Westworld Catch-All - Spoilers Ahoy!

Old Ford and MiB interacting doesn't disprove the different timelines.

No, but that proves they both exist in the present. Old Ford and MIB are definitely happening now.

Stubbs is the one that authorizes the MIB's cigars to explode, so he's definitely also in the present.

Stubbs gets a report of Dolores being off her loop. One reason offered for her being off her loop is Ford's disruption of storylines, which we also know is happening in the present.

The very next scene, not thirty seconds later, is a sheriff trying to do a repo on Dolores, and William intervening. They're pretty much directly stating cause and effect there, and it's pretty hard proof that William is also in the present. Dual timelines after that transition would be lousy filmmaking and storytelling.

We also know that Dolores learns to fire her weapon from fear of the MIB, and encounters William only afterward. We ALSO know that Arnold's interference is running in the 'now', and Dolores-with-William is showing more symptoms of that interference than any other host.

Basically: every time we have any kind of solid evidence about timelines, everything points to it all happening roughly in the present.

I haven't seen any data supporting the dual timeline hypothesis, just conjecture. On the occasions that we've had enough information to puzzle out sequencing, everything has been consistent with one timeline.

edit: If the camera has been sufficiently reliable, in fact, dual timelines would appear to be impossible.

Further, from references that have been made in-show, there seem to be roughly three "time zones" in Westworld:

  1. Now. This appears to be where all the active characters are.
  2. One or two years ago, apparently when the MIB showed up and started his Maze hunt. This seems to be when he killed Maeve and her daughter, and may have been why she was reassigned to be a madam.
  3. Thirty years ago, when Arnold died. It appears the town with the church was above ground at the time, and was where the first batch of hosts were trained. The town is buried in the present, but we don't know why.

Dolores' memories seem to mostly come from #3. Maeve's seem to be #2 and newer, probably because she didn't exist that far back.

Pretty sure Maeve is one of the dancers we see in the now-buried town. She's not a focal point of the shot, but I thought I heard one of the techs mention her by name as Dolores was walking up.

All well reasoned, but I'll call your timeline speculation and raise you an Alanzo.

We know that Alanzo was with MIB in the current timeline but was also with William and Dolores in their "current" timeline as well. Further complicating things is that Alanzo's narrative is completely different in both William's and MIB's interaction with him.

Again, I remain agnostic about whether William is MIB but I am convinced that the William/Dolores timeline is not the same as the MIBs. Now, whether they are just a few years apart or thirty, I don't think we can know at this point.

We know that Alanzo was with MIB in the current timeline but was also with William and Dolores in their "current" timeline as well.

By the evidence of the screen, he was with the Man in Black in Episode 4, until the MIB killed him to heal Teddy. He originally acquired Lawrence about five minutes before he died, at the end of his loop.

The next scene we see after Lawrence dying is William and Dolores getting up after a night's sleep. And when they encounter El Lazo, that's the same character, but at the start of his loop, instead of at the end. He starts as the wicked villain El Lazo, and ends up as Lawrence, dangling at the end of a rope.

At no point is he with both groups simultaneously. In the spot where he moved, he died, and a night passed. So that's fully explainable within the mechanics we already know.

Two timelines is impossible by the normal rules of cinematography. However, they've also showed us that they're willing to lie with the camera, so it could still be true if we have a truly unreliable narrator.

If not, however, if mostly we're getting the truth, with minor edits to show us what a host is currently seeing (or not seeing), then only one timeline would appear possible.

edit: I just went back and triple-checked. The MIB kills Lawrence early in Episode 5. The next time we see William and Dolores, it's night in Pariah, and Dolores sees her own double in the parade. Then, when we see them the NEXT time, it's morning, and that's when they meet El Lazo.

second edit: and they're really clear that a night has passed, because William asks Dolores if she's feeling better this morning, and she mentions having "troubled dreams". (this was probably from the creepy intermission with Ford where he says she's not a friend.)

Malor wrote:
Old Ford and MiB interacting doesn't disprove the different timelines.

No, but that proves they both exist in the present. Old Ford and MIB are definitely happening now.

Yeah... That supports the theory.

