“Westworld” had its first human casualty last night and this changes everything

First of all, let’s be clear: Westworld has been a gleefully violent show. There’s been lost of murder and mayhem, emphasis on the former, from guests to hosts, or between hosts in the park. Frequently, the degree to which the guests are violent is both baffling and disturbing in how little the show addresses it. Regardless of the inherently problematic nature of the dubious humanity of the hosts, the idea that all the guests just want to murder and have sex with everything around them is just…confusing.

Anyway, the point is, last night Bernard — revealed to be a host!! — killed Theresa. She is the first human we’ve seen die, and certainly the first human to die at the hands of a host.

This, first of all, shows us without a question that Ford is dangerous. He’s making unauthorized hosts unchecked in his creepy lab, and he’s making them with the ability to hurt and kill human beings. I don’t even need to explain why this is bad. It also raises the stakes on the show, which has thus far preserved all of its human characters.

Unfortunately, they chose to kill a woman in power, so now we’ve progressed from abusing “fake” but increasingly sentient women to abusing and murdering a human woman. If Westworld were going to be as progressive for women as HBO purported it to be in the wake of Game of Thrones’ absolutely appalling treatment of women, they maaaaybe would’ve made a different choice. Not saying women shouldn’t be able to die — just saying that as far as first blood goes, showing Theresa pretty brutally killed by a lover in order for an old man to assert dominance over her was a pretty telling, if poor, choice.

Am I the only one who feels the need to shower after watching this show? Anybody? Bueller?

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