Westworld’s ‘hosts are programmed not to harm guests’ logic is pretty solid, with gunshots merely putting holes in the human visitors’ clothing and leaving them with a bruise similar to those inflicted by paintballs.
But what about guests hurting other guests? In the intense, emotional game that is Westworld, what’s to stop them turning on each other, or mistaking a host for a guest and blasting them out the saloon doors?
Perhaps fearing a plot hole, EW asked showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy about this in the wake of episode 2.
“We talked a lot about the rules of the park,” Joy explained.
“A lot of it isn’t made explicit in the series but there’s something called the Good Samaritan Reflex within the hosts.
“So say you’re in a bar fight and some guy has a knife and maybe there’s even another guest that you didn’t know and he thinks you’re a host and he’s gonna stab you in the back. In that instance, a good Samaritan host would seamlessly intersect and get in that fight and literally take that knife for you.”
She was quick to remind us that this doesn’t make the park a completely safe space.
“Now accidents can happen – falling off a cliff and things like that,” she added. “But you know it’s mitigated somewhat because even the animals – aside from the flies – are hosts, so no horse is going to buck you to your death.”
This “Good Samaritan Reflex” goes some way in explaining how Westworld presents injury, but isn’t as airtight as some of its other disclaimers. How exactly does a host stop a speeding bullet? What about if there are no hosts nearby? Do they sprint at the speed of light like Superman? Doesn’t this ruin the illusion for other guests?
Perhaps Westworld simply isn’t that safe, and guests have to sign heavy waivers before entering the park. It’ll be interesting to see how the Reflex is tested at any rate, as the two newcomers introduced this week seem destined to fall out.Reuse content