Malor wrote:

The very next scene, not thirty seconds later, is a sheriff trying to do a repo on Dolores, and William intervening. They're pretty much directly stating cause and effect there, and it's pretty hard proof that William is also in the present. Dual timelines after that transition would be lousy filmmaking and storytelling.

I wouldn't call it lousy, but if the theory is proven correct, I can see a lot people not liking it. The editing was treacherous several times.

Malor wrote:

Further, from references that have been made in-show, there seem to be roughly three "time zones" in Westworld:

  1. Now. This appears to be where all the active characters are.
  2. One or two years ago, apparently when the MIB showed up and started his Maze hunt. This seems to be when he killed Maeve and her daughter, and may have been why she was reassigned to be a madam.
  3. Thirty years ago, when Arnold died. It appears the town with the church was above ground at the time, and was where the first batch of hosts were trained. The town is buried in the present, but we don't know why.

Dolores' memories seem to mostly come from #3. Maeve's seem to be #2 and newer, probably because she didn't exist that far back.

Thirty years ago, the park was open to guests. The tests (like the hosts dancing) were before that.
Plus, Arnold died before the park opened (as said by Logan, I believe).

slazev wrote:

I wouldn't call it lousy, but if the theory is proven correct, I can see a lot people not liking it. The editing was treacherous several times.

Yeah, they could be lying with the camera, and being actively misleading. I would think a lot less of the show if they did that, though, since we're defenseless against that kind of manipulation.

If we can't believe anything we see, and it's arranged in such a way as to deliberately give us incorrect things as 'true', why even watch the show in the first place? We'd be in better shape not being exposed to the original untruths.

At least for the moment, I choose to believe that most of what we see is true, but that's purely faith.

slazev wrote:

Thirty years ago, the park was open to guests. The tests (like the hosts dancing) were before that.
Plus, Arnold died before the park opened (as said by Logan, I believe).

Well, it's a window of a few years around thirty years ago. Something big happened back then, and it's one of the only explicit times ever mentioned in the show. (now, a year or two ago, and thirty years ago have all been explicitly mentioned, so I think of them as eras.)

Has it been covered that Arnold Weber is an anagram of Bernard Lowe?

maverickz wrote:

Has it been covered that Arnold Weber is an anagram of Bernard Lowe?

Who the hell thinks to check on these things? I didn't know there was a multiple timeframe theory until this past Monday.

maverickz wrote:

Has it been covered that Arnold Weber is an anagram of Bernard Lowe?

Now I have a headache. Good catch though. Seems awfully coincidental....

I was repeating theories upthread, sourced from elsewhere, that Bernard is modeled on Arnold, and that he was actually in that early picture that we saw. If you look at that photo, it really seems there should be a third person, but there was nobody visible. It was Bernard doing the observation, and we've already seen Unreliable Camera, so it might simply have been suppressed from his perception.

It's fairly tenuous, but it's holding up so far. And the anagram thing is very interesting.

Oh wow. Thanks to that anagram, now I'm starting to think some of these crazy theories aren't utter nonsense.

When did we learn Arnold's last name?

Aristophan wrote:

When did we learn Arnold's last name?

We didn't. But it fits. There hasn't been any confirmation of this.

Oh, I thought I'd just missed that. If they're making up the "Weber" part, it's a much less interesting idea.

Malor wrote:

Oh, I thought I'd just missed that. If they're making up the "Weber" part, it's a much less interesting idea.

I think many of these theories rely on similar stretches. It's another piece in a theoretical puzzle.

Yeah, the scene at the church town solidified it for me. Dolores sees it 35 years ago, when the hosts were being "trained" (and she, apparently, shot everyone). She sees it 30 years ago with William, when it's buried. And she sees it now, when it's being reconstructed. She's off her loop, again, looking for something that is likely Wyatt/Herself. William, as the Man in Black is back looking for her because his life outside the park is meaningless and he wants to "wake up" Dolores like he did Maeve, when he killed her daughter. #currentworkingtheories

maverickz wrote:
Aristophan wrote:

When did we learn Arnold's last name?

We didn't. But it fits. There hasn't been any confirmation of this.

