‘Westworld’: Does The Man In Black’s Backstory Kill Or Support The William Theory?

HBO’s Westworld is full of mysteries that keep fans coming back for more. They have pulled the curtain back on a few things in the first season, and with just two episodes left, fans finally learned some information about its biggest mystery — the identity of the Man in Black (MIB). We learned his backstory from his own lips. It was a brutal backstory that convinced many that the theory that the Man in Black is William is false. But maybe it did the opposite — maybe it actually gave the popular Westworld theory more credence.

Spoilers ahead: If you haven’t seen the “Trace Decay” episode and don’t want to be spoiled, stop reading now.

In “Trace Decay,” one of the biggest things we learned was the backstory of the Man in Black. As reported by Forbes, he told Teddy that outside of Westworld he is “a titan of industry, a philanthropist, and a ‘good guy.'” He tells him that his wife died when she unintentionally took the wrong pills and fell asleep in the bathtub. His daughter, however, had a different theory about how she died. She believed that her mother had killed herself because of the MIB’s emotional abuse. Because of this belief, she no longer speaks to her father.

@james_marsden as Teddy Flood #HBO #westworld

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Following her death, he returned to the park and killed Maeve and her daughter (both hosts) to see if he would feel anything if he committed cold-blooded murder. He explained to Teddy that he didn’t feel anything, but the suffering he saw in Maeve, as well as her humanity that he says he briefly glimpsed, is what began his trek to find the Maze and revive the humanity within all the hosts.

So how does this confirm the theory that Westworld’s mysterious Man in Black is William as many have believed?

Let’s begin with the wife of the MIB. William isn’t married, but he is engaged. If he is the Man in Black, and if he marries as soon as he leaves the park, then he is there 30 years prior to the current-day MIB. Thirty years also happens to be how long the mysterious character says he was married to his wife before she died and how long ago the last “critical failure” at the park.

Then there’s the fact that, as noted by Bustle, that although he’s still a pretty idealistic character, William is changing with each episode of Westworld. His first kill at the nitroglycerin robbery began the change. It has become increasingly easier for him to see the hosts as dispensable — with the exception of Dolores. Case in point: His willingness to let the soldier die last week, maybe even helping him die.

Still from Episode 5, now streaming! #hbo #westworld

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Finally, the last thing from last week’s episode that supports this theory is that Angela was also listening in to the Man in Black’s revelation. She was there when William first came to Westworld. She greeted him, and the MIB recognized her from a long time ago.

He said to her, “I would’ve thought they retired you.”

This makes so much sense if he hasn’t seen her since he came to Westworld 30 years ago.

HBO keeps giving us little pieces of the puzzle. Just enough to keep us coming back. Will the William = Man in Black theory turn out to be true, or will Westworld throw us a curve in the last couple of episodes of this first season? So far, the evidence seems to be mounting, suggesting that it is true. We’ll just have to try to be patient as we wait to see how it all plays out.

Westworld airs every Sunday night on HBO at 9 p.m. ET.

[Featured Image by HBO]