[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Westworld, Season 4, Episode 6, “Fidelity.”]
Through flashbacks, viewers see how he was first introduced to Frankie, a.k.a. C (Aurora Perrineau) when she was a child. Recruited by the rebels for being an outlier, Jay held his newfound family at arm’s length after losing his own brother to the hosts. Despite the coldness between Jay and Frankie, they know each other well enough to realize when something’s off.
After visiting New York to extract an outlier, the rebels return to Westworld where Frankie is helping Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) repair Maeve (Thandiwe Newton). As Bernard continues to predict what futures lay ahead of them, he warns her that one of the individuals returning from the mission isn’t who she thinks they are. Ultimately, the individual who fell victim to a host attack initiated by Hale (Tessa Thompson) is Jay who is replaced by a host replica.
Frankie realizes it when she’s talking to the lookalike who says she’s like a sister to him, a concept the real Jay rejected in their past. Tipping her off to the reality that this isn’t her Jay, Frankie ends up in a gunfight with the host just as a radio signal sounds revealing her father Caleb’s (Aaron Paul) voice. Of course, it isn’t the real Caleb who was killed, but a host version who maintains the mindset of his human counterpart.
Below, Wu opens up about Jay’s heartbreaking journey, the revelations about his past, and what fans might be able to expect from the rest of the season.
We dig into Jay’s backstory in this episode. What was that like and is there more to uncover beyond what’s shown?
Daniel Wu: It was a surprise to find out what happens to my character because when I came in, I was just told that I was playing a human rebel leader who’s an outlier, and he’s fighting this resistance against the hosts. That was my singular goal in this character. And I knew the backstory that his brother was not an outlier and was taken and killed by the hosts. And so there’s this deep-seated anger towards the hosts and that’s driven him over the years. And that’s created the bond between him and C and this group of other outliers who are fighting this resistance.
When I found out that I become a host, I was like, “Whoa, that’s a huge character development for this guy.” It’s so ironic for a guy who hates hosts the most to become a host. It’s also an interesting parallel to what Aaron Paul’s character goes through in the same episode, which is he [discovers] that he’s a host, and then he has this big, huge existential crisis about it. Whereas the contrast with Jay’s character is he comes across his doppelganger host and then it’s over for him. There’s no contemplating, there’s no existentialism at all.
It’s interesting because in the dialogue that he has with Frankie later when he’s trying to kill her, the memories of Jay’s and her relationship come up when he’s belittling her for her and her father’s relationship. And so clearly this host has taken on Jay’s memories but twisted them in a different way. That was kind of fun to deal with.
We learn a little bit more about the coldness between Jay and C. Does that come from the loss of his brother or is it disdain for the hope she has about her father being alive?
I think it’s a little bit of both. They’re both dealing with the loss of a close person in their life, and one’s a father, one’s a brother, and they’re both processing it completely differently. She still has this hope that he’s still around. And after that many years, Jay is a little more pragmatic and going, “this is a pipe dream.” So even when he becomes a host, it rears its head, he even says chasing after your father is such a stupid idea. He’s dead. And so I think that shows the difference between the two characters. She’s hopeful and he’s not. His trauma with losing his brother has turned him into more of an angry person.
The rebel group’s main goal is to protect outliers, but is there something more holding Jay, C, and the rest of the group together?
Oh, yeah. Over the years they developed that relationship like a brother and sister, that’s why they can be short with each other like a dysfunctional family is. They can be rude to each other and still function, because they’re a group of people who are stuck together and there’s no escaping that. So I think what brings them together is the commonality that they are outliers, that they’re not affected by this mind control, but the fact that the time spent together and their similar goals make them a bonded group.
Does Jay see Frankie’s search for her father as a risk to their mission? Or is it more of an annoyance?
Yeah, the fact that she brings in two unknown people that could be hosts, that’s a huge thing for him and that’s why they get into it at the very beginning. This group of allies is so tightly protected and they have all this technology to protect themselves living out in the abandoned Westworld amusement park. They’ve taken all these measures and she brings in these two outside people that she doesn’t even know with the idea that they might know where her dad is. That annoys the crap out of him, because you are risking this whole group of humans’ safety and their livelihood over this pipe dream.
Taking into consideration, Frankie’s father Caleb, is there truth to what his host version says over the radio? Or would the real Jay scoff it off?
Human Jay would be skeptical for sure because going through the experience with his brother, [he believes] people don’t survive if they’re not an outlier. And so even though Caleb is the OG outlier, if he’s not been in contact for that many years, he’s clearly dead. If we are hearing a voice, this is the machine, this is the AI talking, right? This is not dad talking to you. The fact that you’re emotionally attached to this idea that he’s still alive is a dumb idea and it’s detrimental and dangerous to our group.
Should Frankie be on guard still? Just because she weeded out the host version of Jay doesn’t mean there aren’t other potential moles in the group, right?
Well, it depends on how much she takes what Bernard says as truth because Bernard tells her that there’s one person in there that’s not who they are pretending to be. And so maybe now that Jay’s gone and she believes Bernard’s multiple permutations of calculating what the possibilities could be, [she might] go, “Okay, that’s done, he’s dead now. We can move forward.” I think it’s going to continue on with her overall journey for the rest of the season.
Does host Jay’s presence at Westworld help tip Hale off as to where the rebels are hiding?
Yeah. That whole device for him was designed by Hale as he’s a mole. And so now they know where they are. [Jay] could be dead now, but he’s already gone back. They know exactly where in the park they’ve been staying. It does open up a can of worms for the rest of the rebels.
What should viewers anticipate from the upcoming episodes this season?
There’s definitely action ahead. That’s always expected, but I think what I like most about this season is that it’s kind of a reboot. It’s taking Season 1 and flipping it on its head. In terms of Season 1, you get to know these hosts, they suddenly become conscious and then they realize what the humans are doing to them. And how bad humans are. And so this is the reverse. This is now a result of what humans did to these hosts, and now the hosts are reacting back to us. I really like this theme, it’s this question of, what started this all? And it’s not the robots’ problem. Humans did this to themselves. And this is what I love about sci-fi is that it’s a warning to us. Be careful what we do for ourselves. What we think might be an advancement to our society could be a massive detriment.
Westworld, Season 4, New Episodes, Sundays, 9/8c, HBO and HBO Max