Oh for pete's sake. Back in the sea, the lot of you.

maverickz wrote:
Malor wrote:

Oh, I thought I'd just missed that. If they're making up the "Weber" part, it's a much less interesting idea.

I think many of these theories rely on similar stretches. It's another piece in a theoretical puzzle.

Yeah, but that's citing evidence that doesn't exist. That's not "a stretch", that's invention from whole cloth.

Dolores sees it 35 years ago, when the hosts were being "trained" (and she, apparently, shot everyone). She sees it 30 years ago with William, when it's buried

Unless they're deliberately lying with their camera work, Dolores-with-William and the MIB are contemporaneous, in the present.

yeah. Color me disappointed on the name thing. That would have been a brilliant Easter egg

It hasn't been disproven yet.

Malor wrote:

Unless they're deliberately lying with their camera work, Dolores-with-William and the MIB are contemporaneous, in the present.

Malor, did you ever see Memento? Given that Jonathan Nolan wrote this, I'm kind of taking it as a given that they are indeed lying with their camera work. Though perhaps that is me being too meta.

Malor wrote:
Dolores sees it 35 years ago, when the hosts were being "trained" (and she, apparently, shot everyone). She sees it 30 years ago with William, when it's buried

Unless they're deliberately lying with their camera work, Dolores-with-William and the MIB are contemporaneous, in the present.

Lying is too strong a word. As strong as your aversion to the different timelines theory.

Malor, did you ever see Memento?

Nope. I don't know what the ground rules were in that show, but I gotta say, if they're being deceptive enough to support two timelines in this one, the show isn't worth watching. If they're willing to mislead viewers to that degree, there's no point in viewing it. You might as well just wait and find out what the resolution is; the interim story beats are pointless.

Lying is too strong a word. As strong as your aversion to the different timelines theory.

I have no inherent aversion to two timelines, it's just that it cannot work with the evidence we presently have. William being the MIB has some aesthetic appeal, but that's not what the camera is directly telling us about the state of the world.

Malor wrote:
Malor, did you ever see Memento?

Nope. I don't know what the ground rules were in that show, but I gotta say, if they're being deceptive enough to support two timelines in this one, the show isn't worth watching. If they're willing to mislead viewers to that degree, there's no point in viewing it. You might as well just wait and find out what the resolution is; the interim story beats are pointless.

It's a movie. It is definitely worth at least a rental but I wouldn't go into knowing anything else than it loosely ties into the discussion we have been having.

Yes, definitely go into Memento blind. Definitely worth a watch!

As far as alternate time lines in Westworld are concerned, I have made my opinion clear.

Get in the sea!

(p.s. - VERY NSFW but also a lot of fun: https://twitter.com/getinthesea )

Malor wrote:
Malor, did you ever see Memento?

Nope. I don't know what the ground rules were in that show, but I gotta say, if they're being deceptive enough to support two timelines in this one, the show isn't worth watching. If they're willing to mislead viewers to that degree, there's no point in viewing it. You might as well just wait and find out what the resolution is; the interim story beats are pointless.

Is it alright with you if I still watch it even though I believe in multiple time lines and that they are lying?

maverickz wrote:
Malor wrote:
Malor, did you ever see Memento?

Nope. I don't know what the ground rules were in that show, but I gotta say, if they're being deceptive enough to support two timelines in this one, the show isn't worth watching. If they're willing to mislead viewers to that degree, there's no point in viewing it. You might as well just wait and find out what the resolution is; the interim story beats are pointless.

Is it alright with you if I still watch it even though I believe in multiple time lines and that they are lying?

(Read with super exaggerated seriousness): Malor has forbidden it. You continue watching at your peril.

maverickz wrote:

Is it alright with you if I still watch it even though I believe in multiple time lines and that they are lying?

If they're willing to lie to you that much, why watch anything but the ending? At that point, other viewing is just wasting your time.

I wouldn't go as far as to skip the entirety of the show, but I agree with Malor;

If they're going to force the "plot twists" to the point they're actively lying to the audience and mask it as "sligh of hand camera", then you're constantly going to feel cheated by the show's story, use of camera, character's acting, intent and their dialogues. It's hate viewing and there's little point to it.