‘Westworld’ Recap ‘Virtu E Fortuna’: Survival of the Fittest

In the Westworld recap, a new park is revealed, Dolores plans her counter attack after running into a familiar face and Maeve continues the hunt for her daughter…

By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer

At the start of Westworld season two, we learned that there are at least six parks on the island that makes up this adult fantasyland.

Following last week’s episode that dug into the history of how Delos got involved as a majority shareholder in the park not to mention Dolores traveling outside the confines of Westworld into the real world, the latest episode offers a ton more action with the return of Charlotte Hale and her never dying conquest to capture Peter Abernathy.

Remember last season, Charlotte implanted some sort of file inside Abernathy’s brain after he was taken out of rotation when he started glitching inside the park. Charlotte’s plan was to put whatever information she was attempting to steal and put it inside Abernathy’s mechanical brain before ordering him to leave the park on the same train where Maeve was originally going to exit as well.

Unfortunately due to the robot uprising, Abernathy never made his train and so now Charlotte has to find him or the Delos higher ups won’t bother sending in a retrieval unit to rescue them. Of course it should be noted that Delos leader William is actually stuck in the park right now, so you’d have to imagine the company would make an exception to come rescue him, right?

Anyways — the time jumping continues with flashes forward and back again following Bernard’s strange long trip through the park from both present and the past as well as a further look at Dolores’ rampage to free the hosts from their human captors.

And of course Maeve is still making her way through the park on a mission to find her daughter when she’s greeted by an old friend and perhaps a new enemy before it’s all said and done.

With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of Westworld titled ‘Virtu E Fortuna’ (Virtue and Fortune in Italian)…

The Raj

The episode starts in a new place — it’s called The Raj — and it’s another part of the Westworld parks. This one is set during the period when India was under British rule (which was called The British Raj) and it’s here where privileged rich folks go to dine and hunt safari animals like Bengal tigers.

We meet a woman named Grace who interacts with a strange man inside the park — all set to the sitar version of The White Stripes’s ‘Seven Nation Army’ — and their flirtation leads back to her room. But before they can get down to business, Grace needs to know that she’s about to sleep with a human rather than a host.

While most people come to Westworld to fuck or kill their way through the park, Grace apparently has similar designs but she only wants to have sex with the humans. To test this theory, Grace decides to shoot her new date with a gun — if the bullet just bruises him, then he’s human. If it kills him, then he’s a host.

Apparently the weapons inside Westworld are designed so bullets that are fired at humans slow down enough after release from the chamber that they do no more damage than getting hit with a paint gun pellet. When the same weapons are pointed at hosts, the bullets fire with full force and the impact is deadly. It seems before Robert Ford died, he took the safety features off those weapons to give the hosts just as much power to kill as the humans who were firing back at them.

In this case, however, Grace’s booty call survives and they get it on before joining a safari to go hunting tigers. The only problem is once they arrive at the camp, Grace notices that there are no hosts or humans where they would normally be. A look around the camp and Grace finds several guests shot to death on the floor in their tents and a second later the guide from their expedition draws his weapon and kills her man friend.

Grace is able to load a gun quick enough to kill the host coming after her but then she’s on the run all by herself. That’s when she runs into the Bengal tiger she was going to hunt that same day.

Grace makes a run for it — crossing over park lines where there are boundaries set up throughout the island — and that’s when she reaches a huge cliff staring over top of a huge body of water that looks like the ocean. Grace doesn’t get a chance to jump or stand because the tiger comes charging at her and they both go over the ledge.

When we next find Grace, she’s climbing out of the water next to the Bengal tiger that was found dead by Karl Strand and his hunting party inside the park after Delos forces arrived, which means the opening scene in The Raj was from the past. After Grace climbed out of the water, she was greeted by a group of soldiers from Ghost Nation, who then took her captive. What happened to Grace?

Well apparently she plays an important role this season so Grace will definitely return after crossing over into Westworld from The Raj and leaving a dead Bengal tiger where it didn’t belong.

An interesting side note that ‘Grace’ was the name used for the character for casting in Westworld but that may not be her actual name. There are theories floating around that perhaps this ‘Grace’ is actually the Man in Black’s daughter, who we met briefly in a flashback last week when she interacted with Dolores while she played a piano at James Delos’ retirement party. The Man in Black spoke about his daughter last season when he discussed his wife’s death after 30 years of marriage. His daughter more or less blamed him for her mother’s death so perhaps ‘Grace’ is actually Emily — his daughter and presumably a major shareholder in Delos?

