The Man in Black continues across the desert, and his captive gunslinger follows. Only he’s hit a roadblock in solving that riddle leading to the location of The Maze. With Lawrence in tow, he’s followed the arroyo … but where does the snake lay its eggs? (Or, in this case, it’s easter eggs). “This whole world is a story. I’ve read every page except the last one. I want to find out what it all means,” he sort-of-not-really explains. Then he spots the outlaw Armistice, Hector’s right-hand woman, bathing by the river — with her rad snake tattoo. The MiB kills a couple host members of her gang to make room for himself and Lawrence to join with her. (A couple members of her gang are guests and it’s a fair question how does the MiB know which are which. In general, the guests tend to look well-scrubbed and less stoic compared to the bots.)
The MiB makes a deal with Armistice: If she’ll reveal the story of her tattoo — the next clue to The Maze — he’ll bust Hector out of prison for her. Why doesn’t he just torture her like with every other host he wants something from? Well, that gets tiresome.
There’s a bumpy transition to the MiB and Lawrence in the back of a stagecoach. It almost feels like a scene was cut. But we’re later told the duo simply surrendered to the sheriff. The MiB breaks Hector out of prison with the help of exploding cigars to get the next clue — Wyatt, that rogue cult leader that was just added to Teddy’s backstory. Once again, I wonder about time. We got the impression Wyatt was some new element. But he’s also part of The Maze puzzle the MiB is chasing that we assumed was a long-buried secret? Hmm.
But let’s get to the real juice of the MiB’s sequence. First, a guest drops something very intriguing. Apparently the MiB is a celebrity of sorts out in the real world (whatever that is). “Your foundation literally saved my sister’s life,” the nervous guest says. The MiB angrily shoots back: “One more word and I’ll cut your throat. This is my f–king vacation.”
Don’t you dare break character around the MiB! Suddenly, the man goes goes from seeming like a menacing psycho to a dork playing Dungeons & Dragons who yells at other players for asking for a bathroom break. So he’s possibly some kind of philanthropic humanitarian outside of the park? Again we bump up against the question of whether he’s truly an evil man — given that the hosts are not human and any tragedy can be erased and any injury repaired. If this guy saves human lives and then plays a completely different character only around the hosts… what does that mean for him?
The MiB also name-drops Arnold and gives a major clue to his goals here: “He created a world where you can do everything you want — except die. Which means no matter how real it seems, it’s still just a game. I believe he had one story left to tell… a story with real stakes, real violence… you could say I’m here to honor his legacy.”
Okay, there’s a lot revealed right there. Will you bear with me for one more pin? Let’s get through this amazing next scene with Cullen and Dr. Ford — it’s a real showstopper, so to speak — and then we’re going to assemble all these new clues, along with one more we’re about to get…
FINALLY: The Threat Matrix