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I imagined a story where I didn't have to be the damsel.

–Dolores Abernathy

"Contrapasso" is the fifth episode of the first season of Westworld, and the fifth episode overall.


Dolores and William are recruited for a dangerous mission in Pariah, a city of sin and sex. The Man in Black makes an unlikely ally.



Dr. Robert Ford[]

Dr. Ford is sitting in Cold Storage talking to his old friend and Host Old Bill. He asks Dr. Ford if he has any stories to tell. Ford begins telling him a story about a Greyhound dog he once had as a child. He explains to Bill that a Greyhound is a racing dog that runs in circles, chasing after a piece of felt that looks like a rabbit. Bill struggles to recognize the word "Greyhound", mistaking it for "Showdown", and giving a scripted response. Ford begins to tell how he and his brother brought the dog to a park and removed its leash. The dog spotted a cat and chased after it, catching and killing it. He says after the dog caught and killed the cat, he sat there confused. After finally catching what he had been chasing after, he was left not knowing what to do.

Dolores, William and Logan[]

Field of crosses overlooking into Pariah.

Dolores is standing in a field of crosses just outside the city of Pariah. She hears a voice say to her “find me”, and in her mind she replies “show me how”. After coming to from her dream-like state, she is standing with William, Logan and Slim. They are looking at Pariah in the distance, Logan speaking of the town and its outcasts, delinquents, thieves, prostitutes, and murderers. William asks Dolores if she is all right, because earlier he thought he had heard her talking to someone. She says she is all right. Logan tells William that the further they get from Sweetwater the bigger and more grandiose the narratives become. Logan mentions everything designed in Pariah is more raw, and that it doesn’t come cheap. Rumor is the park is hemorrhaging cash. He says Delos, the company they both work for, is considering buying Westworld out. He says that supposedly the place was started by a partnership and that right before the park opened, one of the partners killed himself. It sent the park into a free fall, and Logan had a team of lawyers looking into the place, but the man behind it is a complete mystery. William remarks that whoever designed the place didn’t think very much of people.

The Army of New Virginia make their way down a Pariah street toward the three of them. Logan says they are also known as the “Confederados”. Dolores says her father told her about them, ex-soldiers who refuse to surrender from the war and now work as mercenaries. Logan says they are a key to the “game”, the biggest game there is: war. Supposedly war is at the far reaches of the park and Logan has yet to make it that far.

Streets of Pariah.

Night falls in Pariah and Dolores is staring at some coffins that have remains inside them. She begins to have flashes, perhaps memories of a past narrative. She begins to walk and talk with William, questioning things again, such as paths and choices. She mentions that everyone wants to change their life. William starts talking about how you can be anyone in the park, be different than who you are in the real world. Dolores becomes perplexed, not understanding what he means about the real world. William states he thought Hosts weren’t supposed to notice things like that. Dolores says recently the world has been calling to her, as it never has done before.

A parade starts down the street of Pariah. Logan mentions that "El Lazo" has agreed to have a meeting with them the following day, but in the meantime there is a brothel he recommends. Dolores is watching the parade pass by intently, and at one point sees herself within the crowd of partying people. She runs after herself, trying to catch up to the illusion.

El Lazo? Lawrence?

The following day in Pariah, Dolores, William, Logan and Slim go to meet El Lazo. As they reach the table where El Lazo is sitting, the man looks up from behind his hat-- but it is none other than the Host Lawrence. Logan says in return for giving him Slim, he wants to be introduced to his Confederado friends. During negotiations, Dolores begins to feel off again. She envisions an old white chapel, then approaches El Lazo. She tells him, “There is something you are seeking, isn’t there. I know what that feels like. I’m seeking something too. If you let us, I know we can help you.” Dolores then comes out of a dream-like state after saying what she said to El Lazo.

Holding up the Union wagon for Nitroglycerin.

El Lazo says the Union is shipping a convoy of nitroglycerin. The Confederados would like that shipment, but El Lazo and his men are not welcome on that side of the border. Before the four of them leave (including Slim) for the task, Dolores changes her clothes. The four of them ambush the Union wagon, and as Logan begins to fight with one of the soldiers, chaos breaks out and William is forced to kill the men. Slim is also killed in the process. They bring the nitroglycerin back to El Lazo. The confederate soldier pays El Lazo in return for the goods, admitting he came through for them. Before the soldiers can carry off the explosives, El Lazo coaxes them away with girls to a brothel.

