Westworld Episode 7 Recap: Trompe L’Oeil
Bernard is startled awake from a dream, in which he is sitting at his son Charlie’s hospital bed, reading to him. The little boy collapses and his hospital monitors go haywire. When he wakes, he seems sad to see his bed empty and reaches for a photo of Charlie. So he throws himself into his work. In the lab, he checks up on Hector, who had a “blacklisted” conversation with a guest, who wanted to take a piece of him home as a trophy. This did not startle him, did not make him question his reality. Bernard shows him photos of the outside world, all of which mean nothing to Hector. He finishes up – management has a “priority request” for this host. Bernard asks a worker bee if anyone had heard from Elsie. According to the computer system, she started her leave today. Bernard tries calling her. Nothing. Her phone doesn’t show up when he tries to track it. Next he goes to see Theresa, who asks him about his abrupt exit the night before. She doesn’t quite believe him when he says there was nothing he wanted to tell her.
Theresa is in the residence hall and she stops awkwardly in front of a door that has loud sex sounds coming from the other side. Charlotte answers the door, completely naked, with Hector tied to the bed. Theresa is nervous and offers to come back, but Charlotte has no modesty. She powers down Hector and puts on a robe. Charlotte reminds Theresa that management’s interest in Westworld lies entirely in the code. Thirty-five years of raw information exists here, and Charlotte wants Theresa to “secure” it all. She finally puts the pieces together: management is going to fire Ford. Charlotte corrects her: they will, politely, ask him to retire, but in case things get ugly and Ford decides to figuratively burn the place down (by literally destroying the data), she wants to be sure everything is secure. Charlotte also wants to set up a demonstration as to how dangerous Ford’s creations can be.
Maeve wakes and starts her day. She goes into the saloon and chats with Clementine. Maeve suddenly becomes aware that Clementine is frozen. All the hosts in the saloon are frozen. A couple lab techs enter the saloon and Maeve pretends to be frozen, too – but she does palm a knife, just in case. She tenses, expecting the techs to take her, but instead, they take Clementine.
Back in the lab, Bernard and Ford meet with Theresa, Stubbs, and Charlotte. A variety of other techs and, I’m assuming, management people are there, too. Theresa explains that, in QA’s last review, they found something disturbing with the hosts who received the reverie updates. Even after being rolled back to their last build, bits and pieces of old storylines remained. Clementine is in an adjacent room, and the demonstration begins. One of the techs goes in, starts Clementine up, and starts beating her mercilessly. Theresa reveals that the “tech” is actually a host, who has been coded to read as human. They reset Clementine and reset the scenario. This time, when Clementine rises from her chair, she starts the beating first, and is far more vicious. She beats the “guest” until his head cracks the glass wall. Stubbs goes in to shut her down, but she doesn’t respond to voice commands. He has to shoot her. Theresa reveals that the hosts that malfunctioned were responding to a grudge. On top of that, several programmers had voiced their concerns to Bernard, and he ignored them. Charlotte is shocked by this level of incompetence. She wants the hosts, essentially, lobotomized, and she fires Bernard.
Elsewhere in the lab, Felix and a female tech are working on Maeve. When Maeve grabs him by the wrist, he excuses the tech. She is scared for Clementine and wants to find her. Felix is hesitant, but Maeve demands it. They march to another part of the lab, where Sylvester is working on Clementine while Theresa stands watch. He is startled to see Maeve watching him, but because the boss is watching, he continues with his job: to lobotomize Clementine with a tiny motorized drill up the nose. Maeve tears up. When he is done, Sylvester tries to explain that he didn’t want to “retire” Clementine, but that is his job, and someone would have done it if he hadn’t. Maeve stews quietly in her rage. She has one more request: she wants Sylvester and Felix to get her out of there. Sylvester is shocked – that is a suicide mission. But as Maeve points out, she has died a million times. “I’m f*cking great at it,” she says. If they don’t help her, Maeve vows to kill them. And she knows they aren’t as good at it as she is.
Bernard confronts Theresa. He knows the “show” was a sham; there was obvious, sloppy human intervention in the code. He also knows that she was the one who was sending out host data via satellite. Bernard thinks there is something deeply wrong with the hosts, some kind of connection between repetition and memory. Theresa’s concern is for the well-being of the park and the guests. Bernard knows, and he wants to show her something. They take an elevator into the park. On the way, Bernard assures Theresa that he wouldn’t let Ford destroy all their work.
