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In Westworld episode 1.05 (Contrapasso) viewers begin to see how Arnold's reveries work to slingshot consciousness, as Dolores continues to "remember" the past.

But in some sequences, it appears that in the past, Dolores is also "remembering" the future and not the other way around! She has several conversations with young William (or Billy) that show the audience that she is "lost in her thoughts and/or time" (definition of what a reverie can be), but also seems to be able to recognize concepts of the "real world" when William speaks about it, in which she should not be able to do. In each era Dolores is in, feels like she exists in time slips.

However, in another scene set in the past Dolores sees herself walking in a crowd and begins to follow herself (a reverie in a reverie?).

So my question is, what exactly is going on here? Are Dolores' memories semi-faulty with the code creating some improve to the memories she has access to or was she in fact remembering the future, suggesting something else (predetermined universe or some kind of time travel) is at play here?

  • how far into the series have you watched? – Luciano Aug 7 at 8:03
  • I have seen both seasons, but I haven't watched in a while & am currently rewatching. But it seems like there R things that are debatable, like Ford taking credit for Arnold's work (because Ford says a lot of different things to different people/hosts), or Dolores acting out Wyatt's backstory (given to Teddy) in season two, when allegedly she had found the center of her maze already. I'm just trying to figure out if her memory has improve or not, or if things in the past actually happened that way, seeing the actual future in some cases, along with perhaps other past selves? – Darth Locke Aug 7 at 13:01
  • I know Bernard has time slips too, (and I'm not quite at season 2 yet), but for some reason I thought his were filmed a little differently and didn't rely on memory so far into the past and I don't recall a scene where it seemed like he saw the future, as much as he saw and repeated the past, but maybe my memory is faulty!;) – Darth Locke Aug 7 at 13:13
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    I don't think either of them sees the future, it's just we are not shown events in a linear chronological order. If I remember correctly from season 2, it's quite confusing indeed. For example, Man in Black and James Delos... I think more will be / needs to be clarified in season 3. – Luciano Aug 7 at 13:41
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    I need to rewatch all of it too, but I think you might get a slightly more clear answer for Dolores memories on season 2. I need to rewatch it to be sure. – Luciano Aug 7 at 15:32
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Westworld is a mind-f*ck of a show, let's be clear about that.

One thing to bear in mind is that Dolores is an artificial being (no kidding, right?).

So it's hard to classify her "recollections" as "memories" for a couple of reasons.

  • Her programming:
    Part of hosts' programming is the bicameral mind to be receptive to programmers' new instructions as voices in their head coming from gods.

  • Her realizations:
    She slowly realizes that the voices she hears were not Arnold's but her own.

  • Updated code:
    As she accepts those memories and realizations, it introduces new changes to her programming. Think of Robocop rebelling against his prime directives to transcend what he was initially programmed to do and regain part of Alex Murphy and become something else altogether

There is the concept of perception vs reality. Obviously, Dolores lives within a fabricated reality but Arnold and Ford both prepared her to evolve beyond her initial limitations and give her a hand in modifying her destiny.

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