The new HBO series Westworld was shrouded in mystery from the moment the trailers began airing. While we knew generally what the show was about going into it – and that it was loosely based on 1973 sci-fi western thriller of the same name – there were little to no details released about the specific world of the new show. But the sprawling ensemble premiere introduces several different factions of characters all at once – one of which is called the "newcomers." But who are the newcomers on Westworld?
We're quickly introduced to our de facto main character, Dolores. Soon into the premiere, we learn that Dolores, and several other characters, are incredibly lifelike androids who reside in a traditional Western America, old-timey town. Like any Old West town, the residents are cowboys, saloon girls, and farmers. But it almost immediately becomes apparent that some of the residents are not quite like the others.
Specifically, some of them are robots who are not self-aware, while others are self-aware humans visiting the super high-tech "amusement park." Dolores, for one, is entirely un-self aware at the start of the episode, but increasingly becomes more alarmed as her father finds a photo of a guest in his field and realizes the truth.
At first, it seems as though James Marsden's character Teddy is a human visiting the park, who has fallen in love with Dolores, a robot. Many of the human visitors arrive by train, "new" to the town, and are thus referred to as "newcomers" by Westworld's robot inhabitants. Teddy, arriving in town by train and being referred to as "new" by one of the saloon girls, seemed like an obvious candidate to be a human visiting the park.
Teddy's true nature was revealed when he and Dolores returned to her home to find her family killed by intruders. A mysterious Man in Black (played by Ed Harris), intent on taking Dolores for himself, allowed Teddy to shoot him repeatedly. The Man in Black revealed that Teddy and Dolores are not real, and that the "hosts" are unable to harm the human visitors, the "newcomers" in any way. Teddy's bullets had no effect on the man, but one shot from the man "killed" Teddy. Horrifically, the depraved Man in Black then dragged Dolores away to sexually assault her.
As of now, the only people we know for *certain* are human and not robots are the park's employees – the humans who maintain the park's robots, set the hundreds of interlocking "storylines" that the hosts plays out, and reprogramming and resetting them at the end of every day. These characters include Anthony Hopkins' Dr. Robert Ford, Bernie (a park technician) and Theresa Cullen, an executive who manages the park and its employees. There are so many interconnected storylines and character development going on at once, that the "Who is human?" question is almost secondary to everything else happening.