8:45am PT by Josh Wigler
'Westworld': A Closer Look at the Park's Mole Problem
[Warning: this story contains spoilers through episode five of HBO's Westworld.]
Although the two parks are built around vastly different attractions, both Westworld and Jurassic Park have a lot in common. There's the Michael Crichton connection, of course, as well as the baked-in promise that at some point, man's hubris will come home to roost, either in the form of self-aware murder robots or rampaging dinosaurs, depending on your park of choice. Now, here's another bond: both parks have a mole problem.
The fifth episode of HBO's Westworld, called "Contrapasso," confirmed what several fans suspected all along: someone on the inside is working for an outside agenda. Just as Jurassic Park had a Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight) problem, Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright) and Elsie Hughes (Shannon Woodward) are now aware that someone has been using hosts to smuggle key information about Westworld out of the park via satellite transmission. As if the humans didn't have enough to worry about already with the increasing self-awareness of hosts like Maeve (Thandie Newton) and Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood), now they must start looking at each other as possible adversaries.
It's only a matter of time before viewers learn the double agent's identity, but before then, let's take stock of some of the show's likeliest suspects:
• Elsie (Shannon Woodward): Sure, she's the one who flagged the mole problem in the first place. She's also the one who told Bernard one episode earlier that she's the only person in Westworld without an agenda… which is exactly what the mole would say! Elsie's closeness to the situation makes her less likely than some other candidates, but she shouldn't be ruled out outright.
• Bernard (Jeffrey Wright): Likewise, the compassionate scientist shouldn't be free from suspicion. We already know that he's encouraging Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) along her voyage of self-discovery, so it wouldn't be a leap for Bernard to be interfering in other areas of the park as well. It would be a pretty big twist for one of the show's gentler souls, but not an impossible one.
• Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth): He's the only character on the behind-the-scenes side of Westworld with an eye on the Man in Black (Ed Harris), at least until the episode five scene with Ford (Anthony Hopkins). It's Stubbs who approves of the Man's pyrotechnics back in episode four, and also Stubbs who says, "That gentleman gets whatever he wants." But what if he's nothing more than the Man's man on the inside? Some fans speculate that Stubbs is secretly a host, a possibility he raised back in episode three with tongue firmly in cheek. Maybe the joke's on Stubbs, and someone is manipulating him into working for a nefarious cause.
• Sizemore (Simon Quarterman): We haven't seen the park's narrative director since Ford ruthlessly ripped into his idea for "Red River." But it's not far-fetched to think that Sizemore holds a grudge about getting cast aside. He also expressed a willingness to work for higher agendas all the way back in the premiere. What better way to simultaneously turn a profit and settle a score than smuggle data out of Westworld?
• Theresa (Sidse Babett Knudsen): The board's representative has been skeptical of Westworld at best, putting people in their place as she sees fit. She's already shown a willingness to stand up against Ford, even if she was trembling while taking the stand. Who's to say she wouldn't take things a step further, especially if she has the board's best interests at heart?
• Ford (Anthony Hopkins): The John Hammond of this universe has no reason to beam his secrets far away from the park, does he? Well, maybe he does if he fears the board is coming after him, and his "new narrative" is building toward a preemptive attack against his perceived enemies. An even likelier candidate, however…
• Arnold: The forgotten co-founder of Westworld died more than 30 years ago — or so they say. Whether he still exists through the increasingly conscious hosts, or he's actually literally alive, Arnold's influence has been felt all season long. It's not difficult to imagine that Arnold's master plan would benefit from robbing the park of information.
• The Man in Black (Ed Harris): And to that end, who do we know that has a rooting interest in honoring Arnold's legacy? That would be Ed Harris as the enigmatic gunslinger, ripping through Westworld in search of the mysterious maze. Perhaps his pro-Arnold agenda includes stealing pivotal Westworld data for his own use. After all, we know the Man saves lives through a "foundation," and perhaps the park's technology could go a long way toward his own personal profit.
There's a whole host of other possibilities, including some of the hosts themselves. Maybe the most enticing part about this development isn't the news that there's a mole in Westworld, but the realization that almost every character on the show has motive and means to work against the park.
Follow THR's Westworld coverage for more news, interviews and theories: