Westworld Review: Les Ecorches (Season 2 Episode 7)

Westworld Season 2 Episode 7
Dolores finds her father again. Angela says “Welcome to Westworld” again. Teddy takes some people down again. And Bernard becomes the puppet yet again.

On Westworld Season 2 Episode 7, “Les Ecorches,” which in French means “the tormented”, which illustrates Bernard and the hosts in general (but seems to be perhaps Bernard’s defining trait), Dolores and co. make their entrance to the Mesa and do their worst. Bernard’s body is under siege when he emerges from the Cradle not entirely himself, the shadowy presence of Ford following him. And the Valley Beyond might mean the final resting place for more than just the hosts.

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Westworld Review: Phase Space (Season 2 Episode 6)

Westworld Season 2 Episode 6
Dolores’s train heads for hell. Maeve pursues her daughter. The MiB outsmarts his own. Bernard meets his creator, again.

On Westworld Season 2 Episode 6, “Phase Space,” Dolores sees her end goal (literally and figuratively) but might not be getting what she intended in all realms of her plan. Maeve finds her daughter, but is surprised to find the script for that story has changed too. As the human creators begin to feel something for their hosts, it might be just a tad too late. 

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Westworld Review: Akane No Mai (Season 2 Episode 5)

Westworld Season 2 Episode 5
Dolores makes a choice for Teddy. Maeve and co. meet their Shogun counterparts. The path forward for both women seems to start by being taken by any means necessary.

On Westworld Season 2 Episode 5, “Akane No Mai,” Shogun World is introduced, at long last! Maeve learns that she has found a new voice (a familiar thread of dialogue there). Dolores decides what she’s going to do with Teddy and subsequently their fate together. Lee showcases all that a rushed writer can produce, and the future remains a little foggy.

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Westworld Review: The Riddle of the Sphinx (Season 2 Episode 4)

Westworld Season 2 Episode 4
William visits Jim Delos, quite a few times. A lucky reappearance of a character comes just in time for Bernard as he sifts through more memories to determine what’s “real”. The Man in Black is beginning a redemption arc. The real hunger of Westworld hosts is revealed.

On Westworld Season 2 Episode 4, “The Riddle of the Sphinx,” the story lines, despite jumping around in time, stay with Bernard and the MiB, as well as, in an added twist, Jim Delos, even though he’s arguably not quite himself. The real reason for investing in Westworld is finally revealed, despite it now seeming like a failure. As the depreciation of Jim Delos begins, the ascension of a better man seems to begin within the MiB. And a strange reveal indicates that perhaps Bernard isn’t at all who the audience thought him to be. So who is who, and who is real?

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Westworld Review: Virtù e Fortuna (Season 2 Episode 3)

Westworld Season 2 Episode 3
Dolores makes the Confederados’ stand their last one. Maeve is reunited with her old gang, but in a new setting. Peter Abernathy gets taken. Dolores wages war on multiple fronts. And the Bengal’s home is revealed!

On Westworld Season 2 Episode 3, “Virtù e Fortuna,” Dolores has the Confederados make their last stand without them knowing it, while simultaneously realizing the seeds of betrayal have been planted in her own camp. She fends off an attack from Charlotte Hale, who finally succeeds in her primary goal of acquiring Peter Abernathy but now has this hell-raiser on her tail. Bernard figures out the trade secret that Peter Abernathy is hiding under all those layers of mismatched host codes, and is taken by zombie Clementine. Maeve acquires more of her old partners to her merry band of cohorts and finds herself in a new park. And we’re introduced to a new park and a new woman, whose relation to one of the main characters seems undoubted.

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Westworld Review: Reunion (Season 2 Episode 2)

Westworld Season 2 Episode 2
The face of Delos arrives. William starts to really act like the MiB and fuels Dolores’s fire. Maeve continues on her quest, highlighting the hypocrisy in Dolores. Lawrence and the MiB are reunited yet again. A weapon emerges.

On Westworld Season 2 Episode 2, “Reunion,” Dolores’s memories are the pressure points that fuel her anarchist revolution. Both she and the MiB are chasing something, similar to season one, despite that, this time, they both know what that something is, a direct opposition to last season, when they both weren’t sure what the maze was. The separated once-lovers, now on entirely different quests but with the same goal in mind, seem to always rotate around one another, and the park is where they both reside, both finding their truest selves within its walls, acting as protectors of their own kinds while still playing the villain to the other side. Meanwhile, Maeve is on a different quest, one that dislodges her entirely from the idea of serving anyone, of being a servant to any kind of God, regardless of if they are host or human; she’s unchained and intends to remain that way. Teddy, meanwhile, seems to be questioning his different kind of shackles. And we all seem to know how he ends up. Poor Teddy. But until then, we have to go back to go forward.

