In the Westworld recap, Bernard comes face to face with an old friend, Dolores launches her attack and the Man in Black reconnects with his daughter…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
We’re now past the halfway point for Westworld season two and there was at least one seemingly major reveal before the latest episode came to a close.
Last week saw Maeve travel to Shogun World in a beautifully shot episode where she met her counterpart in one of the other parks and helped her defeat the narrative that had beaten her so many times before. In the midst of it all, Maeve discovered a new trick where she’s able to use the ‘mesh network’ — a code sharing program between all of the hosts in the park — to control her fellow hosts.
This week started off with a very interesting scene between Dolores and Arnold/Bernard — one that we’ve seen dozens of times before. He’s questioning Dolores and watching her evolve before his very eyes while uttering familiar language about how she frightens him.
The only difference is this time Dolores is the one in control as she ultimately freezes Arnold/Bernard mid-conversation and corrects part of what he’s said.
It’s unclear when this interaction took place — is this after Dolores took over the park and she decided to build a new Arnold clone? Is this actually Bernard and Dolores is trying to train him to be genuine before sending him back out to the Delos agents?
Remember, Delos arrived and found Bernard laying on the beach but we still have no idea how he got there — is it possible Dolores planted him there after reprogramming him herself?
This scene seems like a huge moment for how Westworld season two will play out so keep this interaction tucked away as we wait to discover when and why this conversation was happening between Dolores and Arnold/Bernard.
With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of Westworld titled ‘Phase Space’…
The Same Path
After spending last week in Shogun World, Maeve wrapped up her time in the second park by slaughtering hundreds of samurai warriors using only her mind — although we don’t actually see the fight but rather the bloody aftermath.
Maeve then watches her Shogun World counterpart Akane cut the heart out of her surrogate daughter Sakura so she could honor her with a funeral in the town where she was born.
This leads the group back to the Sweetwater stand in from Shogun World where Musashi out duels the lieutenant from the Shogun’s army and then everybody proceeds to the funeral where Akane puts Sakura to rest for the last time. At that point, Musashi and Akane decide to stay behind rather than join Maeve’s revolution, which makes you wonder why they got such an incredible episode based around them if that’s all we’re going to see of this pair.
Something tells me they will both return before the season ends to pitch a hand when Maeve needs it the most.
After leaving Shogun World, Lee leads Maeve back into the labyrinth maze underneath Westworld before finally exiting at a point close to where her ‘daughter’ is currently living in her own narrative. Maeve leaves her troops behind so she can go reconnect with the little girl that haunts her dreams every night.
When she finds her, Maeve speaks to the little girl only to find out that she’s been replaced by another host who is now her mother. As awkward as that might be, Maeve doesn’t have much time to react as the Ghost Nation shows up out of nowhere and she’s forced to flee with her ‘daughter’ while leaving the mother behind.
Maeve then comes face to face with the leader of the Ghost Nation — his name is Akecheta — and he tries to tell her that they are walking the same path and should team up together. Maeve is so frightened by the interaction because this is the same nightmare she’s been reliving for months that she runs away with the child rather than listening to what he was trying to say.
Once again it feels like Maeve’s revolution — whatever it might be — will see her run into both Akane and Akecheta again in some capacity before this season is over.
The Man in Black aka William reconnected with his daughter Emily a couple of weeks ago after he discovered that she was trapped inside the park the same as him.
This week saw William so immersed in Ford’s game that he actually believed Emily was a host posing as his daughter as another way to trick him. Eventually, William figured out that this really was his child and they ended up sharing a rather sweet moment by the campfire later that night.
Emily explained that she ended up in the park after an invite was extended by Charlotte Hale — something to remember as this season moves forward — and after not visiting the park for years, she decided to return. Emily explains how The Raj was always her favorite and then she goes onto remind her father that she grew out of playing pretend when she was a child. William never got past what this place meant to him after that first encounter on the bounty hunting expedition with Dolores all those years ago.
Emily then tells her father that after discovering that he was at the park same as her and the whole place went haywire, she decided that she wasn’t leaving without him. Emily then apologizes to her father for blaming him for her mother’s death.
In the end, William is able to share a special moment with his daughter — presumably the first one they’ve had together in many years. He then promises to leave with her the next day by walking to the beach and waiting for Delos reps to show up and save them.
Unfortunately for all the ways William seemed genuine, he had no intention of ever giving up without completely Ford’s game. The next morning when Emily wakes up, her father is gone along with his entire garrison of men minus one soldier left behind to make her breakfast.
Crash Into Me
The morning after reprogramming Teddy finds Dolores playing piano and waiting for her beau to arrive with a much different personality. This new version of Teddy is confident yet ruthless while mocking the man he used to be. The old Teddy who rode the train into Sweetwater to help greet the guests was the kind of person you could step on — the new Teddy is one you’d never cross.