The pair come out in the park, and Bernard takes her into the cabin which housed Ford’s family. Theresa is confused – this house doesn’t appear on any park surveys. Bernard points out that most surveys are done by hosts, who are programmed to ignore this place. Inside, there is no immediate sign that anyone – human or host – is living there. Theresa suggests they are behind a door, to which Bernard responds, “What door?” The door leads them downstairs, where they find a remote diagnostic lab, one that Ford and Arnold used when the park was in beta. The technology in here is much newer, though still slow. You could build a new host here, but it would take a few days. Bernard realizes that Ford has been making new hosts here, and not telling anyone about it.
Theresa finds some blueprints, including the ones for a prototype Dolores. She flips through a few more and is startled by what she sees. She shows it to Bernard, who doesn’t see anything. The audience finally gets a peek: it is Bernard. Bernard is a host. Ford has entered the room at this point, and Theresa calls him a monster. Ford points out that she is the monster. She would have destroyed all the hosts, including Bernard, even after “all you shared.” Bernard starts to get anxious. He can’t believe he is a host. “I was a father…” he insists. Ford shuts him off and tries to tell Theresa that he has spared his hosts the guilt and self-loathing that humans suffer with. “They are free… here, under my control.” Theresa naively points out that Bernard isn’t under Ford’s control because he brought her there. He points out that Bernard brought her here because he wanted him to. “He’s been very loyal for many years,” Ford says. He simply wanted to tell his “stories;” it was Theresa and management that were playing god. Ford is comfortable that the board will do nothing because their arrangement is too valuable. They test him every now and again; this time, Theresa was a test. “In order to restore things, this requires a blood sacrifice,” Ford explains. “Arnold and I designed this place. It was our dream. Did you think I would let you take it away?” Theresa backs away, tries her phone. No signal. He asks Bernard to “help” their guest. Calmly, Bernard takes off his jacket and tie, moves on Theresa, and bashes her head into the wall. Ford doesn’t watch as his creation kills Theresa. Bernard calmly redressed, and Ford tells him to get back to work – he has lots to do on the new storylines.
After all that, any other storyline this week seems pointless, but I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t mention William and Dolores. They are taking the train through “ghost nation.” Heads are on pikes along the train track. It is dangerous terrain, and the only way through. This leaves Dolores and William a lot of time to contemplate existence and their place in the world. William tells Dolores that he has a fiancé waiting for him at home, and Dolores struggles to hold back the tears. He promises he will help her find the place she is looking for, but then he has to leave. Dolores excuses herself to the next train car, to cry in private. William follows her and admits he has been pretending his whole life, and has a good life, one he always wanted. But after coming here, he has found a life in which he doesn’t have to pretend. He doesn’t want to go back to pretending. In the fastest one-eighty ever, he starts kissing her passionately and they have sex.
When William wakes the next morning, Dolores comments that last night was unexpected. He kisses her to show he doesn’t regret it. He always thought this place was pandering to base instincts, but now he realizes it shows who you really are. “You’ve unlocked something inside of me,” he insists. While he slept, Dolores drew a landscape. Before she had just drawn pictures of the world in front of her; this time she drew something new, where the mountains meet the sea. She asks what he dreams of, but the train comes to a grinding halt. The Confederados have staged an ambush, and they blast the train full of bullets. Things are quiet… then the train door opens, and someone rides out on a horse, a white flag at his back. The Confederados chuckle at the cowardice – until they realize the man on the horse is really a corpse. Slim’s corpse. And he is still packed full of nitroglycerin. From the train, Lawrence shoots at the body, and the whole thing explodes. Lawrence, Dolores, and William use this chance to escape, but the Confederados are hot on their trail. Suddenly the mercenaries are shot through with arrows, and the Ghost Nation rides out and slaughters the Confederados. It is a bloody conflict, but it allows Dolores, William, and Lawrence to flee.
After riding for awhile, Dolores stops. She realizes they are at the place from her drawing. She drew it from her dream, but now realizes it is real. Lawrence wants to go before the Ghost Nation catches up with them, but Dolores is done with war. William agrees. Lawrence leaves them to it, but warns them that by crossing the river west, they are headed into unclaimed territory. No one and nothing has ever come back from there.
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Westworld Episode 7 Recap and a Preview for Next Week - ComingSoon.net