Summary: In the future, Stubbs is expecting Strand to kill him and Bernard. Strand and Charlotte discover that Bernard is a host with multiple copies of himself. Ford implants himself into Bernard’s conscience to ensure he follows instructions. Maeve encounters William and nearly kills him with Lawrence’s help. Sizemore shows up with Delos and they shoot and take Maeve. William escapes. Delos is overrun by Dolores’ group and only Charlotte and Stubbs escape. Angela blows up the cradle.
The Good: The first thing I want to mention is the soundtrack. It has been stellar all season but it really stood out in this episode for me. The music adds so much every time and I absolutely adore the remixes they have done with their central music themes. This has to be amongst the best soundtracks I have ever heard in a TV show.
The return of Ford was just as awesome as expected. We got some classy speeches from Anthony Hopkins who was superb as usual and it was fantastic to hear Ford explaining more, which is a great throwback to season 1. Ford’s increased role is great since Hopkins has a massive screen presence and I’m excited to see what his return adds into the series. Furthermore, I loved the information he gave us. We finally understand the extent of Delos’ goals and we also have a good idea of the importance that Abernathy had for Delos and why he was such a big deal. Ford giving exposition is so much more enjoyable than regular exposition and that made these reveals work really well.
Speaking of reveals, the Bernard twist at the beginning was awesome and opens up a lot of potential directions for the story to go (see: The Unknown). This season has done a better job of being enjoyable to watch while still being enjoyable to theorize.
I loved the thematic exploration in this episode. There was a thorough examination of why the hosts were created and what the goals were in creating them. I thought that the ideas of humans wishing to become hosts was a fascinating concept to examine, and it adds a lot to the exposition being given when there is a genuine philosophical question being explored. The show has been at its best this season when exploring these philosophical questions, so I’m glad to see it continue.
I enjoyed the more action-packed parts of the episode for the most part. I loved Dolores confronting Charlotte and they had some really good dialogue together. It was nicely cathartic to see Charlotte get the smirk wiped off her face. Tessa Thompson has been great at making Charlotte a hateable character and I hope that we continue to get scenes like that in the future to pay off of Charlotte’s disgusting nature. I thought that Dolores reuniting with her father was genuinely touching once more as they continue to make me buy into this fake relationship which I have hardly seen. The acting is really commendable here.
The Maeve and William storyline was outstanding. It was a huge moment and provided great pay-off for the storylines of Maeve and Lawrence as they finally exacted some revenge on the horrors that William committed, the scene was also genuinely tense and exciting as 5ere was genuine fear that William may die here, because it would fit his character to be killed by hosts and would tell a good story. I was consistently worried about his life, which is a testament to how much I have come to care for William after his character was explored in the last episode. I thought the conclusion was exciting too and didn’t feel anticlimactic due to the surprise of Lawrence and Maeve being shot. It was also earned because there was set up to Sizemore betraying Maeve, which helped this feel like an organic development and not a forced one.
I really liked Sizemore in this episode. It’s nice to see that he genuinely cares for Maeve but is still cowardly enough to not do much to help her. However it does seem possible that he redeems himself isn’t he next episode.
The fake waterboarding of Bernard was a nice touch which adds to the world a little more.
The Bad: The defence of Abernathy unfortunately lacked all tension. While the Maeve and William scene exceeded hugely in tension, this one failed. That’s because we already know the result. We know Dolores takes Abernathy’s key somewhere, and we know that Bernard, Stubbs and Charlotte all survive. That’s unfortunate because there is serious potential for there to be genuine tension here if we didn’t know what would happen in the future.
The train explosion from the last episode still confuses me. I don't understand how that explosion let Dolores and the group out of Westworld and it was never explained. Furthermore, isn't it a huge safety hazard to have a train track go to a place where the train coulf explode, leading to several casualties? No park would allow this to exist. Also, how did the hosts survive the explosion? They aren't invulnerable, and they certainly aren't invulnerable to explosions. We even saw Angela die in an explosion later in the episode, proving that hosts are susceptible to explosions. I really wish the show would tell us what needs to be done to kill a host, because it's inconsistent right now and that takes away from my engagement. I can't feel tension for the hosts' lives if I don't know that their lives are even in danger to begin with.
I'm going to go back to Angela now and her death. That scene was the one truly terrible scene in this episode. The set up was awful. Angela apparently went to the cradle with no plan to destroy it and essentially got lucky that some random guard followed her abd didn't kill her on the spot. Couldn't she have just picked a grenade off some dead guy in tge room she was in before? Her actual plan was just contrived and nonsensical. Furthermore, I am astounded by the level of stupidity required for that guard who didn't kill Angela and let her seducr him. Seriously? His life is in danger! Nobody would go for an outside chance to get laid over their own life. The writing was sloppy and the scene feels like it only exists to give Angela a dramatic death, and a really forced one at that.
There were a few cheesy moments here. The use of slow-mo early on was weak, as was the convenient last second escape for Charlotte who came too close to death. The show has usually done a good job to avoid clichés, so it's disappointing to see a few big ones in this episode, including the Angela death scene.
Once again Ford's motives are extremely murky and that frustrates me. He would be even more fascinating as a character if we understood what he was doing, but the show continues to force him to be mysterious and creepy. Honestly, Anthony Hopkins' terrific performance is probably the only reason I think Ford is an asset to the series. If not for that, he would be a liability with his confusing motives and ideals which only take away from the story. I hope to learn more about his goals soon and I hope that his motives aren't saved for shock value like last season.
There were a few flaws in the Maeve/William confrontation. For one, it's really hard to buy William surviving his wounds. But if he dies now, it will feel really unsatisfying, so the writers have put themselves in a hole. I also didn't like the use of flashbacks to remind us of William and Maeve's history. We can understand the weight of the moment just fine without the flashback.
The Unknown: What are Strand's objectives? What does he plan to do with Stubbs and Bernard?
What is the significance of the multiple Bernards? Will that come into play later? Could the present Bernard be different from the future one?
Where did Dolores leave the control unit? Is it really in the valley beyond or was Bernard lying? Speaking of which, what is the valley beyond? Where is it and what is the purpose of it?
Where were Hector, Felix, Sylvester and Armistice in this episode?
Will William survive his wounds? Will Emily find him? What is his next move?
Best Moment: The confrontation between Maeve and William was tense, exciting and cathartic. I think it was the best executed part of this episode
Character of the Episode: Maeve.
Conclusion: This episode was exciting and packed with action, but a lot of flaws prevent this from being amongst the very best quality Westworld has ever produced. But this episode is still very good and delivered on my expectations.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.