Those who are fans of Westworld already know that at this point almost anything is possible when it comes to what happens in the park. But this mind-bending series on HBO has its way of keeping audiences guessing, meaning we are always left with lots of questions. These include things like the actual timeline of the events we see unfold and if what we see in the park coincides with what is happening outside the park in the real world.
This has resulted in the growing popularity of a fan theory surrounding the Man in Black. However, now that we are four episodes in, this theory might have just been debunked.
Then again, maybe it wasn't.
What we know about the Man in Black (Ed Harris) is he is in a bad guy— hence his outfit in the park—who has been visiting for decades. He is on a quest to find the maze, which could very well be part of the this big story that Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) is currently creating.
And speaking of the timeline of the show, this is where the Man in Black theory comes into play. According to the theory, the Man in Back is actually William (Jimmi Simpson), the white hat tourist that has recently befriended Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood).
We already know that the Man in Black has been running into Dolores for decades, and since she is the oldest host in the park this theory would make sense. It could very well be that the scenes with William are flashbacks of the past and the back story to how the Man in Black came to be.
There have been two scenes where staff members ask Dolores to remember and then the next scene features those with William.
It's also interesting that William and his black hat companion Logan (Ben Barnes) have little contact with other hosts that would reveal where on the timeline their story falls. But even more curious is the fact that in this week's episode 3 titled "Dissonance Theory" Logan convinces William to take up a black hat role in a new storyline. Could this be the beginning of William's bad ways and his quest to finding the maze?
It certainly can appear this way, but there were scenes in the past two episodes that seemingly debunk this theory.
In episode 3 titled "The Stray," we learn that Dolores kills her attacker while going against her programming after seeing flashbacks of the Man in Black. She then runs off where she finds William and Logan's campfire. This scene on the surface makes it seem like both killing her attacker and meeting up with William are both in present and thus makes the Man in Black theory impossible.
However, Dolores does suffer from glitches or episodes of déjà vu, so maybe there is one part present, one part past here.
Then again Sunday night's episode revealed for evidence against the theory when the head of park security comments on Dolores straying from her loop while she is currently off her loop as she travels with William. This would have to mean that the William scenes are also in the present along with what is happening in the real world.
However, there is a possibility that Dolores is off her loop again sometime in the present or future as she was in the past with William.
Further adding fire to the theory is the fact that someone recognized the Man in Black in the park this week. The tourist states that the Man in Black's foundation helped save his sister's life, which reveals he is actually a good guy in the real world. Knowing how innocence and good-willed William is, these two could very well be one in the same, with William now embracing his dark side in this fantasy world, the only outlet where he can.
Even William's actor Simpson has commented on the Man in Black theory, revealing that the audience will "have to wait just like we did" to see if there is some truth behind it.
Fans will have to continue watching Westworld to find out just how the timelines play out to determine the past, present and future, and how the tourists and hosts fit in the greater scheme of things.
Westworld airs Sunday nights on HBO and HBO Go.