There’s been a bit of criticism circulating about Westworld’s representation of LGBT sexuality, or stated lack thereof. While the backlash is fair, a lot of it completely blankets over Logan, who is canonically queer.
The concern is that interesting queer characters like Elsie and “what’s-her-name” from episode 3 disappear from the storyline when they’ve served their “purpose,” while the others are perverted assholes, like that skeezy employee who jacks off in front of Hector before getting murdered in the season finale.
A recent interview suggests that William didn’t kill Logan at the end of season one of Westworld. This doesn’t guarantee he’ll be back next season, but it would be great if he returned, because of his status as a queer character. Logan, played by Ben Barnes, is a main supporting character in the first season. The first time we see him enter the titular Westworld, he leaves arm-in-arm with two hosts (one male and one female), and his ensuing orgy features two women and a man. It’s not clear whether he’s bisexual or pansexual, but either way he’s part of an underrepresented group in LGBT representation on television. According to GLAAD, only 8% of 2015-16’s LGBT characters on TV were bisexual men.
Of course, there are some things that can be criticized about Logan’s bisexual/pansexual portrayal. For example, as noted by GLAAD, bisexual characters on TV are often portrayed as lacking a sense of morality, with their sexual preference morphed into perversion. The idea is if they have the potential to want multiple people, they must want all of them all the time. That’s definitely a problem with Logan’s character, whose initial characteristic was that he wanted to kill or fuck everything.
There’s also the problem of a character’s bisexuality being addressed once and then ignored on television, which we see happen with Logan. After that initial introduction in episode 2, we mostly see him cavorting with women for the rest of the season, even assaulting Dolores to spite William. Of course, just because Logan is queer doesn’t mean he would always want both women and men at all times. But we never see him solely with a man, we never even see him fuck one; you’d expect either or both of those things to happen if he’s coded as so sexually open.
However, there’s also something to be said about how Logan’s character starts versus how he ends. As the series progressed, we began to see Logan in a different light. Sure, he liked to kill and fuck everything in Westworld, but he did it because he saw it as a game. His out-of-character moments with William were honest, heartfelt, and sincere, and he seemed genuinely interested in the business ventures of his company, Delos. It was Logan’s idea to increase investments in the park in the first place.
Logan’s “true self” just wanted to have fun, even if it sometimes turned his queer identity into glorified hedonism. On the other hand, William’s “true self” emerged as a homicidal maniac, but it wasn’t restricted to the park. It bled into his real-world treatment of Logan, his disastrous marriage to Logan’s sister, and his demolished relationship with his daughter.
According to Jimmi Simpson, who played young William on the show, Logan probably wasn’t blown up by his horse when William sent him riding off into the distance, naked and bordering insanity. It looks more like William just wanted another piece of proof that would make Logan look stupid, ensuring that he could take over the company.
“[William’s] going to send him off, he’ll get lost in the park, and it’s just one more thing he has done that’s not top-tier while they were on their stay,” Simpson said.
That means Logan could return next season, although he’s probably much worse for wear after the way William treated him. Let’s hope so, because Logan is a character worth exploring further, and his return could encourage more (and hopefully better) LGBT representation on the future of Westworld.
Update: Changed “confirms” to “suggests,” as Logan’s status hasn’t been officially confirmed by the showrunners or HBO. Also, restructured piece and added spoilers tag.