The show must go on and so here we are back at Delos’s malfunctioning, hostile theme park.
Westworld had departed 18 months ago with the game-changing uprising erupting violently by the robot hosts, led by Dolores. Dolores now aspires to lead the hosts out of the park and into the world beyond – reality. Meanwhile, at Delos HQ, Bernard – himself a host hiding among humans – is tasked with hunting down the rebellious hosts so that the corporation can retrieve one of their hosts as an insurance policy against the kind of disaster that has just befallen the park. That robot happens to be Dolores’s dad, Peter Abernathy. Finally, we have Maeve, also a host, who also wants to retrieve someone, but in this case it’s the host she recognizes as her daughter.
There appears to be two timelines this season premiere. The first occurring immediately after the host uprising, with Bernard and Charlotte Hale in the process of escaping the park. The second is said to have taken place 11 days later, when Delos are finally clearing up the massacre. Bernard is involved in this timeline too, and can sporadically recall what came before. This week’s cliffhanger comes when Delos and Bernard discover dozens of dead hosts floating in a sea they never knew existed.
‘How did that happen? I did it’, says Bernard.
In the first timeline, at first glance, we find Maeve. She is roaming around Delos HQ and has picked up her lover Hector Escaton and the park’s unspeakably annoying head of narrative, Lee Sizemore. Also in that time-frame is William (the Man in Black) who survived the massacre and feels thoroughly invigorated by the prospect of fighting with hosts who can fight back. Dolores joins them too, roaming around the park terrorizing human guests. She is accompanied by her lover Teddy. It is possible Teddy pays a price for such behavior; it looks very much like it’s his corpse that Bernard spots floating in the sea in the episode’s final moments.
At an hour and 10 minutes this is one of three longer episodes that producers Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy have promised for season 2. The lengthy premiere was just getting a device to get us to speed before the new story-line properly begins. Expect a lot of deception, a lot of bloodshed and, yes, the odd samurai before this season is out.
Dead Tiger in the newly discovered Ocean
This week the Delos clean up team stumbled upon what could an escaped animal host, in the shape of a small tiger (dead after being found washed up on the shore). Tigers were said to be found in park six. Jonathan Nolan has confirmed that Shogunworld will feature in this season, with episode five expected to take place entirely in that world. Shogunworld is a samurai warrior, Japanese-based era theme park that appeared in the original Westworld movie and was hinted at in last season’s finale when Maeve stormed Delos HQ.
Farewell Baby Ford
One of the more intriguing thoughts hanging in the air is what might have happened to Westworld’s creator Robert Ford. He was the man whose final narrative intentionally culminated in the robot uprising and he was the man shot in the back of the head by Dolores in the spectacular season one finale. We see his rotting corpse with a maggot-infested hole in its head this episode. But could it be that Ford remains alive in non-physical form, perhaps as an uploaded consciousness? Ford created a host that resembled himself as a young child and in this episode the child appears from nowhere to instruct the Man In Black to follow a new quest and find ‘the door’. The Man In Black chooses to call the child ‘Robert’ before shooting him in the face. Was Robert’s digitized self inhabiting the host? And if so, where has it gone now?
Questions for consideration:
- Where is Dolores taking Teddy?
- How is Maeve’s attachment to her child explained? Is it programming, a hidden narrative, a mimetic desire, or something else entirely?
- Is anyone going to look for Elsie?