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Man in Black/Old William/Contrapasso

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Man in Black/Old William/Contrapasso

< Man in Black

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The Man in Black has given Lawrence’s horse to a slumped and nearly unconscious Teddy, and Lawrence chides the Man’s decision to bring along Teddy. The Man says that Teddy’s going to lead them straight to Wyatt. The Man says that Lawrence’s path is always to be with him, and admits that he might like Lawrence’s company, saying that no one would take the tone that Lawrence does around him. He hints “In a past life, perhaps.” As they tend to Teddy, who has lost too much blood, Little Boy comes across them, and the Man sends him to get water for Teddy. The Man in Black notes the boy is “too small.” As Lawrence asks what he means, The Man sets up a bag under a tree and slits Lawrence’s throat. He ties Lawrence up to the tree and begins collecting his blood, as he apologizes to Lawrence.

Contrapasso man in black lawrence and teddy

The Man in Black with Lawrence and Teddy

As Teddy wakes up, he tells the Man in Black that the Man should have put a bullet in him. The Man tells Teddy he used to be beautiful, and that he opened up “one of him” once, but then they changed Teddy, making him a sad mess. The Man says they did it because it was cheaper, that Teddy’s humanity and suffering was cost-effective. The Man tells Teddy that Wyatt made off with Dolores, and that fires Teddy up to help him. He pulls Teddy up and they leave, as the Little Boy stares at Lawrence’s dead, hanging body.

The Man in Black takes a hurting Teddy into a saloon. The woman of the house says she can rouse a girl, but the Man says he just wants whiskey. As Teddy looks weak, the Man implores him to get stronger. As they talk, the piano player stops playing, and brings over the whiskey and two glasses, and he’s revealed to be Dr. Ford. The Man is surprised to see him. The Man asks Teddy if he knows who that is, and Teddy says he doesn’t. The Man credits Dr. Ford with everything good and rotten that’s ever happened in Teddy’s life. He then asks, “How am I doing, Robert?” Dr. Ford asks the Man what he’s looking for. Teddy interjects, saying they’re looking for Wyatt, who killed a rancher and took her daughter. Ford comments that the last part doesn’t sound familiar, and The Man says that Dr. Ford’s story needed a little embellishment. The Man says that the place had always been missing a real villain, hence his contribution. Dr. Ford says he couldn’t conceive of someone like him, but that the urgency doesn’t fit the character, and belies some anxiety.

Ford Teddy Man in black

Ford, Teddy and the Man in Black in a bar

The Man notes that Wyatt is something new, and asks if he’s a worthy adversary, someone to stop the Man from finding the center of the maze. Dr. Ford asks what he’s hoping to find there. Both men speak in references that aren’t always understood, their history acting as a shorthand we cannot comprehend. And yet, it is quite possibly the most compelling scene in any episode of Westworld yet, a conversation between God and the Devil.

The Man pivots to Teddy, and talks about the real world, which Teddy ignores. He says it takes care of every need, except one: purpose. So real people come here to have a vacation, but the Man thinks there’s a deeper meaning here, given to the person who created it. Something true. Dr. Ford says that if the Man wanted a moral, all he had to do was ask, but the Man says he’d have to ask someone who had been dead for 35 years. One who almost took this place with him. Almost, but not quite, thanks to him. But maybe that man left something behind. The Man pulls out his knife and wonders what he’d find if he opened up Dr. Ford. Teddy springs into action and grabs the knife by the blade, driving it to the table, and the Man laughs at his spryness, being close to death. The Man asks Dr. Ford if he’d come to talk the Man out of it. Dr. Ford says far be it for him to get in the way of a voyage of self-discovery. Their dialogue suggests a long history between the two of them. Past events are brought up and not explained. Personal vendettas are touched upon. Warnings are given. The “game” of Westworld is dissected. The Man in Black knows Westworld’s god well enough to refer to him by his first name. Dr. Ford knows the Man in Black well enough to discourage him from following his current path.

He hands the Man back his knife, and tells Teddy “We must look back and smile at peril’s past, mustn’t we?” Dr. Ford snaps his fingers, and the piano plays music automatically, at an accelerated speed. Teddy, no worse for wear, checks his revolver and tells the man they should get back on the road. The Man finishes his whiskey and follows him.

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