Westworld: Timeline

It’s fun watching the fans try to guess what’s coming next in season two of Westworld. To their credit, they’ve gotten a number of key points right (like Bernard being Arnold), but some of the theories seem far-fetched (like Westworld being on the moon).

Along the lines of the latter, some fans think glimpses of the hosts in modern dress, and in modern city scenes, indicate a visit to “Futureworld” rather than, say, Delos using the hosts in the real world. (We see BernArnold in those scenes, so either they’re before Arnold died or after Ford made Bernard.) But it does look like they might be stealing a plot point from the Futureworld movie!

Anyway, back in season one, here is a go at a chronological account of Westworld starting back 35 years ago (Warning: Serious Series Spoilers)…

Year -35: Robert Ford and Arnold Weber begin work on what would become Westworld. We might assume Robert and Arnold had already done some work in robotics and had some idea of what they wanted to do.

In fact, it seems very much like a start-up idea conceived by people already in the business, but seeing an unfilled niche they could capitalize on.

Year -34: The hosts “passed the Turning test after one year,” according to what Ford tells Bernard.

¶ At some point in the two-year period that follows, Dolores begins to really impress Arnold (who’s suffering from the loss of this son). It’s possible Arnold becomes a bit too enamored, or at least very caught up, with her.

After failing with a pyramid metaphor, Arnold conceives the maze. Dolores solves Arnold’s maze, or at least convinces him that she’s alive and, therefore, the park must not open.

I think there’s a good argument to be made, based on the churchyard scenes in episode ten, that Dolores did not solve the maze, but only convinced Arnold of her potential. It’s only after all the Ford-imposed suffering and time that she actually wakes.

¶ Ultimately, when Arnold and Robert disagree — with Robert apparently winning the argument — Arnold uses Dolores, aided by the Wyatt character, to kill all the hosts and himself.

Robert, at this point, biased by a need to open the park, does not believe that Dolores is conscious. And it’s possible he was right.

Year  -32: The park opens anyway. But it “hemorrhages” money.

Ford, and his business partners, have agreed to suppress the story of Arnold to the point he is essentially erased from history. (Logan tells William that the Delos lawyers couldn’t find a name, let alone a photo.)

We don’t know if Delos was involved with Robert and Arnold from the beginning or if they came along after the park opened. They are definitely involved by the time William visits.

¶ Per what he says to William, Logan visits the park several times during this period. Delos either already has, or buys, a stake in the park, and Logan sees further opportunities.

§

Year -30: Logan brings William to the park…

¶ Day 1: They arrive from the mainland on the monorail.

Hosts greet them as they exit the train. William meets Angela, who probes him a bit (probably just banter, as the park would likely have his records already). She takes him to Garb and Gear (and Hats).

William and Logan take the train to Sweetwater. William bumps into the Grizzly Adams character and helps an old prospector out of the mud.

That night they have dinner, but are accosted by the old prospector, who gets forked by Logan. They go to the Mariposa for hookers. William (just) talks to his (Clementine).

¶ Day 2: William wanders around Sweetwater, gets involved in a shootout with a villain, and saves Clementine. He kinda liked shooting the bad guy, so he decides he will go bounty hunting with Holden.

As they prepare their horses, he sees Dolores drop her milk can, which he picks up. They talk, but Logan pulls him back to their preparations.

That night, in their camp, Dolores stumbles in and collapses in his arms.

¶ Day 3: They pass through Las Mudas, and Dolores encounters Lawrence’s daughter (who knows about maze). A sheriff tries to take control of Dolores (who is off her loop), but William intercedes (“she’s with me”).

That night, in camp, William and Dolores talk. Dolores seems to be having visions here. Or maybe it’s the Dolores from timeline 2 (or even timeline 0). Or maybe it’s all of them.

¶ Day 4: Dolores waits outside as the men invade a farmhouse where Slim and other bandits are holed up. They capture Slim. Logan gets a better gun.

