Westworld Minisodes – The Original Part 2 – Episode 18 – Yutani Podcast

Nathan Crowley received an ADG (Art Directors Guild) Excellence in Production Design Award for this episode.

@officerjoek9 joins @muthur9000 in discussing Westworld Episode 1 The Original, Part II.

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Footnotes:

Synopsis Westworld Season 1 Episode 1 The Original HBO

These violent delights have violent ends”– Romeo and Juliet (2.6, 9)

In the episode the wording varies slightly, originally in the play, Friar Lawrence tells Romeo that his love for Juliet their love is not destined to be long-lived, but rather short.

But when Abernathy tells Dolores, the meaning is different. That these advantages the guests enjoy at expense of the hosts will have disastrous consequences.

“‘Hell is empty/And all the devils are here’”–The Tempest (1.2, 215-216)

The spirit Ariel tells Prospero in ‘The Tempest’, that Ferdinand shouted ‘Hell is empty/And all the devils are here’ as he jumped overboard during a storm Prospero had conjured.

Abernathy use of this line shows he is aware of what the park is and happens to his family night after night at the hands of the Newcomers.

“When we are born, we cry that we are come/To this great stage of fools”– King Lear (4.6, 165-166)

King Lear explains to Gloucester that in punishing sinners, the punishers become sinners themselves. He reasons that babies cry because they know they are born into a world of pain and hypocrisy.

Abernathy’s use of this quote is a way for him to say “He wasn’t born yesterday, he knows what’s happening and he’s not happy about it.”

“By my/Most/Mechanical and dirty hand”– Henry IV (5.5, 33-35)

“I shall have such revenges on you both/That all the world shall–I will do such things–/What they are yet I know not, but they shall be/The terrors of the earth– King Lear (2.4, 276-279)

Abernathy combines two quotes; one spoken by Pistol in “Henry IV” and the other spoken by King Lear.

Abernathy refers to himself through the first quote, referring to himself as mechanical because he knows he is a creation and he cannot control his destiny. The second line is spoken by King Lear when he realises he’s been betrayed, Abernathy knows what he and Dolores have endured and he no longer wants to be a part of it.

Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden
 
In my eyes, indisposed
In disguises no one knows
Hides the face, lies the snake
The sun in my disgrace
Boiling heat, summer stench
‘Neath the black the sky looks dead
Call my name through the cream
And I’ll hear you scream again
Black hole sun
Won’t you come
And wash away the rain
Black hole sun
Won’t you come
Won’t you come (won’t you come)
Stuttering, cold and damp
Steal the warm wind tired friend
Times are gone for honest men
And sometimes far too long for snakes
In my shoes, a walking sleep
And my youth I pray to keep
Heaven sent hell away
No one sings like you anymore
Black hole sun
Won’t you come
And wash away the rain
Black hole sun
Won’t you come
Won’t you come
Black hole sun
Won’t you come
And wash away the rain
Black hole sun
Won’t you come
Won’t you come (black hole sun, black hole sun) x 4
 
Hang my head, drown my fear
Till you all just disappear
Black hole sun
Won’t you come
And wash away the rain
Black hole sun
Won’t you come
Won’t you come
Black hole sun
Won’t you come
And wash away the rain
Black hole sun
Won’t you come
Won’t you come (black hole sun, black hole sun) x 6Won’t you come
Won’t you come
 
Songwriters: Chris Cornell | Black Hole Sun lyrics © BMG Rights Management
The song’s twisted music video further illustrates this seemingly hopeless fantasy, revealing the darkness hidden underneath the smiling face of idyllic, white-picket-fence American life. By the third verse, Cornell is seeking escape from this seemingly nameless, but inescapable doom. – Mic.com
It’s really difficult for a person to create their own life and their own freedom. It’s going to become more and more difficult, and it’s going to create more and more disillusioned people who become dishonest and angry and are willing to fuck the next guy to get what they want. There’s so much stepping on the backs of other people in our profession. We’ve been so lucky that we’ve never had to do that. Part of it was because of our own tenacity, and part of it was because we were lucky.
 – Chris Cornell
 
Paint It Black by The Rolling Stones
 
I see a red door and I want it painted black
No colors anymore I want them to turn black
I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes
I have to turn my head until my darkness goes
I see a line of cars and they’re all painted black
With flowers and my love both never to come back
I see people turn their heads and quickly look away
Like a new born baby it just happens ev’ry day
I look inside myself and see my heart is black
I see my red door I must have it painted black
Maybe then I’ll fade away and not have to face the facts
It’s not easy facin’ up, when your whole world is black
No more will my green sea go turn a deeper blue
I could not foresee this thing happening to you
If I look hard enough into the settin’ sun
My love will laugh with me before the mornin’ comes
I see a red door and I want it painted black
No colors anymore I want them to turn black
I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes
I have to turn my head until my darkness goes
Hmm, hmm, hmm x 16
 
I want to see it painted, painted black
Black as night, black as coal
I want to see the sun, blotted out from the sky
I want to see it painted, painted, painted, painted black
Yeah
Hmm, hmm, hmm x 16
 
Songwriters: Keith Richards / Mick Jagger | Paint It Black lyrics © Abkco Music, Inc
“That was the time of lots of acid. It has sitars on it. It’s like the beginnings of miserable psychedelia.
 – “Mick Jagger on “Paint it Black”
Interpretations of “Paint it Black”: Although easy enough to call it a day and call “Paint it Black” yet another drug-induced/inspired song with little meaning behind it, there are multiple interpretations that exist. What interpretations exist that can be applied to Westworld?
 
