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.
Written by Ed Brubaker & Jonathan Nolan; directed by Vincenzo Natali.
Ahh, interesting. This idea that poor Teddy has had this anxiety over an event in his past and has never known what it was simply because the writers were too lazy to give him a backstory is so sad — it’s also another thing that could be seen as mocking TV writing, where characters sometimes get added backstories a few seasons in.
Joy: We were doing a little of that. We loved the idea in a philosophical way how the feelings of guilt can consume a person, change their behavior and metastasize into having an undue influence on the rest of their lives if they don’t process it correctly. And it’s made all the more ironic by the thing that Teddy feels so much guilt about is this really nebulous thing that was never solidified by the writers.
Nolan: I’d be hesitant to point out that we are not guilty of the same. In some cases as a writer you find yourself going, “Oh, yeah, we didn’t get to that.” But we have not made the same mistake with Teddy.
Joy: I read an article about comedy writers trying to make characters likable that said you have to give women a dog, or have them look in the mirror a lot, or cry every so often. There are these different tropes you rely on that we’re poking fun of. Sometimes it’s not so much that there’s a pea in the mattress so much as the person can’t sleep.
We also got a young Anthony Hopkins as well, can you talk about rendering that?
Nolan: Who’s to say we didn’t shoot it? That’s a collaboration with our incredible effects supervisor Jay Worth and a wonderful vendor, ILP. The beautiful thing about working with Anthony Hopkins is he’s had a long and storied career so when we’re looking for references for how Tony looked in his 30s and 40s, you have a lot of material to work with.
Death is such a regular part of life for the hosts in Westworld, and especially Teddy so far. How does death inform your outlook on Teddy's life?
Keep in mind, every time he dies — or Dolores dies, or any of the hosts dies — it's their first death to them. If the Man in Black (Ed Harris) has killed me 50 times, each time he does it, it's as if he's killing me for the first time, and I'm dying and I've lived my days up to that point. You look at death as a human would. The hosts are robots, but they are programmed to emulate human emotion and interaction, and the stakes and boundaries and parameters within which they live are very much like a human's. I think Teddy's view on life and death holds the same value as a human's would. He lives in a dangerous, lawless town. There are parts of his past that he has to come to terms with, that I think he looks back on with some regret, and maybe doesn't even fully understand it. But he wants to put all of that to bed. He wants to put that chapter to an end so he can move on with his life with Dolores.
You bring up Teddy's past. In the scene with Ford, he reveals that the nebulous guilt nagging at Teddy is quite literally nothing; they never programmed that part of his back-story. It's a devastating way of looking at it, that Teddy is haunted by actually nothing.
Yeah. And he's programmed to be haunted by it. And like you said, it was just vague enough for Teddy that it stirred some true emotion when he thought about it, but I don't think he could ever assign any specifics to it. I think that's what Ford does in this scene. He programs some specifics for Teddy — maybe not for the audience just yet, but certainly for Teddy.