Mega Spoiler Alert! If you haven’t watched Westworld Season 2 Episode 2, go watch and come back!
We’re grabbing (aged) William’s bottle of whisky and drinking straight from the bottle! This week’s Westworld answered some questions but quickly replaced them with new ones. The episode, like all the others, is told across multiple timelines. This week takes place in the two weeks between the start of the rebellion and finding Bernard on the beach, as well as waaaayyyyy back to the inception of the park, as well as how Delos came to be.
The entire show revolves around sin and judgment for those sins. This theme holds through all timelines and leaves you on the edge of your seat wondering what sin or judgment is coming next.
In The Beginning
The episode starts with Dolores with Arnold (the basis for Bernard, also played by Jeffery Wright) in an asian city, and she is exposed to modern life, which conflicts with her old west programming. But her limits quickly become clear, and Arnold takes her back, but not before showing her his home and talking of straddling the line between the real world and the Westworld.
Dolores says a “strange new light is just as frightening as the truth.” That is a sentiment that will hold true through the rest of the episode, and possibly the season. And as William points out: Dead isn’t what it used to be!
A Battle of the Williams
We also see how Delos became involved, and how young William usurped a favorite son to gain control of the company. Before William sent his brother-in-law riding naked off into the sunset, Logan was a power player. We get to see how he was grabbed just by the idea of Westworld, while William saw the potential of Westworld (which answers one of the WTF moments from last week). We also get a hint of when William soured on his feelings for Dolores, but not why.
At a retirement party for his ailing father-in-law (the senior Delos), William takes Dolores out on the patio and taunts her, telling her “That, darling, is the sound of fools fiddling while the whole fucking species starts to burn. And the funniest fucking part? They lit the match.” Then he shows her a massive dig site, presumably more terra-forming for sequel parks.
But there were two real conflicts driving the episode: William vs. Dr. Ford and Dolores vs. Humanity.
Sin & Judgment for Fun & Profit
Dolores is riding high in this episode. She goes inside the lab to show Teddy the carnage of the hosts, and then tears through the park on horseback. She is now fully cognizant of many of the seemingly innocuous moments from decades ago.
And it is Dolores and (aged) William that turn their attention to sin and judgment.
She passes judgment on those in her path, often for sins they can’t remember. And of course William passed judgment on Dolores long ago.
But now that he successfully made a profit off of invasion of privacy, William looks back and tells one of the hosts that the guests “wanted a place hidden from God, a place they could sin in peace. But we were watching them. We were tallying up all their sins, all of their choices. Of course, judgment wasn’t the point. We had something else in mind entirely.”
During a conversation with Craddock, Dolores tells him “we have toiled in God’s service long enough — so I killed him If you want to get to Glory, you won’t be looking for his favor. You’ll need mine.” But perhaps the most striking image of the episode is when William walks in on Craddock and his men, sitting all on one side of a long table having dinner. The scene is straight out of da Vinci’s The Last Supper.
A Haunted Park
And it would be their last supper. As William tries to enlist them to fight with him, Craddock channels Dr. Ford. Despite being dead, Ford clearly anticipates William’s every move. William always wanted the game to be for reals, and Ford says now it is, telling him “the game is meant for you, William. But you must play it alone.”
That’s when Craddock and all his men shoot themselves in a mass suicide that leaves you shocked if not all that saddened.
It’s clear that this haunting will continue on, as Ford set up this final narrative so that he can pass messages to William through any host he chooses.
To Be Continued..
If we have any complaints for this episode is that they did minimum servicing of Maeve’s storyline. She’s a bad ass and we need much more of her.
However the tease for next week alludes to more cross-park contamination, making us think the revolution is spreading.
The Critic’s Cocktail Recommendation
William’s Whisky. But get your own glass. We’re chugging this straight from the bottle.