The Vietnam War: Written in 1966 at the height of the Vietnam War, there is little question that “Paint it Black” can certainly be interpreted through the lens of wartime and its effect on those involved at home and abroad. Death appears to show up extensively in the song, and the time period of the Vietnam War forced people to experience death far more frequently than usual. The darkness of veterans who suffer from PTSD – someone who does not enjoy seeing things that used to amuse them like “summer clothes” – and they must turn away; overwhelmed by the “darkness” of his memories. Paranoia sets in as people from home “turn their heads and quickly look away”.
 
“I see a line of cars and they’re all painted black
With flowers and my love, both never to come back.”
 
Counter Culture: Drugs and alcohol were used to escape the tumultuous and mainstream culture of the 1960s by veterans and civilians alike. Hoping to “fade away”, the narrator may turn to drugs in order to escape the horrors of what they had witnessed in Vietnam or by people looking to escape their reality.
 

Westworld: The idea that the song was heavily influenced by reality shaping drugs is not an uncommon interpretation and is stated by Mick Jagger himself (as seen above). The song plays when Hector begins his attack on Sweetwater and goes through his loop of stealing a safe which contains nothing. The uselessness of the particularities, the effort that goes into the heist, is all meaningless in the end. This is punctuated when Hector is shot by a Guest, someone who happened to be there at the right time, interrupting the story. The Hosts have no escape from the cycles of their lives, they cannot turn to drugs or alcohol to forget. The suffering they endure, ironically, is what makes them who they are and what they will become.

Reference: Song Lyrics Interpretation & Analysis by K Shabi

Ain’t No Grave by Johnny Cash
 

There ain’t no grave can hold my body down x 2

When I hear that trumpet sound I’m gonna rise right out of the ground
Ain’t no grave can hold my body down

Well, look way down the river, what do you think I see?
I see a band of angels and they’re coming after me
Ain’t no grave can hold my body down
There ain’t no grave can hold my body down
Well, look down yonder Gabriel, put your feet on the land and see
But Gabriel don’t you blow your trumpet ’til you hear it from me
There ain’t no grave can hold my body down
Ain’t no grave can hold my body down
Well, meet me Jesus, meet me. Meet me in the middle of the air
And if these wings don’t fail me I will meet you anywhere
Ain’t no grave can hold my body down
There ain’t no grave can hold my body down
Well, meet me mother and father, meet me down the river road
And momma you know that I’ll be there when I check in my load
Ain’t no grave can hold my body down
There ain’t no grave can hold my body down x 2
Songwriters: Claude Ely / John Cash | Ain’t No Grave lyrics © BMG Rights Management

Possible interpretation: Although this song was first written and performed by Claude Ely in the early 20th century, Johnny Cash’s cover is most famous as it was on his posthumous final album American VI: Ain’t No Grave. Cash became a born again Christian in his later years, which may have influenced his decision to cover this.

Not death, nor the devil, can keep Mr. Cash from ascending to Heaven. The parallels with Westworld are clear – the Devil, whether you interpret Ford or other human characters as such, and the cyclical deaths the Hosts must endure, cannot keep them from gaining freedom, sentience, consciousness, and their own shot at developing a life of their own.

The Man in Black – Motives, Interpretations

Man in Black

The Man in Black is obsessed with choice and meaning. As we find out, William is the Man in Black. Before he becomes the villain we know, he is a man visiting Westworld for the first time with his brother in law. Through his journey (which we will detail later), he tries to uphold moral values that save Hosts, protect them, and he ends up falling in love with Dolores – only to find out that none of his efforts meant anything because Dolores’s loop was reset and William was left wondering why to bother with anything he did.

Jump ahead 30 years, and the Man in Black is killing Dolores’ protector and raping her. He claims to have been returning to the park and committing unspeakable acts of suffering upon the hosts. He returns for a journey of self-discovery; thinking if there is any authenticity to Westworld, he is going to explore every aspect of the world has to offer in order to find it. After all, if Westworld does not really offer us free choices, what options are there to genuinely exist as a free agent of our own lives? As we continue to explore Westworld, we will begin to really understand the Man in Black and why he chooses to be ignorant of his own reality.

The Maze

The Maze

The entire first season of Westworld exists to bring the Hosts to a state of consciousness; that is, not blindly accepting what they are told to be true and instead choosing to think for themselves and understand that they are an agent of free will for their own lives. What, then, is the significance of the Maze? The Maze exists as a representation of consciousness.

The journey to self-actualization is not such a linear path – you do not go from point A to point B and follow instructions to it. Instead, it is much more like a maze – you make mistakes, there are dead ends. You choose the wrong path and learn from your mistakes to better prepare yourself for the reality that you will reach eventually. The Hosts will make mistakes, they will die, they will be violated, and they will suffer insurmountably before becoming independent and self-realized. The Maze is not the trigger; rather, it is a visualization of what the Hosts are going through to achieve a more real life.

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