‘Westworld’ Recap ‘Les Ecorches’: The Scientific Method

In the Westworld recap, Bernard is hearing voices in his head, Dolores gets to her father and Maeve reaches the end of her road…

By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer

Bit by bit, Westworld is finally starting to reveal some answers.

Following last week’s episode that revealed Robert Ford was still very much alive — just not the way you might imagine — the curtain was lifted on many of the biggest mysteries surrounding this season.

The biggest is that the entire purpose of Westworld was to serve as an experiment of sorts where the hosts are always on a constant loop because they are being used as the constant while the guests are the variables. Each interaction is done to study the guests with the hosts keeping detailed records of each encounter.

As Ford revealed to Bernard in his dream state this week, James Delos selfishly wanted to recreate himself as a host but the human brain can’t be completely copied and rebuilt into a machine. As we saw with Delos, the experiment failed time and time again.

What Ford discovered is that you can’t copy the human brain but you can recreate a very close facsimile as he did with Bernard. See Bernard isn’t an exact copy of his old friend Arnold but instead as close to the original as possible but much more stable. To accomplish this, Ford had Dolores test Bernard dozens of time for fidelity — all of those early interview scenes between the two of them were attempts to get the clone as close to the original as possible.

The end result was Bernard — a nearly perfect carbon copy of Arnold without all the entanglements that doomed Delos from finding immortality.

It seems Ford’s end game was to recreate humanity as hosts — a species that will live forever and can also find peace and tranquility rather than war because their brains are ultimately computers rather than the jumbled mess of neurons clanking around in the brain.

It’s an ambitious plan — one Ford is closer to accomplishing by the end of the latest episode.

With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of Westworld titled ‘Les Ecorches’ (which is French for ‘Skinned’


For the sake of continuity, we’re going to go in chronological order with the recap starting with the oldest event and then moving forward.

We pick up right where we left off last week with Bernard plugging himself into the park interface in an attempt to find out why this code was constantly stopping the system from rebooting and putting humans back in control.

That’s when he runs into his old friend Dr. Robert Ford.

It seems Ford had Bernard copy his brain and then upload it into the mainframe, which means the creator of Westworld is now literally living in the computer system keeping the park together (or helping it fall apart depending on how you look at it).

Ford then reveals all the secrets about humans becoming hosts — which is why he had Bernard upload his brain into the park mainframe where it could survive versus putting it back into a host, which was then doomed to fail.

“The human mind — the last analog device in a digital world”

Ford then takes Bernard to the home that Arnold was building before his death and that’s where he had the experiment take shape. Ford had Dolores work with Bernard for years until a replica close enough to the original Arnold was made. Again, the human brain can’t just be copied and transferred over into a host — but this method where memories and testing reshapes the host brain into nearly identical copy of the human main actually works.

Ford then tells Bernard because of the true nature of the hosts, they are always doomed to fail in this uprising against humanity until they find away to ‘open the door’. Ford then takes away Bernard’s free will by uploading his consciousness into his old friend’s brain.

Ford is now living like Tyler Durden in Bernard’s head — as if they are two people of the same mind — and he’s got a few objectives he needs to complete if he’s going to make the hosts truly free.


As for Maeve, she is running away with her daughter as the Ghost Nation continues to pursue her. She eventually runs back to a cabin where she hides inside in an attempt to shelter her daughter from any further harm.

As it turns out, the Ghost Nation weren’t the only ones tracking Maeve because a few moments later the Man in Black and his posse arrive on the next part of their quest to solve Ford’s puzzle.

When the Man in Black finds Maeve, she’s having flashbacks from her previous storyline where he was the person who would storm into their house, take her daughter and eventually kill her. This time, Maeve is ready to fight back while William is utterly confused as he believes this is another of Ford’s plants sent here to test him.

Unfortunately before William realizes that Ford isn’t the one in charge, Maeve shoots him twice and then uses her mind control ability to send two more soldiers after him as well. The Man in Black is shot multiple times but just before Maeve can put him away with the kill shot, Lawrence shows up and puts a gun to her head. Maeve tries to control him but it’s not working, which means Lawrence is actually one of the hosts who is truly awake.

Maeve can’t use her mind control over the mesh network to control hosts who are actually awake.

So rather than control him, Maeve reminds Lawrence of all the evil things the Man in Black has done to him over the years. Lawrence finally snaps and puts a bullet into the Man in Black just as machine gun fire rings out.

Lee Sizemore has managed to recruit some Delos guards and they’ve come to ambush as many hosts as they can find. Maeve is gunned down as are the rest of the hosts in the area while the Man in Black is just left for dead as he continues to bleed out.

Lee implores the soldiers not to kill Maeve as they load her into their SUV and take off for home base again.

Head Games

Back at the Mesa, we pick up where things left off a week ago with Dolores crashing a train into the control center for her attack while the Delos guards are left scrambling to secure the area while Charlotte Hale attempts to extract the information from Peter Abernathy’s head.

