Spoiler Alert: The following discusses plot points from Westworld episode "Dissonance Theory," written by Ed Brubaker and directed by Vincenzo Natali.
Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) and Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) continue their clandestine talks as she now navigates a narrative in the park that connects her with the seemingly sympathetic William (Jimmi Simpson) on a bounty adventure.
Maeve (Thandie Newton) confirms that she's also remembering quite a bit between new days in the park, as her harrowing memory of the lab forces her to make an alliance with Hector (Rodrigo Santoro) for answers.
The Man in Black (Ed Harris) continues his search for the elusive park maze with Lawrence (Clifton Collins) as his guide to track down answers to some cryptic clues. His journey this week connects him with the formidable Hosts Hector and Armistice (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal). We also find out that, in the real world, MIB seems to be a revered benefactor of a famous foundation that he wants kept under wraps.
We also return to Dr. Ford's (Anthony Hopkins) mysterious new narrative, for which he is crushing a lot of landscape and landmarks in the park to make way for what he's building.
This episode was a worthy follow-up to last week's satisfying storytelling. It starts with a very Lost-like shot of Dolores' eyeball as she's again engaging in some very emotional confessions with Bernard about how she's processing the evolving changes in her world. I loved Woods delivery of the very human line, "I think there's something wrong with this world, or me." You can see her constantly gauging all situations now - both inside the lab and the park - with increased awareness and vulnerability. And it's consistently intriguing because of Wood's nuanced choices.
I'm also totally in when the story goes back to Ford. Hopkins is doing wonderful work as the dispassionate god of his own playground. It's fascinating to discover that he's more put out by the gauche introduction of money and profits to his playground, than the moral implications of how he treats his tech "children" in the lab and park. And Ford was a lot more sinister this week as he hosted Theresa in the park for lunch. She's a cool cucumber as the shareholder's mouthpiece, but you get the sense she even more concerned about Ford's stability and honesty after their tête-à-tête. Me too.
MIBs journey into the park with Lawrence, Hector and Armistice was an engaging plains adventure that served to feed us a lot more about Wyatt, the maze and MIBs ambitions in the park. It was clever world-building from side-characters that were given center stage.
I hope that Dolores' evolving awareness and command of her destiny isn't subverted by William's increasing interest in her. The writers are too smart to actually make her a damsel in distress, but I also hope that William's crush acted upon isn't the path taken for these two. Hopefully, there's a twist that serves as a more potent reason for the pair to continue traveling together. I'd rather her be the instrument of her own destiny.
I'm still not buying the Theresa and Bernard convenient shagging. They both seem too smart for it, and there's no chemistry. I hope it turns out to be a mutual case of keep your enemies closer.
Things to Ponder ...
My, my ... Dolores isn't a secret to Theresa or the park operators. Wonder how long they'll let her deviate from her narrative?
The details about Arnold's secret maze are coming faster now. We know MIB is hardcore on the chase to find it, and decipher what it means to the entirety of Westworld. And it's also quite the revelation that Bernard wants Dolores to seek it as well. Is Arnold waiting at its core? And is the co-creator in fact the last story with real stakes?
What an interesting reveal for Maeve, and us, to see the lab suit figure as a religious totem in the hands of the outlier child. Has Arnold set up his own religion of sorts to guide the aware Hosts towards him?
And speaking of Maeve, her self-awareness that something was wrong with her body, and the subsequent discovery of the bullet inside of her from the lab techs was a great moment to leave the episode on. What will it mean for her evolution?
Turns out that MIB is quite the celeb in the real world. A fellow guest identifying him in the park as a noted philanthropist certainly speaks to the cliché of great people hiding very dark secrets within. But is he squeaky clean in his real life, only allowing his blacker impulses to run wild in the park? Or will we discover the Westworld character he's created and the real man are one in the same?
And MIB's quest made me wonder if Ed Harris' character in Westworld is basically looking for Ed Harris' character in Snowpiercer.
What did you think of Westworld? What did you catch this week that might unlock more mysteries?