The scenes of the expansive west have been dominated by by the male gluttony for decades on televisions but in the futurist park of Westworld something is happening: the abusive male dominance is not only crumbling, but is forging strong, powerful, and rebellious women. In episode two of the series we feel a strong emergence of three women — two androids and one park quality assurance director — who are in control of determining the park’s fate going forward.
Throughout the episodes we are exposed a fairly stereotypical view of the guests in this free roam park as males are portrayed as rich Caucasian daredevils releasing their excessive testosterone in adventures filled with blood and lust while female visitors to the park are depicted as very fragile and fearful housewives. While the show may seem very basic in choosing to represent only the two main genders types, it focuses expansively on the dynamic between the evolving androids who are led by an early twenties farmgirl, Dolores, and a female prostitute, Maeve, and the one of the park’s controllers, Theresa. As the show chooses to blurry out the repetitive male dominated story lines of the park as white noise in the background, we begin to understand how the masterful each woman is with their knowledge and how they can manipulate others around them.
Initially, the show directs us to focus on Dolores because her dad reaches an existential crisis about their existence as an android that he reveals to her. However, Dolores immediately becomes a character striving with her duplicity. For example, when she is talking another one of the park’s directors, Bernard, after being recalled, the viewer cannot distinguish who is in control of the situation. Bernard seems to be bluffing his confidence in his control as he does not know that Dolores is memorizing everything to manipulate him and help her fellow androids in her grassroots movement.
Dolores actually ends up leading us to our next face of the rebellion: Maeve. Maeve’s carefully structured character as a lower class African-American citizen in the fictional society of Westworld allows her to takes her trauma she has experienced to fight back more relentlessly as she has been exploited. Furthermore, the symbolic image of Maeve being completely nude, gushing blood, with scalpel in hand when she escapes during repair two park technicians conjures a sentiment not too distant from the emancipating escape of slaves and shows her determination and desperation for liberation in the most vulnerable form one can be.
Finally, we are exposed to Theresa. Theresa is an extremely dangerous wildcard because of how potent she is when left to her own devices. Not only does she seem to have a grasp of what the problem may be with the “sudden” evolution with the park’s androids but she may as well be controlling them. She flexes her ambiguity in personal relationships with Bernard to wins conversations firmly and confidently.