Just finished watching the show. First, let me say wowwww that was an amazing show!!! Definitely worth storyforming to appreciate the meaning behind it better.
Anyway I was diligently staying away from this thread afraid of spoilers, and was worried I would miss out on the fun, but it seems there is still plenty of work to do!
Has everyone watched the whole season 1? Definitely we need full knowledge of the whole story to analyze.
Anyway, here's my take the throughlines:
- OS: The park's control of the hosts, and the hosts' struggle to break free of that. (I think other stuff going on in the park, the board of directors' plan to oust Ford, Ford pushing back, etc. fits in here too.)
- MC 1: Dolores struggles with true consciousness.
- MC 2: Bernard struggles with his own awakening, realizing his memories of his son are false, etc.
- Main IC: Ford and all his past wrongs -- how he treated his old friend Arnold, opening the park despite objections, how the hosts have been treated all these years. And what he's now doing to make up for that.
- IC 2: The Man In Black / William -- changed by the "game" of Westworld, he wants to experience something new and profound, the deeper game.
- RS 1: Bernard & Ford -- managing the park together, appreciating what they are to each other (the good, the bad and the ugly)
- RS 2: Dolores & William -- love that's turned to abuse
- RS 3: Dolores & Ford -- a relationship felt through the abuse of the park itself
I think Maeve may temporarily take on the MC throughline, but I see her more as an OS character.
I don't agree with Arnold being an MC, since we never see the actual Arnold, except as figments of Dolores's imagination. Even in her real flashbacks (real memories) he's in another room and not seen. The MC has to be someone you can experience their personal issues from their point of view, you almost feel like you're them in a way. Bernard on the other hand feels like an MC, because of the amount of screen time that's "in his head". And the whole thing with his son really hurts, and hurts again when you find out it's not real. Same with Dolores, especially the questioning sessions when she is hiding her awakened consciousness, or when her father is taken from her, you feel like you're in her shoes.
I'm not sure there are multiple OS's, as everything in the Overall Story seems to fit in one. (Although, there must be a Series OS, because you could totally feel that next signpost coming on at the end!)