The Multiple Timelines Theory.
Just take a look at this video.
I've been happily rubbishing this theory whenever QueenBuffy's brought it up - but after watching this I'm not certain. Annoying...
The two things that made me jump?
- Dolores' can, the one she drops after leaving the store. The label on the can is different sometimes. The font is different and ... well, have a look
- Not convinced? Look at the different designs of the WW logo that come up, there are definitely two distinct designs, one old and one new.
- The evidence for there being multiple timelines in the show is not only stronger than I expected, it's annoyingly convincing.
The theory is that we're being show a single timeline, but out of sequence. So, thirty years ago, William and Logan arrive at the park, and in the present day the Man in Black is trying to find the limits of the game.
Take a look at the old logo, seen when William arrives at the park and during the flashback to before the park opened, note the old fashioned host's electro-mechanical arm. as well
William and Logan - they never appear in scenes with Maeve, Teddy, or the Man in Black. William is associated with the old logo remember, so their scenes are from the past.
Dolores and Clementine - they appear in both timelines, they've been there all along.
The new timeline, what people have been calling the present day. The new logo is seen in the more recently constructed areas and levels of Mesa Hub.
If this is true, then Dolores' problems that she's having and sharing with William - these are the critical incident from thirty years ago.
Incredible attention to detail, on the part of the people who've picked all of this up.
I do have one problem with the theory.
In "Contrapasso", When Ashley Stubbs sends a Deputy host to retrieve Dolores because she's wandered out of her narrative. At that point she's with William, which put her on the old timeline.
But Ashley is a character associated so far with the new timeline and here he is apparently interacting with old time-line characters. That would add Ashley to the (short) list of characters (all hosts, so far) that are thought to span the two time-lines.
So... Ashley's a host? Does the theory still hold up if that one change, Ashley being a host, is made? Are there other characters in that control room scene that are new timeline characters?
And it gets worse, William IS seen with the "new" logo, in a promotional pic, he's standing in front of it.
But in a youtube clip of the actual episode - it's the old logo in that scene.
So, they released a promotional photo then switch the logo in the episode. It's almost as if we're being messed with...
Oh, and an old tweet, from WestworldHBO...