Then again in the flashbacks last week, Emily had blonde hair when she met Dolores so perhaps this ‘Grace’ character is another Delos board member? She seemed very familiar with the park and had a map drawn out inside of that diary she was keeping like she was looking for something specific. Either way, keep an eye on this character because there’s more to her than just a guest being chased by a tiger.

Survival of the Fittest

Karl Strand — the head of Delos security squad sent to restore order — is leading his team across the park, sector by sector and taking out any rogue hosts who oppose them. Strand then gets some unfortunate news from one of his commanding officers that the inside control room area has been gutted and destroyed.

Strand leads his team into the bowels of the park — from the look of things it’s where Maeve and Hector started their rampage a season ago — and that’s where they run into Charlotte Hale, who has been coordinating her own team from there. Charlotte is reunited with Bernard after they were surviving together two weeks ago when this ordeal first began with Dolores blowing Robert Ford’s head off. Charlotte is shocked to see Bernard because she never figured he would survive but her only concern right now is to find Peter Abernathy.

Strand hasn’t located him yet and Bernard apparently lost track of him as well as Charlotte mentions how he just keeps slipping through their grasp. That’s when Bernard’s memory begins glitching again and we cut back to a little less than two weeks ago when he first started searching for Abernathy after sending out a park wide message to locate him.

That’s our next time jump back this week as we pick up with Bernard and Charlotte hunting for Abernathy and eventually finding him. Sadly, Abernathy has been captured alongside a group of humans from the Delos dinner party as a band of outlaws plans to ransom them off to the highest bidder.

Bernard and Charlotte concoct a plan to lure away one of the outlaws, knocking him unconscious and then reprogramming him for help. Since the network is down, Bernard has to hardwire into the host and he turns this outlaw into the most virtuous gun in the west so as soon as he’s ‘turned on’ again, he saves the humans from the other outlaws and they are able to get Abernathy away from the rest of the group.

Unfortunately, the outlaws were selling these prisoners to the Confederados, who show up to collect their property and that ends in a gunfight that forces Charlotte to turn and run away while Bernard and Abernathy are both captured.

Meanwhile, in another part of the park, Dolores shows up with her army to the home base where the Confederados are planning to take Glory, which is all part of their park written narrative.

Dolores arrives with Major Braddock, who she killed and then resurrected a week ago to prove her power, and she asks for the Colonel in the Confederado army to join forces under her command. As a gift, Dolores hands over one of the automatic weapons stolen from the park security guards and he’s amazed at how it explodes with rapid fire shots. The Colonel agrees to help Dolores when she tells him that a garrison of soldiers will soon arrive with these same kinds of weapons with plans to wipe out their entire army.

Before the attack, Dolores is first reunited with her ‘father’ Peter Abernathy as well as Bernard when the other group of Confederados arrives with their prisoners in tow.

Dolores puts her father into his own room so she can go to check on him and that’s when she finds that he’s anything but all right. Abernathy is scrambled and barely making sense with incoherent messages, almost like he’s suffering from dementia, but he does manage to recognize his daughter and he shares a moment with Dolores before his robot brain begins to flutter again.

Unlike her past relationship with Arnold, Dolores looks at Bernard with a lot more disdain than the man he was made to look like.

Bernard questions what Dolores is up to with her robot rebellion and where she plans to go with this. She responds by saying that she wants to dominate this world — and the world that lies outside the walls of this park.

“You’ve never been outside the park have you? Out to that great world you speak of. I have. And the world out there is marked by survival. By a kind that refuses to die. And here we are, a kind that will never know death and yet we’re fighting to live. There is beauty in what we are. Should we too try to survive?” ~ Dolores 

Dolores the asks Bernard to find out what happened to her father so he plugs into Abernathy and discovers that he’s been encoded with some kind of data that is hiding behind a wall of encryption. As Dolores goes to deal with the oncoming attack from the Westworld security forces, Bernard stays behind and eventually cracks the encryption. He’s stunned at what he finds hiding inside Abernathy’s brain but we still don’t know exactly what he was attempting to smuggle out of the park.

As for those Westworld security forces, they are being led by Charlotte Hale, who made it back to one of the safe zones inside the park and that’s where she assembled her forces to go back out into the park to retrieve Abernathy.

When the group arrives, Dolores launches her counter attack as a massive gun fight breaks out at the Confederados home base. The fight turns into a slaughter as the soldiers have rifles and side arms while the Delos security forces have machine guns.

It turns out this was all part of Dolores’ plan as she shuts the gates on the Confederados before ordering her solider Angela to blow up a stockpile of explosives outside that kill the rest of the Delos security forces. Well it kills everybody except for one car that made it inside with Charlotte Hale and she’s able to take Peter Abernathy.

