Episode 4 of HBO’s Westworld sees the return of the Man in Black. Maeve is also disturbed by visions, and Dolores not only joins a bounty hunt but gets involved in the maze game. Behind the scenes, the future of the park is discussed.
Spoiler alert: This article discusses Season 1 of HBO’s Westworld. Please proceed with caution if you wish to avoid spoilers.
Episode 4 of HBO’s Westworld is titled “Dissonance Theory.” The synopsis is below.
“Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) joins William (Jimmi Simpson) and Logan (Ben Barnes) on a bounty hunt in the badlands. The Man in Black (Ed Harris), with Lawrence (Clifton Collins, Jr.) in tow, finds a critical clue in his search to unlock the maze. Dr. Ford (Anthony Hopkins) and Theresa (Sidse Babett Knudsen) discuss the future of the park. Maeve (Thandie Newton) is troubled by a recurring vision.”
For starters, what is “dissonance theory”? According to Simply Psychology, the cognitive dissonance theory relates to “a situation involving conflicting attitudes, beliefs or behaviors.” This can cause the person under duress to have to confront the conflicting beliefs and resolve them. This is usually done by means of exploring and settling on one belief or behavior in order to relieve the perceived discomfort one might have with the conflict.
In Westworld, it is easy to see this being played out on various levels. When a host is confronted with a truth that is different (take, for example, Dolores seeing the photo her father found), they chose to ignore what is outside of their programmed beliefs. However, in the instance of Dolores’ father, his programming could not seem to resolve the image from a modern world with that of what he expected to see in the wild west.
From a human perspective, cognitive dissonance is seen regularly. Humans accessing the park are confronted with behaviors and attitudes differing to their normal life outside of Westworld. Behind the scenes, the techies constantly have to battle between the perceived humanity of the hosts when they know they are not really human.
So, what does all this mean in Episode 4 of Westworld?
According to the synopsis, Episode 4 will show Maeve having a potential cognitive dissonance episode with her recurring vision. We know from previous episodes of Westworld that Dolores has triggered something within Maeve’s programming that sees her developing more of a conscious state than the other hosts. Episode 4 of Westworld, therefore, will likely explore Maeve’s developing awareness.
Dolores could also be delving more into her own reality in Episode 4 of Westworld. Episode 3 saw her questioning Teddy (James Marsden) in relation to their story. Now that she is going on a bounty hunt with William and Logan, it seems she could also be questioning more of the world around her again in this episode.
The preview video for Episode 4 of Westworld introduces Dolores to the “game within the game” that the Man in Black has been searching for. Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) tells Dolores that if she can find the center of the maze, then maybe she will be free. It certainly seems like an enticing proposition for Dolores, but considering the past between Dolores and the Man in Black, things could quickly get dangerous.
Dr. Ford also threatens someone not to get in his way. It is unclear who this person is, but the trailer for Episode 4 suggests it could have something to do with Ford’s expansion in the park.
You can also view the gallery for Episode 4 of Westworld below courtesy of images supplied by HBO.
What do you think will happen in Episode 4 of Westworld? Let us know by commenting below.
Episode 4 (entitled “Dissonance Theory”) of Westworld will air on HBO on Sunday, October 23 at 9 p.m.
[Featured Image by John P. Johnson/HBO]