In Review: Westworld (S4 – EP5) Zhuangzi

The Man in Black begins to question his reality. 

Synopsis: In Zhuangzi Hale realizes that her control over humans via her virus is beginning to slip. The Man in Black begins to question his reality.


The Story

Last week’s show revealed that Hale is controlling the world via the virus that she created for humans. We begin to see the extent of her control and signs that it is beginning to slip away from her. This episode begins with William AKA the Host version of The Man in Black in conversation with a couple of humans. He is very much in control of the conversation as he pretty much questions them on how they know him. The human couple is pretty much bemused. However, their discussion is interrupted when Clementine tells William that he is needed to sort out an incident. As they go to sort things out. We meet a woman who is pretty much distraught because she is pissed off at some humans that she has just killed. William gives her a bit of talk about there being no rules, and learning to adopt some self-control and asked Clementine to take the woman, who is a host back to where she came from.


The Outliers



Still in the city. Charlotte Hale is visiting the complex and she is not amused. It appears that playing god has gotten somewhat tiresome for her. So to amuse herself she has some humans dance for her to some music that is being played by a pianist who has been playing for so long that his fingertips are bleeding. Faster she calls out as the host version of Man In Black approaches. He reports about the host that they released from the complex, which has been found dead. Hale tells William that there have been 38 incidents of Hosts blowing their brains out after they had been sent to kill human outliers. An outlier is a person that has awoken from the effects of Hales Virus and can no longer be controlled. Hale tells William that there is another outlier on the loose and orders him to go after it.


Human Resistance Fighters

While Caleb’s daughter and Bernard go after the weapon that can end Hale’s enslavement of humanity. Ashley Stubbs has gone with her resistance fighter friends into Hale’s complex. Their mission is to get to the outlier before the host version of William can and get her out of there. As they get close to the complex Hale’s machine orders the humans to attack these few remaining free thinkers. Luckily they are just about able to rescue the outlier in the nick of time. But not before William was able to make contact with her. Which is likely to prove a problem for William as she gave him some food for thought before the resistance shot him.


Christine realizes She has been writing narratives for The Enslaved Humans

Christina, who we knew previously as Deloras is continuing to question her reality, and her meeting with the man that she used to know as Teddy Flood has given her inspiration to write a new narrative, which sounds pretty close to what her story was back when she was Deloras. When he sees that she is writing something that is not authorized. Christina’s boss questions her about it and asks what it is about. At this point, Teddy, or the man/host formerly known as Teddy gives her a call and gets her to leave.

As Christina meets up with Teddy. He slowly shows her the nature of the world that they are in and shows her that she can control the humans by thinking up their stories. He has her think up a scenario for a couple of women who seem to be kind of indifferent to the world. Christina imagines that they are joyfully engaged in conversation and it transpires that they become rather animated in the way that Christine imagined. Teddy says that they have control over all the humans and that they could be gods. Christine seems very disturbed by this revelation and tries to go about the rest of her day. However, before she can do so she has a rather awkward meeting with Hale who is posing as Christine’s friend. After she gets away. Christina goes back to her work and has another awkward conversation with her Boss. Only she changes the narrative and pulls a Jedi mind trick which makes her boss go home to the wife. It seems that Christina has figured out what Hale has been up to and she’s not impressed.


The Acting

We get some really strong performances this week from pretty much all the key actors. Tessa Thompson is fantastic as Charlotte Hale who is becoming more and more unhinged. While Ed Harris continues to rock it as The Man in Black, in this instance, it could potentially be this host version of The Man in Black that will ultimately undo Hale’s handy work. Especially given that he know seems to be questioning the nature of his own existence, which is something that didn’t particularly end well for his human incarnation who is being held captive by Hale. There’s a really strong scene at the end of the episode where the host version of William asks the human version about who he is. The OG version of William says that he has gotten to the middle of the maze.

Also, really strong this week was Evan Rachel Wood as Christina. The scenes where we see her piece everything together and do the search on the computer for Charlotte Hale and then asks the computer to show her the game and show her all the narratives that she has written was fantastic television. I can’t wait to see what Christina will do with this information. Especially given that Hale’s new world order is very much the inverse of what the Delos world order was. With the hosts dominating the humans.



Zhuangzi was a fantastic episode. I’m pretty sure that the part where Teddy shows Christina how to control human beings was sort of disturbing. But that was the intent. I really enjoyed how all the narrative threads fitted together this week and how it was all set in the present. Also good was the music. I particularly enjoyed the piano composition of ‘Perfect Day’, which was playing when Charlotte was trying to alleviate her boredom.

Westworld (S4 - EP5) Zhuangzi
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI & Stunts
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
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