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

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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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Westworld: Dissonance Theory (Season 1 Episode 4)

Westworld Season 1 Episode 4
Dolores continues on her journey, accompanied by William and Logan, resulting in her realizing her true pursuit of her own. Maeve realizes that she isn’t crazy, but is discovering something beyond the veil of her reality, and not for the first time. Ford wants it to be understood: he’s not to be messed with.

On Westworld Season 1 Episode 4, “Dissonance Theory,” Dolores continues on her path, now having a goal of reaching the center of the Maze. The Man in Black on the same path, he ignites the curiosity in all of the hosts he encounters, trying to purposefully poke holes in their ideologies and in their storylines, as if hoping to free them from their binds of written cyclical lives. Theresa’s attempt to rein in Ford results in an ultimate power shift, showcasing Ford as the true powerhouse in Westworld. In a continuous theme of episodic titles dictating the theme, as the hosts are holding contradictory ideologies and themes in their minds, resulting in them having to pick one truth or another.

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Westworld: The Stray (Season 1 Episode 3)

Westworld Season 1 Episode 3
Arnold is introduced. Teddy’s back story is fleshed out for Ford and Dolores’s purposes. Dolores’s wishes to go beyond are finally realized. Elsie and Stubbs pursue a stray as he looks to the stars. Dolores pulls the trigger.

On Westworld Season 1 Episode 3, “The Stray,” Dolores realizes she is not the same as she was before, and Bernard decidedly keeps their conversations private, in order to protect her and himself, as his curiosity is resulting in some seemingly unprecedented events, culminating in sentient-like abilities within Dolores and, though he doesn’t know it, in other hosts as well. Teddy’s more prominent position in the story arc of Westworld reveals a new villain, as well as the carved outline of Ford’s new story. The back story of Westworld is told through Ford’s eyes, introducing Arnold and the god-like qualities he wanted to convert to sentience for the hosts, and what that inspired.

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Westworld: Chestnut (Season 1 Episode 2)

Westworld Season 1 Episode 2
Dolores says the code phrase to Maeve. Maeve wakes up in the real nightmare. Logan and William dip their toes into the waters of the western utopia. Ford begins his work on revitalizing an unearthed part of the park. Dolores finds a gun.

On Westworld Season 1 Episode 2, “Chestnut,” the second episode titled as such to symbolize the preparation of a new version of Westworld emerging. As a chestnut falls from the tree to signal a time of harvest, the hosts are beginning to prepare for their own harvesting, the cumulative memories that have been stored away. With a Shakespearean quote awakening them, Maeve starts on her own journey of self-discovery, Dolores follows a voice, and two new guests do the same as the Man in Black finds new hidden depths in pursuit of the elusive maze. On his own journey, Ford figures out the groundwork for his next storyline, something he promises to be quite original, seemingly having to be dug up, the same way Dolores is digging up her own salvation.

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