The brothel in Pariah is unlike any seen so far in Westworld. The Confederado tries to convince William and Logan to join the war, but William pulls Logan aside and says he doesn’t want to continue on the War game. Logan takes him as joking at first, suggesting William could simply betray and kill the Confederados in the War and join the Revolutionaries. William stands firm, and Logan chides him for being upset at killing an unarmed man and not being able to call himself a hero anymore. Logan says there are no heroes and no villains. We discover that William works for Logan and has been promoted to Executive Vice President, a position he only earned because Logan assumed that he would never evolve into a threat and would always remain a passive and non-threatening stooge. This view also extends to their personal lives, as Logan makes it clear that he has little respect for William and assumes that his sister doesn’t either. In a rage, William throws Logan against the wall. Shocked at his own behavior, he lets Logan go. Logan smiles wryly at William and goads, “Right, Buddy. That’s what I thought.” William turns to find Dolores gone.

Dolores pulls out the Maze card from the Fortune Teller.

Walking through the brothel, Dolores comes upon a fortune teller. She sits down in front of her and takes a card. As she lays the card down, we see it is actually showing The Maze. When she looks back up at the woman, she sees herself sitting across from her. This version of her tells her she must follow the Maze. When she asks herself “what’s wrong with me?”, the other version of herself says that perhaps she is unraveling.

Dolores begins to pull a thread from her wrist.

Dolores exposes her wrist and sees a small thread. She begins to tug at the thread, until it starts opening up into a bigger wound. Frightened, she looks back up to see no one sitting in front of her, and the wound on her wrist isn’t there anymore.

Dolores begins to run away from the brothel, and as she makes it outside, finds El Lazo pumping Slim’s dead body up with the nitroglycerin and pouring tequila in the empty glass bottles. She runs back into the brothel to get William, telling him how El Lazo had been conning them the whole time.

Dolores and William kiss

William is realizing this is a sick game he doesn’t want any part of, and Dolores knows they must leave. Outside the soldiers are drunkenly tossing a bottle of what they think is nitroglycerin. When it falls by accident and breaks, they realize it is only tequila and figure out they have been duped. Dolores tells William they must run, that they can do it together, that she has a voice inside her head telling her what to do. It’s telling her that she needs him. She kisses William, before they begin to run away. The Confederados begin to beat up Logan, who stepped outside after his fight with William. As William and Dolores run out, they see him asking for help, but William turns his back on him and runs away with Dolores. They are stopped in an alley when more soldiers surround them.

Dolores decides not to be the damsel any longer.

William is able to shoot one of the men, but the rest pile on him. He yells for Dolores to run, when out of nowhere, she pulls out her gun and kills each of them quickly and with ease. William asks how she did it. She replied: “People come here to change the story of their lives. I imagined a story where I didn’t have to be the damsel”. They run out of the alley and jump on the train, where they find El Lazo in the back with the coffins, holding a gun on them. Knowing the bodies are full of explosives, Dolores puts her gun to one; El Lazo hands his over. He eventually tells William and Dolores they can call him by his real name: Lawrence. He advises them to settle in, as it’s a long ride to the front. While Lawrence and William share a drink, Dolores looks on top of the coffin and sees the symbol of the Maze once again.

Dolores and Dr. Robert Ford[]

As Dolores makes her way through the parade in Pariah, she grows disoriented. Then, the scene changes and she is seen sitting naked in the Behavior Lab and Diagnostics area with Dr. Ford. Dr. Ford asks the usual questions. He asks, “Do you know where you are?”, to which she replies, “In a dream”. He asks if she knows what the dream means, and she says they don’t mean anything, but Dr. Ford says dreams are everything, they are the stories they can tell of what they want to be, who they could become. He asks her if she remembers the man he used to be, but she does not, saying she is forgetful sometimes. Ford mentions that she must remember ‘him’, “Arnold”, the person that created her, but again she says she does not recall anyone by that name. But Ford believes somewhere beneath all those updates he is still there. He asks if Arnold has been speaking to her again, and if she’s been hearing voices, which she denies. Ford begins to hurt her by squeezing her hand too hard, and quickly orders Analysis Mode.

Dr. Ford questions Dolores about Arnold.

Once in Analysis, he asks when her last contact with Arnold was. Her reply was 34 years, 42 days and 7 hours ago - the day Arnold died. Again, Ford asks if she has any record of contact with him since, and again Dolores answers no. Ford asks what the last thing Arnold said to her was. Dolores replies: “He told me I was going to help him... to destroy this place”. Ford says he wonders, if Dolores ever took on a bigger role for herself, would she be the hero or the villain.

