Lawrence Is El Lazo On 'Westworld,' Which Could Confirm A Popular Theory

Ever since the second episode of HBO's Westworld introduced parkgoers William and his friend Logan, a subsection of the show's fans have been intrigued by a theory that Westworld is taking place in two timelines: one in the present, in which the villainous Man In Black is seeking the center of the maze; and one 30 years in the past, leading up to the events of the "critical failure" referenced in the pilot — and during which William will become the Man In Black himself. So far, there hasn't been anything that directly disproves this theory, but neither has there been anything that directly proves it either… until now, perhaps. In the Oct. 30 episode, "Contrapasso," Lawrence received a new role that may be our first evidence of the two timelines theory.

The character's time with the Man In Black came to an end this week; after several episodes of aiding the villain in his quest to find the maze, the Man In Black finally killed Lawrence and used his blood to revive a severely injured Teddy. Of course, we know by now that when a host is killed, it doesn't really "die" — it is simply revived at the start of its narrative loop. So it's not too surprising when Lawrence intersects with William, Logan, and Dolores so soon after his murder, ruling the outlaw town of Pariah as a crime lord named El Lazo.

But the timing doesn't quite make sense. We first heard about El Lazo last week, when the criminal that William and Logan were on a bounty hunt for suggested that his boss would offer them more than the sheriff they were accompanying. Naturally, Logan killed the sheriff and they set out for Pariah. El Lazo's name was dropped again this week before it was revealed that the mob boss was actually Lawrence. The problem? All of these mentions of El Lazo happened before the Man In Black killed Lawrence.

When a host is killed or goes off loop with a guest, the other hosts and loops around them are designed to improvise to account for their absence. So why would the park have been leading William and Logan to an encounter with El Lazo when Lawrence was currently occupied with the Man In Black? No one could have known if or when the Man In Black was going to kill Lawrence, so they couldn't have known when his loop would have reset.

The clearest explanation is that Lawrence's quest with the Man In Black took place in one timeline while William's encounter with El Lazo took place in another. That would also explain why the Man In Black knew so much about Lawrence when he saved him from his hanging: because he'd already spent so much time with him, 30 years ago — an experience we're about to see play out in William's timeline.

While it may not be the smoking gun that proponents of the dual timelines theory were hoping for, it's another big checkmark in their column, and highly suggestive that there's more going on in Westworld than meets the eye.

Images: John P. Johnson/HBO (2)