Westworld Episode 8 Recap

Westworld Episode 8 Recap

After last week’s shocking reveal on HBO‘s Westworld, Ford brings Bernard back online to discuss what happened. Bernard is in tears because he killed her and he really loved her. Ford finds his anguish remarkable and assures Bernard he only killed Theresa because he told him to. “They would have destroyed the art I created,” Ford reasons, pointing out that management would have also destroyed him. Pointedly, he mentions that Arnold felt the way Bernard does, and “he couldn’t stop me, either.” Ford has Bernard cover their tracks, destroy any evidence that the pair were involved in Theresa’s murder, and when he is done, Ford will free Bernard from his memories of what he had done, and his love for Theresa. “You will be at peace.”

Maeve is in the saloon like normal, but she is having a hard time accepting the blonde that is the new Clementine. She flashes back to her life with her daughter, then is in the lab with Felix and Sylvester. She can’t tell what is real anymore, and declares that she is getting out of Westworld. Sylvester dares her to leave, and Maeve knows about the exploding failsafe buried deep in her central code. She wants them to reprogram her and give her administrative privileges in order to get her own “army” to break out of the compound. “It’s time to write my own f***ing story.”

Dolores feels like she is close to being home, but first she sees a half dozen or so men on the beach, dead. Impaled by arrows belonging to the Ghost Nation. One of the men is still alive, barely, and begs for water. William hesitates to help, but Dolores insists. The soldier admits that Logan sent the soldiers to kill William and Dolores, but Dolores won’t let him die. She goes to get him more water and is confronted with the sight of herself face down in the water. It is just a vision, and after a moment everything returns to normal. By the time she returns to William, the soldier is dead.

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Ford reveals to Charlotte and Stubbs that Theresa was found in the same place they found the Woodcutter. It appears that she simply slipped and fell to her death. There were no guests or hosts nearby, but they did find pieces of the satellite device nearby. Ford’s theory is that she had programmed the hosts to transmit the data, and when that failed, she went up to do it herself. Charlotte shows genuine remorse for Theresa’s death, which Ford tries to temper by explaining that yesterday’s demonstration was a hoax perpetrated by Theresa and the QA team. Ford plans to significantly restrict QA’s access to the code until they can get a more trustworthy team in place. Bernard will be reinstalled as the head of behavior.

Sylvester is concerned with how tightly wounded the higher-ups are. There was an accident in the park, and they need to wrap up this Maeve situation. After examining her code on a tablet, Maeve found what she needed and needs her techs to take her to the behavioral unit during the shift change. It is quite complicated, what she needs done, but then she can be someone else’s problem. Sylvester takes Felix outside and convinces him to wipe Maeve completely, brick her, and claim she came in that way. They roll her down the hall on a stretcher – nothing out of the ordinary here. Felix starts the process and warns her that, in order to do what Maeve requested, he has to shut her down.

Teddy and the Man in Black are still riding together. They come across a number of dead people and find a blonde woman, who the Man in Black recognizes, still alive. He thought they retired her. Wyatt’s men did this. Teddy cuts her free and a huge man jumps out, in full samurai-style armor, complete with a mask with huge horns. He attacks and the men fight. The Man in Black finally takes him down with a rope to the neck. Teddy remembers this is similar to the way in which he attacked Dolores, and hits him.

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Lee is trying to direct a cannibal host to be more realistic and frightening. Charlotte comes in, devastated by Theresa’s death. In hopes of making her feel better, Lee points out that Theresa was smuggling out data, but Charlotte defends her, saying that everything she did was at the command of her corporate overlords. Ford is almost done with his narrative, one that Lee isn’t needed for. She wants to give him a new job. They go into cold storage, where Charlotte chooses a deactivated host to upload 35 years of data into. Lee’s job is to give him some semblance of a backstory then get him on the train and out of the park. This happens to be the same host who was once Dolores’ father.

Felix feels bad about Maeve, but then Maeve sits up on the stretcher. He didn’t brick her at all. Sylvester is terrified, especially when she explains they’ve been tinkering with her core code. She grabs a scalpel and slices open Sylvester’s throat, which upsets Felix – she said she wouldn’t hurt anyone. “You know how duplicitous I am,” Maeve defends. She gives him a cauterizer and tells Felix to fix Sylvester – he might need him. “Now it is time to recruit my army.”

Maeve wakes and goes to the saloon, as she always does. While she waits for Hector’s gang, she tests some of her new skills by getting the bartender to pour her a free drink. A little girl outside reminds Maeve of her own little girl, and of the Man in Black coming in to kill them. Maeve tells the new Clementine to go distract some new guests and sends the bartender in the back as Hector’s squad rolls in – right on time. They start their mayhem, and Maeve strolls outside, telling the sheriff to be on his way. He leaves the thieves alone. The deputies practice their quick-draw on each other. Hector and his men steal the safe and Maeve smiles. It all went off without a hitch.

