Repeat: The following comprises spoilers for Sunday’s “Westworld” Season 4, Episode 4, titled “Skills Loss.” End no longer be taught until you’ve watched the episode.
In traditional “Westworld” style, Season 4’s fourth episode of the HBO series ended with a broad twist that recontextualized indispensable of what viewers had been looking out at all season lengthy. That’s true, all over all every other time we’ve been looking out at occasions play out across two varied timelines, and TheWrap spoke with co-showrunner and co-creator Lisa Joy to interrupt it all down.
To recap, Season 4 came upon Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) waking up after a broad length of time in the Sublime with the foresight of place the arena. We’ve watched over the closing couple of episodes as he and Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) had been connecting with what look like human revolt warring parties, and in Episode 4, Bernard helps these warring parties record a weapon he says can even assist obtain the battle.
On the identical time (or so we thought), Caleb (Aaron Paul) and Maeve (Thandiwe Newton) had to warfare their system out of Westworld’s most up-to-date park with Hale (Tessa Thompson) as their hostage. Within the terminate, nonetheless, Maeve blew up a pile of dirt (and herself) to bury the Man in Unlit (Ed Harris) whereas Caleb and Hale watched on. And when Caleb’s rescue sooner or later arrived, it became out no longer to be his rescue at all — they were Hale’s folk.
It’s at this point in Episode 4 (titled “Skills Loss”) that the predominant twist used to be published. Caleb died in these occasions, and he’s in reality present process assessments by Hale. Assessments for what? “Fidelity,” she says, and we be taught it’s been 23 years since Caleb died in Westworld.
Furthermore, Bernard and Stubbs’ actions? They’ve additionally been taking spot 23 years in some unspecified time in the future all this time, and that weapon he uncovered used to be Maeve’s body buried beneath Westworld.
TheWrap spoke with Joy referring to the dual timelines twist, how these flies in reality work, what’s in reality happening in Modern York City and Bernard’s original “superpowers.” We additionally discussed that broad scene between James Marsden and Evan Rachel Wood (is that in spite of everything Teddy?) and Joy teased what’s to plot serve in the serve half of the season.
How early on in the system did you uncover dual timelines for this season? Did the exact timing of that indicate shift at all?
I bask in that even sooner than we assembled the room, we had the root of dual timelines and this being a range of midseason twist. But then when the writers bought collectively and [executive producer] Alison [Schapker] and the remainder of the crew used to be there, we originate of ironed out the indispensable points. We didn’t know if it’d be precisely Episode 4 or if it’d be Episode 5, nonetheless we knew that we wanted to play with time that system and buy away a human being’s sense of agency in the identical system in which we dilapidated to buy away the robot’s sense of agency.
It looks as if an inversion, nearly, of the twists from previous seasons. Now Hale is the one pulling the strings. How wide awake used to be all of that, evoking in a murky system how the humans were treating these hosts as they were experimenting on them?
Yeah, I indicate nothing beats empathy rather like literalism whereas you’re literally attach in the sneakers of the opposite person. And that’s what’s occurred here. You know, the park went from a spot where humans went for his or her enjoyment and the hosts were captive and unaware of their inconvenience, and now we’ve true became Modern York City true into a park and the humans are now struggling what the hosts dilapidated to suffer from.
Within the park, Hale calls this the broad-spreader tournament of the century, and later explains that these flies were more winning on younger folk than they were in adults. And we even gaze Christina and her roommate discussing her roommate’s interaction with flies as a petite one, which originate of signifies she’s section of this period that’s now controlled. How attain the flies work, precisely?
We based fully mostly the flies on an exact selection of parasite that is spread from grass to flies after which in a roundabout way to humans, or in some cases cows, nonetheless that is de facto in accordance with nature, and we true adapted it for the robots to utilize. As we’ve unfortunately seen, these epidemics can customarily spread like wildfire and whereas you examine something as innocuous seeming as a hover or a mosquito and tons more and tons of the arena on the mild time, you know how snappy we can even disrupt human nature with the inappropriate virus.
Has this originate of been Hale’s dastardly thought all alongside? We hear her focus on about Caleb as her test case then we bounce forward to the future and gaze that she’s won in the terminate.
