Is Logan The Man In Black On 'Westworld'? This Theory Points The Finger At A Different Villain
Only midway through its first season, Westworld has already spawned enough theories to rival the famously speculative Lost. Chief among them is who the Man in Black really is, beyond a cold-blooded park veteran set on decoding its mysterious, deep-level maze. The reigning conclusion many fans have drawn is that William is a young version of the MIB, and his storyline is playing out in the past. One of my major hesitations about this prospect is that the two men seem like utter opposites, and it’s disheartening to think William could unravel into such a hardened man. But a new theory might help explain this discrepancy: could Logan actually be the Man in Black on Westworld ?
From the outset, this already makes a lot more sense. Logan has the same callous disregard for android life as the MIB we’ve come to know, while William is portrayed as thoughtful and empathetic — sentiments that seem long lost on the current MIB. But there are also several clues beyond simple personality traits, as Reddit user PrinceRecluse has laid out extensively. Like Logan, the Man in Black is an accomplished businessman. In Westworld’s Oct. 30 episode, “Contrapasso,” the Man in Black tells Ford that if it weren’t for him bailing out the park, it would’ve been demolished shortly after Arnold’s (alleged) death. If the two timelines theory holds up, that would be around when Logan and William were visiting the park 30 years ago.
Thus far, we’ve seen no evidence that William is or was ever in a position to make such a grand financial gesture. During a particularly telling monologue, Logan chastises William’s modest career aspirations:
“I picked you precisely because you’ll never be a threat to anyone ... A lifetime of working hard, following the rules, and you finally reach the pinnacle of your career trajectory: Executive Vice President, upper middle management … You walked into my office in that cheap black suit of yours, and you shook my hand and you thanked me for the opportunity. That was the best day of your life.”
Logan, on the other hand, has a clear position of power at whatever company they work for, and PrinceRecluse pointed out the hints that it’s likely family-owned with a focus on technology or cybernetics, something useful for, you know, building robots. If his company were to step in and buy Westworld when it went south 30 years ago, he might now be a silent partner or owner of the park. This would explain the MIB's apparent VIP status, as well as why employees turn a blind eye to his exploits.
PrinceRecluse also connected phrases used by Logan to the MIB. Both frequently dismiss Westworld as merely “a game” in order to justify their hedonistic behavior. In a subtler link, the MIB says he’s never met the man he frees from a prison cell in the Oct. 23 episode, “Dissonance Theory,” explaining he always seemed like a “market tested kinda thing.” Later, Logan uses very similar corporate jargon. In “Contrapasso,” he compares Pariah to Sweetwater, saying, “Some of the park feels like it was designed by committee or market-tested, but everything out here is more raw.” PrinceRecluse, you’re officially blowing my mind.
One final tie between Logan and the MIB hinges upon Dolores. Just before the MIB kills Lawrence in “Contrapasso,” he says “as another old friend of mine likes to say, ‘There’s a path for everyone,’” which is a clear nod to Dolores’ discussions with Bernard. However, as Dolores and William’s relationship deepens, it’s odd that he would later refer to her indifferently as “a friend,” but the phrasing suits her loose acquaintance with Logan. That’s a rather vague argument, but there’s more.
As PrinceRecluse postulated, the way the Man in Black so pointedly tortures Dolores suggests they have a history. When William and Logan arrive in Westworld, William is engaged to Logan’s sister. His budding romance with Dolores would assumedly endanger, if not totally derail, their upcoming marriage. If Dolores’ involvement with William does indeed lead him to break off the engagement, Logan may have a vendetta against Dolores.
So early in the series, everything is very much up in the air. This particular theory is contingent upon the idea that Westworld’s narrative is operating between two timelines, but that’s been one of the more convincing arguments to emerge from fans, and Lawrence/El Lazo’s identity strengthened it in “Contrapasso.” Westworld’s premise may be built on twisted scenarios, but I, for one, would prefer to believe that the park doesn’t completely crush William’s kindhearted spirit. Here’s hoping that Logan is the true Westworld villain.
Images: John P. Johnson/HBO; Giphy (2)