In the latest ‘Westworld’ recap, a pair of friends with much different agendas arrive at the park, the Man in Black continues his hunt and Maeve wakes up to a scary new world…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
HBO has released the new episode of ‘Westworld’ early due to the Presidential debates on Sunday and you can watch on HBO Go, HBO On Demand or HBO Now. Here is our ‘Westworld’ recap now that the episode has been released.
“Dreams are mainly memories. Can you imagine how fucked we’d be if these poor assholes ever remembered what the guests do to them?”
That’s the response from one of the programmers on ‘Westworld’ this week when asked if the ‘hosts’ — the robots who serve up every twisted fantasy to the guests in the park — actually dream.
The answer really points to the root of what will likely unfold on ‘Westworld’ over the first season as the hosts begin to become more and more self-aware and the “memories” — the hundreds of past experiences that were supposedly wiped from their systems — start to bubble to the surface.
It already happened in a couple of ‘hosts’ last week as they started to twitch and spasm out from something as simple as a photo being shown to them and the symptoms are starting to get even more severe this week. Now the “dreams” are becoming more and more intense and it seems like it’s only a matter of time before the hosts strike back.
And remember in this place, the hosts outnumber the humans by hundreds.
Elsewhere this week, a pair of travelers arrive at ‘Westworld’ — presumably the TV show version of the original film — with one a veteran of this entire experience and the other a very nervous novice, who isn’t sure what to make of a world where no rules apply and anything goes.
And of course, the Man in Black continues to hunt for the root of ‘Westworld’ but we finally figure out his ultimate goal — or at least part of it.
With that said, let’s recap the second episode of ‘Westworld’ titled ‘Chestnut’…
William and Logan
If the first week of ‘Westworld’ gave us a glimpse of what it’s like to spend a day in this place, the second episode did a much deeper dive into the minds of the guests who arrive at the theme park ready for all manner of debauchery.
Enter William and Logan.
Logan is a veteran of Westworld, having visited the park was must be dozens of times in the past and he knows exactly what he’s after. Meanwhile he’s brought along his co-worker and sort of friend William, who he believes needs to unwind and discover what he’s truly after by exploring the world where there are no limits.
William’s “orientation” is really a beginner’s guide for all of the viewers who had to be wondering what it’s like to arrive in a place like this, especially when having no idea what to expect. When William steps into Westworld for the first time, he’s greeted by a beautiful woman, who shows him to a room catered to his exact measurements so he can get dressed for the full immersion into his narrative. Even this is an exercise in curiosity because William asks the woman if she’s real or fake and her response sums up the exact nature of what Westworld is really all about.
“If you can’t tell, does it matter?”
William gets dressed and joins Logan on the train into Sweetwater where their Westworld experience begins. Logan knows exactly what he’s after — with a lot of aggression and a lot of sex — while William is clearly more timid and can’t quite grasp that nothing around him is actually real.
At dinner when William gets drawn into a conversation with a host who is trying to get him to go on a treasure hunting adventure, Logan puts a stop to it by driving his fork through his hand. As the host screams in pain and squirms as the blood gushes from his hand, William is horrified at what he just witnessed. Logan, on the other hand, is only thinking about his next conquest, which includes a foursome with three of the buxom and beautiful hosts who wait at his beck and call.
Meanwhile, William finally spends some time alone with a lady — the gorgeous Clementine, who we first met at the brothel last week — and he still can’t close the deal with her out of guilt for the woman he has waiting for him at home. This dilemma speaks to the very heart of this show — is it really cheating if you’re having sex with an android who is not actually alive? Or is the very act enough to consider this immorality?
The same question swirls around any number of atrocities committed throughout the park.
Finally after their first day inside Westworld, Logan is only fueled up for more while William finally immerses himself into the experience when he happens upon Delores Abernathy and her constant habit of dropping a can of food on the street in Sweetwater. He picks up the can and hands it back to her — an act we’ve seen her beau Teddy perform numerous times in the past — and when William catches her eye, it’s clear that he’s finally been drawn into this strange new place — at least on some level.
