You’re probably still reeling from last night’s Westworld finale. (Unless you haven’t watched the episode, in which case: spoilers ahead!)
We saw robot uprisings! The death of Ford! Mysterious programmers controlling Maeve’s every move! Samurai World! But one of the most anticipated pieces of the puzzle that fell into place was the reveal of what the maze means.
Too bad it’s still a little confusing. Even Ed Harris, otherwise known as the Man in Black, doesn’t quite get it.
“‘What is this sh–? What is going on here?’ he said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “Yeah. I gotta tell you, I’m still not quite clear on what the maze was supposed to have represented. But the fact that it didn’t really mean anything, or didn’t exist … I haven’t penetrated that. But I haven’t seen the finale yet.”
Having seen the finale, the maze is complicated. It’s very clearly meant as a metaphor for hosts achieving consciousness, and it seems that many have solved “the maze” over and over in the show’s 30-plus-year timeline. The robots navigate the “maze” with the help of Arnold’s programming to eventually reach self-awareness. But could it also represent the park as a kind of proving ground for identity, where the outer edges are madness and the center is the true self? That seems possible, especially since the show spends so much time dealing with ideas about selfhood. Then again, maybe there really is a deeper game being played here between both hosts and guests, and William was right all along. Ford did exert an awful lot of control over both in order to achieve his violent ends.
It’s entirely possible that the maze, as a core bit of Westworld’s mythology, is the key to bigger things going forward. After all, there are as many as five more seasons to get off the ground. Then again, with all of last night’s bloodshed, it’s possible season two will start with a clean slate. Either way, we’re with you, Ed. We’re with you.