‘Westworld’ continues to enthrall this season with this week’s new installment, ‘Phase Space,’ which picks up the action right where we last left things at the Delos park, being the first episode in a while to feature just about every major character/plot in a meaningful way. This week goes a long way in answering “Where do you go after showing Shogun World and revealing Delos’s transfer of consciousness goals so early in the season?” and left me very excited for where the show is going for the final stretch of episodes.
The episode opens with what appears to be a rehash of the Dolores/ Arnold interview scene from Episode 201, similar to all the other interviews we saw between the pair in Season 1. Only this time, things take a real twist. About half-way through Dolores announces that the real Arnold did not say the same words Bernard just spoke, and she orders him to halt all motor functions, revealing she is the one actually in control of this interview. When Bernard asks why they are having this same conversation again, she says “Fidelity,” harkening back to the Delos conversation with William where they were testing to see how similar the transferred mind was to the original, and giving us even more evidence to the theory about Bernard literally being Arnold in a Host body.
Jumping back in to the main Dolores storyline, we quickly learn what exactly she did to Teddy last week, transforming him into a much tougher version of his former himself (who I’ve dubbed “Steady Teddy”), who quickly demonstrates his newfound ruthlessness by executing a QA prisoner who cannot answer Dolores’s inquiries about where they might be holding Peter Abernathy in the Mesa. With the train prepped, Dolores’s gang sets out for the Hub of the park, though what exactly their plans are we do not know until they unhitch the back train and leave the engine speeding toward the main doors of the mesa, ostensibly loaded with dynamite. Also on board is the Park Engineer who “upgraded” Teddy’s mind, armed with a gun and one bullet, apparently the last of Teddy’s “mercy,” giving the Engineer the option to either die from the train explosion or shoot himself beforehand. This storyline ends with the train making impact and exploding in the lower bowels of the Mesa, leading the way for Dolores and company to storm the headquarters of their one-time tormentors and save her father.
In the Maeve storyline, the cliffhanger ending of the Shogun’s army attacking her and her team is quickly settled, as it becomes clear that Maeve used her new powers to make them all kill each other, leaving her, Akune, Lee, Felix and Sylvester battered and bloody. Akune carves out Sakura’s heart for a proper burial, and they head back to the village to collect the rest of their group (Musashi, Hektor, Armistice and Hanaryo). Before Maeve can use her powers, Musashi challenges the honor of the Samurai General, Tanaka, and they duel, with Musashi besting the man in combat, and removing both his hand and his head. Thus freed, they all head to the mountain retreat that Sakura once called home where Akune burns Sakura’s heart on what looks like a ritualistic memorial pyre, and then bids goodbye to the group, as she and Musashi plan to stay behind and make a life there, defending the land from any invaders. Maeve and company leave using a nearby tunnel, and sometime later emerge in the prairie region of Westworld, with everyone once again back in proper Western gear (including Felix, Sylvester, and Hanaryo). Maeve bids them to wait for her and heads toward her daughter, quickly learning that she has been replaced by a new “mother” right before the Ghost Nation attacks the settlement, causing Maeve to flash back to her own deathly experiences with the group and her daughter. Oddly, they do not want to hurt Maeve, and tell her to join them, as they are, in one attacker’s words “on the same path.” Maeve turns him down immediately just as the cavalry arrives, with Hektor and company attacking the Ghost Nation to save Maeve and her daughter. Meanwhile, Lee, Felix, and Sylvester watch the chaos from nearby, with Felix saying they need to go and help. Lee instead pulls out the radio he stole last episode and says it is time he called in some real help.