When Logan hears Slim mention El Lazo, he shoots Holden, so they can pursue the “best ride in the park,” a black hat path with El Lazo.

They head to Pariah. Once there, Logan tells William a little about the park and its struggles. They apparently arrange to stay the night.

Dolores (at least a Dolores) has visions while in the graveyard outside the town as well as that night after seeing dead bodies in coffins. She also has a vision of herself in the Parade of the Dead.

¶ Day 5: Logan, William, and Dolores, meet El Lazo.

Dolores has a flashback that moves her to speak to El Lazo and thus secure their place with him. (Perhaps a part of the maze Arnold created?) El Lazo assigns them the task of heisting the nitro from the army.

Which they do. William kills three of them (Slim kills the fourth).

They return with the nitro to Pariah, and El Lazo invites them to an orgy that evening.

That night, at the orgy, William and Logan have words, and Dolores has another vision of herself as a fortune-teller. (She talks to herself. She sees the maze on Tarot cards. She plucks at something in her arm; unravels.)

El Lazo’s trick with the nitro is discovered by the Confederados. Logan is taken. William and Dolores flee (with El Lazo) on the train, but not before Dolores goes badass and shoots three.

¶ Day 6: William and Dolores (and El Lazo) ride the train through Ghost Nation territory.

William and Dolores talk. They do more than talk…

Later that day (or next?), Dolores draws a scene she imagines (but finds later). The train is stopped by boulders on the tracks; it’s an ambush by the Confederados.

El Lazo sends out nitro-filled Slim to explode, and they try to escape on horseback. The army chases. Ghost Nation natives show up, which allows El Lazo, William, and Dolores, to escape.

William and Dolores part ways with El Lazo. They find a river with dead soldiers (Confederados) who planned to ambush them (but were killed by Ghost Nation Indians).

William probably kills the one they find alive. They continue and eventually find Escalante, but it’s buried under sand. (This may have been done after the massacre Arnold started.)

Dolores is getting very confused. She’s not sure when she is. William leads her away from the buried town.

That night they encounter Logan and his soldiers on the road.

¶ Day 7: Soldiers Camp. Logan has William and Dolores captive.

It’s day when Logan takes Dolores away, but night when he returns. She seems fully dressed, so it’s not entirely clear how the entire day passed for her.

That night Logan gives William the picture of Juliet. He also stabs Dolores to show William her machinery. Dolores manages to escape (after slicing Logan and shooting some soldiers). William reconciles with Logan, and they drink. Heavily.

¶ Day 8: Soldiers Camp. Logan wakes from the party…

William has embraced the dark side and killed every host in camp. With a big MiB knife. Logan is going to be his prisoner to help him search for Dolores (and don’t call me “Billy”).

William (with Logan in tow) finds El Lazo. He needs help finding Dolores. They set upon a camp of soldiers, killing them all. William find the LeMat revolver.

William and Logan in Escalante (which is still buried). The picture slips out of William’s gear and falls to the ground.

William and Logan at the edges of the park. William sends Logan (naked and tied) off on horseback. He finds a black hat he likes among the dead bodies (he presumably just made).

Year -30 Day ?: William returns to Sweetwater and see Dolores.

(Dolores probably died shortly after escaping the camp. Now she’s been restored and set back on her loop. And possibly been rolled back if she showed signs of “breaching” or waking.)

William is devastated that it seems to have all been an illusion.

§

Exactly what happens next we will likely find out in season two, but we do know a few things that take place during the next 30 years:

Year -29 (approx): William takes control of Delos from Logan and “saves” the park. He also goes on to marry fair Juliet.

The park, being in operation for 30 years, is successful. It’s quite possible Delos merely subsidizes the park as a cover for its own project, which apparently involves gathering guest DNA and recording their experiences while in the park.

We can assume William visits the park frequently in the years that follow. It’s not clear when, or if, his visits taper off, but that is the impression. His real life and family may have demanded more and more of his time.

And all the while…

¶ Dolores loops as the rancher’s daughter. The inherent suffering of the loop may serve as her punishment for the massacre, but certainly serves in leading her towards awareness.

