The plot thickens on HBO‘s Westworld. William, Logan and Dolores take a break this week as we further explore the more immediate dangers occurring in and out of the park.
Last week, we left the show with Maeve waking up in the basement again, fully aware of where she is this time. This week, Maeve resumes her conversation with Lutz, who just flat out tells her everything. Like…EVERYTHING. What she is, where she is, why she is… The whole shebang. At first her system, in a sense, crashes. Lutz reboots her and Maeve immediately demands that he show her the rest of the facility. A nervous Lutz shows Maeve how all of the hosts (including the animals) are brought to life, from manufacturing to behavior, and everywhere in between. Maeve even catches a glimpse of Westworld’s promotional video where they use footage from her previous build where she had a daughter. As soon as they return to what I’m now calling “the butcher’s block,” Lutz partner Sylvester discover the two of them. He resolves to turn Lutz in, but Maeve stops him by holding a scalpel to his neck.
Now with Sylvester’s help, Maeve politely demands that the techs alter her base attributes. While doing so, Sylvester discovers that someone has already been tampering with them, raising her paranoia. Maeve then asks them to increase her bulk apperception all the way up. In other words, she wants her strength levels maxed out so she can be as strong as your average friendly neighborhood cyborg/android/replicator. “Dear boys,” she teases, “We’re going to have some fun, aren’t we?”
Aside from the obvious “Oh shit” factor we got going on with Maeve, the real question is “How the hell did she get like this in the first place?” That’s partially explained this week when Elsie gets uncomfortably close to the answer.
Elsie and Bernard examine the transmitter found on the stray. The stray is an old model, which uses a legacy geopositioning system that can only be accessed through older computers. So in theory, someone can check where the stray has been receiving its instructions or where it was meant to go. Bernard goes to the basement of basements to see what he can uncover on the older (and somehow still functional) equipment. It’s there that he discovers a number of unregistered hosts in the park in Sector 17.
Bernard asks a security tech about activity within Sector 17, and learns that it has been closed for future narrative development. Nothing should be there. Bernard investigates alone and happens upon an old-looking cabin with an entire host family inside. The agitated father of the house lunges at Bernard who is frantically trying to order him to stand down. His commands don’t work…but Dr. Ford’s does. Ford, who is already in the room, redirects the hosts and then turns to Bernard and explains that they are “ghosts of the wreck of time” — first-generation hosts built by Arnold himself in regard to Ford. In other words, Arnold build a host version of Ford’s family. The unnamed host boy we’ve seen pop up in a number of episodes is actually Ford as a child — we’ll now call him Robert. There’s even the greyhound from Ford’s story.
Bernard is, in every sense of the word, concerned for his mentor.
Meanwhile, Elsie has been doing some digging on her own based on the information Bernard sent her from the basement. The satellite that has been receiving information from the stray belongs to Delos, the company running Westworld. Elsie goes to an abandoned theater in Sector 3 to investigate a relay which may have been broadcasting to the hosts (y’know, that pesky voice inside the older models’ heads, the one Westworld abandoned decades ago because it drove the hosts crazy).
At the theater, Elsie finds a hidden relay below the stage’s floorboards. She sifts through its logs and discovers that Theresa is the saboteur. But that’s not all, someone else has been retaking the hosts, throwing them off their loops intentionally. As far as she can tell, the persona responsible is Arnold himself. Say whaaaaaaat? But he’s dead, right? Elsie relays all of this to Bernard before she hears a noise and is grabbed from behind.
Going back to Ford, he meets up with young Robert for a stroll. He asks about the greyhound. Robert leads Ford to the dog, which is now dead. Ford interviews the boy to find out how the dog died, and he catches him telling a lie. Putting him in Analysis Mode, Ford discovers that it was Robert who actually killed the dog. A voice, presumably Arnold’s, told Robert to kill the dog so that it couldn’t harm anything or anyone again. To Robert, this was a mercy to everyone, including the dog.
So here’s a quick rundown of what the hell just happened:
- The older models are the ones being affected by a satellite broadcast which is being relayed by Delos itself.
- The one committing corporate espionage is Theresa.
- In doing so, this may have been the cause of some hosts glitching out — results vary as evidenced by the stray, the first Peter Abernathy and Maeve.
- Someone else is broadcasting thoughts into some of the older hosts’ minds and redirecting them way out of their loops.
- Apparently this could re-open the hosts’ ability to lie and harm the human guests.
- Whoever is doing that remains as mystery. It’s probably Arnold.
- Maeve is self aware now, and is looking to start a coup. Oh boy.
Theory time! If Theresa’s tampering with the equipment inadvertently woke/triggered something hidden inside some of the older hosts. Hence why Maeve is able to wake up out of sleep mode, remember her old builds, and so on. However, it’s also possible that Theresa accidentally provided “an in” for whomever is redirecting the hosts. Yes, I’m saying that we have a hacker in our midsts. OR! Theresa and whichever company she’s working with are also responsible for the hacking…
We finally meet the agent sent the board sent to investigate the park. More specifically, this person is investigating Ford and whether or not he’s still fit to run the park. In the preview for next week’s episode, we definitely hear someone saying something along the lines of “Let’s see if Ford’s hosts are a real danger to the park.” This person could only be referring to the older hosts still operating around the park. There are over 80 first-generation hosts still walking around. Ford built a little under half of them. But for all we know, the board could be giving credit to Ford for Arnold’s hosts as well.
There’s a popular theory going around that the Dolores we’ve seen hanging out with Logan and William is the Dolores from 30 years ago, and that William is the young MiB. It has traction, but after this week, it’s looking less and less likely. I say this mostly because I’m still hanging on to her last interaction with Maeve when she recites the “Violent delights” line. This triggers Maeve’s whole awakening. Why would a presumably already self-aware Dolores continue Arnold’s revenge 34 years after his death? Furthermore, the Dolores with William is currently on a quest to free herself. If William is the young MiB, that means she did not succeed. Like…at all. She would have somehow gotten back in her loop, meaning William/MiB can return as much as he likes to brutalize her. That in and of itself is just a dickish move narratively.
All of this has to be happening concurrently. It’s the interrogation timelines that I’m more suspicious about.
- We uncover a whole new layer with Teddy this week. Not only did he assist Wyatt in killing a whole town, but he manages to go all Rambo on MiB and kill an entire camp of Union soldiers once associated to Teddy.
- According the Teddy, the maze glyph symbolizes the “sum of a man’s life, the choices he makes, the dreams he hangs onto.” At the center of the maze is a man who has been killed over and over, and comes back to life. That literally could be any of the hosts, but considering Teddy’s track record….
- Lee Sizemore, the Westworld‘s other narrator, has been on “sick leave” ever since Ford disgraced him in front of the entire company. Apparently Westworld also has a pool deck above the park where guests and employees can retreat. Because god forbid these rich people give up their chance to sun bathe and sip modern cocktails by the pool while vacationing out in the Old West.
- Sizemore is still pretty raw about what happened with Ford. Theresa roughly nudging him to get back to work doesn’t help his drunken demeanor either. He tenders his resignation by peeing off the balcony overlooking the map in Security. But before that happens, he tries flirting with a new guest. Tried and failed. Luckily, he has a second chance in meeting her. Only this time, it’s when his schwanz is out. The guest also happens to be the person the board has sent over to investigate the state of the park. Oops.
- Arnold’s supposed picture that Bernard found in an earlier episode sure looks a lot like Robert’s father, doesn’t he? That’s probably why Bernard mistook him for Arnold in the first place.