Summary: In the past, Delos works towards making an eternal-living host for Jim Delos and William is in charge, but the process isn't going smoothly as Delos' mind is rejecting his new body. The process goes on for several decades without success and William eventually abandons the project. In the present, William and Lawrence run into a group of hosts who capture them. William kills everyone and breaks free before running into his daughter. Bernard is taken to Elsie and they find a facility. Inside the facility they find what remains of Delos and put him out of his misery.
The Good: This was a very good episode, one of the best in the whole series. It shouldn't be a surprise that when you take away pointless confusion and mystery and provide an easy-to-follow narrative with legitimate resonance it improves the quality of the story begin told. That is exactly what happened here, as the episode focused on 3 stories with actual relevance and focus which were easy to follow and understand.
The first story is the one in flashbacks and I think it is the most powerful and thought-provoking one. In this storyline we get to see Mr. Delos on his quest for immortality, which is surely what William had tempted him with back in "Reunion". Delos has become a host and William is the one who is working to turn him into a fully-working and immortal being. I really love the way that these scenes were executed. At first there is no background on the story whatsoever as we get a Lost-esque sequence of Delos staying in his chamber until he is visited by William. We learn a few things here and there are several clues of things not being what they seem with Delos exhibiting some strange ticks. Clearly he is either sick in some way or is a host. The scene is executed wonderfully, highlighting some important clues and bits of information and the following two scenes do a terrific job of explaining everything and bringing very real emotional stakes to the episode.
The emotion was brought on by our perception of Delos' situation. It is especially poignant with William's final visit as we understand just how long Delos has been waiting to go free. Even though he seems to be a bad person, our natural instinct wants to see him be free from confinement and to overcome his shackles and bugs. But that never happens and we instead bear witness as William, obviously turned cold, tears him apart metaphorically and reveals to him that his entire family has died while he awaits his return to the world. It's a sad scene and a fantastic examination of men's fears of death and their ability to overcome it; a prevalent theme in this episode. Furthermore, the storyline is aided by some terrific acting by Peter Mullan, who brings Delos' personality to life and delivers an absolute cracker of a performance to make us sympathize with this "piece of shit" as William describes him.
Speaking of William, I love what has been done with his character. Last season his transformation was very abrupt, but this season is thankfully allowing us to understand him more. Instead of being a murderous psycho, we can now understand him a little more as we see his goals and relationship with Delos. This aids his current storyline as William doesn't seem quite so empty anymore, and we can now understand his aspirations to discover more about himself and the world, something which has always fueled his character that we can now understand more than ever. While his storyline has flaws (see: The Bad), it is fairly entertaining and has a nice twist at the end.
The final storyline is with Bernard and Elsie and I think that works very nicely. I'm enjoying the dynamic of their relationship and I think that the show should keep focus on them to add some development. Their relationship has a neat and fresh feeling as we get to follow Elsie getting used to the fact that Bernard is a host, completely changing how their relationship was in the last season. I really enjoyed seeing them work their way through the facility as the mystery continued to expand about what was really happening. Bernard's flashbacks are also very interesting and were shot superbly with glorious transitions and angles. The cinematography in this episode was truly special and I believe that this is by far the best-looking episode of Westworld yet.
The climax of the episode where we got to see current-day Delos was fantastic. The scene was shot like an exciting high-budget horror film and had genuine tension to it, while also serving as a sad reveal of what Delos' fate was. I was impressed with the final monologue from Delos as well. I'm not yet sure what to make of his final lines, but they will surely be fascinating to try to analyze to decipher what point Delos is trying to make.
The Bad: The present-William storyline is still tough to get into because it feels too familiar and generic. There hasn't been much change to how his storyline works with some fun action, but there is hardly anything fascinating with these scenes anymore. While there is thankfully more tension since William can actually die and get hurt now, it's still hard to care much for these scenes with many more interesting storylines going on around the park.
The Unknown: What disease killed Mr. Delos? Could it be returning soon? Also has Delos, the company, tried to make any other people immortal? Could Mr. Delos have just been a prototype? The lab he was in had a 12 on the door. Does that mean there are many more of these? Could Mr. Delos not have been he first attempt at doing this?
What are the memories that Bernard had? Why did he kill everything in the facility? What was his role in what was being done to Delos? Was he aware? How can he control the drone hosts? What was he creating in that facility?
Is Ford's influence still controlling everything? Did Ford have Clementine bring Bernard to Elsie? What is his end goal for William? What does he mean by saying that forward is the wrong direction?
How is Emily in the park? How long has se gone there? What is her relationship with William like?
W are the Ghost Nation's motives? Do they protect humans? They seem to capture them and let them go. Are they under Ford's orders? Or somebody else's?
Best Moment: William revealing to Delos that his old life is gone and that he is better off dead is a very sad and powerful moment. Quite possibly my favourite Westworld scene so far.
Character of the Episode: Delos.
Conclusion: This was a great episode which was much more organized than most episodes. There were satisfying answers and powerful storytelling, making this one of the show's best instalments.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.