This week on Decrypted we immersed ourselves in the Westworld season finale, “The Bicameral Mind.” It was a mixed bag with some great moments and some unfortunate missteps. Though most plotholes were closed, several of our (anti)heroes did things that seemed way out of character. What does it all mean?
My guest is Evan Narcisse, cultural critic and senior staff writer at io9.com. He also just started work on a Marvel Comics project you miiiiight know (sorry, I cannot reveal anything under pain of death). Evan is immersed in the culture of gaming and superheroes, so I knew he would have fantastic insights about this crucial final episode.
Decrypted: Who needs linear time when you’ve got Westworld? Topics discussed: we just don’t care that William and MIB are the same person (seriously why is this such a big deal); how Maeve’s final revelation completely sold her character short (and also made no sense given her past actions); why Bernard why (you were our favorite character and now you’re a blob); the differences between Arnold and Ford’s ideas about consciousness (or lack thereof); W.E.B. Dubois’ idea of double consciousness (and why it completely fits robot consciousness in this story); robots and slavery (and some of the not-so-subtle racial subtexts); the trouble with Dolores (it’s still not clear why she’s leading the rebellion); and how much we want Felix to be promoted (go Felix go!).
I’ve been analyzing, debating, and dissecting Westworld every week with a different guest. Now you can go back and listen to all the episodes again or wait for us to dive into the next shows we’ll be obsessed with—things like The Expanse and Star Trek: Discovery.
Yes, there are spoilers. Listen when you’re ready!
Decrypted is Ars Technica’s weekly podcast about the TV that obsesses us. Currently we’re dissecting Westworld. Listen or subscribe however you please above, and let us know what you think—ideas, questions, or your favorite theory about what’s going to happen next season—through the comments section, on iTunes, or via e-mail.
More Info: arstechnica.com