As the first season of Westworld has unspooled, we’ve cycled through countless fan theories to countless hip dismissals of said fan theories to even more theories. It’s become a bit of an industry now, which I personally think is fun. The engagement across the board is nice to see, even if it yields frequently out-there stuff that may be dismissed by the very next episode.
One theory that has not been dismissed is the idea that the show is subtly showing us two different timelines in tandem, without telling us so. This ties into the popular idea that good-guy William (Jimmi Simpson, pictured above with Evan Rachel Wood) is really the evil Man in Black (Ed Harris) from 30 years ago, and what we’re seeing is how a white hat guest becomes a black hat over time.
A new video on YouTube attempts to make sense of this mess by rearranging scenes from the six episodes that have currently aired into a “chronological” order. It further posits that Ford’s (Anthony Hopkins) mysterious and deceased co-founder Arnold is actually Bernard and his sentience-encouraging sessions with Dolores also take place in the past timeline, while Maeve’s quest for independence takes place in the present. One mark against it from viewing the video is that it shows Maeve’s previous loop as a farmhand with a daughter attacked by Native American hosts as occurring alongside the past timeline, when a) the Man in Black shows up in that loop, as witnessed in episode 2, which he shouldn’t if he’s supposed to be Old William and b) in episode 6, Lutz told her that she had only been a brothel madam for a year, confirming the other loop wasn’t 30 years in the past. What do you guys think?
Westworld airs its seventh episode “Trompe L’Oeil” this Sunday, Nov. 13 at 9 p.m. on HBO. Check out the episode trailer here. Catch up on the latest Westworld theories with our compendium and check out our previous episode reviews at the links below. Plus we have a full breakdown of the first half of Wesworld‘s epic first season. For more of our Westworld coverage, click here.