All of this is happening while Elsie is downstairs in the Cradle with Bernard, who is still plugged into the mainframe in his dream conversation with Ford.

Coughlin (the mustached Delos leader) sends his soldiers down to deal with the invading hosts while Charlotte desperately tries to extract the information from Abernathy before they are overrun.

Dolores’ forces ultimately prove to be too much as they are able to overtake the Delos soldiers, killing each and every one of them including one particularly brutal beat down from Teddy to the squad leader Coughlin.

When Dolores finds what Charlotte has done to her father, she attempts to save him before then offering to carve up the Delos executive as payback. Of course Charlotte, full of hubris, believes that she can talk her way out of this situation but yet again she’s underestimating Dolores, who knows exactly what’s hiding inside her father’s head.

Dolores lays out in detail how the humans are trying to achieve immortality by becoming hosts and that’s why they need Abernathy’s brain. Charlotte then warns Dolores that the hosts’ own immortality is being threatened right now because the Cradle is under attack and that’s where all the backups are kept.

In other words, if a host dies, the park programmers can just take the memories from the Cradle and plug it into a new body. Dolores almost laughs in Charlotte’s face as she tells her that the Cradle was just one more link in the chain that Delos used to control the hosts.

That’s why downstairs in the cradle, a wounded Angela uses a grenade and blows the whole thing sky high. The entire backup network has now been destroyed completely along with poor Angela.

Clementine also met her fate during the fire fight but the end goal was achieved.

Dolores knows she can’t save her father — downloading that information into his system has completely corrupted him — but she is able to cut out the brain and take that with her instead. Hale and Stubbs are able to slip away during the gun battle but Dolores has what she wants as she prepares for the next steps of her plan.

That involves a trip to ‘the Valley Beyond’ — which has been the end goal for Dolores all season long. That’s where Ford’s narrative actually ends.

Perhaps this is an exit to leave the island where Westworld is located or something more, but that’s where Dolores is headed and she’s got exactly what Charlotte Hale wants.

As for Bernard — with Ford now implanted in his brain — he’s walking around like he’s Mr. Robot with a friend talking to him at all times. Bernard allows Elsie to escape but he then makes his way into the main control room.

There, Ford tells Bernard that this is now his story and he has to do what he wants — and that’s crashing the last of the system controls, which means Dolores would be completely free and unfettered from any tracking device much less maps to show where she’s going.

On his way out, Bernard is stopped by some guards but Ford more or less commands him to kill all of them — and to absolve him from the crime, he takes over his body and guns down anybody standing in their way.

As for Dolores she makes her way down to the basement level where she plans to escape with Teddy and the remaining hosts still fighting for her. There she runs into Maeve, who is broken and bleeding, just minutes from death.

Maeve tells her that she was trying to save her daughter, that was her only purpose after breaking free. Dolores offers to put a bullet in her brain, putting an end to her suffering as the hosts can no longer be restored once they die. Maeve passes on that option knowing that Delos will likely rip her apart for information.

Still, Dolores honors her wishes as Maeve has free will now and she makes her hasty exit with Teddy while holding onto the brain that belonged to her father, Peter Abernathy as they make their way to the Valley Beyond.

The Valley Beyond

In present day, Strand is leading his team with Charlotte Hale in an attempt to find Abernathy’s brain, which will then allow them to get the hell off this crazy island once and for all. After a thorough investigation, Strand is now convinced that either Stubbs or Bernard were the masterminds behind this entire operation so he takes them to the childhood house that Ford built, which also contained a secret lab in the basement.

Now we remember this lab from last season when Ford took Bernard down there and that’s where he discovered that he was a host. Bernard then killed Theresa Cullen because she was getting too close to the truth about what was happening in the park.

A search around the lab leads to another secret room where Charlotte discovers Ford’s most diabolical secret. She finds numerous ‘Bernard’ models — some put together, others not much more than a robot with some skin and facial features.

For the first time, Charlotte knows that Bernard is a host.

So they put him back into analysis mode to get answers about where Dolores is taking Abernathy’s brain. Bernard eventually gives up the location with a certain sector coordinates, which is exactly what is known as the Valley Beyond. Now Charlotte is ready to lead Strand to the location to retrieve Abernathy’s brain so she can take that information back to Delos.

What is more likely, however, is Bernard was never out of control — remember Ford has been downloaded into his brain and they are no longer even attached to the system whatsoever. That means Bernard is likely just putting on a show for Charlotte Hale so he can give her the location where Dolores will be waiting for her to arrive.

Remember, we’ve been bouncing around timelines all season long but it would seem Dolores had days to reach ‘the valley beyond’ by now, which probably means whatever she has planned is already well in motion. What happens when Delos forces arrive to stop her and retrieve that brain?

Tune into Westworld next week at 9pm ET on HBO with only three episodes to go this season

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