Cast your mind backs to the final months of 2016 when we were all enthralled by HBO’s newest series about cowboys and robots, Westworld. One of the central storylines belonged to brothel owner Maeve (Thandie Newton) and her desperation to leave the park upon discovering that she was a robot living her life over and over again in a theme park for the ultra-rich. Do you remember who got her there? Felix Lutz works in the Livestock Management division of Westworld and also works with colleague Sylvester repairing damaged Hosts. When Maeve became aware that she was not a human she roped Felix and Sylvester into changing her programming to the highest possible levels so that she outsmart the humans controlling her and escape into the real world.
The intriguing thing is that both Felix and Sylvester were so willing to help Maeve, without Maeve even being particularly forceful or manipulative. Sylvester reached a point where he realized he needed to back out but Felix didn’t and he continued to submit to Maeve’s requests and make her stronger and more powerful. We have seen from the ways in which other employees of the park interact with Hosts that it is very easy for them to control them and shut them down. Why didn’t Felix do that? If they are incapable of harming humans (which at this point, employees still believed) why didn’t Felix say no and just get on with his work? The margin as to which this kind of error would happen is extremely narrow, next to invisible because humans can overpower the Hosts and turn them off, erase their minds and put them back into circulation with no knowledge of what had happened. Felix is afraid of Maeve, that is obvious, and the fact that she has become so in control of what is happening to her, by continually dying, that he thinks there is no going back. At this point, Felix believes that Maeve can’t hurt him, but they also believed that they wouldn’t become aware of their own consciousness so perhaps he is playing it safe, just in case they develop murderous tendencies…
Felix is afraid of Maeve, that is obvious, and the fact that she has become so in control of what is happening to her, by continually dying, that he thinks there is no going back. At this point, Felix believes that Maeve can’t hurt him, but they also believed that they wouldn’t become aware of their own consciousness so perhaps he is playing it safe, just in case they develop murderous tendencies…
Felix, we know, felt like he had something to prove to the other technicians. Remember the episode with the mechanical bird? Sylvester called him a ‘butcher’ and suggested he would never amount to anything more than that which encouraged him to fix the broken bird, which he managed to do. The bird flew away and onto Maeve, who offered him the praise he was looking for. Maybe there is a part of Felix that just wants to watch the world burn, like those of us who are obsessed with chaos and finding out what happens if you vote the other way, for example. He might be feeling somewhat crushed by the corporation and not being able to progress and develop, holding an almost invisible grudge. Maybe he just wants to see what would happen if he submitted to the will of the Hosts and maybe he wanted to see the park destroyed. Nothing in Felix’s actions would suggest malicious intent, but it might be that little part of him that takes over sometimes.
Felix is a Host
Felix could be a Host. He could have been programmed to be integral to Maeve’s storyline. Sylvester has an overwhelming feeling of ‘oh my god, this is so totally wrong’ but Felix never does and his obedience to Maeve strengthens, doing everything she says, even though if he told someone, he would be able to have her shut down and locked away. Maybe he loves her? Maybe his story is one of love towards Maeve, much like Teddy and Dolores. Maybe, he is willing to do anything to help her and win her approval. Something that he clearly so desperately craves from everyone else around him
Felix is not a Host
Maeve was able to spot that Bernard was a Host when Bernard was not aware of this himself but she never made mention of Felix. Likely it is because she didn’t want her escape to be impaired by his self-realization. However, the only thing that leads me to believe he is also a Host is because he didn’t use his abilities as a human to outwit Maeve. This might just be down to his own insecurity, unintelligence, desperation to be needed or fear of dying.
Felix is an interesting character to consider, his relationship with Sylvester makes his actions more questionable as Sylvester reacts in a much more human way to what they are doing with Maeve, whereas Felix just gets on with it. Don’t you think it’s interesting that Felix and Sylvester are both named after cats? If you think about it, Sylvester the cat spends his life trying to capture a tiny bird and Felix the cat had a bag of tricks that would allow him to assume an infinite variety of shapes. Intentional, I wonder?
Well, Felix’s work isn’t done. He helped Maeve get to where she needed to be and I can imagine him being a powerful ally to the Hosts in the park, whether he is a one himself or not. He just needs to commit. Will the park fall at his hands? Or will he become a victim of the Hosts like everyone else? Unfortunately, we will have to wait a long while until we find out. But, when Westworld returns I’ll bet you’ll keep a closer eye on Felix Lutz.