HBO's expensive science fiction series premiered on Sunday (2 October) and it lived up to fans' anticipation. The gripping story of a high-tech theme park, where humans enter as guests to indulge in their fetishes, be it violence or orgies, having sex or raping a woman (human-like robots) or two. Apart from the guests, everything inside the park is scripted and the robots are programmed to act accordingly
The artificial world created by Dr Robert Ford, the creative director of Westworld, seems to be perfect until something unusual happens. An infection starts spreading in the theme park, affecting the hosts (the androids created to entertain guests). Not only that, to Bernard Lowe (creator of the artificial people) and Theresa Cullen (Westworld's terse operations leader), their oldest host Dolores Abernathy (a robot who lives the same life every day on the loop) and her father appear to show behavioural changes that are not written in their scripts.
All the robots inside the park are programmed with the "do no harm" core code. But Dolores, who shares a romantic bond with fellow host Teddy Flood, a gunslinger, defies the commands. In the episode, her father finds a picture and questions his identity.
The next morning when Dolores finds him sitting on the porch, he warns his beloved daughter of the looming danger and whispers something into her ears. At nightfall, the tech team of the park retrieves all the hosts who have shown symptoms of infection.
Dr Ford's interaction with Dolores's father does not go well as the robot shows unusual human-like emotions and warns him of the risks of the park. His daughter, on the other hand, lies to the park officials about what her father whispers into her ears.
At the end of the episode when she begins a new day, repeats her same scripted lines to her "replaced" father something unusual happens. She kills a living fly sitting on her neck, a clear violence of the "no harm" programming.
Series creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy have teased that the fly killing is an important step towards how Dolores will evolve in the future of the show. "I do think it's a big deal. It's a small step; it's just a fly. But it's a sign of something happening in Dolores. Something is stirring within her. It is not to be taken lightly," Joy told the Hollywood Reporter.
In the same interview, Nolan hinted that Dolores's story is "very central" to the series. "People would come back and bring their kids to meet Dolores, the same way they met her when they were a kid — or Teddy, or any of these characters. For us, it only enhances the pathos of these characters, in that this has been happening to them for a very long time. Dolores has been the girl next door with aspirations to travel and see the world and escape her modest little loop for going on 35 years. That, to us, enhances the horror of her situation."