Westworld is globalizing

The show's boundaries are blurring: not just for the park, but for the bodies and personalities within them

Evan Rachel Wood and James Marsden.
(Image credit: John P. Johnson/HBO)

Westworld is globalizing. The boundaries that carefully separated its different populations and technologies from each other are breaking down, Jurassic Park-style. Dolores has somehow acquired Delos technology (which she shows the Confederados) and uses Confederado technology (the explosives) on Delos operatives. The Bengal tiger from another world has brought a park visitor to Westworld with him, and Maeve's party appears to have stumbled on a samurai — strongly suggesting that they've somehow, despite Lee Sizemore's guidance, ended up in Shogun World.

It was clear we'd be seeing parks besides Westworld once the Delos folks stumbled on that Bengal tiger which must have come from "Park Six," and finally, we have: "Virtù e Fortuna" starts in Rajworld, a gamified riff on Rajasthan in India. If you remember the bait-and-switch that introduced us to Westworld, you might have suspected that the handsome blond man we first see in Rajworld was this land's version of "Teddy" — an apparent fish-out-of-water who turns out to be a host. Interestingly, the young woman who ends up swimming to Westworld suspects this too. It's unclear what she's doing in the park, but it's more than recreational. She has a notebook, and that notebook has a map marked with two linked hexagons. She's also — for a visitor to these parts — uncharacteristically concerned about consent: "I want you to want this," she tells the blond man. "I assure you I do," he says. "Not if you're one of them," she replies. "If you're one of them, you don't know what you want. You just do what you're told."

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Lili Loofbourow

Lili Loofbourow is the culture critic at TheWeek.com. She's also a special correspondent for the Los Angeles Review of Books and an editor for Beyond Criticism, a Bloomsbury Academic series dedicated to formally experimental criticism. Her writing has appeared in a variety of venues including The Guardian, Salon, The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, and Slate.