Leading up to the start of the second season of HBO’s hit sci-fi drama Westworld, we’re taking a look at the first season of the exceptional show. We’re going to dive into some Major Spoilers, so be warned now, because we’ve got a lot to talk about.
After focusing heavily on activities within the park the last two episodes, Episode 6 heads sublevel for some major developments. After waking up in the park Maeve uses her wits to get a guest to kill her while having sex. She wakes up sublevel and Felix explains to her that every element of her being is programmed by the staff of the park. At first she tries to argue against it, but when she examines his tablet and sees her words being listed as she says them she malfunctions and freezes. Felix brings her back online and she convinces him to take her out to walk through the sublevels. We see the staff going through every element of preparing the hosts. Putting together pieces, filling them with blood, training them for their improvisations, designing new hosts, even preparing animals. On the design level she sees a video of her “dreams.” An old narrative where she lived with her daughter. This gets to her and they head back to Felix’s work room.
Sylvester ends up finding them together and she pretends to be offline at first. Sylvester thinks Felix is obsessed with Maeve and threatens to tell their bosses. Maeve holds a scalpel to Sylvester’s throat and threatens him. She convinces them to change her programming so that she’s smarter and doesn’t feel as much pain. But as they’re changing things they learn that someone with much higher privileges within the system has already tampered with her code, potentially being the reason she’s doing all of this.
Bernard and Elsie talk about the satellite she found in the strays arm. They’re not sure what information he was transmitting, but since he was an older host Bernard has to go to a lower level to check their old system. He finds that there’s five other hosts that may be transmitting information out. He tries to go to Theresa but she breaks up with him and he leaves, seemingly heartbroken. Elsie realizes that she can find the access point in the park where the information was being transmitted from, and she hopes by busting this open she can get a promotion, and better benefits. She comments that Theresa will be gone after all this, and he tries to defend her.
Bernard asks a security tech about the area the other satellite hosts are in and she say that no guests have been out there. He goes to examine the area and find the young Ford and host replicas of Ford’s family, including the family dog. He believes that the host version of Ford’s father is Arnold at first, as the picture he was shown of Arnold had a middle aged Ford standing next to the host. Since he couldn’t see Arnold in the picture, he would have assumed this was him. The father host attacks Bernard when he comes into their home, and doesn’t respond to his vocal queues. Ford stops him and explains that Arnold built these hosts as a gift to Ford. That they’re all first generation that he’s kept going all these years and they’re the last remaining hosts that Arnold made. He asks Bernard to let him have this, as they’re all he has.
Bernard leaves and begins looking into what hosts were made by Arnold that are still left within the park. As of now a total of 47. Which means Ford was either lying or somehow doesn’t know this. Elsie heads to an abandoned theatre in the park that seems to be used for storage. Bernard heads to talk to Theresa and tells her he’s found anomalies. Elsie finds the computer that was controlling the satellites and discovers it was accessed by Theresa’s login. She tells Bernard and he leaves Theresa’s before giving anything away fully, but stating he’s worried about Ford. Elsie tells Bernard that there’s a much bigger problem here, and that hosts have the potential to hurt guests. Bernard heads to his office and she continues looking at the computer. She hears something and looks around. She’s grabbed from behind in a stranglehold.
Inside the park Teddy and the Man in Black continue on their quest to find Wyatt and the maze. Teddy tells the Man in Black the legend of the maze is that a man lives in the center. A man who kept getting killed and coming back to life, he killed his oppressors and built a house at the center of the maze. A maze only he could get navigate. They head into a Union soldier camp, hoping to pass through on the way to find Wyatt. But Teddy is recognized as Wyatt’s accomplice and they capture the two of them and tie them up. They escape and begin taking out the soldiers. The Man in Black tries to run but Teddy decides to take them out with a big machine gun, as he knows they’ll only follow them.
Sizemore, the head of narrative, is relaxing at a pool in a hotel like area hidden in the mountains of the park. Theresa finds him and asks for his help cleaning up the mess Ford is making with his new narrative. He kind of shrugs her off and she leaves. He sees a beautiful woman walk up to the bar and begins flirting. He assumes she’s a guest and tries to impress her by saying he’s the head of narrative. He ends up telling her that the hosts can go off script thanks to the reveries that Ford puts in. The bartender cuts him off per Theresa and he gets pissed. The woman leave the bar, and he grabs a bottle and storms off. He ends up getting to the security center which is set up with a holographic model of the park, surrounded by work stations, and a second level balcony area. He stands on the balcony area and pees on the map, drunk off his ass. He tells Theresa that the park is his. And she introduces him to the Executive Director of the board for the park, Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson), the woman he met at the bar.
After Bernard leaves Ford with the host replicas of his family, Ford heads out to meet his younger self and finds that he has killed the family dog. He takes him to his office where he questions him about the dog. The young Ford host says that it killed a rabbit, and so a voice told him that the dog needed to be put out of his misery. That he had to kill it, as the dog was killer and would keep killing unless he killed the dog himself. The most interesting aspect of this is the fact that the young Ford host only did this after seeing the Man in Black kill Lawrence. Which begs the question, was he designed to have a violent reaction to seeing violence before him, or was it something else. After all, “these violent delights, have violent ends.”
The three biggest questions we’re left with at the end of this episode are, who changed Maeve’s code, what happened to Elsie, and why did young Ford kill the dog. We don’t exactly get answers to any of those. But we’re given clues moving forward. And I think as we look back at each episode in the back half of the season, some more things will come to light.
Keep following us as we finish our Recap of Season 1 of Westworld leading up to the premiere of Season 2 on HBO April 22nd.