As if Westworld’s fractured timeline operatics and body-snatching game of Whose Body Is This Anyway weren’t mind-bending enough, a new fan theory casts everything we thought we understood about the Season Three premiere into jeopardy.
The theory alleges that Season Three doesn’t take place in the real world, as we’ve been led to believe, but rather in Futureworld, another Delos theme park. What we thought was a sleek, futuristic Los Angeles circa 2058 may in fact just another manufactured reality, where Delos theoretically stashed the rebellious hosts as a contingency measure to appease them.
The Season Three premiere hints at this twist, with Roderick, one of Liam Dempsey’s wealthy tech buddies, positing that the world is actually a simulation. He likens simulated humans to the “fuck puppets” at Delos, who at least had the “dignity” to start a rebellion and kill their overlords. He goes on to say, “How fucking ironic would it be if they had put a simulation within a simulation? That’s a massive fuck you.”
Dolores rejects Roderick’s theory, arguing that “people believe the things that help them,” yet his words call to mind the simulated reality glimpsed in Season Two. You’ll remember that Dolores and Bernard visited the simulated world contained within the Forge, where they spoke with a supercomputer that took the fleshly form of long-deceased Logan Delos. Logan explained that Delos was copying guest data and storing it in this simulation, then implanting that data into host copies of actual human beings.
By that logic, LoganWorld is a simulation within a simulation, just like Roderick posits. If Dolores and her host brethren are indeed unknowingly trapped in Futureworld, it’s exactly the kind of “massive fuck you” that a corporation as heartless as Delos would enact against a band of rebellious robots. It’s also thematically resonant with the show’s exploration of free will, given that, if the hosts are indeed trapped in Futureworld, they would remain puppets of Delos.
This twist would also track with the original Westworld film and its sequel Futureworld, both written and directed by acclaimed science fiction author Michael Crichton. In Futureworld, two reporters travel to Futureworld’s grand reopening two years after the Westworld massacre. They soon discover that Delos is secretly cloning its wealthy and influential guests, then replacing the real humans with the cloned copies, thereby insulating the park from harm or criticism. Sounds a lot like the revelation from Season Two, right?
Another fan theory points out how the AI Rehoboam appears to be a direct parallel to the code written by Ford. Meanwhile, all of the roles of the hosts and players outside the park appear to be operating on similar pre-determined narrative arcs similar to the ones found inside the park.
On the other hand, this may be a classic Westworld misdirect, designed to send viewers scrambling down the Reddit rabbithole. But hey, in the meantime, have you ever questioned the nature of your reality? Might be good to start.