What is happening in our world? Who is doing what? what is going on now? These are questions that will be answered. Enjoy.
Westworld Season 2 Episode 7 Recap
“Isn’t the pleasure in the story discovering it for yourself, Bernard?” Dr. Robert Ford asks as his creation while the two are chatting within the CR4-DL. Ford could be asking the same question to the obsessive Westworld audience, who have written thousands of words on blogs and Reddit and elsewhere trying to figure out where this story will end. And in Episode Seven, “Les Écorchés,” Westworld has delivered the big moments fans had been anticipating all season: The reveal of Bernard’s multiple copies, Dolores’s attack, Maeve’s showdown with William, and Robert Ford’s big plan.
All the pieces are fitting together, and the only gap left in this story is the big flood. The events in this episode are all taking place immediately before and immediately after The Flood™. And I’ll break them down here by character while separating Pre-Flood Bernard and Post-Flood Bernard (I wish I had a Powerpoint presentation to really explain all of this).
Okay, so we last saw our robo dude plugging into the CR4-DL as Dolores began her attack on the Mesa. Inside is Dr. Robert Ford, a sad dead human whose only friends are robots. He’s sitting at a piano quoting William Blake poems and the Bible and waiting to watch his plan carried out in the real world. What’s his plan exactly? Well, Ford had Bernard upload his conscious into the CR4-DL before Dolores shot him. As the Ford consciousness explains, the hosts have been on the same loop for 30 years to act as the control for the guests’ variables. Delos has been collecting data on the guests, which is being used to create imprints of their consciousness. The humans don’t want the hosts to become human; the humans want to become hosts. But, they haven’t been able to figure it out yet.
Ford’s mind can exist in the computer, but it would not work in the real world—it would simply degrade like James Delos. It’s inside the CR4-DL, where Dolores and Ford built Bernard. She knew Arnold better than anyone, thanks to their many chats together, and she tested Bernard for fidelity.
“How am I different from Delos, from you?” Bernard asks.
“They want fidelity, Bernard, a faithful self portrait of the most murderous species since time began. But you and all the other hosts are a different species, an original work, just more noble. Your very nature, Bernard, ensures they’ll devour you, and all the beauty of who you are and who you could be, will be poured out into the darkness forever unless we open the door.”
In Ford’s flowery way, he’s telling Bernard that humans suck. And they were trying to make the hosts into humans. And because humans are sick, murderous creatures who are built to ensure their race survives, they will stop at nothing to destroy the hosts in their quest for sentience. This, it would seem, is why Ford built the Wyatt personality into Dolores, to give her that survival instinct.
So that’s what we learn from Ford, who sends Bernard out of the CR4-DL back under his control. Bernard parts ways with Elsie, who I pray is heading back to become a dentist. Then Bernard goes to slaughter a bunch of people with one of those video game future guns. And that’s where we leave Bernard just before The Flood™.
Pre-Flood Dolores, Charlotte, Teddy, and Etc.
Dolores has attacked the Mesa, where Charlotte, Stubbs, and the Delos response team have taken Abernathy. They try extract the key that has been placed inside Abernathy—the data that Charlotte so desperately wants to obtain for Delos, which she describes as a decryption key. Before she can explain any further, Dolores and a very badass Modern Day Asshole Teddy roll in.
Here is a scene I’ve been waiting for between Dolores and Charlotte—two of the people who are leading all of this. Dolores reveals that she knows humans want to become immortal inside host bodies. That’s what she’s trying to stop. She’s also trying to destroy their backups, which she calls the hosts’ chains that trap them in the “warped fantasy” of Westworld. And that’s exactly when Talulah Riley’s Angela destroys the backups, taking herself and some horny idiot soldier down with him; it’s hard to not smile when she welcomes him to Westworld just before their death. Charlotte and Stubbs escape, and Dolores cuts open her own father’s head to extract the key.
Pre-Flood William, Maeve
William, following Ford’s “game,” ends up conveniently at the homestead where Maeve has reunited with her daughter. I shouldn’t say “conveniently,” because it’s likely that Ford sent him there hoping that Maeve would get some poetic revenge on William for his many sins in the park. Considering Ford views humans as vile, murderous beasts, it’s possible that, to him, Maeve killing William represents the triumph of the good (hosts) over the evil (men).
Now, things almost play out this way. William, who apparently can only get shot in the arms, is ambushed by his host crew, who are now under Maeve’s control. Lawrence, it turns out, is awake and can’t be controlled by Maeve, but she convinces him to shoot and kill William anyway. But before anyone can put the killing blow into William, the Delos team rolls in on those Extremely Nolan Go Carts and attack Maeve. With them is Lee Sizemore, who takes the wounded Maeve back to the Mesa. William is left behind in bad shape, and Maeve’s daughter gets taken by Ghost Nation.
Pre-Flood Dolores and Maeve
I’m setting this scene into its own section, because it acts as a clean conclusion to the pre-flood events. What’s interesting about these Dolores scenes is that we’re watching her do some really evil shit. She’s prepared to cut open Charlotte’s head, and later, she refuses to help an injured Maeve. We also see Teddy brutally beat the face of a soldier with his fist. Meanwhile, we see Maeve fighting for love and justice. She’s willing to work with the humans to help them help each other.
These two characters offer opposing perspectives on the means of survival. Dolores through violence and Maeve through knowledge. What is the path for host salvation? Is Dolores capable of more than hatred and revenge at this point? We see glimpses of the farmer’s daughter … but she also kills him to take the info in his robot brain. Maeve asks how Dolores can justify what she did to Teddy. Dolores says she’s doing what she needs to survive. But, if what she’s doing to survive is all this horrible shit, is her race of hosts any better than humans? With that, Dolores gives Maeve a gun and leaves her to her fate.
To put this into perspective, you can place The Flood™ directly between the previous section and this section. We don’t know exactly why the flood took place or what it does, but we do know what happens immediately afterward. Bernard wakes up on the beach, which is the opening scene of this season. So far in this timeline, we’ve only seen the following: They find the lake that shouldn’t be there. They return to base to find Charlotte, who tells Bernard that she’s surprised he “made it out” (which we now know is from where he was captured in Dolores’s attack on the Fort).
In this episode, Ashley Stubbs approaches Bernard to try to get out of there to avoid this Delos mess. Except the two are stopped by Hal Strand, head of operations, who accuses Stubbs and Bernard of trying to steal the key to sell on the open market. He takes them to Charlotte, who’s at the spot where Theresa was murdered. There, they conveniently find a door that leads to the closet where all the Bernard hosts are. No one seems very shocked. “I figured you’d have some skeletons in your closet, Bernard. I didn’t think they’d be your own,” Charlotte says calmly, as if she figured this out a long time ago and had been planning exactly what to say.
They take Bernard and start torturing him for the information he has—asking him if he knows where Dolores took the Abernathy control unit. At the end of the episode, we circle back to Bernard where he’s being tortured. Eventually, he gives up the location of Abernathy’s control unit back in the valley beyond.
It’s a big episode—one that makes up for some of the Game of Thrones-esque slog for the previous few. While there’s not much here that Reddit hasn’t already predicted, “Les Écorchés” does put all the pieces of this timeline puzzle firmly into place—except one. The Flood™. And I’d imagine we’ll finally see what that is in Episode Eight.