HBO has made a habit out of creating hyper-realistic fantasy worlds using brilliant pieces of literature, and the stunning new series "Westworld" fits right into that bracket. The series kicked off in spectacular fashion with a premiere that managed to introduce us to the world while also showcasing the many problems festering under the hood.

What is Westworld?

We are introduced to two parallel worlds that are deeply interconnected with one another. The first is Westworld – A massive, state-of-the-art amusement park where the ‘hosts’ (cyborgs) provide 'newcomers' (guests at the park) with an authentic wild, wild, west-style experience.

The second is the organization responsible for running Westworld and ensuring the smooth functioning of its extremely complex elements.

The hosts reset their memories on a daily basis and are programmed to behave like human beings living in older western times, with each host given a unique personality and backstory. They are also programmed to not hurt living beings and stick to a given script that follows the overall narrative in the park at any point. They only improvise slightly whenever necessary.

Festering issues

The hosts are updated on a regular basis in order to maintain maximum efficiency, but problems begin to arise after the lead programmer Bernard conducts the latest update. He notices several hosts behaving in a strange manner, with one of the hosts even behaving psychopathically and killing numerous other hosts. Robert uses the help of Theresa Cullen - the operations leader, and Lee Sizemore – the narrative director, to extract the dysfunctional hosts without letting it affect the overall functioning of the park.

During this irregularity, we are introduced to the life of Dolores Abernathy, one of the oldest hosts in the park whose latest personality involves being a simple, grounded, positive and family-oriented farm girl. She is deeply in love with Teddy Flood and highly devoted to her parents. The show walks us through a couple of highly contrasting days in Dolores’ life, even though she stays true to her nature during all the accompanying incidents.

One of the days involves her being rescued by Teddy after bandits shoot and kill her father. Unfortunately for her, a mysterious newcomer known as the man in black (who has been supposedly visiting the park for decades) kills Teddy and ends up having his way with Dolores. It is later revealed that the man in black is searching for a deeper game being played in Westworld, as we see him hunt down another host and skin his head to reveal a hidden symbol over his cranium.

After the day resets, Dolores’ father find a picture from the real world in his farm and begins to behave erratically when he isn’t able to recognize anything in the photograph.

Bernard uses the help of Dr. Robert Ford, the creative director of Westworld, to pinpoint the nature of the problem in Dolores’ father. Upon interviewing him, we see hints of the artificial intelligence that is running the hosts take charge and threaten Ford about living in a ‘prison of his own sins’.

Ford and Bernard lock Dolores’ dad in a cold storage and set Dolores free after conducting several tests to determine the normalcy of her state of mind. The episode ends with Dolores killing a fly that is hovering around her face, a sign that she is moved past the rule of not hurting living beings.

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