Westworld Episode 6 recap and a preview for next week
This week’s episode of HBO‘s Westworld opens on Maeve, waking up, much like we saw with Dolores in previous episodes. Maeve gets dressed, goes downstairs, and offers to take a rough trick from Clementine. Upstairs, Maeve incites him, insults the guest’s manhood, until he finally starts giving it to her rough. She puts his hands around her throat and encourages him to strangle her until she passes out.
When Maeve wakes, she is on Felix’s table. “Now then. Where were we?” Felix does his best to explain that he is human; she is not (despite having skin and blood and a heartbeat). “How do you know you are human?” she asks. “I was born; you were made.” Felix doesn’t understand how she remembers everything, which leads Maeve to believe maybe he is wrong. To prove he is right, he shows her her dialogue tree and watches the words fill out as she says them. Even her stammers are scripted. Suddenly she glitches, then freezes up. Her “brain” can’t handle it. It takes him a few minutes, but Felix finally gets Maeve back online. She wants to see “upstairs,” more of the lab, more of this world she is just learning exists. Felix refuses, but Maeve does have her charm factors turned up. He gives in.
Felix walks her through the labs, going floor by floor. She sees crumpled piles of naked bodies being hosed down; eyeballs carried on trays from room to room; bodies being pumped full of blood and turning from flat white to human pink. Another floor is housed with animals: buffalo, horse, cow, deer all being trained and tested. Above that is where hosts are having their programming tested: they are f*cking, fighting, gambling, drinking. Level eight is the design floor, where sculptors create the faces of the hosts. Finally, they come to the lobby level, and Maeve watches a promo video play on the wall. The video includes scenes of her and her daughter.
Back in the lab, Maeve wants to know how they had her dream. Felix explains it wasn’t a dream; it was her previous build. Hosts get reassigned all the time. She has only been a madam for about a year. Sylvester comes in and is apoplectic when he sees Felix sharing secrets with a host. He threatens to tell QA and Maeve grabs a scalpel, holding it to his neck. Sylvester doesn’t believe Maeve would hurt him – not in her programming – but when she tightens her grip and offers to help him or gut him, Sylvester errs on the side of caution. Maeve wants to see her personality tributes. Many of her tributes, such as loyalty, perception, and courage are “maxed out” at 14 – that is as high as any host can be scored. Maeve wants to make some changes, and Sylvester claims he can’t because they don’t have a behavior login. Maeve knows this isn’t true. He has been selling time with attractive hosts to various co-workers, then deleting the video proof. Sylvester begrudgingly logs in. She wants her loyalty lowered and her ability to feel pain lowered. There is evidence that someone has already been altering her, someone with a lot more permissions. Finally Maeve gets to her intelligence and wants it all the way at the top. Felix is scared – but does it. “Dear boys, we’re gonna have some fun!”
As they ride, Teddy tells the Man in Black the old native myth about the maze. It is the sum of a man’s life. At the center is a man who has been killed, over and over, and always crawls back to the side of the living. He finally killed those who hurt him, built a house, and built a maze around it so complicated that no one could find their way through. Some settlers they pass on the road warn them that soliders have Pariah closed. Teddy is desperate to find Dolores, so he suggests a different route. Upon arriving at the next route, Union soldiers are guarding the tunnel they need to take. Teddy and the Man in Black dress as Union soldiers and march into the settlement. Wyatt did a number on these men. Many are dead, and when he got tired of killing, he turned to maiming. One guy is missing his eye; another had both hands cut off. One of the soldiers recognizes Teddy and raises his gun. He explains that Teddy ambushed them at Escalante. Teddy starts shooting; the Man in Black joins in. They are both caught.
Tied up at camp, the Man in Black wants to do business with the soldiers. One of the soldiers threatens to brand them with the mark of the maze. Teddy flashes back to the shootout in town, remembers that he was the instigator. “You’re right. I am a killer,” he says. Teddy frees himself and fights the men. The Man in Black joins in. Teddy won’t leave until they are all dead, so he takes hold of a turret gun and clears away all the men. To the Man in Black, he says, “You don’t know me at all.”