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Bernard is worried that Charlotte will be an impediment to Ford’s new narrative, but Ford is more concerned with what Bernard feels: a machine that knows its own true nature. Bernard understands how he is coded, but doesn’t understand his feelings. Are they real? He doesn’t understand the difference between himself and Ford, between the different kinds of pain they each feel. Ford says this is the same question that drove Arnold mad. He maintains that there is nothing that makes us alive. Consciousness doesn’t exist. We all live in loops, seldom questioning our choices. Before he is wiped, Bernard has one more question: has Ford ever made him hurt anyone like this before? “Of course not,” Ford assures him, even as Bernard’s mind flickers to the briefest of memories: him killing Elsie.

After more walking, Dolores comes to the vista she painted. She is home. In her mind she sees a bustling little town, and she is back in her chaste dress. This is one of the earliest iterations of Westworld, with a tech coaching stiff, barely life-like hosts to dance. Suddenly there are shots and screams. Dolores sees herself with a gun, then putting the gun to her own temple. William grabs the gun from her and Dolores, back in the here and now, is panicked. She thinks she is going crazy. She can’t tell what is real and what is a memory from a life long ago. “This is what Arnold wants, he wants me to remember.” He used to meet her there. William wants to get her out of here, get her back to Sweetwater. It’s like she is breaking down the further outside of town she gets. Some soldiers approach, and William is hopeful it is a Union scouting party that can take them back to town. No such luck. It is Logan and some Confederados. “You two are f***ed!” he cries gleefully.

Stubbs is glad to see Bernard has been reinstated – he thought the decision to remove him was short sighted. He offers his sympathies for Theresa, which Bernard brushes off. Stubbs tries to gently bring up that he knew about Bernard and Theresa’s relationship, but Bernard has no idea what he is talking about: “I barely knew her.” Stubbs tries to brush off the weirdness and asks about Elsie. Bernard is sure she is just enjoying her time off. Stubbs knows something is wrong.

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Teddy has the Man in Black tied up. He has no idea who he is and starts punching the Man in Black to get answers out of him. Teddy remembers he took Dolores and hurt her. The Man in Black laughs and calls Teddy an idiot, a glorified pimp. Teddy threatens to kill him, but the Man in Black isn’t worried. In fact, he is ready to share his story with him. “I am a god, a titan of industry,” he says. “Philanthropist, family man.” He insists he is a good guy. Last year, in a tragic accident, his wife took the wrong pills and died. Thirty years of marriage vanished. He tried to console his daughter at the funeral, but his daughter believed her mother killed herself because of him, that she lived in terror because of the anger and hatred she saw in him. He insists they never saw him like he is in Westworld, and returned to prove her wrong. He came back here and made his own story. He wanted to see if he had it in him to do something horrible, to be something horrible. The Man in Black picked a homesteader, Maeve, and stabbed her before killing her daughter right in front of her. He did it just to see what he thought. But Maeve refused to die, and slit his throat. The Man in Black felt nothing. He saw Maeve rush her daughter outside, the two collapsing onto the ground, and in that moment she was alive, truly alive. It was then that the maze revealed itself to the Man in Black, telling him there was a deeper game, “Arnold’s game.” A game that cuts deep.

As the Man in Black is telling his story, Maeve is a hundred miles away, in Sweetwater, reliving the tale, slitting the new Clementine’s throat instead of the Man in Black’s. The townspeople are all around Maeve, staring in disbelief as the woman falls apart. She whispers to Hector to start shooting, and it scares the townsfolk away. In the lab, techs are nervous because Maeve isn’t responding to commands. A team is authorized to extract her.

It is Ford and Bernard who study Maeve back in the lab after the Man in Black tried to kill her. Her cognition is fragmented, and Ford takes the memories from her so she need not suffer. She begs Ford to be allowed to keep the pain; that is all she has left of her little girl. Ford puts her in sleep mode, but it doesn’t take and Maeve stabs herself in the throat.

The maze is all that matters to the Man in Black, and besting Wyatt is all that stands in the way. The blonde wants to kill the Man in Black; he is much worse than Wyatt’s men. Teddy puts his gun to the Man in Black’s head, but he can’t pull the trigger. The girl will help, and stabs Teddy in the chest with an arrow. “You’ve been gone a long while,” she says. “It’s time you came back into the fold.” From out of the woods comes a shadowy army of men in similar armor to the horned one they encountered earlier.

You can watch a preview for “The Well-Tempered Clavier,” the first season’s penultimate episode, by clicking here.