This post is filled with massive spoilers of S2E9 of Westworld! Continue at your own risk!
Westworld treated us to a nice Father’s Day episode in which William kills his own daughter. Or so it seems.
Emily, making a last effort to bring back her father from the park, reveals that she’s seen William’s profile (all the data stored from his gruesome deeds in the park) and that her goal is to lock him up. As she speaks, a rescue team rides up and recognizes William as “the boss” but proceeds to scan them to see if their hosts or not.
Once William passes his scan, he grabs the machine gun from security and guns down the entire rescue team. Emily, whose scan was not completed, is shocked. William says he’s never told anyone about his profile and kills Emily as well. Shortly after, however, he sees his profile card in her hand.
So Here’s Why She’s a Host
During season two, Westworld has had at least two opportunities to show whether Emily is a host or not. The first time is when we first meet her in Raj World. Before the guns have the ability to be used on guests, she wants another guest to prove that he’s not a host before sleeping with him. It’s shown that he’s not a host, but we have no confirmation for Emily.
The second time occurs during the scan in this episode. Her scan was left ambiguous on purpose and in a very obvious way.
Bernard has both passed and failed a couple different tests that security has been using to determine who is a host and who’s not. So we know the tests are fallible, and passing a test could still mean Emily is a host. Emily passing her test and then being shot by William would in fact still leave ambiguity to her host-status. However, I think this would be too subtle, even for the intelligent Westworld audience. If Emily is revealed to be a host (possibly in the next episode), audiences would be more reluctant to accept it had she received a clean scan. I think leaving her host-status vague in such an obvious way is meant as a set-up for the reveal later on.
Then you also have to consider how storytelling works in general. If we had confirmation that Emily was human before she died, it would be much more impactful to audiences and the character of William as opposed to finding out she was human afterward. In my opinion, the use of situational irony here would’ve made this event more meaningful. I don’t think this device slipped the showrunners minds, and instead, I think they’ve purposefully avoided it.
Lastly, and possibly the strongest piece of evidence, is the music box. Emily monologues before her death about how she feels responsible for Juliet’s suicide because of how she treated her mother so close to her death. Emily recalls throwing away a music box her mother had given her on her 16th birthday. Emily went back to get it but found the trash was already taken away. But then we see a flashback of Juliet finding William’s profile and putting it in the music box before she kills herself.
Now it may be possible that Emily found the music box after the events of the flashback and it would explain how she found William’s profile, even though she did not mention it to her father. But I think what’s more likely is that Juliet fished the music box out of the trash unbeknownst to Emily. Why would Emily mention the music box to her father and not tell him it’s where she found his profile?
I think it’s because the real Emily still has yet to find the retrieved music box or profile and thus these memories don’t exist in the host version of her. I’m not sure why the profile in her hand is such strong evidence for William that he killed his real daughter, since there’s no reason why it couldn’t have been easily replicated by Ford.
The only alternative I could think of would involve the ‘William is a Host’ theory. It’s possible William has died and Emily is trying to hold him accountable for his actions posthumously by escaping with the host. But I don’t see as much evidence for this.
Anyway, what do you all think? Is Emily a host? Is William? Is everyone? (I’m kind of in favor of that last one as we haven’t seen any anatomical proof that humans even exist the current timeline but that’s a blog for another time) Let me know in the comments below!