Westworld: Season 2, Episode 9: “Vanishing Point” Review

The week’s episode of Westworld was nothing short of emotional. I’m still trying to collect my thoughts after what just happened. This episode has really set us up for what’s expected to be a grand finale next week. This episode was really centred around William/The Man in Black and how his life has changed since he first visited the park. This is important because it plays in with his motives for getting to the Valley Beyond, Emily and his future in the series. Also we see how the likes of Dolores and Bernard take crucial steps in the same journey towards the Valley Beyond during this episode.

Without wasting anymore time let’s get into the events of this episode!

‘One last game’

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I know William/The Man in Black is a bad guy but he really went through some stuff in this episode. The episode starts off with William and his wife who we get to see for the first time at a party in his honour. Throughout the season we have seen glimpses of the moment where William finds his wife in the bathtub but how she ends up in the bathtub and what leads to it is something we were always building up to. And finally in this episode we got our answers. Earlier in the episode Emily mentioned how her mother was a drunk and I initially thought she must have drowned in the bathtub by accident while being intoxicated. We find out that Ford is somewhat behind her death, or at least he plays a minor role. I say minor because it was evident in this episode how fractured their relationship really was. The park had torn them away from each other, William’s wife was even questioning him on if anything was real to him which is a theme that plays out later in the episode.

Although William ultimately blames himself for her death it was actually his wife finding his profile card that became the tipping point. She found out what he had been  doing in the park and how much of his activities were based around another woman (Dolores). Also with this you have the speech where William tells her that he belongs to a different world implying the park, it pushes her over the edge. It was a really emotional scene, even though William was the main cause of her death I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him. Something that I keep playing over in my head from this episode is Ford giving William his profile card at the bar. Even in the real world was he controlling the narrative? How would he know that his wife would find the card? Was this all apart of his “last game” for William? Either way it resulted in the death of William’s wife and while it may seem like they weren’t in love, her death has certainly impacted both him and Emily in the park.

Is this another one of your tricks Ford?

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After the showdown with Maeve and The Man in Black Emily showed up at the Ghost Nation’s camp to ‘heal’ her father. And to be fair to her she does heal her father regardless of her true intentions, which we actually find out in this episode. She doesn’t just want to leave the park with her father and go off happily in the sunset acting like nothing happened. No she truly wants to make him suffer. Emily makes it clear that she knows all of the messed up things her father and the company has done. She wants to publicly shame William and keep him in locked up just like he did with James Delos. Emily also mentions how she wants answers relating to her mother’s death. I’m not sure if that means she wants to bring her back because her mind maybe stored at the Valley Beyond. We find out in this episode that she actually blames herself for the death of her mother. I thought her relationship with her mother was great but it actually wasn’t. While William didn’t want to see his wife go into rehab Emily forced it upon her. I guess she feels like this had pushed her mother over the edge to take her own life. By the end of the episode the relationship between The Man in Black and Emily takes a turn I did not see coming at all. There has been a number of times in this season where The Man in Black has thought Ford had been playing a trick on him by talking to him through other hosts. I always thought it was just funny that he thought Ford was messing with him but in this episode it meant something darker. The Man in Black to put it simply is losing both himself and his mind in the park to the point where he kills the Delos team that arrives to help him. This tragically ends with him then killing Emily because he thought she was a host this whole time until he finds his profile card in her hand. I mean this shocked the hell out of me. It was so dark, any sympathy I had for The Man in Black is thrown out of the window at this point. The Man in Black goes on to question if anything about him is real and whether he’s making these decisions by himself. It ends of the cliffhanger of him about to cut into his to see if he’s a host. Personally I don’t think he’s a host at this point but it looks like we’ll be getting our answer next week.

Not everyone gets to make it to the Valley Beyond

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Look I knew that Dolores would be the only one to make it to the Valley Beyond amongst her group. I knew her reprogramming Teddy would comeback to haunt her in a major way and it did. Ever since Teddy mentioned how he knew she reprogrammed him the writing was on the wall. I personally thought that he would end up betraying her but to see him kill himself was shocking. I love how they did it though I must admit that. We saw how far back his love for Dolores goes even before they first met in Sweetwater. Their connection started before the park while they were getting programmed. While he can’t hurt her he knows killing himself is the only way to for him to escape this nightmare he’s been dragged into as he tells her “You’ve made me into a monster”. This scene was brutal, you couldn’t help but feel sorry for Teddy. Knowing what Dolores had done to him but he still loves her at the end of the day. What I found interesting was the clear similarities between Dolores and William with how they both had a major role in the death of someone they love. We’ve seen what the death of William’s wife has done to him so it will be interesting to see how Dolores will react to Teddy’s death going forward.

The Forge

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This whole time we thought the Valley Beyond was called The Door but not anymore, Its actually called ‘The Forge’ now. What exactly is The Forge? Well it’s described as a much bigger version of the Cradle. It’s the culmination of what Delos has been doing the entire time since William took over the company. At The Forge they basically have the code of all their guests that have entered the park. It’s interesting that everyone is going there for different reasons. Dolores wants to use it against the humans while The Man in Black wants to burn it down. The Ghost Nation members who came into contact with Dolores during this episode see it as a passage to the real world. I’m still confused as to why Bernard is going there. Next episode we’ll see everyone finally meet up at The Forge and see its real purpose.

 

Overall I thought this was an excellent episode of Westworld. Leading up to the season finale this episode really tied up all the ends to the point where everyone is heading towards ‘The Forge’. The Man in Black was prominent in this episode and I think it was that way for a reason. Having seen the storyline of his wife and daughter play out I believe we’ll finally see the end of his story in the season finale. I have high expectations for next week’s episode. It’s all been building to this and I expected nothing but to be blown away at the end of the season finale.

Feel free to check out my reviews of the previous episodes

Westworld: ‘The Riddle of the Sphinx’ Episode Review

Westworld: ‘Akane no Mal’ Episode Review

Westworld: ‘Phase Space’ Episode Review

Westworld: ‘Les Écorchés’ Episode Review

Westworld: ‘Kiksuya’ Episode Review

 

 

 

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