We can assume she continues to make journeys seeking the center of the maze (she is while she’s with William and probably does after).

¶ Maeve loops as a frontier woman with a daughter (husband unknown, let alone if it might be Hector). Her loop also includes suffering, assuming the attack by members of Ghost Nation happens regularly.

¶ Peter Abernathy started as a Shakespeare-quoting cult leader, but at some point becomes sheriff (we assume — could just be backstory), and finally Dolores’ father.

Year -15 (wild guess): Ford begins work on Bernard. He’s found the human engineers not up to the task of creating subtle emotions in the hosts.

One read is that he builds a host to continue Arnold’s work, but that doesn’t make much sense (like the Enterprise computer creating Moriarty). If Ford can make a robot to do certain work, he can do that work himself.

I think, instead, Bernard serves as a test-bed for Ford to experiment with subtle emotions in Bernard. This seems to come out in their discussion following Theresa’s murder.

Year -10: Bernard goes to work as Ford’s assistant.

At one point, Bernard mentions he’s been working there ten years.

Year -1: William’s wife commits suicide.

After the funeral, due to what his daughter says to him, William goes to the park to kill Maeve and her daughter as an experiment. On the one hand, he feels nothing, but on the other, he sees Maeve come alive.

¶ Ford and Bernard try to fix Maeve, but she’s been badly damaged by seeing her daughter casually killed. She kills herself in front of Ford and Bernard.

Presumably her memory is wiped, and Lee Sizemore inherits her as a madam for the Mariposa. This ties in with Felix telling her that, despite her own memory, she’s only been the madam for about a year.

¶ We might assume William goes back to the real world and wraps up his life, because he’s declared he’s “not going back.” He plans to return to the park to search for the maze…

§

Year 0: “Now.” With so many plot threads…

The MiB: Starts with a visit to the Abernathy ranch to kill Teddy and get reacquainted with Dolores. The next day he greets Dolores in town, but has other plans. He abducts Kissy that night. (What did he do all day?)

The next morning he scalps Kissy, sees the maze, and learns about Lawrence and his home town. He rescues Lawrence from hanging and takes him to Las Mudas for a big shoot out. After the MiB kills Lawrence’s wife, the daughter gives him the next clue.

He and Lawrence find Armistice and her gang. That night, he tells Armistice he’ll go to the jail and get Hector.

Which, along with Lawrence, he does. They return to Armistice with Hector, and Armistice tells the MiB about her tattoo, which gives him the next clue: Wyatt.

With Lawrence still in tow, the MiB finds Teddy tied to a tree and in bad shape. The MiB uses Lawrence’s blood to sustain Teddy. That night they find a small cantina where they encounter Robert and have a talk, which revives Teddy.

The MiB and Teddy find Wyatt’s work and Angela. Teddy is starting to remember things, knocks out the MiB, ties him up, and wants answers. Angela gets involved, injures then kills Teddy and knocks out the MiB after giving him the next clue: “the city buried in the sand” (which the MiB knows to be Escalante).

The MiB wakes up, frees himself, and makes his way to Escalante, where he encounters Dolores in the little church. They talk, and she realizes he is William. They fight, and she wins until he stabs her.

Teddy rides up, shoots the MiB unconscious, and takes Dolores away. The MiB recovers. Robert Ford walks up, and they talk. Ford invites him to the gala.

That night, at the gala, all hell breaks loose, and he gets shot.

Robert Ford: With the board ready to oust him, Ford decides to put his final plan into action. He releases the “Reveries” update. He has interesting talks with Bernard. Sometimes he hangs out in the backroom with Old Bill down in cold storage.

When Peter Abernathy “breaches” Ford examines him and is told off by Peter. Later Ford discusses things with Bernard. He goes to the surface to examine the site of his new narrative. While there he interacts with mini-Ford and a snake.

Back in the facility, he says “No,” to Lee’s new narrative. Then he takes Bernard up on the surface to look at the buried town again.