Yeah, precisely. I indicate, she starts by sorting out it out in the park, nonetheless it’s additionally the closing spot to launch a pandemic from, because folk from all over the set the arena would mosey to Westworld, after which they bring that illness dwelling with them. So it’s a extraordinarily atmosphere pleasant technique to kick off her circulate thought. The undeniable truth that it takes, you realize, a period or so as to kick into stout discontinue to originate of mighty mass is de facto level-headed incredibly hastily whereas you bask in just a few biological or political takeover.
I remember early in the season when we’re in Modern York City, and we level-headed don’t in reality know precisely what’s occurring, there’s some originate of innocuous dialogue you hear from just a few characters strolling by to the discontinue of like, “Oh, you’ve by no system been here sooner than?” And now it all makes sense. Are we to pick Hale has now taken over all of Modern York City or is it more world than that?
Smartly, I bask in the 2 folk you gaze are, as it turns out on this model, hosts visiting humans, and I bask in you’ll almost presently gaze the stout depth of Hale’s preserve a watch on.
This episode additionally capabilities a extraordinarily emotionally charged scene between Evan Rachel Wood and James Marsden. Every person is aware of Evan is playing a persona named Christina, nonetheless Marsden’s personality drops a range of hints that originate of video show he no longer finest remembers Dolores and Teddy’s historical past, nonetheless he can even simply in reality be a model of Teddy. What are you able to direct about these characters without delay? Am I reading too indispensable into this?
It undoubtedly looks as if Teddy acknowledges Dolores, in a system, on this girl Christina, nonetheless Christina, to me, looks in reality moderately flummoxed. And likewise you realize, the relaxing of it’s miles the ambiguity, true? And it’s the root that Christina is a human true happening a date. As soon as you happen to would possibly possibly hold reference to folk, and so they feel acquainted to you, and that’s what she would possibly possibly well be experiencing. So it’s true a range of spirited moments where we bought to attain like total naturalism, like you’d feel on a date, nonetheless on the identical time, having an fully sci-fi level to it as properly, whereas you launch to originate of expand out about what’s in reality happening.
The filmmaking of it’s miles de facto spectacular as properly. Not finest in the shot construction, where Teddy picks up the lipstick, nonetheless additionally the subtlety of the ranking coming in evoking Season 1. It in reality performs alongside with your feelings.
I bask in we wanted to in reality harken serve to Season 1 for just some of the followers and these forms of forms of poetic visible reverberations. It used to be broad relaxing. I bask in section of it, too, is I in reality hold a nostalgia for these characters too, and I additionally bask in like inherently can feel originate of nostalgic, because in general it does feel like you’ve identified the person for a actually lengthy time, even supposing you don’t in reality hold a shared historical past collectively.
I additionally true wanted to present a wail out to Paul Cameron for directing this episode and [composer] Ramin Djawadi. Working with Ramin this season has been extraordinary, no longer finest on myth of just some of the contemporary tune that we’re playing with that he’s making in his hold inimitable style, nonetheless true looking out on the episodes plot serve in put up and buy existence and shape, you perceive especially with issues like romance or loss, having the songs that regarded to examine the characters all over their lives, having these musical cues that play like a motif, for me in reality inspires so indispensable emotion and likewise you know how indispensable of leisure and TV’s most fantastic moments — as a author I’m able to also simply level-headed no longer direct this, I’m able to also simply level-headed direct it’s dialogue, nonetheless it’s the look on somebody’s face, the cinematography of the moment as it’s captured, and the tune that works with it to true wrench these feelings out of us.
Precisely, especially whereas you’re telling a chronicle that takes spot over so a long time like “Westworld.” I did are looking for to take a look at, though, there’s a moment in the episode where The Man in Unlit tells Maeve, “There would possibly be now not any us anymore. Lawful you.” Are we to take care of the hosts as we previously knew them don’t exist anymore, and Maeve is something of a unicorn?
Yeah, I bask in so. I indicate, she’s this originate of revolt who by no system in reality fit beneath somebody’s preserve a watch on, you realize, no longer the humans and no longer other hosts. She by no system wanted to be controlled and she has an self reliant will. She’s no longer in her hold world now. She’s woken up and the Man in Unlit works for Hale. For him, that is the original world record, nonetheless no longer for Maeve.