The Man in Black
30 years spent playing inside Westworld makes the Man in Black not only an expert but a VIP when it comes to his experience inside this place. But after all this time, the Man in Black is no longer interested in packing his bag and going to Westworld for a two week vacation.
He wants to stay there forever.
That’s the revelation we get from the Man in Black this week after scalping a host a week ago and finding a maze style map underneath the skin on his head. Now this week, the Man in Black rescues an outlaw named Lawrence, who was just about to be executed, and he’s determined that this host can tell him where to find the maze.
To draw out the information, the Man in Black takes Lawrence back to his hometown. It’s here that the Man in Black explains that for all the time he’s spent inside Westworld and all the things he’s learned about Lawrence, this is the first he’s ever discovered that the outlaw also had a family. So the Man in Black uses Lawrence’s wife and daughter as collateral to get the information he needs about the maze.
The Man in Black eventually kills an entire posse sent to rescue Lawrence and then kills his wife as well.
Upstairs in the control room, one of the people tasked with keeping an eye on the guests in the park shows Stubbs, the head of security, just how ruthless the Man in Black has been on his latest visit. Stubbs brushes off the inquiry and says this guest can do whatever he wants.
Meanwhile back inside the park, the Man in Black is just about to execute the little girl when she switches from a crying child to the robot she’s always been. She gives the Man in Black a riddle of sorts on where to find the entrance to the maze. Now that he has what he wants, Lawrence tells the Man in Black to leave them alone and just go home. That’s when the Man in Black reveals what he’s really after.
“You don’t understand, Lawrence, I’m never going back”
Does this mean the Man in Black wants to find a way to eliminate the control room and just stay inside Westworld forever? Or does he want to actually upload his own consciousness into a host so he can literally stay without ever leaving? Whatever his intentions, the Man in Black is still digging for answers and he’s not going anywhere until he gets them.
Did You Do Something Wrong?
There was a lot happening inside the park at Westworld this week, but there was also plenty going on upstairs as well in the control rooms.
Bernard has continued to eliminate the anomaly that caused a number of hosts to malfunction last week and he tells Cullen, the head of operations, that everything is back to normal. Clearly that’s not the case, however, because Bernard has been spending extra sessions with Delores as he continues to probe into her programming and what exactly she might be carrying with her from day to day. Then again, Bernard might be the person planting these anomalies because when she asks if he’s done anything wrong, he tells her to erase this interaction from her memory before returning to the park.
Is he looking for an answer or perhaps is he the one who started this problem in the first place?
Bernard has plenty on his plate these days because Cullen is also questioning him about the issues with the hosts because corporate has plans for a “launch” and they don’t want anything to foul up the works. My guess is Westworld is expanding into new themes and new parks and the people running the place don’t want any problems here or it might hinder them from expanding into new worlds. The original ‘Westworld’ movie there were three parks — Westworld (set in the Old West), Medieval World and Roman World (set in the Roman City of Pompeii).
It turns out, Bernard and Cullen are also sleeping together when they’re not clashing over policy but it seems he’s looking for more interaction and she’s just looking for a good lay. He wants to talk. She’s just fine laying there in silence.
Meanwhile, Lee — the storyteller in charge of creating narratives for the guests — has come up with an entirely new plot that he wants to unleash. It’s called Odyssey on Red River and it comes complete with cannibals, beautiful damsels in distress and a band of Native American savages to round out the story. After Lee’s very exuberant explanation about this story, Dr. Robert Ford — the founder of Westworld — immediately shoots down the idea.
As he explains it, this story is a vision ripped right out of Lee’s own head but that’s not what the guests have come to experience. It’s not about giving them a garish adventure — it’s about a journey of self-discovery and self-fulfillment.
