Spoiler warning for anyone who hasn't yet watched Westworld's "Kiksuya."
The latest episode of Westworld was a revelation to fans of the show, focusing solely on the decades-long journey of Zahn McClarnon's Ghost Nation warrior Akecheta, and how he's actually been far more entrenched in the park's history than anyone could have imagined. One of the most shocking moments in the episode had little to do with the character, however, and instead showed two members of a camera crew arbitrarily following Thandie Newton's Maeve through downtown Sweetwater. And so the question becomes...was this merely an editing snafu, or was it an intentional visual meant to deepen the universe?
The potential gaffe in question can be seen on the left side of the above shot, but let's take a closer look below, where the out-of-place folks can be seen just behind the seemingly unaware Maeve.
Yep, something is definitely amiss there, since T-shirts, baseball caps and camera equipment are not typically found within Westworld's parks. The hosts definitely don't wear such modern duds, and they obviously have no cinematography goals. So if I'm being completely realistic and pragmatic, I would have to easily just assume that this wide shot of the main Sweetwater drag made it through the episode's editing without anyone being aware of the anachronisms lurking along the edge. But...what if it's more than that?
What if the two camera crew members aren't employees of Westworld the series but Westworld the Delos park? We've seen the promotional campaigns that Delos has used to attract guests to these worlds, so it might have been someone getting footage to use for a commercial. The hosts are programmed not to be aware of outside influences within the park, so other hosts ignoring the cameras makes perfect sense. So rather than being a technical error, this might have been a really interesting and brief way to break the fourth-wall within a scene that already kind of does that within its own narrative framing.
If that hypothesis just sounds conspiratorial and ridiculous to anyone else, that's completely understandable. After all, it looks like the crowd shot might have been previously recorded footage, with Zahn McClarnon being digitally added in after the fact, so it's possible the frame hadn't been widened this far on screen when used previously. Plus, Akecheta was certainly able to see the Delos employees that came to take Julia Jones' Kohana away, so he probably would have seen the cameramen, too. Though he might have had to pretend otherwise to keep himself safe. Oh, the possibilities!
All this is to show that Westworld is one of very few TV series where can actually have a debate like this, and where just about anything can be explained away as one of the parks' many questionable elements, regardless of timelines and locations. So even if it isn't a winking nod to viewers about the multiple layers of reality existing in the parks at all times, it's still fun to think about.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper. Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.