Elsie and Bernard have no idea what was being transmitted on the satellite antenna they found on the rogue host, and his chip was damaged so they can’t read anything off it. Bernard knows he was an older model, which means that he can scrape out the info, he just needed to find a system old enough to do it. Down into B82 he goes. This floor of the compound looks like a horror set: abandoned hospital setting, flickering lights. He checks the legacy data against known data and finds an anomaly. It looks like the rogue host reached the peak just before midnight. Five more anomalies are detected that aren’t registered with the new system.
Bernard goes to see Theresa, but he doesn’t get a chance to tell her anything before she speaks. Ford knows about their relationship and she worries it will raise questions with the board. She ends their relationship, which irks Bernard. He does not share with her what he found. Instead, he checks in with one of the supervisors who oversees the park map. She checked on the inquiry he sent, and saw that no guests or hosts were assigned to the area. It had been cleared out for a future narrative.
Bernard takes an elevator into this supposedly empty park sector. He finds a small house, that seems to have a man living in it. Bernard enters the house and sees a whole family inside. “Are you Arnold?” Bernard asks hesitantly. The man flies into a rage. He doesn’t know Arnold, doesn’t know Bernard. Bernard tries to freeze the man’s motor functions, but the command doesn’t work. As the host slams Bernard against the wall, Ford appears and freezes him. He tells Bernard that these are the first generation of hosts, the only ones left built by Arnold. This is Ford’s family: father, mother, brother, Ford himself as a young boy, even his dog. They were built after the only happy memory in Ford’s childhood, a gift to Ford from Arnold. Ford went ahead and adjusted them to be more like he remembers; namely, making his father an angry alcoholic. Bernard is concerned about this, but Ford promises they are harmless.
Back in his office, Bernard discovers there are 82 first generation hosts. Arnold built more than 40 of them.
When alone with his family, Ford wants to play fetch with his dog and his younger self. The dog is dead, and young Robert tells him he found the dog like that. When pressed, young Robert admits he was lying, that he killed the dog. “Someone told me to put it out of its misery,” he explains. “A voice. Arnold.” The “voice” told the child that the dog was a killer and it wasn’t the dog’s fault. “If it was dead it couldn’t hurt anything anymore.”
Not all of Westworld is dusty and old-fashioned. There is a very modern pool and bar located on a high point of the park. This is where Lee has been hiding the last few days, on “sick leave.” Theresa finds him there and wants him to help her reign in Ford, who has displaced upwards of 50 hosts, leaving big gaps in the narrative. Lee is furious that Ford has demolished the narratives he has worked so hard on and threatens to quit. Theresa knows he won’t quit, but warns him to get this out of his system. If Ford can’t pull off his new narrative, the board will look for a replacement – and they won’t be looking to promote from within. Lee continues drinking, and soon begins flirting with a sexy woman at the bar. He brags about how he creates the narratives, but won’t play them. He blathers on, letting slip that the hosts can go off-script. She is clearly pumping him for information. The bartender cuts him off and the woman leaves. Pissed, Lee grabs a bottle of booze and stomps off. He reappears inside the lab, and pisses from the catwalk down to the Westworld map, declaring the park is his stage. Theresa introduces him to Charlotte Hale, the woman he was flirting with at the bar. She is the director of this mythical “board” that Theresa seems so terrified of.
Elsie figures out that someone has been broadcasting to the hosts from an abandoned theater in sector three. She goes there and finds the relay transmitter beneath a floorboard. She boots it up to access the previous user’s information.
While Elsie is out at the theater, Bernard visits Theresa at home. Not for a booty call, but to tell her he found anomalies in the park. He ignores a call from Elsie to continue. Bernard always trusted Ford, but he is starting to think they have reason for concern. He finally answers Elsie’s call and in a panic, she tells him: “Theresa was sending out the data. She’s not our only problem. Something much bigger is going on.” By the rule of horror movie conventions, this means Elsie is going to die.
Bernard calls Elsie back when he leaves Theresa’s apartment, and she continues. Theresa was using an old system to recode the woodcutter, but someone else is recoding older models, making serious changes to their prime directives: they can lie and they can hurt humans. As far as she can tell, it is Arnold who is doing the reprogramming. She will transfer the data and bring it to Bernard. Elsie gives a few more “What the f*ck?” and “Holy sh*t” outbursts while transferring the data, when she hears something. She goes to investigate, calling out for Bernard, then softer calling for Arnold. She is grabbed by an unseen assailant.
You can watch a preview for next week’s episode using the player below!