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 3, Episode 2 Recap Explained
About halfway through this week’s episode of Westworld, Maeve quips to Lee, “Every game has its rules.”
Wise words from the good robot! But hey, Maeve, one exception: Westworld. Westworld has no rules. Zero. Westworld has as many rules as U5 soccer. A week after declaring the show’s premiere as the fun, follow-alongable Westworld of my dreams, Westworld just dropped the most Westworld episode to ever Westworld.
Season Three, Episode Two of Westworld, “The Winter Line,” opens with Maeve in a brand-new park, Warworld, which offers guests the delightful opportunity to… get shaken down by Axis goons in Nazi-occupied Italy? Fun. Maeve has been recast as a badass British spy, tasked with smuggling important Nazi documents out of the area. Hector, who doesn’t know he’s Hector anymore, plays the love interest/accomplice to espionage hijinks.
Maeve, though? Maeve knows she’s Maeve. (Bear with me, please, remember, no rules here). So, when she dies, she wakes up in the Delos labs, does her usual trick-the-technicians routine, gears up to kill herself, knowing she’s trapped in robot Groundhog Day again, when sleazebro-to-hero Lee Sizemore returns from the dead. But something’s weird. He’s hornier than usual. Suddenly, the aspect ratio changes, mimicking the same, movie-screen-look we see when Westworld goes into Cradle—which is the simulation Delos runs its hosts through, constantly. Maeve realizes she’s in a simulation, none of what we saw so far in the episode was real, and Lee’s simulated Lee. Even simulated Lee is confused about all this.
Eventually, Maeve outsmarts the simulation, figures out a lab is holding her brain orb, and Jedi-mind-tricks a service robot into breaking her out. A group of guards shoot down the robot and take back the orb. At the end of the episode, Maeve wakes up, and meets a man named Engerraund Serac, who has admin-esque control over her, and implies he’ll use it to pit her against Dolores, who sounds like his newfound arch-enemy. Elsewhere in the conversation, Serac tells Maeve that she killed a bunch of his men (via the robot, presumably)—so that was likely his lab, his simulation—and talks about “outcomes.” He says, “For the first time, history has an author,” which sounds straight from INCITE’s company language. That said, it’s reasonable to guess that Serac is the “partner” of Liam Dempsey’s father, who appeared to be the Logan Delos of INCITE.
Alright. So what’s going on with that INCITE simulation, if it is a making of the tech company we learned about in Episode One? Given Westworld aspect ratio-swapped in the same way it does for scenes set in the Cradle, does that mean INCITE has a Cradle-esque simulation, but in the real world? Potentially, the simulation we saw Maeve in and INCITE’s “strategic,” potentially life-outcome-predicting supercomputer Rehoboam are one in the same. Maeve believed she was being “tested” in the simulation, so Serac could’ve been running her through it to learn more about her—and use that information to control her.
Meanwhile, in the real world, Bernard does his best Skyfall impression, wistfully going back to his old Westworld digs in search of answers. Bernard looks for Maeve, and hopes to figure out why the hell Dolores, his newfound arch-nemesis, resurrected him from the dead. He finds neither. Consolation prize: Stubbs! He finds Stubbs in the back of one of those spooky naked robot closets, barely alive after trying to kill himself.
Turns out, Stubbs is the brobot we suspected him to be, attempting suicide because he failed his core directive of protecting Westworld’s hosts. Though, at the end of the episode, Bernard programs Stubbs with a new lease on life, so now, he’s in full protect-Bernard mode. Even before that: Stubbs, one arm functional, fends off a pack of gun-wielding Delos guards with a battleaxe, in what might be the most bullshit Westworld scene I’ve ever witnessed. (Related: Stubbs, bloody and irritated and drooling, is an accurate representation of me watching Westworld.)
Here’s the Westworld didn’t-expect-that moment of the week: A dragon! A big, CGI meanie of a creature, inside the Delos labs, looking like someone de-cartooned the Shrek dragon. So, it looks like there actually is a Medieval World in Westworld, which was last seen in the original 1973 film. If you needed more convincing, there was that gaggle of Renaissance fair folks elsewhere in the labs. A prediction: We’ve heard our last Westworld piano cover. From now on, there will be only lute covers. From Lute Man (not to be confused with Lube Man, from Watchmen). And Taylor Swift will get the Westworld treatment. “Teardrops On My Lute.”
Thankfully, Episode Two wasn’t all one giant head-scratch—it continued what might’ve been the premiere’s greatest strength, giving a fairly convincing portrait of what our future might actually look like nearly 40 years from now. With INCITE, Rehoboam, and Serac, it looks like Season Two of Westworld will ask: What if an Elon Musk type actually succeeded with all his manic do-goodery?
Well, considering Musk lit a fat blunt on The Joe Rogan Podcast and talked about how we’re probably living in a simulation, it wouldn’t be a massive stretch to think he would actually build said simulation-running tech if he had the tools. I mean, doesn’t the line, “My business is the future—our work is to create it,” feel ripped from The Book of Elon? Also, that robot who runs off with Maeve’s brain orb? Please try to tell me that it doesn’t look, run, and move like that viral Boston Dynamics robot who can fight back.
Alright, let’s whip out our tablet and take inventory going into Episode Three. Still no Man in Black! Don’t be surprised if the next episode leads with the fidelity test the Season Two finale teased, between the Man in Black and his robo-daughter. Hopefully, we’ll pick up with Dolores and Caleb (the premiere’s MVP), too, and we’ll get a better idea of how, exactly, she plans to take down INCITE and Rehoboam. Also, Stubbs and Bernard will take their blossoming buddy comedy to the real world, looking for Maeve—who, judging by the Season Three trailers and Serac’s plan, is about to go Dolores-hunting.
Lute Man! Play me off. Maeve loooks, at meeeeee….. The kind of robot I wish I could be…