Ford brings her back online and apologies for bothering her, but that she is the only other one that was there that understands. Dolores asks if she and Ford are very old friends. Ford answers with a no, he wouldn’t say friends. Ford gets up to leave, leaving Dolores seated alone in the dark glass cubicle. As she sits in the dark, Dolores suddenly speaks aloud and says, “He doesn’t know. I didn’t tell him anything.”

Man in Black[]

The Man in Black is still riding horseback with Lawrence behind him. He also now has Teddy resting over the back of a horse that follows. It appears the MiB is keeping Teddy so that he can lead him to Wyatt. The Man in Black says there is a path for everyone, and that Lawrence’s path led him back to him.

The Little Boy reveals himself again.

Out of nowhere the Little Boy appears asking if they are lost. The Man in Black asks him to fetch him some water. The MiB remarks the boy is too small, and empties out the bag of water Lawrence had filled earlier in the morning. He then remarks to Lawrence that he was wrong, the path that brought him there wasn’t for him, but for Teddy. He then takes a large knife and slices Lawrence’s neck before hanging him by the legs from the tree. His blood pours out into a satchel and will be transfused to Teddy; apparently to keep him alive. This is why the MiB mentioned the boy Host would have been too small to help Teddy. Eventually, Teddy begins to wake up and the Man in Black walks up to him. The MiB says a couple of gallons of Lawrence seemed to have done him good. The MiB explains that it isn’t his fault Teddy is suffering. He says that he used to be beautiful, that when the park started, he opened one of the Hosts up once and saw a million little perfect pieces, but then they changed them, made them a sad mess, flesh and bone, just like "us". He said “they” said it would improve the park experience, but that they really did it because it was cheaper; their humanity is cost effective. Teddy is clueless what the MiB is speaking about and refuses to join him, and it isn’t until the MiB lies and says Dolores has been taken by Wyatt that Teddy agrees to join him.

Man in Black kills Lawrence.

As they leave, the Little Boy is standing there, looking at Lawrence’s body as it hangs. The MiB tells the boy not to worry, that someone will be along shortly to get him.

The Man in Black and Teddy are sitting in a bar, when a man approaches them with some whiskey. It is none other than Dr. Robert Ford himself. The Man in Black seems very surprised and calls it a rare honor. He asked Robert how he’s doing, if he’s any closer. The MiB says he always thought the park was missing a real villain, thus, it was his humble contribution to be the one to fill that role.

Teddy protects Dr. Ford, showing that Hosts are programmed to defend him.

Robert says the urgency of the Man in Black doesn’t quite fit his character. The MiB is curious about Wyatt, asking if he is merely a Host for the common man to hunt, or has Dr. Ford finally made him a worthy adversary. Is he someone who would stop him from finding the center of the Maze? Ford asks what he’s hoping to find there. The MiB says he believes there is more to the park, a deeper meaning, that the person who created it hoped to express, something true. Ford says if he wants the moral of the story, to just ask. The MiB says he’d need a shovel, since the man to ask died 35 years ago and almost took this place with him. Almost, if it weren’t for him because, according to the MiB, he is the reason it’s still there. He says he wonders if the man who died left something behind. He then says he wonders what he’d find within Dr. Ford, but before his large blade can reach across the table, Teddy grabs the blade and stops it; as though he’s Ford’s personal body guard. Robert claims he didn’t come to talk him out of it; that he didn’t want to get in the way of a man’s self discovery.

Behavior Lab and Diagnostics[]

Elsie is working with a Host she calls Bart who she is trying to program as a bartender. She sees some other employees wheeling the Woodcutter Host by on a gurney. This is the stray she and Ashley Stubbs went to retrieve in the park, who rushed at her before crushing his own head. They say they are taking him to Livestock and then the incinerator. Elsie, suspicious that there is a cover-up occuring, enters the Livestock area, which doesn’t go unnoticed by employees working there. She walks up to an employee named Destin who is currently working on the Host’s body and refuses to let her intervene. She shows him a video of him having sex with one of the Hosts in sleep mode, which he is horrified by. She tells him she needs to look over the Host’s body that was just wheeled in, or everyone can find out he’s a ‘necro perv’.

Elsie find's a laser based satellite uplink in a Host's arm.

Left alone with the Host’s body, she begins to examine him and finds nothing out of the ordinary at first. Then she notices something on his hand and takes a closer look by cutting into with a scalpel. Inside his palm, she sees a small red light. Eventually she notices the red lights travel up his forearm.

