Westworld is one of those shows which is hard to recap because you almost want to quote every word because nearly every speech has so much nuance
Take our opening scene with Arnold and Delores having a conversation about a dozen or so different things at once.
But after all that setting it up we now have Bernard waking up on the beach to see an army of people moving in. Stubbs, the former security head, is the only familiar face and everything is under the control of Karl Strand, a Delos big wig with a small army of men. We also have one of the big mysteries solved - where is Westworld? Well we have actual soldiers from an actual government wanting to find out what is happening only to be given their marching orders by Strand because apparently their government gave them possession of this island and complete rights over it. Even in the case of massacres apparently
So Westworld is an island - and we hear there are 6 more parks on this island as well because some creatures (like a tiger) are crossing borders). What we do see a lot this episode is a lot more blurring of lines between the humans and the hosts - we see this from Karl as well. His men are rounding up hosts and shooting them.
And yes I expected them to destroy the hosts. But this isn’t how you deal with malfunctioning equipment. This isn’t even how you deal with equipment that you’re scrapping. Especially very expensive equipment - and doubly so when it’s resilient. After all, from a practical point of view, hosts are designed for two things: to be super realistic and to be killed repeatedly. Any competent designer would make them resilient and easily repaired - especially when facing bullet wounds which in an old west park happens a LOT. Gathering them together and shooting them? Not a clever way to destroy them. But it is how you kill a human enemy...
Bernard is having something of an amnesia incident which Karl really needs him to get over, especially when they examine one of the host’s memories and find that Delores is the one killing everyone - human and host alike. Which rather confuses the tech because Delores is the nice welcoming face and she has gone waaaay further off script than hosts are supposed to.
So let’s have some flashbacks. Bernard and a group of expendable extras and Charlotte. She thinks that This is all set up by Ford as an elaborate suicide and doesn’t buy Bernard’s theory that the hosts are acting on their own free will. They try to escape, killing one pretty innocent host, finding other hosts torturing and killing humans and the extras all eventually walk into a trap and are slaughtered by former members of Wyatts gang who are now following Delories.
That leaves Bernard and Charlotte to find one of Charlotte’s secret Delos bases. Inside are deeply deeply creepy drone hosts who are doing disturbing experiments harvesting guest DNA and experiences from hosts… which to me means either a) blackmail or b) scarily accurate clone hosts used to replace people in the real world and do Delos’s bidding. Both makes Delos scary.
Charlotte seeks a rescue but her bosses don’t really give a shit about her - they want the host she uploaded all the secret data on. Until she delivers that, no rescue. But Bernard knows tricks which will help her track this Host (Delores’s father) down.
But he’s also having problems. During the escape he was… wounded?Damaged? Basically his brain is cracked and he needs to inject himself with more host brain goo to keep functioning. This could be a problem and introduce a weird serial killer storyline.
And from here we have Delores.
I think one of the main questions on this season is less “who is a host and who is human” but how awake are various hosts? Like we’ve seen Rebus, a rather nasty host, killing humans in torturous ways - is he awake and seeking revenge or just following his programming to be a nasty mid-level bad guy who just sees humans as other hosts now?