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Westworld Review: Journey Into Night (Season 2 Episode 1)

Westworld Season 2 Episode 1
Dolores is the new tyrant. Bernard is experiencing a glitch. Maeve has to find her daughter. The Man in Black has to find the door.

On Westworld Season 2 Episode 1, “Journey Into Night,” Dolores seems to have chosen her path of chaos and violence, acting as the destructive leader of the newly revolted Westworld. Bernard realizes he might have done something horrible, but can’t seem to remember. The Man in Black has to find the door, finally a game meant for him. Delos won’t save anyone until the IP data is out of the park.

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Westworld Season 2 Trailer: Hosts vs. Humans

Westworld Season 2
It’s time to bring ourselves back online! From the Superbowl ad, with Dolores promising a new world, to the new trailer, Westworld is refusing to let up. The official trailer dropped, and with it, came more questions and more intrigue and, at long last, the hosts’ revolution.

Instead of Dolores being the one dreaming, as she constantly wanted to be woken up in the first season, it’s now Bernard. As perhaps her dream has become his nightmare, he talks to her about the meaning of dreams. At least, it could be Bernard. But then again, it could be Arnold. The first season has already taught us not to trust time. And seemingly, anything else that seems too straightforward. Nothing in Westworld is as it seems, and we’re going to learn much more during Westworld Season 2.

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Westworld: The Adversary (Season 1 Episode 6)

Westworld Season 1 Episode 6

Bernard and Ford try to deal with their present circumstances, while the past keeps intervening. Elsie discovers a horrible truth and faces one of her own. Maeve utilizes her truth to leverage her in the new world. Lee pees on the map.

On Westworld Season 1 Episode 6, “The Adversary,” Bernard realizes that the past is the only thing Ford is clinging to anymore and, while growing increasingly worried for him and his deterioration from reality, he worries still more for the present and the deterioration from morality. Maeve’s deterioration from her own reality sparks a sharper understanding of her newer one, resulting in a finer acclimated and more astute version of herself, one far more established than anyone has been able to write, except for perhaps Arnold. Teddy and the Man in Black continue in pursuit of the Maze, as a new version of Teddy emerges as well. Elsie discovers a secret that could untangle the mess of Westworld.

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Westworld: Contrapasso (Season 1 Episode 5)

Westworld Season 1 Episode 5
Dolores discovers a new level to herself. William realizes he can be a little more black hat than he initially thought. The Man in Black continues his search for the center of the Maze and Ford continues his search for answers, in the deepest corners of his shrinking living memory. Maeve finds her wings.

On Westworld Season 1 Episode 5, “Contrapasso,” Dolores attempts to find a meaning to what she has been seeing and hearing, and attempts to figure out if the center of the Maze will offer her the same fulfillment as it will for the Man in Black. The Man in Black’s pursuit of the center of the Maze is an unstoppable force, one that cannot be altered or changed even by Ford, whose self-discovery is taking him down the hole of reminiscing, his belief that he can dig through the holes of his memories to fill the voids that he is missing. William and Dolores both learn a little bit about themselves, and Logan learns just how deep and dark the path can take him.

The Running Dog

Welcome back to your stay in Westworld! Just as in the premiere episode, reminiscent of Arnold, Ford sits with a robot, one of the older ones in the park, now decommissioned, a piece of what used to be. In describing his childhood dog, he seems to be describing the hosts themselves or how he designed them, even a little unknowingly. Specifically Dolores, the hosts are chasing after something, but will not be sure what to do once they have caught it, and it might be to the horror of everyone else at what they might do or be capable of doing. Despite that it ended up being a horrific sight, Ford still commented on it being beautiful to see the old dog run; despite what the hosts could provoke, and what their awakenings could entail, it would be beautiful to see the creations reach conscientiousness, for them to realize their true potential, for them to realize Arnold’s goal, and perhaps even find the center of the Maze.

Maze Pursuit

As the Man in Black attempts to find the same goal, he realizes that his first partner, Lawrence, might not be the ideal candidate for his purposes. As he figures out his next move, which entails a rather gruesome but seemingly easy choice for him, the boy who Ford ran into appears again, clearly an attempt of the park to keep visitors at bay or from reaching a certain area, like a protective agent, even though the Man in Black doesn’t pay him any mind. Now sans Lawrence, the Man in Black recognizes that he needs Teddy because of his newfound ties with Wyatt, and maybe even Teddy’s ties to Dolores. The Man in Black admits that he’s seen the insides of the hosts, and that the mechanical pieces were more beautiful than making them real like people, indicating that the park’s attempt at making the hosts more real was an indication of cost rather than of helping the hosts to feel more real themselves. Both the Man in Black and Ford are recognizing beauty in the little things, the tiny allowed freedoms of a controlled thing, Ford with the running of the dog and the Man in Black with the tiny parts that make up the hosts.

