The latest episode of Westworld was a bit of a sad one. Since the majority of this week’s episode focused on William, lets sift through the other few minor happenings, and one big one, before touching on the Man in Black.
First and foremost, Maeve gets another update courtesy of Ford. Thanks to Bernard, Ford was able to be close enough to Maeve that he was able to have a touching moment with his favorite creation. Her drive to save her child resonated with him so much he felt the need to return the favor. By giving her every possible program, app, or whatever you’d like to call it, Maeve is now ready to blend in and assimilate into the real world; assuming she can escape that is. Honestly though, at this point, she really is the one that deserves a win most here.
What’s scary is what Agent Hale did to Clementine and how this new update will affect, if at all, Maeve when the two inevitably come face to face. Basically, by replicating the code that was in Maeve, they weaponized Clementine. By barely doing much of anything, other than being in close proximity to other hosts, Clementine can now turn hosts into blood-crazed murderers. Obviously, this is Delos’ way of getting the park under control, by having the hosts take each other out. What will be interesting to see is what happens when Clementine and Maeve come into contact with the other. Will Ford’s latest update give Maeve the upper hand or will Clementine over power her through sheer force of numbers?
Moving onto Bernard.
Another story arc that doesn’t get enough time to shine, but enough time to reiterate what we’ve already known for weeks. In an odd turn of events, the show decided to nonchalantly slip in just what exactly lies at the heart of the Valley Beyond. I mean, I’m glad they finally spilled, but at the same time it didn’t need to happen the way it did. The Valley Beyond up until now has been this place of mysticism, a place where everyone is heading but no one knows for sure what they’ll find. Well, thanks to Bernard we now know exactly whats there, which is fine, but for those not paying attention, it probably passed them by without anyone looking twice.
Yes, within the Valley Beyond, lies “the Forge”. The Forge is apparently the culmination of Ford’s, William’s, and Delos’ work. Every single park-goer that has had their brains mapped but the Delos Corporation has been uploaded and stored within the Forge. While that is interesting or intriguing the show didn’t really do a good job in the way it was revealed. Bernard just casually drops this bombshell on Elsie like it’s no big deal. I’m not sure if HBO didn’t have faith in its viewers to put two and two together when all of our characters inevitably end up there but we yet again end up beating a dead horse with information most of us have known for weeks. Obviously we didn’t know what was at the heart of the Valley Beyond, but we knew what Delos was doing to anyone that entered the park.
And that’s another thing! William reveals to his daughter Grace that the way they mapped everyone’s consciousness was through some built-in contraption in the hats that the guests wore. HOWEVER, not everyone wears hats in Westworld. Yes, cowboy hats are cool and obviously part of the times, but there are dozens of scenes where not every park-goer is rocking a sweet 10 gallon hat. I highly doubt the Delos Corp was focused on mapping only male brains, so as of right now there is a bit of a plot hole as to how they went about collecting the data on everyone else. Maybe we’re just meant to go along with it and accept it as fact, but it seems a little half-assed if you ask me.
We will get back to William and Grace in a moment though. First we need to address the big departure of this weeks episode. Poor, poor Teddy.
Dolores has sadly changed for the worse over the course of this season. Shes ruthlessly cut down anyone that has stood in her way. While she refused to do that to Teddy, she did “mold” him into someone who was better suited for surviving the harsh realities of Westworld. What she failed to do, probably because her ego got in the way, was do it in a way that Teddy wouldn’t be able to remember. He was conscious when she made him a “stronger” person and because he remembers the person he used to be, the change has fucked with him, for lack of a better word. Since the change, we’ve seen his compassionate side fade in and out, mainly when it came to killing off stragglers, and instead letting them escape. Sadly though, Teddy killed more people than he cared to and because of that, he ends up taking his own life. He made sure to let Dolores know that this was because of her, because of what she made him do. Since a few episodes prior, we saw the back ups for all the hosts being destroyed, I think it is safe to say that we won’t be seeing Teddy return in any way.
Finally, we arrive back at William. The majority of this weeks episode revolves around him and his dark nature that we have seen time and time again over the course of two seasons. He’s become so enveloped in the park that he literally can’t discern who is real and who isn’t. This is demonstrated more clearly than ever when he kills Grace because he refuses to believe she is anything other than another one of Ford’s distractions. He’s become so consumed by the park and everything in it that he kills her and the rescue party without thinking twice. Vanishing Point does a good job of correlating the relationship between William and his wife to that of Dolores and Teddy.
William reveals to his wife that everything she thought he was is in fact true. The sad thing is no one believes her. She can see the monster hiding within him, and her suspicions are all but confirmed when she sees his file from the park. The only way to escape his depravity is by taking her own life. William and Dolores both force the ones they love to kill themselves because they can’t accept or be ok with the people the two have become.
What’s more is that William is even questioning his own humanity by the end of this episode. Cutting into his arm in search of wires and electronics that would prove he wasn’t to blame for his actions. It’s a sick, sad attempt for him to cope with the sins he’s committed. Obviously, it would be much easier to live with what he’s done if he could place the blame on someone pulling the strings instead of his own twisted mind telling him to pull the trigger. Perhaps this is what Ford intended for him all along. During one of his flashbacks we see him tell Ford “no more games”, after he walks away Ford states that there is one more game to be played. We all know the type of person that William is. If Ford has been compiling data on everyone that goes into the park, it’s obvious that he is well aware of the type of person William is as well. It wouldn’t be too hard to believe that this last game of his would be to drive William to this point of insanity where he ends up questioning his own humanity. As twisted as it may be, it’s a very Ford-thing to do.
While this episode primarily focused it’s time making sure we all knew what was going on leading into the finale, it wasn’t without its memorable moments. And just like that there is only one episode remaining this season, and still SO MANY unanswered questions.