Westworld TV series’ fifth episode ‘Contrapasso‘ has parallels with Dante’s Inferno and to its entirety, represents dehumanization.
The debut season of the Westworld TV series was as vexing as it was alluring. Besides, its writers draw inspirations from cult material most wouldn’t dare tread on. The dissonance theory or be it the science of consciousness, they tend to leave more questions than answers. Midway through the series, ‘Contrapasso‘ adds a flavor of penitence and suffering in a manner that is new to TV. Also, it puts mainstream sex and gore to shame with its sordid content.
Westworld TV Series: Contrapasso
Dr. Ford, for his part, gets nostalgic and dubious about the endgame of all his creations in the beginning of the episode. Perhaps, the subtlety in his hound story resonates his sentiments on losing a purpose. A similar essence that lays the cornerstone during the conversation between the Man in Black and Ford later on. Not to mention, Man in Black voices his take on the park – on the purpose and meaning of life it presents.
William and Dolores, along with a deranged Logan are at the top of their game before they reach ‘Pariah’. It is indeed in Pariah that the dehumanization aspect kicks in. Hordes of naked women, orgies and no rules whatsoever. Dolores rips the top part of her arm in her delirium driven with an urge to unearth her true identity. Besides, it all comes down to self-interests. To make it whole lot interesting, everyone’s self-interests are conflicting.
‘Contrapasso‘ goes all out misanthropic when the Man in Black makes a blood-bag out of a pitiful Lawrence. He had no use of Lawrence and Freddie was useful, yet dying. Needless to say, Man in Black makes a bloodbath to rejuvenate Freddie and get on with his pursuit of Wyatt. It’s important to catch the undertone here about how the show trivializes human life. Also, draws parallels to Dante’s Nine Circles of Hell.
— Westworld (@WestworldHBO) November 1, 2016
Westworld TV Series: Dehumanization
Man in Black has his fixations that delve on the subject of him trying to get to the bottom of the park. In that vein, he shows no compassion towards the host, slaughtering them at his will. Contrary to Arnold’s empathy towards the hosts, Ford doesn’t share similar convictions – dehumanization again. He believes in sentience of the hosts, yet he necessitates abominable circumstances.
Pop Matters reports the dehumanization undertone of the HBO series likened to the works of Stanley Kubrick. Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, on the other hand, are invested in the monstrosity the series presents. Call it an avant-garde if you may, or bluntly – a figment of a warp imagination. In either case, it is awfully satisfying.