Felix's view of the life and light in the hosts was certainly established a few episodes ago, with his research into the bird.
Nam: Felix has that urge inside of him. He's looking for life. He very much respects what this world is. The fact that this was all created by Doctor Ford (Anthony Hopkins). This is a Delos company. I think he's very much fascinated by that technology and the fact that it's happening. He's part of that, one to one. And Felix is a young dude. He's just awakening himself. He's coming into his own. I think that's the marriage that's happening there, between technology and life.
Things take a sharp turn, literally, as Maeve slices Sylvester's throat open. What do you imagine is going through Sylvester's mind as he's bleeding out?
Slocum: I think Sylvester, if you talk about programming… in my mind, as someone playing Sylvester, he's a very linear individual. So even at the end, he's thinking, "I gotta get out of this! I gotta figure it out!" It's always just trying to make sense out of this moment. So the sad thing about Sylvester is there's no sense of letting go or looking back on my mistakes. It's just: "Oh, shit, I have to figure this out!" This sad desperation of crawling into the grave, and it's all these poor decisions that got you there. It's this small rodent attempting to climb his way out of this. There's no peace. There's no introspection. He is trying to stay alive. I think a lot of people don't like him, but I do believe in his heart of hearts he was attempting to save Felix as well. I know he's a dickhead, but he does need his audience, and Felix is his audience. He was genuinely trying to save the two of them.
The Man in Black opens up about his dark past and reasons for playing Arnold's game, in what's easily the most revealing scene about the character so far. It's a heavy story he tells, about killing Maeve and her daughter, but he says that he felt "nothing" after the act — and there's an absence of emotion, a weariness or resignation, in how he tells the tale. Was that an active part of your conversations with Ed Harris about how best to relate this story about an atrocious act that made him feel nothing?
I don't think that's actually true. I think he does feel something. I think it resonates and lands with him in a way that only confirms for him his need to continue on this quest. Like so many of the characters on Westworld, he's on a journey of his own self-discovery. While he's outside the confines of this park a titan of industry, and as we got a clue in an earlier episode he's a philanthropist on the outside, he's nonetheless aware that there's a darkness in him that he doesn't quite understand, that he grapples with, and is desperate and needful of unraveling and deciphering and figuring out. He tells that story because it really held a mirror up to himself. The experience he had with his wife and his daughter outside the park really held the mirror up to himself about this dark mystery at his core. He's trying to figure out what that all means.
Throughout the episode, Maeve experiences old memories of her life on the homestead with her daughter, before it was ruined by the Man in Black. These are incredibly emotional scenes, a stark contrast to the modern Maeve, mostly in control of her emotional affect. What are your memories of how Thandie played these scenes?
You mentioned earlier this analogy between athletes and actors. There's an analogy to be had. If in fact being a thespian is analogous to being a creative athlete, then Thandie Newton is an Olympian, straight up. She plays a full spectrum of emotions. She is so in touch with her interior landscape. As a character, Maeve is looking outward and trying to figure out and understand the larger context of this world. She's trying to find meaning in her own story and free herself and come into a knowledge and awareness of herself. Her journey takes her from strength to vulnerability and back again. Thandie is just an amazing actor.
Debut date: SUNDAY, NOV. 27 (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
Other HBO playdates: Nov. 27 (11:00 p.m., 1:00 a.m.), 28 (11:20 p.m.), 29 (9:00 p.m.) and 30 (10:35 p.m.), and Dec. 2 (8:00 p.m.), 3 (11:00 p.m.) and 6 (8:00 p.m.)
HBO2 playdate: Nov. 28 (8:00 p.m.) and Dec. 2 (12:55 a.m.), 3 (2:30 p.m.), 4 (8:00 p.m.) and 10 (7:10 p.m.)
Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) and Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) reconnect with their pasts; Maeve (Thandie Newton) makes a bold proposition to Hector (Rodrigo Santoro); Teddy (James Marsden) finds enlightenment, at a price.
Written by Dan Dietz & Katherine Lingenfelter; directed by Michelle MacLaren.