Like so many episodes of Westworld, we had to do research even before pressing play. Tonight’s episode is titled Les Écorchés, which is french for a painting or sculpture of a human figure with the skin removed to display the musculature. That’s what it means, but we don’t know what it means. Okay then. Can we start watching?
10 Bernards.. No Waiting
We were teased last week with a plethora of Bernard-like (Arnold-like?) hosts, and were somewhat rewarded. A room with several damaged versions of Bernard was discovered while (the current) Bernard was with several Delos members. It appears that this would be sometime after he’s found on the beach, so maybe Beach+1. We didn’t get much more.
Will each one have a different story, or different parts of Arnold? We they all versions that failed to pass Dolores’ fidelity test?
Obsession & Possession
Also, Dr. Ford lured Bernard to the Cradle and now he appears to “possess” him. Ford talks about turning over the game to Bernard, but seems to be controlling him at every turn. This addresses another theme of the season (and the series): free will. Are the hosts really in control by being let out of control? Or are they still just pawns in Ford’s deadly game?
And speaking of choosing your own destiny, Shogun World hosts were off the hook with one last knife fight. But before it went down, Maeve had the chance to use her bluetooth mind control to stop it, but said everyone should get to choose their own destiny, even if it is death.
Then she left. Her posse found an escape hatch and somehow managed to make it back to Westworld right where her daughter was hanging out. Maeve’s memories of her time with the daughter host are vivid. The girl has no idea who she is, but does have a new mom. Clearly Maeve didn’t anticipate this and when Ghost Nation warriors showed up, she grabbed the girl and ran, while leaving the new mom-host to her own grisly fate.
In the end Maeve gets shot by Delos security goons, but Lee gets them to take her back to HQ. Dolores stumbles upon her, and offers to shoot her to save her the suffering. That’s a very Dolores thing to do, but it’s a hard pass for Maeve.
Where There’s A William..
And then there’s William. He has a heart-to-heart with his daughter (at least we think she’s his daughter, she could be a host) and then abandons here in the morning after promising to take her with him.
Then he shows up at the Maeve shootout. But before Delos arrives, several hosts pump him with lead but don’t kill him. Delos shows up just as the coup de grace is to be delivered.
Remember, Dr. Ford says the game is for him (and now, to a certain extent, Bernard). So with William seemingly incapacitated, what’s going to happen to the next phase of the game?
Rock the Cradle
The Cradle wasn’t just rocked, it went BOOM! Angela pulled the pin on a grenade and it was gone in a flash. That seems to up the stakes for the hosts. Now that all the backup drives are destroyed, it would be impossible to revive them.
Dolores finally has a real, conscious moment with her dad, Peter Abernathy. Somehow he comes out of his delusional, overloaded state and has a true moment of feeling with his daughter. But as with all things in WW, it doesn’t last. We later learn that Dolores extracted the information everyone is killing for from Peter’s head.
Ghost of A Chance
We’ve felt for several episodes that Ghost Nation Warriors are the wild card in this show. They seem to show up at the most inopportune times, derail everyone’s plans and leave, all for no apparent reason.
The teaser for next week leads us to believe it will be a Ghost Nation episode. The ones we’ve seen the least could tell us more about the show than anyone we’ve seen. That said, it could be difficult to watch, as we don’t have any real connection, empathy, or sympathy for any members of the tribe.
The Critic’s Cocktail Recommendation
The Bloody Bulldog. This has gin, lemon juice, tomato juice, garlic, horseradish, and celery salt. The odd combination of ingredients mirrors the odd combination of twists and storylines from tonight’s episode. And the bulldog pays homage to that dog that kept popping up again. WTF is that all about?