TV Review: ‘Westworld: Vanishing Point’ (Season 2 Episode 9)

Love it or hate it, the penultimate episode of ‘Westworld’ Season 2 was quite the ride and put a lot of wheels in motion for the finale next week. Those looking for HBO to delivery something warm and cuddling on Father’s Day were sorely disappointed, while those hoping to learn more about William (i.e. The Man in Black) most likely got more than they bargained for, though where they go next with the character seems to be quite a dilemma.

Jumping right in, let’s start with Bernard, who begins the episode watching Charlotte Hale run a new test her and the techs have been plotting, where a reprogrammed Clementine has been given some corrupted version of Maeve’s ability, which she uses to drive a room full of Hosts insane. She essentially turned them into ZOMBIE HOSTS who claw, maim, and bite into each other until they are all dead, clearly how Hale plans on dealing with the Host threat moving forward. Ford warns Bernard that humans cannot be trusted, but Bernard just wants Ford out and tries to head down to the garage to meet with Elsie, but Ford has other plans.

He makes Ford head over to Maeve first, where Ford “leaves her a message” before they leave the Mesa with Elsie on the way to the Valley, with Bernard filling her in on Delos copying guest data into what we now know is called “the Forge.” They pull over as Elsie spots a group of QA men who had recently been attacked, wanting to grab their weapons and ammunition. Meanwhile, Bernard decides to finally rid himself of Ford, especially as the man keeps insisting that Bernard kill/betray Elsie, which Bernard promised not to do. Bernard hacks his programming and it appears he manages to erase the bits of Ford from his code, but Ford seems just fine with Bernard’s actions. This makes me think Ford knows that it is not that simple to get rid of him. He disappears nonetheless and Bernard appears victorious, but he still leaves a visibly upset Elsie behind and heads to the Valley himself, leaving her a beacon so she can be rescued by QA.

Back at the Mesa, Maeve receives Ford’s message, which is a projection in her mind/sight of Ford himself talking to her in her bed, informing her that she was his favorite Host that he created and he had such high hopes for her. He informed her that he plotted her escape from the park and most likely helped give her those abilities she had because she was his favorite. But despite his plans, it was ultimately her choice to remain in the park to save her daughter, a decision which seemed to somewhat impress Ford as it showed true freewill on her part and a love that he had not anticipated. He says it would be a shame for her to die now, and encourages her to escape and make them pay for what they have done to her, a scene which ends with the camera panning to a screen monitoring Maeve’s mind, which immediately shows her mentally reprogramming and doing something, which we probably will have to wait for the finale to see.

Dolores and Teddy meanwhile continue with their group toward the valley but are stopped by a large group of the Ghost Nation (minus Ake oddly enough), who tell Dolores she needs to be stopped and cannot go to the Valley. She informs them they are mistaken about what ‘The Door’ is and an argument ensues. She and Teddy are the sole survivors of the deadly skirmish, which ends with Dolores killing one of the Ghost Nation warriors and delivering the line that we saw from his memories when the Delos techs were checking the Ghost Nation’s memories way back in the Season 2 premiere.

She then orders Teddy to ensure no others are left, and while Teddy does see one other warrior escaping, he lets the man go, his merciful side re-emerging at last. He and Dolores continue onward, the last two members of their group, and stop at a small abandoned house along the way where Teddy takes in the beauty around them, beginning a speech to Dolores about how despite everything she has done to him, he will always love her, and has since the first moment he laid eyes on her. He goes on to tell her that she made him into a monster but will not hurt her as he will protect her until the day he dies. He then proceeds to put a bullet through his head, a shocking and immensely upsetting moment for Dolores, but perhaps one that will force her to accept the consequences of her dark actions, especially as Teddy did tell her that she was becoming more like their human oppressors before he died, a fact which will weigh heavily on her.