Previously on Westworld, “Journey Into Night”
With Dolores having total recall of not just her past lives and loops, but every conversation she’s had outside of her narratives, “Reunion” sets up just how powerful she is with all of that knowledge. We navigate two timelines this week; one revealing how Delos came to invest in Westworld and the other showing both Dolores and the Man in Black trying to gather an army for the conflicts ahead.
~30 Years Ago
Dolores was taken out of the park by Arnold and Ford to assist them in obtaining Logan Delos’ investment in Westworld. At the last minute, Arnold decides she’s not ready and they go with Angela (Talulah Riley) instead. Alone with Arnold, Dolores marvels over the many lights in the city, and as she has been programmed to do, sees the beauty and possibility. Arnold shows signs of the misanthropy Ford mentioned in season one when he tells her that he’s beginning to think humans may not deserve the world they live in. When Dolores repeats a line from just a few minutes before, it appears Arnold was right to pull her from the presentation.
Angela gets the job done when she and another Host, Akecheta (Zahn McClarnon), representing the Argos Initiative, escort Logan to a cocktail party where they reveal not just one, but every person in the room is a Host. This level of technology hasn’t been achieved by anyone thus far. That, and sleeping with Angela, seals the deal.
After William’s first visit to Westworld (shown in season one), he takes his father-in-law (Logan’s father), James Delos (Peter Mullan) to the park so he can see for himself what Logan has invested in. James isn’t as progressive and doesn’t see the need to invest more heavily; he thinks Logan’s initial investment was foolish. William then plants the seeds for what we saw taking place in the hidden outpost Charlotte revealed to Bernard: instead of wasting money trying to figure out what people want, Westworld provides a way for them to allow people to be who they truly are, free from judgement — at least that’s what they’ll tell them. It will essentially be the most intimate and extensive market research… or blackmail.
At James’ retirement party, Dolores plays the piano and speaks kindly to William’s young daughter, Emily. His wife, Juliet, side-eyes and James remarks that the party feels more like a coronation for William than a celebration of his career. James also has that ominous cough characters get to signify they’re dying. William reports that there’s been progress, but they’ll need patience. Jim doesn’t seem to think he has the time required to see the fruits of whatever they’ve planned.
Alone with Dolores, William thanks her for being the mirror in which he truly saw himself for the first time. He again talks about offering that reflection to the guests, but secretly monitoring them as well. He then shows her a part of the park under construction.
The After Party
In the present day — but still before Bernard is found on the beach — Dolores, Angela, and Teddy have followed the executive Angela spared straight to one of the intake facilities in the park. Here Teddy is shown his death history and a scared tech explains that it was all “just for fun.” (They really gotta stop telling the Hosts that.)
After torturing a guard to learn the protocol in responding to a park failure such as the one they’re causing, Dolores order a tech, Phil (Patrick Cage), to resurrect a Confederado Host she hopes to use to convince Major Craddock (Jonathan Tucker) and other Confederados to join her army. When her sales pitch doesn’t work on Craddock, Dolores, Angela, and Teddy kill him and his men, and then order Phil to “wake him up.” Dolores presents herself a new god, basically, and now she’s on her way to building that army.
Meanwhile, MIB saves Lawrence (Clifton Collins, Jr.) again and enlists his help in navigating the new game. His recruitment efforts don’t go as well as Dolores’, though. They hit Pariah where he tries to convince the current El Lazo (Giancarlo Esposito) to join forces. El Lazo, speaking as Robert, tells MIB that this game is meant for him, but he must play it alone. El Lazo and his men commit suicide, leaving MIB with an army of two.
Dolores tells Teddy that no matter what they call the place they’re headed (Glory, The Valley Beyond, etc.), she knows it’s a weapon because an old friend was foolish enough to show it to her, and she plans to use it to destroy the outside world.
Analysis. What Prompted That Response?
- If you listen to the Premium Podcast, you know Donny’s theory that Dolores has made duplicates of herself and the others, and those are the Host bodies we see in the sea in S2E1. I like this; this week we see Dolores learn their protocol for responding to a critical failure including their rally point. This is most likely the spot where they found Bernard, who has been reprogrammed by Dolores to “take the fall” for killing them. But where are they truly? Another park? The mainland.
- Dolores and MIB are both headed to the same place. She refers to it as a weapon, but MIB says he built it and it’s his greatest mistake. Since they’ve touched on blackmail and immortality (see below), I only have a rough idea of what they may find there. Are they keeping the real versions of powerful people they’ve replaced in the real world with Hosts? Have they figured out a way to transplant consciousness into a Host body? Is that what James Delos was hoping for?
- After the events in season one, Logan appears to have become heavily addicted to drugs. He speaks with Dolores at the retirement party and tells her the guests inside are fools fiddling in the end of mankind, too stupid to know they lit the match that burns them all. He toasts to them saying, “May your forever be blissfully short.” It brings to mind Altered Carbon, which had a future in which the rich lived forever by keeping their consciousness in younger “sleeves” or bodies.
- I love William being told “There’s not a man alive who’d speak to me like that. Not anymore.” after lipping off to his father-in-law, because it’s the same thing he said as MIB in season one.
- The Dolores/Maeve reunion was short, but delicious. They’re on two different paths and Maeve has no desire to answer to anyone (including another Host) now that she’s free. Also, the fact that they’re both walking around with human prisoners (Phil and Sizemore) is hilarious. Nice to see Hector back in his regular, sexy-ass attire, too.
Westworld S2E2 Review Score
Westworld – S2E2 – “Reunion” | Starring: Evan Rachel Wood, Ed Harris, James Marsden, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Rodrigo Santoro, Simon Quarterman, Luke Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Gustaf Skarsgård