in the end — we see him get shot by the oncoming hosts, freed from their Asimovian “don’t hurt people” clause, and so he finally gets to play this game in a world with real stakes. Still, it’s hard to get excited about a show that seems to view suicide as the pinnacle. First Arnold, then Bernard (temporarily), then Ford, and now most likely William, if not by proxy.