“They’re not looking for a story that tells them who they are. They already know who they are. They’re here because they want a glimpse of who they could be.”
It seems Ford has his own idea for a new narrative — one that he imagines while going on a walk through one particularly desolate part of the park where he encounters a little boy wandering through the desert all alone. Ford shares stories with the boy, who seemingly has a similar background the creator behind Westworld, and in the end he happens upon a structure that looks like a steeple that will one day turn into a church.
This is Ford’s idea for a new narrative — it appears that he’s going to introduce religion into the story? It also brings into question the existence of this little boy — he’s clearly a host meant to play some role, but he certainly seems like a creation of the creator — a younger version of Dr. Robert Ford.
The main crux of the story this week surround Maeve — the brothel hostess, who spends her every waking moment inside the whorehouse trying to dish out pleasure like waitresses hand out food.
Maeve has an early encounter with Delores in this episode where she whispers the same words that came from her father a week ago — these violent delights have violent ends (which comes from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet). From that moment on, Maeve continuously has flashbacks to a past experience inside the park — one where she’s a mother to a young girl and her family is attacked by a group of Native Americans. Some of her people are scalped and then Maeve and her daughter escape, only to come face to face with the Man in Black, who draws his knife and seemingly kills them both. This vision haunts Maeve in constant repetition throughout her experiences during the episode.
The programmers are also tinkering with Maeve after she fails to seduce one customer and then goes full Donald Trump and just grabs the crotch of another patron without permission. Finally it takes Elise, the young, ambitious programmer who has a thing for Clementine, to find the perfect programming to put Maeve back on the market.
Still, Maeve isn’t all the way right because later that day she’s in the brothel having a drink alongside Teddy when gunshots ring out and he’s cut down like a dog. The men shooting Teddy celebrate and say that this is the best vacation ever while Maeve is horrified at what she’s just seen happen.
After that experience, Maeve is brought upstairs for some hardware repair but in the middle of the “surgeons” cutting through her body, she wakes up after once again flashing through this intense series of dreams. Maeve opens her eyes and quickly grabs a scalpel away from one of the surgeons and proceeds to run out of the complex — completely naked mind you — until she walks into another building. Inside, Maeve is shocked to see body parts being tossed around like garbage and in one room she sees Teddy being hosed down and cleaned up, his eyes wide open, while they spray away the blood from his multiple gunshot wounds.
Maeve falls to the ground, terrified of what she’s seeing, when the two programmers run into the building and inject her with something to knock her out cold. The programmers both agree to keep this a secret because they are always supposed to put the androids into sleep mode before cutting them open. Unfortunately, the programmer did his job — but Maeve woke up anyways.
Earlier in the episode, Maeve explained to Clementine how to wake herself up from a bad nightmare by counting back from three until you just open your eyes and realize that everything is OK. During her recent visit with Elsie, Maeve is re-programmed and then told to wake up in 3…2…1.
It appears that Maeve has remembered this little trick taught to her by the programmers and now she’s able to wake herself up from a slumber — even when she’s been commanded to sleep.
Finally, Delores continues with her strange behavior until she finally wanders just outside her farmhouse — the same place where she watched Teddy get gunned down before she was assaulted by the Man in Black — and there she walks directly to a specific spot on the ground. She clears away the dirt and picks up a gun that’s been laying in the soil.
Delores now has a gun — the same kind of weapon that is handed out to the guests but never the hosts because these are the ones that shoot real bullets. Was this weapon planted for her to find? Did Delores already have this gun and she left it there to find after her most recent memory wipe? Is someone leaving these items near the Abernathy farm on purpose — remember her father found a picture last week that triggered his entire meltdown — and this is the beginning of the robots becoming self aware?
For now, we have a lot of questions but just like the Man in Black, there’s a huge maze that still needs to be explored before the answers are unveiled.
‘Westworld’ returns next Sunday night at 9 p.m. ET on HBO