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.
This episode mostly focused on Bernard and William’s storylines, with a few interesting moments for Maeve. Maeve is brought down to the sublevels, and tries to manipulate Felix some more. When Clementine is brought down to be used in a ploy by Delos, the company the funds the park, Maeve asks Felix to help her find her. When they find her, Sylvester is lobotomizing her to prep her for cold storage. She decides after this that she’s done and she wants them to help her get out of the park. Sylvester tells her that everything, even her skin, is designed to keep her there. And she tells him in what may be one of the greatest lines of the entire series, “You think I’m scared of death. I’ve done it a million times. I’m fucking great at it. How many times have you died.” (I’ll never understand why Thandie Newton hasn’t gotten more accolades and recognition for this role. She is amazing.)
William’s story for this episode isn’t very eventful. Him, Dolores and Lawrence are riding the train and begin passing through the territory run by Native Americans. Lawrence apologizes for kind of screwing them over by switching out the nitroglycerin but admits he wouldn’t have done anything different if given a second chance. William and Dolores end up talking when William can’t sleep, he admits he’s engaged to Logan’s sister, who is also his boss. She gets upset and goes to another train car. He follows her and explains that he’s gotten a glimpse of who he truly is here. They begin kissing and end up having sex.
The next morning she apologies, and he explains that she doesn’t have to. She’s unlocked something in him. When he was a kid he just had books, and he dreamed of diving into one. This place is giving him that opportunity and he wants to learn more about it. He knows there’s something special about this place, something more, and he wants to figure out what it is. Essentially, this is the beginning of the journey that we still see him chasing as he becomes the Man in Black. Dolores shows him a drawing she made on a tarp in the train car before he woke up. It’s mountains that meet a river, or ocean as she explains.
The train stops as the Confederados had placed rocks on the track. They begin to ambush the train and Lawrence sends out Slim’s body on a horse and shoots it to blow up the nitroglycerin inside. This gives them a chance to escape on horseback. As they ride, the “Ghost Nation” Native Americans show up and attack the Confederados, helping them escape. They stop at a place where the mountains meet a river, the same image Dolores had drawn on the tarp. They decide to part ways with Lawrence, and head past the mountains. He warns them that anyone who heads that way doesn’t come back.
Bernard’s story takes up the majority of the episode and begins with the opening scenes. A dream of him with his son Charlie, just before he died. Given that hosts aren’t supposed to dream, there’s a chance this is just a scene of Arnold’s life. Unless Ford has legitimately given him dreams. Bernard examines Hector, who has had an encounter with a guest where they mentioned taking a piece of him with them in their carry on luggage back to their car. He also shows him pictures of things from the real world. Hector gives the trained response, that “it doesn’t look like anything” to him. Given the way the episode plays out, all of this is definitely set up for the big reveal at the end of the episode.
Hector ends up getting pulled by “upper management.” And we later learn that Charlotte took him so she could sleep with him. But when the tech comes to tell Bernard that he’s being taken away, Bernard asks him if he’s seen Elsie. She has supposedly started her leave from work. But when Bernard tries to reach her or find her in the park, there’s no sign of her at all. Theresa and Charlotte come up with a plan to make it look like Ford’s reveries are causing the hosts to malfunction. While planning in Charlotte’s room, she states that they need a blood sacrifice. They give a presentation to Bernard and Ford, with Ashley and some security agents (who seem to be hosts). Clementine gets beaten by one of the guards. Then is rebooted and beats up the guard and kills him. They say the hosts are remembering past events thanks to the reveries. They blame Bernard and fire him. Ford is silent throughout and merely smirks at them when they fire Bernard.
Bernard meets with Theresa and tells her that he knows the presentation was all staged and Ford will know it too. He tells her he also knows she was the cause of the stray. She says they put the satellites in hosts so that they could protect the data from the park, in case Ford goes rogue and decides to destroy everything when he retires/is forced out. He explains that there’s something seriously wrong with the hosts. That they almost seem to be evolving. He tells her he needs to show her something, and they head to the house of the Ford hosts. As they inspect it she says that it’s not on any records for the park. Bernard states that they often have hosts record data from the park, and they may have been programmed not to see the house. Theresa asks about a door, and Bernard asks her what door she’s talking about.
After going through the door they find a small remote diagnostic facility below the house where a machine builds hosts. It’s currently constructing someone. Bernard has never been here and is confused, but believes it’s Ford’s doing. Theresa finds blueprints for the young Ford host and others, including Bernard. She has him look at it and he says “it doesn’t look like anything” to him. She knows, and we know now. Bernard is a host. She calls Ford a monster and Bernard begins to freak out. Ford calms him and essentially puts him on pause.
Ford says that he once read that intellect, art and design are all simply human mating rituals. Like that of a peacock and it’s feathers. That the world is built to impress. But a peacock is useless, it can’t fly and lives in the dirt. But the hosts, are free. “Free here. Under my control.” She says that Bernard has to be more as he brought her there. Ford explains, he told Bernard to bring him there. That all he wanted was to tell his stories, but Delos wanted to play God. She says that the board won’t stand for this, but Ford states, very knowingly that they won’t do anything. He then says that to put things in order he needs a “blood sacrifice.” The question is whether he got that line from cameras and bugs in Charlotte’s room. From Hector who was in the room when Charlotte said it to Theresa. Or, could Charlotte be a host he built to help control the board. His comment about the board not doing anything also leads credence to the idea of Charlotte being a host.
He asks her if she really thinks she could take everything away from him. And she asks if this is how Arnold died, Ford says that Bernard wasn’t there then. Another clue that Bernard is a recreation of Arnold. She tries to alert security but she can’t. He reminds her once again that he’s built every bit of the park and everything within it. He has Bernard kill her, saying she’s grown weary and perhaps he can “help her.” He takes off his jacket, tie and glasses and smashes Theresa’s head into the wall until she’s dead. Ford says they have to get back and work on the new storylines. They leave Theresa there, dead in the dark.
This episode took some major leaps. From the reveal of Bernard being a host and killing Theresa, to Maeve deciding to leave the park. But as always with Westworld, for every answer we have new questions. The biggest questions at this point have to be: what’s Ford’s plan, who is secretly a host, and where the hell is Elsie?! Will we get answers? Not exactly. But more answers, and questions lie ahead.
Keep following Poor Man’s Spoiler as we explore those questions and answers, and continue looking back at Season 1 of Westworld. All leading up to the premiere of Season to on HBO April 22nd.