The latest episode of Westworld maybe one of the strongest episodes of the series yet. If not then it’s at least the best episode of this season so far. While season 2 has started off slowly this weeks episode kicks the season into high gear as there is a lot of interesting stuff that is revealed going on both inside and outside the park.
With that being said lets get into the events of the latest episode of Westworld which is titled: “The Riddle of the Sphinx”
William and James Delos
The episode starts with a montage showing the daily routine of James Delos’s (Logan’s Father). While the camera pans around this beautiful apartment you notice straight away that James isn’t well at all, this was implied in the last episode at his retirement party when he was talking to William I noticed him coughing and being short on his breath every time he spoke. It’s quite strong imagery that below the surface of this beautiful property is a man who is breaking down struggling to survive. James is soon visited by William who by this time after his first visit to the park is in full control of the company. While is isn’t spelled out straightway what’s going on jumping forward into the middle of the episode we find out that James has actually been dead for 7 years. What William has done for him looks to be groundbreaking, he’s taken his mind and put it into a hosts body. However while James appears to be healthier than ever in his new body the company’s experiment hasn’t worked as he keeps breaking down from what William calls ‘Cognitive Plateau’. This has led the company building up to 149 versions of James all with the same result. From what it looked like while his mind was implanted in this new body it was rejecting reality. William compared his condition to when someone receives a new liver and how it rejects its new body. This leads to William claiming how this whole enterprise was a failure. But what enterprise? When William and James met earlier in the season his whole aim was to store the information from the guests and sell them to marketing firms. Now that looks like it has changed, it seems like they are trying to prolong life, to make people live on forever. Or was this just a one time experiment for Mr. Delos? Also from their conversations we find out that Logan died recently due to an overdose. By the end of the episode it really feels like William is torturing James by telling him how everyone around him is dead and how “Some men are just better off dead” when he refuses to carry on this experiment. I mean as the song at the start of the episode implies William is playing with fire with this experiment by trying to stop how death works. The scenes with these two was easily my favourite part of the episode. At times it was very emotional and I even found myself feeling sorry for Mr. James which was helped by the actor’s great performance.
The return of Elsie
One of the episode’s biggest surprises is the return of Elsie as the last time we saw her was during season one as she was being choked out. At the time we didn’t know who by because we weren’t sure is Bernard was a host at the time but she did confirm it was him who attacked her in this episode. As for Bernard his condition isn’t improving at all as he is in need of cardinal fluid, he cannot even recall what he did to Elsie. It’s revealed that through Bernard Ford has been protecting Elsie this whole time because of what she knows about the park. Either way Elsie still doesn’t trust Bernard and to be honest I don’t either. Their scenes take place in this lab which at first I thought was the same lab Bernard and Charlotte were in earlier this season. As we start to see flashbacks from another timeline it’s shown how Bernard kills everyone in the lab. It also looks like they were creating these new devices in the lab. These new devices could be used to store the mind of people which is then put into a new body like we saw with Mr. Delos. This theory seems more plausible because by the end of this episode we find out that this lab was the place that was used to keep Mr. Delos in. It’s revelations such as this that make me love the show in general. I honestly paid it no mind where he was located at the start of the episode because I didn’t think it was that important. To find out he was in the park all this time was a great reveal. By the end of the episode as Elsie is still finding it hard to trust Bernard he says “For the first time I get to decide who I want to be”. Has Bernard reached full consciousness already? Personally I don’t think so as I feel Ford is still in control of his actions and will be for the rest of this season.
The Man in Black’s journey
The Man in Black or William as we also know him really took centre stage of this episode both when he’s inside and outside the park. Going back into the park we follow his journey to find ‘The Door’ and he runs into the Confederados who have occupied Lawrence’s hometown. Ironically they’re the same members that Teddy let go in the last episode. Maybe Dolores was right and he should’ve killed them because once they find Lawrence’s hometown they do nothing but take out their frustrations from being betrayed by Dolores on the locals. What I found most interesting about the scenes with the Confederados is how the leader whose name is currently slipping my mind acts exactly how The Man in Black did when he visited the same town in the first season. One clear similarity is how he starts to dance with Lawrence’s wife which is exactly what The Man in Black did too. However unlike his actions in season one this time The Man in Black has somewhat had a change in heart and actually saves Lawrence and his wife. During her rescue we are shown footage of William running up the stairs to find his wife who had committed suicide. While he couldn’t save his own wife’s life I thought it was a nice touch that this time he was able to save Lawrence’s wife. However what does this mean for the Man in Black? Has he changed now? He claimed at the beginning of the season how the journey would let him wipe the slate clean but that’s not the case. Acts such as saving Lawrence and his family don’t outweigh everything else he’s done in the park. This is shown as Ford takes control over Lawrence’s daughter and tells him “One good deed doesn’t change that” and that he’s looking in the wrong direction. It will be interesting to see how he acts going forward. One last thing I want to add is how last time when The Man in Black was looking to recruit Confederados for his journey Ford took over and killed them. However by the end of this episode when he recruits Lawrence and his cousins Ford doesn’t intervene. Has he passed one of Ford’s tests? I found this really interesting.
The Man in Black’s daughter
Speaking of going forward we finally get to find out who Grace really is. Having first being introduced to her in the first episode where she was in the Raj world I just knew she was linked to the park in someway. And it turns out she’s the daughter of the Man in Black. Given the circumstances of her mother’s death you can tell their relationship isn’t the best as even The Man in Black at one point during the episode claims his daughter wouldn’t mind seeing him be gunned down. Also there isn’t this emotional embrace when they see each other, you wouldn’t think they were father and daughter by the way they acted in this scene. It will be interesting to see throughout the rest of the season if their relationship will develop or not. One question I want answered about Grace is what’s she doing in the park? Did she go out of her way to look for her dad? What’s the deal? Also one last aspect that links in with Grace from this episode which I found interesting was we finally get to see the role of the Ghost Nation in the park. Instead of killing the humans they’re in fact protecting them playing a security role, it looks like they’re under the control of Ford. Of course while Ford isn’t physically at the park his presence is still felt because after all this is his narrative.
Overall I thought this was a really good episode, it might be one of my favourite episodes of the series so far. It’s definitely the strongest episode of the season so far and while the season started off slow this episode provides for a great watching that should satisfy all fans and have them greatly anticipating the next episode.
Let me know your thoughts on last night’s episode of Westworld.
Be sure to come back here again next week for my review of the next episode.