Westworld Picks Up its Pace as Hosts Become SelfAware

first_img After the big reveal at the end of last week’s episode, it’s understandable that you might have some questions. For once, right at the top of this week’s show, Dr. Ford gives us some answers. As he tells Bernard to bring himself online, Bernard begins to experience guilt and grief over killing Theresa. Ford tells Bernard to be proud of his emotions. He says that when the human engineers of the park couldn’t create complex emotions for hosts Ford built someone who could: Bernard.Ford says he had Theresa killed to stop corporate from taking away the world he had created. When Bernard threatens to kill Ford and burn the whole park down, Ford reveals that Arnold had threatened something similar. Did Ford have Arnold killed? Before we can dwell on that, Ford has Bernard destroy all the evidence of their involvement in Theresa’s death. He then erases Bernard’s memory of what happened, including his relationship with Theresa, allowing Bernard to go about his business as usual.Maeve is back in the brothel, where the player piano is treating us to an awesome rendition of “The House of the Rising Sun.” Maeve is wary of interacting with the new host who’s replaced Clementine. She begins having memories of her former life as the mother of a little girl. She asks Felix and Sylvester what happened, and they tell her her exceptionally clear memories are happening more often because she altered her mind. She insists that she’s going to escape the park and demands administrative privileges to recruit an army of hosts to help.Maeve (Thandie Newton) has no time for the new Clementine (Lili Simmons). (Credit: John P. Johnson/HBO)William and Dolores come across a field of bodies, attacked by the ghost nation. They find a man who’s still breathing and Dolores gives him water. William figures out that they’re confederados who were going to ambush them. He also figures out that Logan sent the order. So Logan’s a griefer who’s in it to ruin other people’s fun. He’s like the grown up version of that 12-year-old in Call of Duty who just learned to swear. William wants to leave the man, but Dolores insists they take care of him and fetches more water. At the river, she sees a vision of her own dead body face-down in the water and hears a voice say “find me.” When she returns to William, the man is dead.Meanwhile, Ashley Stubbs has found Theresa’s body in the park, with a transmitter containing proprietary information nearby. He reasons that she was trying to smuggle data out via the Woodcutter host. When that failed, she tried to do it herself, only to slip and fall to her death. Charlotte doesn’t quite buy it. She says Theresa was more careful than this. When she brings up Theresa’s objections to Ford’s new narrative, Ford reveals that Clementine’s code had been altered for the demonstration in last week’s episode. Ford uses the hoax to take away Q.A.’s control over the hosts and give it to himself and Bernard, whose position is reinstated.Dr. Ford (Anthony Hopkins) helps Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) forget. (Credit: John P. Johnson/HBO)The investigation makes Sylvester nervous about letting Maeve mess around with her personality. He tells her that to escape the park, she would need to make impossible revisions to her core code. She says she’s found dormant parts of her code that she can’t access and asks who Arnold is. She asks them to take her to behavior so she can access the deeper levels of her code. Sylvester wants to get Maeve up there only to wipe her mind completely. Felix isn’t so into the idea, saying she’s alive.They take her to behavior and shut her down to access her core code. Felix is about to reformat her, but he doesn’t. Maeve later wakes up on the table and slashes Sylvester’s throat to show exactly what they changed. Not only can she kill, she can lie about killing. She tells Felix to save his life, as they will need him. She goes back to the brothel to recruit her army. Back in the brothel, it’s revealed that she can now manipulate hosts into doing whatever she wants. Maeve empties out the brothel just before the outlaws come in to shoot the place up. She stops them from being killed in the shootout, ensuring they all survive the ordeal.During a conversation with Ford, Bernard asks what the difference is between himself and a human. Ford says that’s the same question that troubled Arnold towards the end. He’s about to put Bernard’s mind at ease by erasing the knowledge that he is a host. Before he does, Bernard asks if Ford has had him kill anyone before. Ford says no, of course not. Bernard has a flash of memory revealing that that’s not true.Charlotte (Tessa Thompson) and Lee (Simon Quarterman) poke around. (Credit: John P. Johnson/HBO)Charlotte talks to Lee, who thinks Ford has asked him to create the villain of his new narrative. Charlotte calls it busywork and tells him that Theresa wasn’t a traitor. She was transmitting park data to the company when she died. Charlotte then gives Lee a new job. She needs him to make up a story that will get hosts containing proprietary data out of the park.Teddy and The Man in Black continue the search for Wyatt, when Teddy starts to have some memories of his own. He begins to have flashbacks to the night The Man in Black killed him. Before he can process that, they come across some bodies on the road. The Man in Black questions a woman who was left alive and finds out Wyatt’s men did it. as Teddy cuts her free, The Man is attacked by a member of Wyatt’s crew, wearing a bull’s skin. During the ensuing fight, Teddy remembers The Man in Black dragging Dolores into her barn. After killing Wyatt’s man, Teddy knocks The Man in Black out.Dolores, meanwhile, finds the place from her memory. She suddenly finds herself in a town surrounded by hosts being taught to dance. A little girl asks if she’s found what she’s looking for. The hosts start getting shot Dolores sees herself doing the shooting. Just as she turns the gun on herself, William brings her out of the vision. Dolores is distressed that she doesn’t know what’s real anymore. She was hoping to find Arnold so he could tell her. Teddy assures her that he’s real and they’re together. They see a group of men riding up to them. Logan and the confederados have caught up to them.The Man in Black (Ed Harris) fights one of Wyatt’s men. (Credit: John P. Johnson/HBO)We finally learn more about The Man in Black. In the real world, he’s a good man who helps people, or was until his wife overdosed on some pills and died. His daughter said his wife killed herself, fearing the man he really was. His good deeds served to hide the monster inside. To prove her wrong, he came to the park. He tried to see how much of a monster he really was. He met Maeve in her past life and killed her and her daughter. Maeve didn’t die though, and attacked him with a knife. This was the moment when Maeve started to become alive. As she collapsed to the ground, the outline of the maze appeared around her.As the episode ends, Maeve tries to escape the brothel, only to start remembering what happened with her daughter. She runs to her bedroom only to find the park’s extraction team closing in around her. After the Man in Black finishes telling his story, Teddy tries to shoot him, but can’t. The woman they saved stabs Teddy with an arrow revealing herself to be a trap. She works for Wyatt and is there to bring Teddy back into the fold.The first half of the season had a very slow, deliberate pace that didn’t reveal anything about the park for fear of giving too much away. That seems to have changed as we draw closer to the end of the first season. (Only two episodes left! What are we going to do with our Sunday nights?) As the hosts become more self aware, we’re learning more about what they can and can’t do and the show is finally delving into the question of when an A.I. becomes human. While there was no gigantic revelation in this episode, each character’s story moved forward in a satisfying way. Finding out the exact nature of the maze is probably still a long ways off (and probably won’t happen in season one), but every character has ended up in such a fascinating place that it doesn’t matter. Man, I’m going to miss this show when it goes on hiatus. 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