Tonight in Episode 4 of Westworld, we learned more about the Man in Black (Ed Harris) and his mission in Westworld, and it did not disappoint.
What did we learn?
Firstly, the Man in Black is actually a hero in the real world. When the Man in Black met up with the bandits in tonight's episode, there was another human with the party. He recognized the Man in Black and credited him with saving his sister's life. He would have gone on if the Man in Black hadn't cut him off because he just wanted to enjoy his vacation in peace. Is the Man in Black some kind of revolutionary doctor then? A political leader? Maybe a military man? Whatever it is, he has clearly had a positive impact on people's lives.
Secondly, it was Dr. Ford's tragic partner Arnold who created the storyline the Man in Black is trying to uncover. The Man in Black is aware of Arnold's demise, which means could mean that he knew Arnold personally, he knows people closely connected to Dr. Ford and the company or the story is legend in the outside world. I'm going with the guess that the Man in Black somehow knew Arnold. Maybe they were brothers or best friends? I think there is way more to that thread of information we learned about Arnold tonight.
Thirdly, if the Man in Black can reach his destination, he might be the key to completely cognizant robots. The Man in Black made a comment tonight that suggested he was trying to help the hosts. When talking about Arnold's game, he suggested that the hosts would thank him for it. We also know Arnold had a closer affinity to the hosts than to humans themselves. This suggests that Arnold's last action before his death was creating the threads that are causing Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) and Maeve (Thandie Newton) to remember. Perhaps, the Man in Black himself is the one encouraging this awareness and thereby fulfilling Arnold's final wishes.
Personally, I still think the Man in Black is a sadistic dude who loves murdering and raping women. I am not trying to excuse his history with Dolores and other hosts in the park. The show, at it's core, does seem to be about the evil within humans. But in exploring that evil, it seems the show may present multiple faces to people. Just because the Man in Black likes hurting hosts on the one hand doesn't mean there isn't also some good to his presence in Westworld.
His mission to find the heart of Westworld might be a way for him to gain power within the park. Thanks to this episode, we know that the board does not trust Dr. Ford. What if the Man in Black is on the board? What if he doesn't trust Dr. Ford and knew Arnold? What if Arnold directed him on this final storyline because he trusts the Man in Black to protect the legacy he intended for Westworld?
More and more questions only means we're headed for a better and better first season of Westworld. Man, this show is brilliant.
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