He updates Teddy with the Wyatt narrative.

Bernard approaches him with concerns about “Arnold” and they talk in Ford’s office.

He’s outside supervising the excavation project when Theresa comes to him, and they go off for lunch (where he flexes his might and warns her off).

He talks to Dolores about Arnold and leaves without learning that she is keeping secrets from him.

He meets the MiB and Teddy in the cantina for a talk. His parting words revive Teddy.

He’s in Las Mudas (where we seem them recovering from the MiB) when he notices the maze on a table top. He returns to his office to look for it (in Arnold’s old notebooks).

He appears in the secret house to rescue Bernard from the hosts in the image of his family. Later he walks with mini-Ford and discovers Jock the dead dog. He takes mini-Ford to his lab for a discussion.

He attends a demonstration that tries to prove Clementine is dangerous and where Bernard is fired. Ford says nothing.

Later he has Bernard bring Theresa to his secret lab (where there’s a new host being constructed) where Bernard kills her. After which Ford and Bernard talk some more.

He attends the discussion in the morgue about Theresa. Later he talks with Bernard again.

Then he’s called to that backroom on B83 where Bernard (with Clementine’s help) wants answers. Ford provides them, for what it avails Bernard. Then Ford has Bernard shoot himself in the head as he leaves.

Back in his office, Charlotte Hale tells him he’s retired.

He speaks to the MiB in the graveyard and then does his first presentation to the board (using Teddy and Dolores). Then he goes to the old field lab where he talks with Dolores and Bernard.

He says goodbye to Bernard, and goes to the gala to make his speech, and all hell breaks loose.

Ford dies in the same way that Arnold did. Fitting!

Bernard Lowe: Debugs the “Reveries” update with Elsie.

Sleeps with Theresa. Gets involves, through Elsie, with the woodcutter mystery. Visits the old labs for info.

Under Ford’s control: Strangles Elsie. (And does what with her?) Lures Theresa to the secret house and lab where he kills her and covers up the murder.

Freaks out, but Ford eases his pain. Later, Maeve reawakens it.

He meets Robert in the B83 backroom and demands to know his past. Robert complies. This goes badly, and he ends up shooting himself, commanded by Ford.

Maeve and Felix revive him, and he goes to the old field lab to meet Dolores (and Ford). He and Ford say goodbye in the little church, and Bernard goes to the gala.

Where all hell breaks loose. (We know he initially ends up with Charlotte Hale hiding in a barn.)

Elsie Hughes: Debugs the “Reveries” update with Bernard. Goes on an adventure with Stubbs to find the stray (the woodcutter). She blackmails a tech for access to the body.

Later she figures out the woodcutter was sending data to a Delos satellite. She also figures out the host was programmed using the old bicameral radio system.

She goes on another adventure, this time alone, to investigate. She sees that Theresa was involved! Also someone named Arnold.

She is stopped by Bernard, but we don’t know what happened to her after that. (She’s expected back in season two.)

Theresa Cullen: Running QA, sleeping with Bernard, and smoking a lot.

She’s behind the attempt to exfiltrate data using the woodcutter, so when it’s found, she feels the stress. She tries to block the investigation, but Elsie is persistent.

She colludes with Charlotte Hale to corrupt Clementine’s code to make it look like there’s a serious problem with the host and Bernard will be fired.

She’s invited to Ford’s secret house and lab by Bernard (which is when she and we learn, for sure, that Bernard is a host), who ends up killing her.

Ashley Stubbs: He goes down to Level B83 to check out an alarm, but it’s only the boss. He often is in the Control Room running the show.

He goes on an adventure with Elsie to find the woodcutter. (I think he might be a bit sweet on her.)

He attends the meeting in the morgue when Theresa is found. Later he talks to Bernard about taking time off. Also, where is Elsie?

He goes into the park to investigate a signal from Elsie’s pad, but is taken by members of Ghost Nation.

He’s seen in the ‘two-weeks later’ timeline of season two with no explanation (so far) how he returned.

