Alyssa Thorne
December 05, 2016 5:06 pm

The internet is always rampant with theories about popular TV series, so statistically a lot of them are bound to be totally correct. Such was the case with Westworld, in which fans have been speculating since the premiere that William and Logan’s plot line was taking place in the past, and that the Man in Black was the one who was acting in the present. Westworld did a reasonably good job of keeping the timelines indistinct enough that it wasn’t huuuugely obvious. But pair making a point of William picking a white hat with the Man and Black’s lack of actual name (and the fact that he wears a BLACK hat) and, well. This isn’t exactly rocket science.

Still, we need to take a minute to try and sort out the different ‘layers’ to this show, because there are actually more than there maybe reasonably should be.

1. We’ve got William and Logan and Dolores.

2. Then we’ve got the Man in Black (and sometimes Dolores). They’re operating in two different time streams.

3. We’ve also got Dolores’s conversations with Bernard, which we then think are possibly conversations with Arnold, but then we realize they weren’t real conversations at all, but Dolores coming to develop her own internal voice — so that’s a third reality.

4. On top of that, you have Dolores slipping in and out of her own memories at different points, which sometimes but not always align with William or the Man in Black.

5. Then we also have Maeve and the muddle of Maeve’s memories.

PLUS 6. There’s the inner workings of Westworld, and I’m not sure if it’s ever entirely clear which timeline those people are in. Like, at all. Obviously the bros helping Maeve escape are in the present. But everyone else, like the Surprise Hemsworth? Not a clue.

Westworld deserves some kind of award for being simultaneously the most opaque and most transparent show of all times. The Man in Black’s search for the maze is a reaaaaally great metaphor for the show on a whole: interesting in theory, absurdly illogical in execution, and concluding without much of a clear purpose.