Stay on target
Westworld has one more episode left after last night. You can tell we’re getting close to a finale with the way the show keeps doling out the twists. Bernard is interviewing Maeve about the incident at the end of last week’s episode and finds the changes that have been made to her code. As he’s about to call for help, she grabs his hand and tells him she’s figured out that he’s also a host. When she finds he doesn’t know his true nature, she uses her new privileges to freeze him. She makes Bernard clear her for deployment back into the park and sends him off to find the truth about what he is.
Bernard confronts Dr. Ford and demands access to his history. He says he’s figured out that Arnold built the most elegant bits of his code. He says that it’s possible that Arnold had a different purpose in mind for the hosts and that’s why Ford killed him. Bernard reveals he’s reanimated the Clementine host that can kill humans and has it hold Ford at gunpoint. Ford gives Bernard access to all his memories. We find out that he’s the one who attacked Elsie in the abandoned theater. At Bernard’s request, Ford sends him further and further back into his memories.
Jeffrey Wright as Bernard (Credit: John P. Johnson/HBO)
William and Dolores have been captured by Logan and the confederados. William tells Logan that Dolores has desires and memories. He says it’s cruel to keep her in the park since she’s essentially a living creature. He wants Logan to speak with his contacts at the park about getting her out. Dolores says she doesn’t want out. After all, if it’s so great in the outside world, why do people keep visiting hers.
Logan tries to convince William that Dolores isn’t real by cutting her stomach open, revealing the mechanical bits inside. Dolores falls to the ground and tells Logan that Arnold created the world to be a beautiful place and people like him ruin it. She grabs a knife and slices Logan across the face. She then grabs a gun and shoots a few confederados. William tells her to run, promising to catch up with her. When she’s gone, he tells Logan that he was right. That he understands Dolores was never really alive. Logan cuts William free and hugs him, celebrating the fact that they will be brothers.
Logan wakes up the next morning to find all the confederados have been killed and torn apart. He finds William sitting alone among the corpses. William says he’s finally figured out how to play the game. He holds the knife to Logan’s throat and orders him to help find Dolores.
Meanwhile, Teddy and The Man in Black are still tied up in the custody of the woman who turned out to be working for Wyatt. Teddy tells the story of how he and Wyatt shot up a town. The woman tells him to remember it again, and he realizes that he acted alone. The woman says when Wyatt comes back, Teddy will be at his side. She also says that Teddy isn’t ready for that, but will be in another life. She stabs him before telling The Man in Black that the maze isn’t for him and knocking him out.
When he comes to, he has a rope around his neck attached to a horse. After he manages to cut himself free, Charlotte interrupts his roleplay. It turns out he’s a member of the board and Charlotte wants his vote to cut Ford out of the park. He agrees since it’s not Ford’s game he’s interested in playing. It’s Arnold’s.
Evan Rachel Wood as Dolores (Credit: John P. Johnson/HBO)
Dolores finds the center of the maze inside a church. As she enters, she’s suddenly wearing a blue dress and the pews are filled with hosts hearing messages from Arnold. She steps into the confession booth, which turns out to be an elevator to an old host workshop. Corpses of hosts are strewn about the place, but Dolores starts having flashbacks. It would appear she’s been here before. She wears the blue dress in the past and speaks to the memory of Arnold. It’s at this point Ford shows Bernard his earliest memory, and we learn that Bernard was designed exactly in Arnold’s image. Bernard, for all intents and purposes, is Arnold. Dolores asks Arnold to help her. Arnold says she knows why he can’t. Dolores remembers that she killed Arnold. After she takes the elevator back up to the church, she finds it’s empty. The doors open and she’s confronted by The Man in Black.
Bernard, now knowing everything about who he is, threatens to reactivate the decommissioned hosts. Ford says they won’t listen to him. To them, he is the bane of their existence. Ford says Bernard invented new ways to control the hosts that he had to steal. Ford asks Bernard once more to let him reset his memories. Bernard refuses and tells Clementine to shoot. She does not and Ford reveals he used the same backdoor that Bernard installed to control Clementine. He then takes the gun, gives it to Bernard and forces him to commit suicide.
Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Robert Ford. (Credit: John P. Johnson/HBO)
With only one episode left in the first season, Westworld is starting to show more of its hand. There are many fans out there still convinced that the story happens in two timelines and that William eventually becomes The Man in Black. This episode seemed to provide further hints towards that being the case, but I still don’t buy it. After all, she can use guns while she is with William and her memory of the Man in Black is what allowed her to start using them. Also, if the twist turns out to be “Ha, we tricked you with editing,” that would be immensely disappointing. Of course, we now know Dolores has killed before, but that wasn’t necessarily with a gun.
Conspiracy theories aside, Westworld continues to get better as it gets closer to its first season finale. Since they don’t have to build anticipation for a twist as much, there’s less meandering around in the desert and more action. The twists are even handled well. Whether or not you called Bernard being modeled after Arnold, the reveal was still presented in a way that caught us all off guard. That was partially accomplished by pairing it with the reveal that Dolores had been to the center of the maze before and that she was the one who killed Arnold. We’ll have to wait one more week to see what that means for her, William and The Man in Black. Hopefully, we also get some kind of resolution for Maeve’s story. She disappointingly didn’t have much to do this episode, other than recruit an outlaw for her eventual escape. Whether that happens this season or not, next week’s finale has a lot of loose ends to connect.