As suspected, the 3rd to the last episode of Season 1 of ‘Westworld‘ did not disappoint, keeping up the momentum of the jaw-dropping episode that preceded it, and potentially confirming some fan theories along the way. It was a fast-paced hour that shared a few more secrets of the some of the key characters’ pasts, set a few plot lines in motion that could be leading toward the finale, and showed that despite all of Ford’s mechanizations, he might not be as in control as he thinks he is.
First off, Ford forces Bernard to completely cover up Cullen’s death, and even plant evidence against her revealing her duplicitous actions in both the Clementine test and with the stray host, building a fairly good story as to how she died trying to reach a similar high peak in the park to send out a signal with top secret inside information and falling to her demise. Charlotte, of course, does not buy it, but we are not sure if she suspects Ford of actually killing the woman (or having her killed), and Stubbs seems mighty suspicious of Bernard once he offers regrets to the man as he knew of their relationship and Bernard denies there was every anything between him and Cullen. Stubbs is also suspicious that Bernard is not worried about Elsie’s disappearance, which combined with a flash of memory Bernard gets (when he asks Ford if he ever made Bernard kill before) of strangling Elsie pretty much confirms for us that Ford also had Bernard take care of Elsie who found out too much too quickly. Ford then wipes Bernard’s memories, thinking that will be the end of it, but as we learn later in the episode from Maeve, the “memory wipe” solution does not work, as Ford once wiped Maeve of the memory of the MIB killing her child, and it is that very memory which still haunts Maeve and drives her, despite the fact that it no longer is supposed to exist in her system.
Maeve meanwhile convinces the two stupidest techs in the world to take her upstairs where they can upgrade her system so she can control other hosts and remove the last safeguard preventing her from leaving the park, the explosive that can be triggered by the park team should she try to escape. For some reason, Felix is still on board to help her, despite Sylvester wanting to wipe her mainframe and free themselves from this terrifying problem. And when Sylvester tries to enact his plan, he is betrayed by Felix who saves Maeve’s consciousness from the reformat (WHY Felix? How do you think this is going to end for you?). Maeve wakes up, slashes at Sylvester’s throat in a warning shot, then allows Felix to save his friend while she prepares to use her new “powers” out in the park. Now she can command hosts to do what she wants, and she decides to test it out during one of Hector’s raids confusing the lawmen and allowing Hector’s men to be victorious, and trying to use the situation to escape Sweetwater. Only problem is when the new Clementine confronts her about leaving, Maeve flashes back to her memories of her daughter and cuts Clementine’s throat, same as she tried to do to the MIB, and the park’s security team realizes she has gone rogue, and sends a team after her, apprehending her in her room.
As for the MIB himself, he and Teddy finally find Wyatt’s men, and this is where things get interesting. They take down a big fellow who seems immune to bullets, and save a female host that the MIB recognizes, wondering that Ford has not retired her “after all these years.” For those paying attention, the host is the woman that WILLIAM met when he first came to Westworld, the one who helped him get dressed. Could this be the show’s first confirmation of the MIB being William? Pressing on, Teddy soon gets a flash of the MIB abusing Delores, so he knocks out and ties up the man, leading to the MIB talking at length about who he is and why he came to Westworld this one last time. He speaks of being a “good man” on the outside, but how his wife always knew of the dark soul he was in the park (which we see happening to William in the other story). After his wife died, his daughter claims her mom killed herself because she could not stand to live with the MIB anymore, so the MIB came back to Westworld to see if he was truly evil, thus setting in motion the events of Maeve’s memory, and the MIB killing her daughter – that was him testing himself to see how evil he was. He felt nothing, but when Maeve tried to kill him, and then fled trying to save her daughter’s life, the MIB finally saw a host “alive,” and he knew he wanted to find the Maze and, I believe, give all the hosts that chance to be alive. During the speech, he even comments that “You come here to find your true self,” which is VERY close to a statement William made last episode, which is another checkmark on the way to the show confirming the two are actually the same character. The Teddy/MIB story for the episode ends with the woman revealing she is part of Wyatt’s gang now, stabbing Teddy (“Oh my God, you killed Teddy…”) with the rest of Wyatt’s gang creeping up as she holds a gun to the MIB, contemplating killing him, and we are left to wonder whether Ford would have given these characters the power to actually kill the MIB since he has proven to be such a nuisance.
Lastly, Charlotte takes the news of Cullen’s death in stride, and recruits a new corporate mole in the form of writer Lee, who she knows is unhappy with Ford. Together, they venture down to the decommissioned hosts to pick a new mule to smuggle out their data with, just happening to choose Delores’s old father to upload the data into, with Charlotte leaving Lee to build a new story for the host, as she plans to smuggle the mule out on the next train for her corporate overlords, wanting a story that will make the man appear human. Too bad she just happened to pick a host that went crazy and has the potential to kill a lot of people, won’t that be fun? As for Delores and William, they find the small town where it seems Arnold and Ford trained the first hosts with their team, most likely including Delores herself, and Delores seems to remember something horrible happening there, which might indicate the day that Arnold died. As suspected, she might have been the one to perpetrate the violence, as in the flashback there is a lot of gunshots, a lot of dead bodies, and then she sees herself holding a gun, then pointing it at her own head. William decides the place is not good for her and they leave, only to be captured soon after by what appears to be ANOTHER gang of Confederados, led by none other than Logan, who looks like he is ready for some sweet revenge.
WORLD OF THEORIES:
- Even if the memories are wiped from the hosts, could this “Arnold” (whether it be a person or a system put in place by Arnold in the past) somehow be archiving all of these memories and giving them back to the hosts later? Could that be why Maeve remembers her daughter, and why Bernard had that flash of strangling Elsie? Is Arnold restores the Cullen memory to Bernard, could this lead Bernard to find the strength to fight his programming and take down Ford?
- Another article I’ve read recently posits that even if there are not multiple timelines, there is a chance that the William we see with Delores now might be a host based on a young version of the MIB that Ford created to bring down the elderly MIB. Interesting theory, but not nearly as cool as multiple timelines.
- Any chance William is going to straight up KILL Logan in the park, and that is how he finally crosses the line and becomes the MIB? It would explain how he becomes bolder in the outside world as well, without having this jerk crushing down on him all the time, and it’s a secret he would keep from his wife that would explain why she was always wary of him for all these years.
- If Ford can spy on everyone through the hosts, and really seems to know everything that is going on, is there a chance he is pulling the strings in the Maeve situation? That he made things so easy for her to progress to the point she has gotten to? I’m asking because her story is full of plot holes and conveniences, and I just cannot believe that no one has figured out something weird is going on with her and those technicians up to this point.
- I’m guessing the final shot of this season will be Charlotte’s mule host escaping the park on that train, a weird look in his eye as he leaves Westworld, and we realize one of the hosts is now out in the real world. With that in mind, I’m guessing that Season 2 will have a good amount of scenes that take place outside of the park.
Lots to think about following this episode, and I am exceptionally sad that there are only 2 episode left in this season, especially if the rumors are true and we will not get a Season 2 until 2018! I hope they manage to tie up at least a few of the mysteries before the season is finished (at least tell us what happened to Elsie!) and what path Delores is on, and definitely let us know whether Bernard is a host version of Arnold or not, because I am tired of that theory being bandied about (especially by my one friend who just will not shut up about it. You know who you are.) See you back here for the penultimate episode!
Nick is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles, who belongs to the privileged few who enjoyed the ending to ‘Lost.’ For more of Nick’s thoughts and articles, follow him on Twitter.