The majority of the episode’s story was split into three sections:
- Dolores’ continued battle against her former human masters
- Maeve’s hunt for her child
- Charlotte Hale’s continued search for the data she was attempting to smuggle out of the park/the QA team’s mission to put down the revolution
Of them, the Dolores plot is carrying more of the main plot points, with Evan Rachel Wood doing the most grandiloquence out of any other character. Dolores, with the Wyatt personality visible, is a dispassionate leader and military tactician, who has resorted to throwing allies into the fray so her people can survive. But we’re also shown glitters of the original, farm girl Dolores in the emotional reaction to her father’s reappearance. There’s a tragic parallel with dementia at play here as Peter Abernathy (played by the great Louis Herthum) struggles with his corrupted mental system.
Tessa Thompson continues to be a highlight, whether she’s ordering QA military teams around or giving the finger to angry bandit Rebus (The Walking Dead‘s Steven Ogg, bringing his typical swagger) before having Bernard reprogram him to be a heroic saviour. Hale might be a scheming rotter, but she’s a whole lot of fun.
Naturally, when Hale’s story dovetails with Dolores’ as she snatches Abernathy from Fort Forlorn Hope, she rekindles Dolores’ Terminator-alike side. The battle itself is impressive, even if it can’t compete with, say, Thrones at its most spectacular. But then, Westworld usually opts to spend its money elsewhere. Even if any mention of Westeros has us wishing for that crossover before the end of both series.
Bernard, meanwhile, keeps slipping around in time, and were it not for the subtle powers of Jeffrey Wright, he’d be a lot less interesting than he is. The continued timeline trickery wavers between interesting and annoying, but is fortunately still on the positive side.
And if you’re after pure entertainment, the Maeve story delivers once again. Whether it’s Lee Sizemore commenting on how he wrote Hector’s love story (we also enjoyed his confusion that his creations could break out of their narratives) or Hector turning out to have untapped Ghost Nation language skills, the evolution of her plot and character has been one of the more successful. She’s not just the badass we met last year, she’s both more and less than that when faced with challenges. She, Hector and Lee (who we catch up with leading a donkey, in an ass-and-asshole situation) encounter a flamethrower-wielding Armistice (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal), reunite with human techs Felix and Sylvester, and, right at the end, run into a Samurai. A visit to Shogun World can’t be far away now!
Virtù e Fortuna continues to deliver all the talk of free will and theorizing about the nature of AI that we’ve come to know from the show. But it also breaks out of the usual confines and keeps the timeline hopping to a minimum so your brain doesn’t start to hurt. At least not too much.
Questions for Consideration
- Is there more going on with Bernard than we’ve been led to suspect so far? Our guess is hell yes.
- Did you notice how Maeve wasn’t able to shut control all the Ghost Nation warriors she encountered? We’re guessing the loss of the network has something to do with it, or perhaps the sheer number who show up.
- What will happen with Grace? We can’t imagine that the Ghost Nation has a warm attitude to unusual strangers on their territory.
- Has Teddy doomed himself by sparing Major Craddock and the Confederados that Dolores orders him to execute? It’s certainly not a good step. Poor, conflicted Teddy.
I would rate this episode: 9.1/10