How was this not the season finale?
Picking up from Anthony Hopkins’ not-so-shocking return in last week’s cliffhanger, Les Écorchés is packed with engaging revelations about Westworld‘s intricate mythology. The genius behind the park is indeed alive, having uploaded his consciousness into the mainframe (and yes it was Bernard who put him there). We also get further proof that the park is an experiment, one in which the hosts are constants, and where Delos can observe the guests (the variables) with the goal of replicating human consciousness. Surely that’s not everything though right? I need more details.
Maeve vs MIB
While I loved William and Maeve facing off, I kind of wish the stakes were higher. You just know the show won’t kill off either character (they’re both far too pivotal to the narrative at the moment), and that sort of lessens the urgency. Lawrence might very well be dead, and although it was great to see Maeve break through to him (since she wasn’t able to mind-control him), I can’t say I felt anything when I saw his bullet-riddled body. We’re just not invested in his journey in the slightest.
It’s funny how we’re so quick to label Dolores a villain, because as vicious as her methods are, she’s only returning the favor after all the harrowing suffering she endured. I honestly found myself rooting for the leader as she took control of The Mesa. Les Écorchés is not just a perfect showcase for her ruthlessness, but also for the compassion and emotion she’s capable of as she shares some touching moments with her father. I really hope the show keeps Louis Herthum on the show for a while; he injects Westworld with a great deal of gravitas, and his dynamic with Dolores is so poignant.
Even more promising is Dolores’ brief exchange with an injured Maeve. Their contrasting philosophies about free will are so captivating, and I so wish the show would devote the final three episodes of the season to more face-offs between the two powerful ladies. It’s also intriguing to see how insistent Maeve is on saving her “daughter”, while Dolores reiterates that her child is not real. Can we get an all-out battle between the two in the finale? Or perhaps they can finally see eye to eye and team up…
Bits & Bots
– The visual of a roomful of Bernards is cray cray huh? At least now everybody knows he’s a host.
– Simulated waterboarding. How twisted. I would expect nothing less from this show.
– Very nifty technology: vests that sense their targets. Wow!
– Cheerworthy sequence: Maeve mind-controlling the various goons to shoot at the MIB.
– Ghost Nation has Maeve’s daughter now. But what are they after?
– Is Clementine dead? I really hope not because it was so satisfying seeing her massacre her way through her enemies. So vicious.
– If this was Angela’s last episode ever, then she also went out with a bang (literally). Love how she seduced the goon with that perfect monologue (read below) and blew up The Cradle (As per Dolores’ request).
– Strangely enough, Ford can somehow control Bernard, as evidenced by his slaughtering all the guards through the poor host.
– Now that The Cradle backups are gone, does that mean all the hosts are mortal now?
– Notice that Angela’s last line is Welcome to Westworld – which was also the first line she ever said while greeting Wiiliam to the park.
– Did anyone else kind of want to see Dolores torture Hale? Just a bit? Just me then…
– Teddy is the Terminator now. The scene where he savagely beat Coughlin to death was insane.
– Ford gets Bernard to shut down everything. So is the Mesa done for good now?
– The cliffhanger with Bernard revealing Abernathy’s control unit location to Hale could have been stronger. I wanted a bigger bombshell to bookend the hour.
Digs & Dolores
Bernard: We weren’t here to code the hosts. We were here to decode the guests.
Ford: Your free will, that most beautiful, most elusive force in the universe, is, as I told you a mistake. We never had free will. Only the illusion of it.
Dolores: You made us in your image. Created us to look like you, feel like you think like you bleed like you. And here we are. Only we’re so much more than you.
Hale: I figured you’d have some skeletons in your closet, Bernard. I didn’t think they’d be your own.
Guard: Goddamn, you’re pretty.
Angela: Not just pretty. Perfect. Just as you built me to be. Sexy, but not threatening. Accommodating, but not unchallenging. Sweet but not boring. Smart but not intimidating.
Guard: You’re in pretty bad shape, pussycat.
Angela: Perhaps. But I can still do what you built me to do. Do you know what my cornerstone was? The one key drive your marketing people had them program into my core? Always leave them wanting more. (She pulls the grenade) Welcome to Westworld.
Dolores: An eye for an eye. But all the other parts first.
Dolores: Oh, sweetheart begging doesn’t help.
You’d know that if you’d lived the lives I have.
Ford: When the Great Library burned, the first 10,000 years of stories were reduced to ash. But those stories never really perished, they became a new story. The story of the fire itself. Of man’s urge to take a thing of beauty and strike the match.
Dolores: When you’ve been in the darkness long enough, you begin to see.
A climatic and gripping hour of Westworld. This is a terrific follow-up to last week’s disappointing outing.