Elsie enters Bernard’s office claiming there is a big problem. She shows him a laser based satellite uplink that was found inside the host. She said he was right, that Orion’s Belt does have 3 stars not 4. The host wasn’t drawing stars, but a target. Someone has been using a Host to smuggle data out of the park.

Livestock Management[]

Employees Felix Lutz and Sylvester are working on Maeve; repairing the injury she had inflicted on her stomach to remove the bullet, and a few bullet holes to her body. Felix is curious of her incision, realizing it's as if she was looking for something within her abdomen. When Felix is left alone, he goes to the cabinets to put away an item, what looks like a dead bird on a tray.

Maeve wakes up once again.

Later, Felix is seen alone in the lab working on the "dead" bird. It becomes clear that the bird is artificial, manufactured as the hosts are. He succeeds in activating it but not correctly, it just flops around. Sylvester re-enters the lab and begins to tease him for borrowing corporate instruments and practicing behaviors on a bird. He tells Felix to get rid of the items, since they are corporate owned. He then informs Felix they have another body to work on, but as it wheels up on the gurney, he is stunned to see it is once again Maeve Millay. Sylvester begins removing the bullets again, one they apparently had just done, leaving Felix confused.

Late at night, Felix returns to Livestock Management alone to work on his secret bird project. He sits down at his desk and begins to work on the borrowed tablet and bird. He is distracted for a moment by a noise but sees nothing wrong. After a few moments, the bird, a sparrow, wakes and starts to work properly; it begins to fly around the room. Looking for the bird, with glee on his face, he slowly turns and finds the source of the noise. Maeve is sitting upright on the gurney, the bird perched happily on her finger. She is very much awake and alert. She says, “Hello Felix. It’s time you and I had a chat,” and smiles at the bird.


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]





Your mind is a walled garden. Even death cannot touch the flowers blooming there.

–Dr. Robert Ford

I figured your stories could use a little embellishment. You know, I always thought this place was missing a real villain. Hence my humble contribution.

–Man in Black

Dreams mean everything. They're the stories we tell ourselves of what we could be, who we could become.

–Dr. Robert Ford

You used to be beautiful. When this place started, I opened one of you up once, a million little perfect pieces. And then they changed you, made you this sad, little real mess, flesh and bone, just like us. They said it would improve the park experience. But you know why they really did it? It was cheaper. Your humanity is cost effective; so is your suffering.

–Man in Black to Teddy

Logan: "Don't you get it? There are no such things as heroes or villains. It's just a giant circle jerk."
William: "I think that philosophy says a lot more about you than the world."
— Contrapasso


  • Clair de Lune — Claude Debussy
  • Something I Can Never Have — Nine Inch Nails


The moment that always sticks out for me is in Episode 5, when we see her take out five Confederatos that are holding Jimmi Simpson’s character hostage. They grab him and pin him up against a wall, and he yells, “Dolores, run!” The first take we did, I ran — I’m not supposed to run. [laughs] Everyone was kind of looking around, confused, and then I slowly crept back onto set and they asked, “What happened?” And I said, “I’m so used to running. I’ve never been asked to stay and save the day.” I got a little teary-eyed and a couple of women on the set got a little teary-eyed, and I thought, “Wow. This character is really important.”

–Evan Rachel Wood[1]

  • Contrapasso refers to Hell's punishment of souls for sin in Dante's Inferno, the first part of Dante epic 14th-century poem. Souls are punished either with the sin itself, or with its opposite. For example, in the 8th circle of Hell sorcerers, astrologers, and false prophets have their heads twisted completely around on their bodies, so that they had to walk backwards, because they could not see ahead of them. All of these people claim to be able to see the future, to see in front of them - so in Hell they are forced to walk backwards. Dante didn't invent this, he got the idea and name from Saint Thomas Aquinas' massive work Summa Theologica and other, older, literary sources.
  • When Felix Lutz is reactivating the small bird, he echoes a famous line from Jurassic Park when he says "Come on, little one." Jurassic Park, of course, was written by the late Michael Crichton, as was the 1973 film of Westworld.


  • In a bar scene late in the episode, a barroom pianist plays Clair de Lune by DeBussy. This song was first published in 1905, nearly 40 years after the time period depicted in the park. (It should be noted that the pianola in the bar routinely plays 20th century pieces despite being set in the 19th century. This appears to be a deliberate in-joke for the entertainment of guests, since of course the hosts won't be aware.)