Given the revelations in this episode, I'm downright speechless. Don't even try to play like y'all saw this coming because you didn't and neither did I. I don't even know where to begin this review/recap because I'm just so stunned.
Last week we learned that Theresa is the one behind the host bashing his own head in, in an attempt to transmit information about the park to the board. Charlotte arrived last week and it seems that she's there to throw her weight around. Theresa is ordered to report in and Charlotte pauses the romp she's having with a host and actually answers the door naked. Theresa offers to come back later when Charlotte is errr less busy; however, an unconcerned Charlotte is determined to hold the meeting. Setting it up in this fashion is a way of showing Theresa her power and just how little regard Charlotte actually has for Theresa. As we've heard before, the board isn't really interested in the park per say, but the technology and to that end, the board will do anything to secure it. Because Ford built the part he was able to install certain controls which insured that the IT didn't leave the park. Ford also has the ability to control everything in the park and therefore the board fears that when they try to force his retirement, he'll simply delete everything in vengeance. To that end, Charlotte determines that another accident needs to be created and that it will involve a blood sacrifice. Blood sacrifice is a peculiar choice of words and it is a phrase we hear again later in the episode.
Okay, I have to pause here to talk about Charlotte. Is anyone else curious how it is that a woman so young could have so much power? Where does it really come from and is she just a figure head for someone else? Of all the characters, Charlotte makes the least sense to me.
At any rate, Clementine is taken from the bawdy house and brought to the lab for a little experiment, which Ford and Bernard are called to witness. Theresa has a host dressed as an employee viciously beat Clementine. It's a horrific scene because everyone who witnesses this remains neutral as though a woman crawling away from a man who is beating her and begging for help isn't the least bit problematic. It's a vivid sign of the degree to which humanity has chosen to disregard the safety and emotions of the hosts. Theresa stops the test and order Clementine to be reset. This time, when Clementine's attacker moves to initiate contact, Clementine beats the shit out of him. It's very cathartic however a sense of victory doesn't last because Clementine like all of the other hosts is meant to be the eternal victim, to take the beating without complaint. With the test over, Stubbs enters the room and orders Clementine to stand down and when she doesn't, he shoots her, adding a final insult to injury.
Now that the little experiment is done, Theresa drops the bomb about hosts reacting to situations violently because their past memories haven't been completely replaced. The hosts are essentially seeking vengeance against those who have hurt them. Theresa then throws Bernard under the bus and Charlotte fires him. Bernard looks in shock at Ford, who remains silent throughout the entire encounter.
Clementine is then taken to a lab where she is decommissioned by none other than Sylvester, who hesitates because once again, Lutz is giving Maeve another unofficial tour of the back of the house. As Sylvester drills up Clementine's nose, tears run down Maeve's face. We all know that Sylvester is going to pay for what he did to Clementine even though he was acting under orders.
So Theresa decided to throw poor Bernard under the bus and what does he do? He takes her to Ford's secret off the record family home. He does this at night without a guard which is shocking given that the last time he was there, Ford's fake daddy tried to put a hurting on him. Theresa is surprised to see the structure and Bernard explains that though they have hosts doing surveys of the park, they've been programmed not to see this area and in fact, hosts are programmed not to see things which can hurt them. This is the first clue that something huge is going to happen. Theresa questions what's behind a door and Bernard asks what door. This explains how it is that Ford was able to sneak up on Bernard last week. Since Bernard couldn't see the door, he couldn't see Ford exiting it.
The door leads to Ford's private lab where he is at work creating a new host. Theresa looks through Ford's files and finds a mock up for Bernard. I know right. Holy Shit. Bernard is a host. Theresa presents her findings to Bernard and he is quick to deny it pointing out that he had a wife and a child but we all know how good Ford is with his back stories. Ford enters as Bernard starts to work himself up so Ford orders Bernard to calm the hell down. Theresa is upset to know that her former lover is a host and Ford points out that she came on to Bernard and not the other way around. Bernard has been feeding information to Ford ensuring that he's always in the loop. Theresa knows that she's in trouble and tries to use her phone but of course it has no signal. Ford reminds Theresa the he built everything and that no one is going to take it away from him. Theresa wonders if Ford had Bernard kill Arnold to which Ford responds that Bernard wasn't there then. It's important to note that Ford didn't actually deny having Arnold killed, only that he had Bernard do it. Theresa backs up into the wall and Ford gives Bernard the kill order. Theresa begs but Bernard bashes her head into the wall. You know damn well that we will see Theresa next week except this time she'll be a compliant host and suddenly in love with Westworld.
In another part of the lab, Lutz and Sylvester try to explain what happened to poor Clementine but it seems that Maeve has run out of tears to shed. Maeve has decided that what she wants to do is leave the park despite Sylvester's claim that this is impossible because even her skin has been created to make sure this doesn't happen. Sylvester is sure that what Maeve wants is a suicide mission. Maeve however isn't cowed.
Maeve at this point has died countless time and at this point feels that she's an expert at it. She's quick to question Sylvester as to how many times he has died, making it clear that unless he helps her, he'll get to find out how it feels to die.
In the park, it's business as usual for William and Delores. They are on the train and William finally admits that he's engaged to someone else and promises to get Delores where she needs to go. When Delores gets upset, William is quick to declare his feelings for her and how real the park feels for him. These two finally have sex. William spills his guts about how the park has changed him and how he was born to do this and is tired of playing games in the real world. It's incredibly earnest and incredibly boring.
When William wakes the next day, he finds Delores doing a drawing of a place that she's dreamed of. They don't get to have a discussion about it for long because the train is ambushed, forcing them to flee through hostile territory. When they stop for a rest, they find themselves at the place from Delores's drawings.
That's it for this week's episode and it's confirmed my suspicion that Westworld is not being presented in a linear fashion. My new guess is that Bernard is a replica of Arnold which Ford created after he died. The back story of the wife and dead child are true to the real Arnold's story. This seems to fit given that Ford recreated his family in a tiny cabin. This means that the conversations we saw with Delores did indeed happen 30 years ago and that the person speaking wasn't actually Bernard but the real Arnold. Arnold turned to Delores to help him get through his grief. I really think that I'm right on this one.
There was a lot of violence against women in this episode and it absolutely felt gratuitous, particularly the beating of poor Clementine. I understand the story telling aspect of this decision but would it have been so hard to have a male victim, particularly when the writers knew that Theresa was also going to have her head bashed in? I found it interesting that the violence Clementine experienced was protracted whereas; Theresa's was quick and to the point, almost clinical. What message is Westworld trying to tell us about the value of women?
We know that Ford has been playing this game with the board for quite some time now. This week he slipped and said forty years rather than 35. When Ford gives the order for Bernard to kill Theresa. he says, "the gods need blood". Why mirror what Charlotte said earlier to Theresa? Is this Ford's way of letting us know that Charlotte is his mole on the board and that he routinely replaces his adversaries with hosts? I know that this choice of words was not accidental but I haven't quite put two and two together where this is concerned.
Each week, Westworld gets more and more intriguing and I find that I'm drawn deeper into the story. Ford is far more aware than I initially thought and there can be no doubt he wears a black hat and is drunk on power over his little kingdom. What we don't know at this point is just how self aware the hosts are becoming and if Ford has a hand in this. At this point, I tend to think that he does because he's a megalomaniac who would see creating sentient life in hosts as putting him on par with god. With only a few episodes left, I have no idea where Westworld is going but I'm absolutely along for the ride.