Previously on Westworld, “The Bicameral Mind”
“By most mechanical and dirty hand, I shall have such revenges on you… both.”
Chaos rules Westworld as the Hosts, led by Dolores/Wyatt, have taken out decades of abuse on the corporate Delos employees unfortunate enough to be in attendance when Dr. Ford kicked off his new narrative, Journey Into Night. And from the looks of the rest of the park, they’ve taken it out on other park employees and even other Hosts. To what end, though? Dolores tells a Native Host, right before killing him, that “not all of us deserve to go to the valley beyond.” Is the valley beyond the mainland? The world at large?
“What is real?”
“That which is irreplaceable.”
Once again Westworld invites us to make sense of three different timelines. First, another session between Arnold and Dolores in which he seems to have spaced out. He tells her about a dream in which he’s left behind, on a beach, by the others – but he insists it, and dreams in general, don’t mean anything. They aren’t real. When she asks what is real, his answer doesn’t satisfy her as she feels he’s not being entirely honest. Dolores scares Arnold sometimes, he says.
Bernard wakes up on the beach and is greeted by a tactical team sent in by Delos. It’s been two weeks since the massacre at the party and they’re hoping Bernard can fill in the blanks, but blanks is all Bernard has – though he does have flashes of memories: Abernathy in a chair, another massacre in the park’s control room among them. He keeps those to himself.
Hosts are being executed as soon as they’re identified and the team’s leader, Head of Operations Karl Strand (Gustaf Skarsgård), orders the hard drive from one Host be analyzed. They retrieve his final moments before Dolores puts a hot one in him.
“Must have been one hell of a party, Bernard.”
Two Weeks Ago
So, what did happen?
Somehow Bernard made it into a stable with Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) and other executives. He appears unharmed, but showing effects of his shooting by Ford and quick resurrection by Felix. Charlotte chalks it up to nerves and they try to escape. After an ambush by Hosts, in which the other executives are killed (with only one spared and told to run), Charlotte leads Bernard to a secret lab in which drone Hosts (Hosts before the skin and other human features are added) are processing the experiences and DNA from the guests. This has been a hush-hush and unethical endeavor – though if you read the fine print at the Delos site in season one, you know that guests sign over their DNA when they visit the park.
Charlotte sends a message to corporate requesting extraction, but they won’t send in help until the package is received. The package is Peter Abernathy, Dolores’ Host father who was loaded with the IP back in season one. He never made it to the mainland.
Bernard figures out a way to ping Abernathy’s location, and secretly learns he’s dying.
The Man in Black (I can’t call him William just yet) survives as the worst ones are wont to do. He cleans and patches himself up, confident he’s now playing the game he’s wanted. That is until he runs into the child version Host of Dr. Ford, who tells him he’s now playing his game – a game finally meant for him — and in this game, he has to make his way out. Then MIB shoots the boy in the head because he’s the worst.
Maeve saves Sizemore from getting eaten by his own creation, and forces him to take her to the park holding her daughter. First, she needs to find Hector, and she does; he’s riddled with bullet holes, but alive and downing booze at a guest bar. He has no hard feelings about being left to die because, well, it’s Meave we’re talking about, and agrees to help her on her quest.
After ten miles of killing and blood, Teddy wants to know Dolores’ plan. She tells him of that bigger world with creatures that look like them. She wants to take that world from them. As she told one of the executives before stringing him up: she’s not Dolores, she’s not Wyatt. She’s something that was created while being forced to play those roles.
The site of Ford’s party brings no answers. The tactical team find a Bengal tiger, which shouldn’t be in the Westworld park. So, how? A bigger question is: How the hell did Ford manage to create a whole-ass sea where there wasn’t one? And why are all the bodies of the Hosts floating in it?
Bernard finally remembers. He says he killed them all.
Analysis. What Prompted That Response?
- In Bernard’s flashes we see Abernathy in a chair so it’s safe to assume he and Charlotte find the Host and that it took approximately two weeks since that’s when the team arrives for extraction. And people thought working for Amazon was rough.
- It’s funny that Rebus (Steven Ogg) was okay with shooting and killing woman during the game he was made to play at Ford’s party, but when the Hosts are being executed on the beach, he jumps in front of a female Host saying, “Shoot a woman? Over my dead body.”
- If Ford managed to do so much of what we saw in season one without anyone knowing, and he created the sea in secret, I find it hard to believe he didn’t know about the facility in which the guests’ DNA and experiences are being processed. It’s also creepy as hell that child Ford seemed completely aware of its maker’s death and the fact that the park had changed.
- Bernard appears to be experiencing trace decay like we’ve seen with Dolores and Maeve. I suspect that Dolores did something to him (or maybe Ford). Since Dolores remembers everything now, that memory from the opening scene between her and Arnold could be fake or a real memory she used in whatever plan leads to Bernard killing (or admitting to killing) all the Hosts found on the beach.
- Great callback to the first episode “The Original,” when Bernard tells Stubbs to lower his gun so as not to “shoot the boss” (Ford); here, Stubbs tells one of Strand’s team to lower hers as she’s about to “shoot the boss.” (Bernard)
- Finally confirmation that the Delos parks (at least these parks) are on an island in China.
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Westworld S2E1 Review Score
“Journey Into Night”
Westworld – S2E1 – “Journey Into Night” | Starring: Evan Rachel Wood, Ed Harris, James Marsden, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Rodrigo Santoro, Simon Quarterman, Luke Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Gustaf Skarsgård