Squawk me a petite bit referring to the system you guys uncover the story for Bernard this season. He performs a serious honest on this dual timeline twist, and he’s now a petite bit like Neo on the terminate of “The Matrix” – he can gaze all variables. He’s nearly like a superhero. But he’s additionally forging forward with the working out that if his calculations are correct, he won’t kind it out alive. Or so he’s been suggested.
Working with Jeffrey is the kind of pride because he can attain the relaxation, and I love looking out at him kick ass and utilize his physical skills — the scene by the vehicle used to be so relaxing for me. But on the identical time, Bernard’s superpower has constantly been a petite bit mental, true? Love he’s the one who has thought in simulations and has talked about how even whereas you’re programming a host, you’re focused on varied simulations and iterations and the absolute best way it would possibly maybe possibly possibly well behave, the absolute best way it would possibly maybe possibly possibly well swap behavior. So the root that his superpower is de facto in reality grounded in these anticipatory strikes, it’s no longer about strength basically and it’s no longer about tempo. It’s about titillating what’s going to happen in the moment beforehand. As a way to me, it used to be true a extraordinarily relaxing scientifically based fully mostly technique to catch a brand original supply of strength for Bernard.
On the terminate of the episode, he’s with Caleb’s daughter and he’s uncovered Maeve. Is the weapon he’s hunting for internal Maeve, or is it Maeve herself?
I bask in you’ll must take a look at. Bernard calls her the weapon, so I bask in you’ll resolve out what that system.
Maeve and Caleb’s relationship gets fleshed out in a extraordinarily emotionally devastating system on this episode. I used to be wondering whereas you would possibly possibly well possibly also focus on about building their relationship and backstory into something that’s nearly originate of a like story in a system.
Yeah, I bask in it’s miles indubitably the kind of like story, no longer basically a romantic like, nonetheless there are some forms of camaraderie and intimacy that I bask in are even more great than romantic like. These two hold literally gone thru wars collectively. They’ve fought collectively and endangered their lives for every other and for a identical spot off, and so they’re in reality bonded. And whereas you would possibly possibly hold that originate of like, I bask in Maeve is confronted with a range at one point whether or no longer she’ll strive to proceed rising with him, or whether or no longer she’s going to let him mosey and skills the total issues that she will even by no system skills. She has an eternity to exist on this world, and he has one existence and she’s had many already. She’s had younger folk, she’s identified varied worlds. And he’s in reality identified most of his existence as combating and being controlled. So I bask in her atmosphere him free and leaving him used to be a extraordinarily noble act of self-sacrifice.
And now, needless to yell, there’s setup for a doable reunion nonetheless it’s no longer precisely the identical Caleb. It’s 23 years in some unspecified time in the future and the 278th model of Caleb. Has Hale perfected what the humans were looking out to excellent when it comes to replicating an existing human’s consciousness internal a host body?
Smartly she’s indubitably extending that see. I bask in that you just attain launch to take a look at just some of the hosts are degrading, that she has more than one copies. So I bask in we’ll way to take a look at how winning her experiments had been.
On the terminate of the episode, I in reality couldn’t terminate focused on something I’ve been smitten by since I first seen it, which is the put up-credit scene on the terminate of Season 2. William enters this inclined model of The Forge and springs head to head alongside with his ineffective daughter, which on the time used to be incredibly confusing nonetheless is now beginning to kind sense, especially now that all of us know Westworld is out here on this desolate tract and has been reached by these rebels. Are we transferring nearer to that time in time? Is that a petite little bit of an endgame play?
I don’t are looking for to communicate too indispensable referring to the future. But I bask in when we damage or craft the story arcs and the seasonal arcs of “Westworld,” we’re constantly very cognizant of the strings and where they lead and where we can even simply level-headed plant them and possibly record them later. So we undoubtedly had an notion for where that would possibly possibly mosey.
What are you able to tease referring to the serve half of the season?
Oh gosh, I’m constantly so injurious at these questions. I indicate, now that all of us know that Hale has won and the humans indubitably had been subjugated by this original A.I. energy construction, I bask in we must always take a look at how the warfare at no cost will — this time waged by humans in opposition to robots — performs out. And it’s moderately relaxing. You gaze all of our actors doing what they attain excellent, kicking ass and exploring their lives and the realities around them.
This interview has been edited and condensed for readability.
“Westworld” airs Sundays at 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET on HBO and streams on HBO Max.