In the opening monologue of Westworld, Anthony Hopkins’s Dr. Robert Ford lays out in detail the early history of the theme park that gives the show its name. “For three years, we lived here in the park, refining the hosts, before a single guest set foot inside,” he intones as the music softly swells behind him. “Our hosts began to pass the Turing Test after the first year, but that wasn’t enough for Arnold. He wanted to create consciousness.” In just a few sentences, the writers dropped us in a vivid setting and laid out the question of robot sentience that drives the drama of the 10 episodes that followed.
Except it didn’t really start like that, did it? (Maybe in an alternate timeline.) The real Westworld begins with a disembodied voice interrogating Dolores as she sits in an examination chair: “Do you know where you are?” it asks, and she answers, “I’m in a dream.”
At the Outline, however, you can watch a recap of Westworld that begins with Anthony Hopkins talking about the genesis of the park, and proceeds in purely chronological order from there. A video editor on staff at the Outline apparently took it upon him- or herself to recut the entire series—all 10 hours of it—in purely chronological order, wrestling its multiple timelines into something resembling a coherent linear narrative. The accompanying post explains that the resulting video is only 90 minutes long, however, because “the ‘normal’ parts of Westworld” have been sped up, though it’s unclear what exactly constitutes a “normal” part.
If you’ve seen Westworld already, I’m not sure you want to sink another hour and a half of your life into it, though you may have a minor revelation or two. If you haven’t seen it, well, just watch the actual show. Westworld was fun to watch because of its dizzying plot, not in spite of it, and the “I’m in a dream” intro is a lot more elegant than the history lesson. Either way, it’s sort of mind-boggling to imagine how long the re-edit must have taken to assemble. If you’re interested, you can watch it here.