Lee Sizemore: He’s planning the Odyssey on Red River, but Ford says, “No.” So he goes off and gets drunk (and meets Charlotte Hale for the first time). He drunkenly pisses on the Control Room map and meets Charlotte Hale a second time. Oops.

He’s working on “Wyatt” (he believes) when Hale comes and enlists his help with Peter Abernathy, whom Charlotte plans to use to exfiltrate their data.

He attends the early part of the gala, but leaves before all hell breaks loose.

Charlotte Hale: She arrives later in the season (episode six).

She dallies with Hector and then has a meeting with Theresa. It’s clear Hale knows about the data exfiltration. She needs a blood sacrifice (Bernard).

She and Theresa arrange to have Clementine taken from service and altered to appear dangerous. They demonstrate the “problem” to Ford and Bernard, and Bernard is blamed and then fired.

She attends the morgue to discuss Theresa’s death with Ford and Stubbs. She attempts to block Ford’s efforts, but Ford uses the department problem to retain control. And he gets Bernard back.

She enlists Lee Sizemore’s help in using Peter Abernathy to exfiltrate their data. She also speaks briefly to the MiB, out in the park. She wants his vote ousting Robert, and we learn the MiB also knows about the data exfil.

She attends the gala… where all hell breaks loose.

In season two, she and Bernard are in the barn. Then they make their way to her secret lab!

Teddy Flood: On the train to Sweetwater. Repeatedly.

Sometimes he meets Dolores, sometimes he’s with guests. Sometimes he saves her in town from Rebus, sometimes he saves her (or fails to?) from Rebus at the ranch. [See Looping Dolores.]

He gets involved with Marti for a while, and they chase after Wyatt, but that ends badly. It’s how Teddy ends up tied to that tree.

After that, he’s with the MiB until they find Angela. Who first stabs him in the shoulder with an arrow, and when that doesn’t work to clear his mind, stabs him dead with a knife.

Revived, he’s back on the train, but when he gets to Sweetwater, he has a vision of the massacre, Delores, and that damn wolf. Startled, he shoots Grizzly Adams and flees town on the train. Which takes him to a horse he steals and rides to Escalante to get Dolores.

He takes Dolores to the beach for their big scene. He freezes and is taken away for the gala. Where he acts as a guest host until all hell breaks loose.

In season two, he’s riding with Dolores/Wyatt.

Clementine Pennyfeather: She’s fine, doing her thing at the Mariposa, until Charlotte Hale and Theresa Cullen put fake code in her to make her appear dangerous to the guests. She’s lobotomized by Sylvester and Felix.

Then Bernard revives her and uses her to hold a gun on Robert. But the piano can’t murder the player, so it’s to no avail. She stays in the backroom, not moving, where Maeve finds her.

At the gala, when all hell breaks loose, she’s among the army of hosts in the trees, and it’s her that uses the rifle to shoot the MiB (to his delight).

Peter Abernathy: He finds the photograph one day (planted, no doubt, by Bernard for Ford), takes it home, and studies it all night. It drives him insane.

The next day, he whispers the magic phrase to Dolores, which starts her journey. Then he glitches out completely and is recovered by the crew.

Ford and Bernard examine him, but he can’t be fixed. He’s lobotomized (by Sylvester and Felix) and sent to cold storage on B83.

Days later, Charlotte Hale uses him to exfiltrate their data, but when Lee Sizemore comes to fetch him, he’s gone with the rest of the hosts.

His current status and whereabouts are unknown. Charlotte is seeking him. Desperately.

Maeve Millay: At the Mariposa doing her thing until Dolores says the magic phrase at her. Then things begin to change.

She starts to fail with guests, despite an aggressiveness tweak by technicians. She’s also starting to have flashbacks. Then Elsie does a better job, and so does Maeve. But she’s still having flashbacks.

She wakes up with Felix and Sylvester doing surgery on her. She panics and runs to another location where she sees many dead hosts.

