‘Westworld’ continues its second season with a flashback heavy 2nd episode, which delves into the history of the Delos corporation and its ties with the park. William and Logan’s involvement after their fateful visit which we saw last season begins to ask some of the bigger questions of the season (and maybe the series). The episode felt like the show is getting immediately into the heart of the season, not wasting any more time with set-up. In the end, I could not believe that an hour had passed as I was thoroughly engaged in everything going on and had a million more questions.
Getting to it, as stated before, the episode was flashback intensive as we spend a lot of time getting to see those “memories” that Dolores spoke of to Teddy last week that proves she knows a lot about the human world and how to deal with them. First we see her and Arnold in a city (some are theorizing Hong Kong or some other expansive city in Asia) where Ford and Arnold are trying to convince Delos to invest in the park, but Arnold does not want them to use Dolores as they are going to meet Logan and he suspects the man is a pervert and will do sexual things with the hosts (as turns out to be case). Instead, Arnold takes Dolores to the sight of his future home and speaks of his family, including his son, who he says has a lot in common with Dolores.
Sadly, after she uses the same exact phrase to describe the city lights twice, Arnold realizes Dolores is truly not ready yet and not quite conscious and we move on, but it is fascinating to see his hope for her and I cannot help but wonder why she and his son have so much in common. Could Arnold’s son be a Host? Maybe that’s where he started his work, to save/ bring back his dead/ dying son, and Ford convinced him to use that technology to build the park?
We next see a delegation approach Logan (pre-park) about investing in the ARGOS initiative (aka Westworld) and they take him to a party where he is astonished to learn EVERYONE, including the people who brought him there, are Host robots, freaking out as he believes that the world has not reached that level of tech yet. He gets over it quickly though as we later find him asleep in bed surrounded by the Hosts he clearly just had some kind of orgy with, a sight that Dolores sees with some disgust as she makes her way through the apartment later.
We next see her in her old story in the park with that damn can dropping. The whole thing freezes as Delos Senior enters talking about how he does not want to waste his time and the company’s money on William’s journey of discovery (clearly the scene takes place after William and Logan’s first trip to the park). William convinces him the park is a way to watch customers at their most raw and collect marketing information about what they really want, a prospect that intrigues Delos Senior, especially when William stands up to him about the idea, and they walk off talking business. Years later Dolores is at Delos Senior’s retirement party, as the entertainment playing the piano, and she is spotted by William who is there with his wife and child, which seems to bother her somewhat. Delos Senior reveals that he is sick and not entirely happy about stepping down. Dolores heads outside to marvel at the lights of the city again, repeating the same line she said twice years before to Arnold. We learn she is right by Logan, (post-park!) who we now know survived his naked horse-ride but seems somewhat broken by what happened, drinking and apparently shooting up some kind of drug, even as he speaks about how the Hosts will be the end of humanity and that Delos brought it all on their heads.
In the present, Dolores and company storm a park bunker where she shows Teddy his past memories and all of his deaths. This causes him to finally snap and beat on a technician asking why as the hapless worker can only reply “it was for fun!” Dolores has the technician awaken a “dead” Confederado to help her build an army to help her get into the Western lands and while following that man back to his camp, she runs across Maeve and company. I had really hoped for a fun confrontation here. Sadly, she and Maeve only talk and Maeve convinces her to let her pass without bloodshed as Dolores is supposed to be about freedom, and Maeve wants that freedom to do what she wants. Dolores gets to the Confederado camp and “negotiates” with them, by which she kills them all after they say they’ll never follow her, and then has the technician from earlier bring them back to life, scaring them enough that they follow her to their general’s base where she clearly has plans to take over the rest of their army.
As for the Man in Black aka William in the present, he saves Lawrence from his current storyline (and being eaten by ants) and fills his side-kick in on what is going on, though how much Lawrence really understands I am not sure. They stop by a saloon where William patches himself up (using a tool we’ve only seen used on Hosts before, which I find interesting…) and they make plans to head West (just like Dolores), though Lawrence claims they will need an army. Eventually, William gets the opportunity to get that army and almost does so as he holds their leader by gunpoint. Just then, Robert’s programming kicks in for the Hosts and the leader informs William that this game was made for him but he must go it alone. All the hosts in that “army” then shoot themselves in the head, including the leader, infuriating William who realizes it is just him and Lawrence now.
Dolores’s last flashback has her being interviewed by William, clearly well on his way to becoming the Man In Black we know as he has no problem questioning her while she is naked in a chair, talking about how he once loved her and was so naive, and how in reality she and the other hosts really just offer a reflection of the guests coming to the park. He then takes her to see what I think are the terraforming machines, a memory she particularly holds on to as I think these are what she refers to as a weapon she can use to destroy Delos and humanity.
WORLD OF THEORIES:
- Was Arnold’s son a Host? Did he ever meet Dolores?
- Was Logan killed between the past and the present? Was it because he believed the Hosts would bring about the end of humanity?
- Could the present day William/ MIB be a host? He oddly survived the Delos massacre with no explanation, used the Host healing machine thing on himself this episode, is stuck in one of Ford’s stories (which was designed “just for him,” same as “the Maze” was designed for Dolores last season), and he seems way too fit and able to fight for a man of his age. Plus we’ve never seen older William out of the park…
- Does Dolores use the terraforming machines to create that ocean in the park to lure in the Delos army for a trap? Maybe the second part of the trap being a Samurai army recruited out of Shogun world?
Lots going on this episode, and lots to add to various theories. I do wish we had seen more of Maeve and Bernard, but I suspect there is going to be some episodes with more of them and less of Dolores, so I should appreciate a Dolores episode now that we got one, especially one that showed so much backstory, and brought back William and Logan and gave us more of their story outside of the park. Looking forward to seeing where we go next week! See you back here then!