As Dolores begins to notice things she isn’t supposed to, like when William mentions the real world, she also sees another her in the Pariah crowd, seemingly more comfortable and contended than she is currently. And then a familiar voice finds her and Ford acts as her questioner for the first time since we have seen her in the Westworld underbelly. Once again, Ford’s conversation reveals more about him than the person he is conversing with, as he attempts to dig through Dolores’s many faces and mindsets, trying to discern if Arnold is still there; indicating a sharp sense of loneliness, Ford seems to recount to Dolores in an attempt to find Arnold and to preserve the world as he knew it then. Just as visiting with the decommissioned host in the basement, he attempts to find someone who “understands”, as he so puts it, and seems to have a memory of Arnold, wishing his friend back in his own way. But Dolores is not only just hearing him, she reveals to be speaking to the voice in the air, seemingly Arnold.

In a fun reveal, Lawrence is El Lazo. Rather than being the father and caught criminal, he seems to be in a different part of his loop altogether, and seemingly not one that is sucked into the Man in the Black’s loop too. While acting as bandits, Logan’s delicate sensibilities are offended, leading him to be attacked by a man and for William to discover he might be more of a black hat type after all, perhaps more than even he thought.

Elsie’s Discovery

Back in the underbelly, Elsie abandons what she’s supposed to be doing, i.e. minding her own business and focusing on the tasks at hand, and chases after the stray host and the as of yet undiagnosed problem running through the hosts. Digging through the stray literally, rather than in his mind, she discovers an uplink drive within the body of him, indicating that the safety that Arnold and Ford so desperately craved when first creating the hosts is now at risk. Similar to Willy Wonka, Ford’s creations are only as good as the secrets they keep. Like with most large companies, if their ingenuity is able to be replicated, the attractions lose their main draw. The invaluable becomes unimportant, and Westworld itself has the ability to lose all its power.

Dolores’ Voice

Logan and William have a standoffish tête-à-tête, resulting in Dolores leaving, to make several discoveries: that Lawrence as El Lazo has pulled off the ultimate con that will set them up for failure and that a more calm and determined version of her tells to keep pursuing the Maze. The implication of her unraveling is not necessarily about it in a literal sense, but rather declaratively insinuating that she is destined to become something more, something she manifests when she realizes she doesn’t need to be saved by William or anyone else. If she is indeed unraveling, then she is recognizing that there is something more beneath her; rather than unraveling and losing herself, she is able to peel back the layers, the systematically built layers, to reveal who she truly is, the many facets of the park helping her to discover it. The Maze seems to trigger the voice, and now her newfound response to it, despite her being utterly alone in one scene and with William and Lawrence the prior.

Ford vs. Man in Black

Ford joins the Man in Black and Teddy, both of whom to seem to know one another almost too intimately, and who seems to illustrate a harrowing picture of the Man in Black, proving that he is truly the ugliest creature in Westworld. Self-declaratively a villain, the Man in Black searches desperately for purpose and meaning in his own life, desperately seeking more than affirmation and the other reasons that most visitors come to the park. His wishes somehow align with Arnold’s, even mirror Ford’s in a way, the park acting as a preference than their current reality. As Ford slips deeper and deeper into the past in search of answers, he desperately clings to the things that were rather than the things that could be. As the Man in Black seeks the Maze, despite how deep it could go, clinging to the idea that it will fulfill him and that it promises the answers he’s been looking for, and the ones he can’t find in the real world, despite being told the Maze is not for him. Deterring them does not alleviate their burdens and therefore does not stop them from affixing the answers to these issues onto their end goal; they think, if they can figure out if Arnold is still in the park somehow or what is at the center of the Maze, they will be fulfilled.

Back on the cutting room floor (no pun intended) repeatedly, those operating on Maeve recognize that her incision indicates that someone was looking for something. Just as a “butcher” dreams of another life for himself, he awakens a bird, the creature of symbolic freedom, one able to move through the sky at free will, it lands on Maeve, who has opened her own kind of symbolic wings, now deciding her own path and trying to design her own freedom.

 

 

 

What did you think of Westworld Season 1 Episode 5? Will the Man in Black find the center of the Maze before Dolores? Will Dolores be able to figure out exactly where the voice, that of Arnold or herself, is telling her to be? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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