One of the most significant features of HBO’s science-fiction series ‘Westworld’ is its depiction of the conflicts that arise between human beings and technological advancements. Whether it be Delos’ creation of the Hosts, Engerraund Serac’s AI system Rehoboam, or Charlotte Hale’s Tower, these inventions affect human existence considerably and even succeed in being the supreme powers. Still, there is a group of people who manages to resist the potency of these inventions. In the fifth episode of the fourth season, Hale deals with a group named “outliers.” So, who exactly are the outliers? Let’s find out! SPOILERS AHEAD.
Who Are the Outliers?
An outlier literally means a person who detaches away from a system. ‘Westworld’ introduces outliers in the third season and they are indeed people who succeed in excluding themselves from a superior power or system. In season 3, Serac looks after his AI system named Rehoboam, which controls human beings’ lives by foreseeing their future. After collecting the data regarding individuals’ past and present, the AI system design future pathways for the respective individuals for a prosperous tomorrow. Rehoboam ensures prosperity to individuals who deserve it upon considering their actions and affirms the elimination of people who do not contribute to the perfection of the future.
By designing the future of human beings and eliminating free will and individual freedom to choose, Rehoboam aspires to create a future that is already scripted by the system. However, there are a group of people who are out of Rehoboam’s reach. The AI system fails to conceive the future pathways of these people since it cannot predict the actions of the same group. Since their actions can vary drastically, Rehoboam can’t understand them perfectly and conceive a future for them. These anomalies are referred to as “outliers.” Since they are beyond the efficiency of a potent AI system like Rehoboam, Serac considers them as threats.
In the fourth season, Rehoboam doesn’t exist and Serac is out of the picture. Hale emerges as the new tyrant in the world and she creates the Tower, along with several sounding devices placed across the city, to emanate a particular sound that will enable her to control human beings. The sound controls the parasites she has placed in human brains, making the people mere puppets of Hale. She can use the Tower to dictate every action of the infected human beings. Hale doesn’t care about the prosperous tomorrow and is only interested in making human beings her toys like her species were humans’ toys in the Westworld.
Still, a group of people manages to resist Hale and her Tower’s control over them. Hale fails to control their actions using the particular sound, which leaves them invulnerable to Hale’s authority. She refers to them as outliers as well. Thus, in the fourth season, outliers are the people who are beyond the control of Hale’s Tower and sounding devices. The only way to harm them is to do it manually and specifically, which makes Hale send several hosts to kill them. Since Hale doesn’t have authority over them, they question the nature of their reality like Peter does.
Outliers are aware of being controlled by a superior force, which makes them threats to the pseudo-reality Hale has created for humans, referred to as the Walled Garden. They can make others aware of the same like Peter, who makes Christina question the nature of her reality. Outliers also make hosts aware of a superior power’s control over them, leading the latter group to become sentient. Hope and other hosts kill themselves upon realizing that the reality they live in isn’t exactly what it seems to be.