Photo: HBO

Westworld dropped a doozy of an episode final night time, with the 71-minute entry proving web theorists proper on at the least one entrance: Yes, Delos is utilizing the park as a method of experimenting with digital immortality. We see this by way of the character of Jim Delos (Peter Mullan), who, after dying of some nebulous illness, is cloned and subjected repeatedly to having his thoughts uploaded into this host model of his physique. Unfortunately, the decades-long venture doesn’t fairly succeed as they’d hoped.

What stood out for a lot of, together with our reviewer, was simply how a lot the introduction of host Delos in his insulated pod evoked the opening of the second season of Lost, after we meet Desmond, the person past the hatch. From the health to the music to the aesthetic, it appeared as if the ABC sequence affect loomed massive. According to co-creator and director of final night time’s episode, Lisa Joy, nonetheless, that was not the case.

In a brand new interview with Vanity Fair, Joy says she’s by no means seen the present. “It’s kind of funny how sometimes shows can rhyme in ways that are aesthetic that weren’t necessarily intentional,” she mentioned. Rather, the similarities are chalked as much as how the “intentions of the sequences are so similar.”

Delos’ dancing and, later, his scarred face, triggered followers to additionally ponder whether or not Joy was impressed by sci-fi flicks like Ex-Machina and Event Horizon, respectively, however these, too, weren’t intentional. What was, nonetheless, had been the allusions to Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1979 movie Stalker, a film that Joy and co-creator Jonathan Nolan referenced in a latest Reddit AMA.

Vanity Fair factors out direct visible references—spilled milk, to name out one instance—to the movie, in addition to how the episode’s camerawork evoked the “slow, dream-like movements” of Tarkovsky. But creator Joanna Robinson sees extra connections between Stalker and Westworld that veer past aesthetics.

Stalker, the story of three males in the hunt for a room the place your fondest want shall be granted, works to disorient by obfuscating time, perspective, and continuity, which you would additionally say about Westworld. Furthermore, the 2 reveals share themes of humanity’s need to transcend dying. But there may also be direct plot threads that may be drawn between the 2 tales:

We’ve already established that Westworld Season 2 appears to indicate a number of characters on a journey in the direction of the identical finish level. Who is aware of precisely the place Maeve will find yourself, since her mission is pegged to her daughter—however William (Ed Harris), Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood), and a variety of different Hosts (together with Major Craddock, RIP) are chasing “Glory” or “the Valley Beyond” or “the Pearly Gates.” Dolores appears to think about that place as a weapon which may destroy humanity. I feel she discovered to think about it that method from Logan, who, again at his father’s retirement social gathering in Episode 2, instructed her: “That, darling, is the sound of fools fiddling while the whole fucking species starts to burn. They lit the match. So here’s to you, assholes. May your forevers be blissfully short.”

William calls that vacation spot his best mistake, so I feel it’s secure to say we noticed it on this episode. It’s the underground lab the place Bernard and Elsie discovered Jim Delos. That interlocking hexagon picture we noticed on William’s daughter Emily’s (Katja Herbers) map in Episode three is comparable sufficient to the infinity-esque image that Delos Inc. makes use of for its secret tasks, so I feel it’s secure to say she’s searching for that lab, too. You’ve seen that emblem in virtually each episode of Season 2, even in the event you didn’t know what you had been .

In different phrases, the aim everyone seems to be chasing is “digital immortality”—the so-called “Door” of Ford’s design is similar because the dream-fulfilling Room wanted in Stalker. If you’re furiously trying to cobble collectively precisely the place this season of Westworld is headed, then, you would discover worse methods to spend a night than revisiting considered one of Tarkovsky’s finest.

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