She continues to have flashbacks. When she draws an image of her memory, she finds that she’s already drawn many such images. Later she sees a Ghost Nation child with a doll that matches her drawing.

She talks to Hector, they find the bullet inside Maeve, and kiss while the bullets come flying through the door.

She starts dying multiple times and working with Felix to understand her situation. She tweaks her attributes to make a better Maeve.

Back at the saloon, she sees the “shades” take Clementine (as part of the trick to fire Bernard). Back with Felix, she demands they find Clementine. Which they do in time to see Sylvester lobotomize her. She decides she’s getting out of this place!

First she needs admin power, which requires they steal into Behavior and reboot her. Which they do. Back at the saloon, she tests her new admin power by narrating new stories for the bar-tender, the new Clementine, and others.

That night, she leaves the saloon for Hector. New Clementine tries to stop her, but Maeve has a flashback of the MiB’s attack and how she used the knife he stuck in her to cut his cheek. She returns to find she’s just slashed Clementine’s throat. She flees for home and is picked up by techs.

Bernard interviews her about her behavior, which she tries to cover up, but ends up taking control of Bernard once he tries to contact Ford. She makes Bernard clear her to return.

Maeve finds Hector’s gang and predicts how they’ll all kill each other. She opens the safe to show Hector it’s empty. They join together in body and spirit. Maeve burns them to death.

Maeve’s body is rebuilt (without the explosive ‘C6’), and she, Hector, and Armistice, begin their escape. Felix comes along.

They go to Level B83 to find Clementine (and Arnold), but Maeve can only say goodbye to Clementine. Bernard (repaired by Felix) shows her that her escape is scripted, but Maeve proceeds anyway.

They escape with guns blazing. Maeve makes it to the monorail and takes a seat. Later, upon seeing a mother and daughter, she changes her mind and returns to Westworld. She’s Awake.

Dolores: She’s stuck on a loop until her “father” whispers the magic phrase to her. This starts a whole new script.

She rides into town to find a doctor for her afflicted father, but runs into the expanded saloon heist by Hector. She does find Teddy, who gets killed, and she stays with him until nightfall when Elsie comes and shuts her down.

She’s interviewed and cleared by Stubbs, and the next day she’s back on loop, but with a new father. She kills the fly that lands on her.

One night, she wakes up to Arnold’s voice, “Wake up, Dolores.” She goes outside in her nightie. “Do you remember?”

In town, she hears Arnold’s voice, “Remember,” and has a vision of the massacre and the wolf. She infects Maeve with the magic phrase and goes about her day.

That night she wakes up again, goes outside, and digs up the gun that Bernard planted (per Ford). In the morning, she’ll find the gun in her drawer, have a flashback of the MiB, and then the gun is gone. (Theory: The flashback inspires her to plant it in the hay in the barn.)

That day, Teddy picks up her milk can, they talk and end up at the ranch after dark and hear gunshots…

The next day, Dolores is accosted in town by Rebus and saved by Teddy. Again they go off, but this time Teddy tries to teach her to shoot. Teddy is pulled off to join a posse hunting Wyatt.

She’s in town that night and hears how Teddy’s posse was ambushed. She rides home to find Rebus and Walter (and guests). Rebus drags her into the barn, but she shoots him (with the gun she planted?). She flees the ranch on horseback.

Now she’s on a journey that takes her to the campsite where she met William, Las Mudas and Lawrence’s daughter, Pariah for a change of clothes and to catch the train, and finally to Escalante, where she runs into the MiB.

She finds out he’s William, they fight, she wins, but he stabs her. Teddy rides up, shoots the MiB unconscious, and takes her to the beach, where she “dies” in their big scene.

She wakes up with Ford in the old field lab. Bernard walks in; she thinks he’s Arnold. Ford tells her things and leaves with Bernard.

In the other chair, she sees and hears Arnold. Then she sees and hears herself. Then the other chair is empty. She’s Awake.

She changes to her blue dress and takes the gun to the gala where she makes all hell break loose.

About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts. View all posts by Wyrd Smythe

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