SOME SPOILERS AHEAD.
With this episode it feels likes the show has gained a great deal of forward momentum and that everything that it has been building to so far will finally be paid off, and soon. In fact, for one of the characters, they’ve already reached their goal. And now that a significant number of the cast has gathered in one place – the Mesa Hub – and judging from the trailer for the next episode, some serious stuff is about to go down.
Oh how I would have loved to see the all out battle between Maeve and company and the Shogun’s forces. That would have been epic. Her Shogun World adventure wrapped up very nicely, though bittersweet. Of course we couldn’t leave Shogun World without a sword fight and what a lovely one we got at that. The aforementioned battle would have taken away from this fight had it happened.
Maeve continues to demonstrate why she is the best character this season by actively giving the hosts around her a choice, rather than forcing her will upon them. Despite wanting – and needing – Musashi to win the fight she didn’t use her connection to the mesh network to make that happen. She let him take his fate into his own hands. It’s a shame that he and Akane chose to stay behind rather than continue on with Maeve. I would have loved to see more of them in the series and Musashi’s skill as a swordsman would have been so useful.
It didn’t occur to me that Maeve might just find Hannah with another host as her mother, until she left the others in the graveyard. It also makes sense that Hannah doesn’t recognise her anymore. It’s something she should have considered as well. After all, she knows how the park works.
We didn’t see what happened to Maeve 2.0 when Ghost Nation attacked. She could well be dead. In which case, what does Maeve do with Hannah? Given how she’s been so far, she wouldn’t make her come with her. I could see Maeve sitting out the rest of the season (or the show) and saying there with Hannah. It would be a good way to bench her now that she’s kind of overpowered, but I think the writers have much bigger plans for her and aren’t done with her just yet. If Maeve 2.0 is alive however, I think Maeve would leave Hannah with her because she is the mother that she knows now.
At some point the show needs to explain what is up with Ghost Nation. They’re a little too mysterious and ethereal. We likely won’t find out until a significant character (Stubbs doesn’t count) joins them and that will probably be Maeve. One of them did ask her to go with them and said that they are meant for the same path. I wonder if that is why they’d attacked her home before or if that’s just part of their narrative. Although, I’ve always gotten the feeling that the Ghost Nation hosts are awake and have been for a very long time and have their own agenda amidst everything that is going on in Westworld.
The Man in Black
Someone else having daughter issues right now is The Man in Black. Whereas Maeve went out in search of her daughter, his daughter went out in search of him. Which did explain why she was in the parks when it seemed like she really hated them. I hadn’t considered that she might just be a host until he assumed that she was. I do think that she is a real person, although her partner in The Raj didn’t test her to see if she was human.
Their sitting around the fire and talking was the most touching scene that The Man in Black has had so far. Emily brought out so much of his humanity and made me really feel sympathy for him. Before their conversation I didn’t think that he much cared for his wife or felt responsible for and guilty about her suicide. It was nice to see that Emily does care about him, wants to help/save him and that he has someone out there in the real world. But the pull of the game was too strong for him to resist.
As much as I wanted him to go home with her, I knew that he wouldn’t. I believe that he wanted to, but unlike his search for the maze, his search for the door is one that has greater personal meaning and is a journey that he needs to complete. He recognises that.
Maybe reprogramming Teddy wasn’t the best of ideas on Dolores’ part. Because the new Teddy is clearly very upset with her about it and has no qualms about making his resentment absolutely clear. He even looks at Dolores like he hates her. The best thing about the new Teddy is how incredibly shady he is. With every verbal exchange between them and every action he took, she seemed to have been regretting reprogramming him all the more. He’s pretty much out of her control now. Just last week I thought that she would kill him, now I think that he will kill her.
Using a train as a battering ram was…inventive and very much unexpected. It’s unclear to me whether the section of the train that was rammed into the entrance/exit of Mesa was the section with Dolores and company on it or the one with the ejected Delos technician. They do appear perfectly fine and not damaged in the next episode’s preview so I am inclined to believe it was the latter, especially when the fact that Teddy gave him a gun to kill himself is considered.
I wasn’t at all surprised to see Robert in the cradle. From the moment that Elsie said that it was in systems it should not have been and that it was actively resisting the hack attempts I knew that it was him. How else could you explain his still controlling Westworld and speaking to The Man in Black through the hosts well after his death? Furthermore, who else would resist Delos seizing control of the park? The only other option would have been Bernard, but for that to happen his mind would have had to be in the Cradle and it obviously was not.
I think that maybe the host/human brain that Bernarnold picked up may have been Robert’s and that he put it into the Cradle. After all, Bernarnold was remembering his retrieval of it right before he got into the data extracting machine.
The show is inching ever closer to the present timeline. By then, the Cradle had been destroyed. The question is now; who destroyed it? Bernarnold and Elsie are in the Cradle at present, but I can’t see them destroying it. Bernarnold would have to discover something pretty bad while he’s inside of it for them to that. Dolores and company are there so it could be destroyed in their attack on Mesa, perhaps intentionally; Dolores does now far more about the park, it’s purpose and who knows what else. Her mission in going there, however, is to rescue her father and doesn’t seem to have anything to do with her war. Not directly at least.
Interestingly, the aspect ratio for the closing scene was the same as that for the opening scene, in which Dolores was giving Bernarnold a fidelity test. I do believe that the closing scene took place within the Cradle’s simulation, but since the Cradle is extracting the data out of Bernard’s head it could be a memory as well. If that is the case then it would mean that the opening scene was also a memory of his.
If the opening scene takes place within the Cradle then it’s a simulation. Given that Dolores is conducting the same test that William did on the human/host hybrid version of James Delos, it could also take place in the real world just before the present timeline and mean hat what we saw was a human/host hybrid of Arnold and the Dolores created him.
Any of those scenarios raise a flurry of questions as to what that opening scene meant. Far too many to articulate here. With four episodes – meaning four weeks – left for this season, hopefully all of our questions are answered sooner rather than later.
- The couldn’t just paralyse Peter? Damn?
- I thought Akane had stabbed herself.
- Did they actually recreate Mt. Fuji in the park or is that a projection?
- Of course Sizemore bailed. I don’t blame him, though.
Westworld airs Sundays at 9 on HBO.