‘Westworld’ Season 2: How Do The Park Guns Work?

Do the hosts trigger the reaction or is it the guns themselves?

HBO's 'Westworld,' Season 2, guns, Dolores with a gun, as seen in Season 1
HBO

Do the hosts trigger the reaction or is it the guns themselves?

In the opening scene of Episode 3 of HBO’s Westworld Season 2, a gun was used to work out if a person was human or host. It has since gotten viewers asking just how the guns in the theme parks of Westworld really work. Just how do they establish whom they are pointed at?

SPOILER ALERT: This article discusses Episode 3 (titled “Virtu e Fortuna”) of HBO’s Westworld Season 2. Please proceed with caution if you have not yet viewed this episode and wish to avoid spoilers.

Episode 3 of HBO’s Westworld begins in Park 6, a place described as “The Raj” by Entertainment Weekly. Two new characters are immediately introduced, a woman and a man who are both in search of trophy Bengal tigers for their collections. The woman, played by Katja Herbers and listed as a character called Grace by IMDb, pulls a gun on the man to determine whether he is a human or a host since it is so hard to discover a person’s true identity in the Westworld parks.

She says to him that he will either die and be restored to “live” another day if he is a host, or he will feel a sharp sting but not be killed if he is a human. Grace then shoots him to discover he is, in fact, a human.

HBO's 'Westworld' Season 2, guns, Katja Herbers
  John P. Johnson / HBO

So, how does that work? How do the guns in Westworld determine whether a person is human or not?

Westworld is, presumably, set in the future as there are obvious gadgets — beyond the advanced robots known as hosts — that are far more advanced than our current technology. So, it seems likely that the guns contain some sort of device that can detect a human over a host when it is pointed at a target. Considering, in the same episode, viewers saw Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) scanned for a chip that identified her as human, one could assume the guns in the Westworld parks follow this same sort of technology.

But what happens then? Does the gun switch its velocity depending on whether it has scanned a host or a human? Or are the bullets none lethal to humans but are detected as lethal when they make contact with the hosts?

Westworld director Richard Lewis has explained to Entertainment Weekly that it is the gun, and not the host, which determines what happens next.

“They do slow down and create more of a bruise effect. There’s a safety mechanism that’s locked in when it’s on a human that it creates a different [velocity] for the bullet.”

So, now fans finally know how the guns in Westworld actually work.

Season 2 of Westworld returns with Episode 4 on Sunday, May 13, at 9 p.m. ET. According to the Hollywood Reporter, this episode will be titled “The Riddle of the Sphinx.”