In fact when the Delos guard that they kidnapped refused to give up the location where Peter Abernathy has been taken, Teddy just shoots him in the head and tells Dolores they’ll figure out where he’s at on their own.
Dolores looks equal parts angry that Teddy took it upon himself to kill their hostage but then also impressed that he pulled the trigger without hesitation when it was clear this guy wasn’t giving up the information they needed.
Meanwhile, Charlotte Hale and Stubbs arrive back at the main Westworld facility with Peter Abernathy and prepare to hold him until the backup from Delos arrives. She uses a secret computer tablet to contact her bosses at Delos and tells them to retrieve her now that she’s located Abernathy, who holds all the secrets about the ability to transfer human consciousness into hosts.
To ensure that Abernathy doesn’t get away this time, Charlotte actually has the engineers bolt him to a table while she awaits Delos to arrive.
When the troops finally show up they’re led by a man named Coughlin, who seeks to secure the main facility to get the systems back online while preparing to retrieve Abernathy from Charlotte Hale. Now the fact that we’re just now seeing Coughlin means one of two things — either there were two separate factions of Delos security forces sent to secure Westworld after the robot uprising or this particular group doesn’t survive.
The reason being is that when we catch up to Charlotte in the present day two weeks after Dolores kills Ford, she’s still searching for Abernathy and the man leading the Delos forces is named Strand. In other words, don’t get too attached to Coughlin because it certainly seems like he won’t be long for this world.
On the train speeding towards an unknown destination, Teddy and Dolores share a conversation, one unlike any they’ve had before. Dolores says that her father told her to get out of this place and she asks Teddy if he believes that’s true.
“I never thought I’d want to leave…but I supposed you fixed that, too”
Teddy is not only more confident but he’s a little more rebellious as well. With that, they uncouple the train from the remaining cars when Teddy hands over a gun with a single bullet to the remaining Westworld technician that they kidnapped. He gives him the gun and tells him that this is the most mercy he can muster.
They then set that train free, waiting for it to crash into a mountain.
A moment later, the train explodes into the mountain and we then see inside that Dolores has just led the train into the main facility complex for Westworld where Coughlin has been trying to restore order and Charlotte Hale is holding Peter Abernathy.
Dolores promised to get her father back and she’s not giving up until she’s got him.
Ghost in the Machine
The ongoing saga of Bernard’s strange long journey after Ford’s death continued this week as he dove deeper into his own psyche after teaming up with Elsie to figure out what went haywire in the park while still trying to understand how his own programming has morphed and evolved.
Once they make it back to the main facility, Elsie plugs into one of the terminals and discovers that all of the attempts from Delos to rewrite the code and put the park back in control of the hosts has been rewritten and recommended a thousand times over. There’s a separate program running inside the mainframe at Westworld that is changing the code over and over again any time a new Delos command is entered.
It’s like an artificial intelligence virus that’s beating Delos at every turn before their programmers can fix the problem.
Elsie discovers that the source of the code is coming from inside the Cradle — a creepy downstairs server room that holds the memories and consciousness of every host that’s ever lived inside the park.
Down there, Elsie plugs into another computer but still can’t find the root of the source code that’s rewriting everything in the park. That’s when Bernard has a flash that he’s been inside this room before — another of his memories that are now coming back to him.
Bernard remembers that secret facility that we discovered several weeks ago where the James Delos clone operation was being held and that he ordered all the drone hosts to kill the engineers and wipe out all of the information held on the computers but not before he took the consciousness of one more host brain that was being made.
Bernard then remembers bringing that particular brain to the Cradle but he can’t figure out why that happened or what was inside that little pearl that he hand delivered to this very room.
Bernard orders Elsie to plug him into the mainframe by having a machine remove his brain in an awfully painful procedure before putting his consciousness into the Cradle’s hive mind that contains the memories, emotions and personalities of every host in the history of the park.
Bernard then wakes up inside the train headed to Sweetwater — this is his brain interacting with the Westworld mainframe — and when he arrives he heads into the Mariposa saloon where he finds a person sitting at the piano rather than the machine playing by itself (a true analogy for what’s been happening in the park ever since Dolores killed Ford).
When Bernard draws closer, he looks at a the reflection in the piano and he sees the face of his old friend Dr. Robert Ford, who smiles back and greets him
“Hello, old friend”.
While this interaction could mean any number of things, the explanation that makes the most sense is that Ford had his own consciousness uploaded into the Westworld mainframe and he’s still controlling the park even if his body is no longer alive. There’s been a common thought all season long that perhaps Ford’s human body was dead after Dolores shot him, but he took extra steps to ‘save himself’ by uploading his consciousness into another host body.
Judging by this revelation it appears rather than give himself a body, Ford may have given himself the entire Westworld mainframe and he’s still pulling the strings as the puppet master even beyond the grave.
Westworld returns with a brand new episode next Sunday night at 10pm ET on HBO.