Dolores spots her father being taken and she charges towards that car with the resolve of a Terminator as she fires shot after shot — and taking a bullet in her side and one in her shoulder without even flinching — as she continues to blast away in an attempt to stop Charlotte from taking Abernathy. Sadly, Charlotte gets away and Dolores orders her soldiers known as the Horde to begin a park wide search to get him back.

As for Bernard, he’s twitchier than ever now when Clementine finds him, clocks him with a gun, and drags him back into camp.

Charlotte made her getaway with Abernathy but by the time we catch up to her less than two weeks later, she’s lost him again.

As for Dolores, back inside the Confederados’ fort, she orders Teddy to execute Major Braddock and his men after they erupt in anger after figuring out that their army was nothing more than pawns in her grand game. Dolores knows that not all hosts are going to survive this uprising and some of them are so simplistic that they can’t accept the fact that they are more than just robots on a chessboard being moved around by the guests.

Still she witnesses Teddy show remorse when faced with the task of killing Braddock and his last remaining men before allowing them to leave. Not following Dolores’ orders is a great way to get killed — as we saw with Teddy in the debut episode when he was found floating in that body of water alongside a huge number of other hosts.

While that might read as betrayal — perhaps Teddy turned on Dolores — it’s more likely that she realized he’s not as developed as she has become and he’s still a child by comparison. Teddy is loyal to Dolores because he’s been programmed that way and she wants soldiers who are willing to follow to fight for their freedom.

It’s likely that is what gets Teddy killed because he’s just not ready to experience the world outside the park just yet.

First things first, Dolores tells Teddy that they have to get back to Sweetwater because there’s something there she needs.

One more side note —Bernard saw what was inside Abernathy’s brain and when the Delos forces arrived, he seemed more out of sorts than ever before. Is it possible that Bernard took whatever information that was downloaded into Abernathy’s head and put it into his own instead? Is Bernard actually carrying around this sacred information that Charlotte Hale was so desperate to get outside the park?

Something tells me Bernard is the one holding onto that file now.

Shogun World

Maeve, Hector and Lee are still making their way through the park in search of Maeve’s daughter when they happen upon some members of the Ghost Nation tribe. It seems the Ghost Nation are collecting humans and they will led the group pass so long as they hand over Lee Sizemore.

Maeve attempts to use her jedi mind trick on the hosts after she gave herself that kind of power when her attributes were changed back in season one. Remember humans working at the park are supposed to be able to command things like ‘freeze all motor functions’ and the hosts respond. Now the hosts aren’t responding and perhaps they are no longer listening to Maeve either.

The group is forced to make a quick getaway with Lee leading them to an elevator where they drop back down inside the inner workings of the park.

It’s there where Lee expresses his frustration seeing Maeve and Hector holding hands because this isn’t the narrative he built for either one of their characters. He insists that they were each meant to be along with Hector pining over his lost love Isabella from now until forever. Maeve and Hector disagree that they are following some sort of internal programming.

That seems fine until Hector starts spouting off why he loves Maeve and Lee speaks along with him, word for word. It seems Lee still knows what’s going on inside Hector’s head, despite the fact that he’s woken up and seeing the world for what it really is. Don’t forget last season, Bernard discovered that Maeve was working on a new narrative that was given to her by an anonymous person — she was programmed to revolt.

Are Maeve and Hector still following their programming and don’t even know it?

Regardless they soon find some back up when they run into their old friend Armistice, who has a new arm after having her old one ripped off by a door at the end of last season. Armistice was helping Hector and Maeve with the uprising when she got stuck in a security door that was closing.

It seems Armistice didn’t just survive but she upgraded after getting the new arm and now she’s brandishing a flame-thrower as well. She leads them back into the lab where Maeve is reunited with Felix and Sylvester, the two Westworld techs who she originally coerced into helping her break free of this place.

Now Maeve needs Felix and Sylvester to come with them on this exploration of the park to help find her daughter.

Along the way after going back into Westworld, they spot a campfire and Maeve wonders if these latest hosts she’s encountering are friend or foe. Lee looks around the camp ground and that’s when he finds a severed samurai head in the snow. That’s when he realizes that this is probably the last place they want to be right now.

A second later, Maeve sees a shadow off in the distance and instantaneously the form comes charging at them with a sword in hand — this is one of the soldiers from Shogun World, another part of the park that we will encounter next week!

Westworld returns with a brand new episode next Sunday night at 9pm ET on HBO.

 

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