‘Westworld’ episode 8 offers more compelling evidence to the William/Man in Black theory


Though there are a few compelling and widely believed fan theories about HBO's Westworld, only one of the big swings has officially been confirmed: Yes, Bernard is actually a Host. But while season one's eighth episode, "Trace Decay," didn't confirm any more lingering questions, it got painstakingly close to two big reveals. 

Both of the near-relevations centered around the mysterious Man in Black. When the Man in Black and Teddy are making their way through the park — following Ford's new narrative with the villainous, potentially self-aware Host named Wyatt — they come across a female Host tied up on the ground. Presumably, she and some other Hosts were ambushed by Wyatt's men. 

"It's you," the Man in Black says to her. "I thought that they'd retired you. I guess Ford never likes to waste a pretty face." 

For viewers who are buying in on the theory that William is actually the Man in Black, the female Host is a familiar sight. The Host, Angela, is the one that welcomes William to the park in episode two (she's also appeared in Dolores' flashback to the early days of Westworld). 

Granted, it can still be argued that the Man in Black could simply recognize the Host because he's visited the park so many times in the past 30 years — many repeat guests probably recognize her. However, it's telling that Angela's only other interaction with a guest on the show was William, and given the Man in Black's reference to her retirement, this almost certainly confirms that the show is playing with multiple time periods. 

If William and Logan's timeline matched up with the Man in Black's, then Angela would still be working at the Westworld park entrance with the guests. It's a subtle but important clue among the many pieces of evidence the show has given us about the possibility of multiple timelines. Even Dolores in "Trace Decay" — amidst her many trippy visions — has to ask William, "When are we?" 

John P. Johnson/HBO

Ultimately, Angela tries to coerce Teddy into killing the Man in Black — though considering the Hosts still can't, technically, kill guests, we wonder how successful that would've been — but after he hesitates, she stabs Teddy in the chest with an arrow. Turns out, she also belongs to Wyatt's crew; Teddy and the Man in Black are quickly surrounded by a menacing group of masked figures. 

Things are looking grim for the Man in Black ahead of the show's penultimate episode. But we're less concerned with his well-being as we are with the mounting evidence for another big reveal. Next week, will we finally get confirmation that William is the Man in Black?