During tonight’s episode of Westworld, we learn more about James Delos, the founder of the company that has kept the Westworld park afloat all these years. This post has spoilers for Season 2 Episode 2, “Reunion.”
We first see James “Jim” Delos, Logan Delos’ father, when he is accompanying a young William through the Westworld park. Interestingly, James is dressed in black, similarly to how we see older William. He is Logan’s father and William’s father-in-law, and has been a background character that we knew about but never saw on the TV series up until now.
Delos Inc. had already invested in Westworld before this scene, thanks to the pitch that was made to Logan years earlier, long before Logan ever took young William to the park. But now, young William is pitching to Daddy Delos (James Delos), seeking greater investments. James Delos has never been to the park before and was never really interested in this facet of Logan’s investment because he’s “interested in reality, not fantasy.”
But William convinces him that there is far more to this park than meets the eye. Half of a company’s marketing budget goes into trying to figure out what people want. This is the only place where you can see who people really are.
So here, it appears we might be seeing the genesis of the “real purpose” of Westworld, as brought about by a new investment from James Delos at William’s suggestion. Interestingly, some fans watching this episode have commented that William’s pitch reminds them a bit of Facebook and Zuckerberg “on steroids.” Facebook is a fun place that people visit, but it’s real moneymaking potential comes from advertisers, who can learn what people like and are really interested in based on what they do on Facebook. Considering this episode was filmed long before Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before Congress, it almost feels a bit prescient.
This scene may be the moment when Ford’s vision for the park was perverted, thanks to William’s pitch to Daddy Delos. Could this also be the genesis of the reason why Delos was storing guest’s DNA and experiences, as Bernard observed to Charlotte in the premiere?
Back back to James Delos. We know a little more about him than was revealed in this scene. He’s featured on Delos’ website with a photo and short bio. His bio reads: “Decades ago, a man had an idea as old as human ambition itself, that the only limit to progress is imagination. The ability to see a better world. Delos Inc. was formed from that goal and nothing else, because James had nothing else. He used to joke that where he grew up, having dreams was like fighting gravity. But he never lost faith that his dream could take off, and now Delos is more than a name. It’s a legacy. We think of gravity as an unstoppable force, but really, it’s the curvature of the fabric of our universe. It’s our environment, our natural guard rails. James rode along its skews and contours and we haven’t slowed down since, rolling past physical limitations with technologies that reach people in every corner of the world.”
We also know that James Delos had two children: Logan and Juliet, William’s wife. James was only mentioned by William in Season 1. This episode is the first time we actually saw him.
James Delos is played by actor Peter Mullan. Mullan is originally from Scotland and was the third youngest of eight children. His credits before Westworld include Ozark, Quarry, Mum, Top of the Lake, The Fear, The Fixer, Red Riding, Children of Men (Syd), Shoebox Zoo, and much more.