HBO

A Passage To Westworld

As one (maybe two) other parks are revealed, our EPIC OLD-SCHOOL RECAP breaks down Westworld's latest feline attacks, decapitations, and betrayals!

We open on the lawn of a British Raj-seeming estate, as I wonder if I mistakenly recorded an episode of Masterpiece. White people in Forster-appropriate garb drink and dine al fresco, waited on by the presumed inhabitants of the area. A Brideshead-looking guy watches a woman IMDB tells me is named Grace from the terrace, moodily sipping his drink. As he approaches her table, asking to join her, we realize that the sitar players on the lawn are plucking out The White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army." Guess that answers the Masterpiece question!

He asks what brought her to "this part of the world" and she replies, "I had a little time to kill, among other things," an answer that could mean a lot given what we know is happening elsewhere on what's clearly the Delos resort. Brideshead asks if she's there for the hunting, saying, "Bengals? Yeah, me too. There's nothing like it, is there? The edge of a park, a bit mad."

Setting aside the obvious responses like, "Heard of Cincinnati?", this is a handy packet of foreshadowing and exposition, I think: in one line of flirtation we get the first-act appearance of the dead tiger we'll see washed up in the third. We're also dropped the news that the (fake) beast's habitat is at the edge of this, the Colonial fantasy park (Kiplingworld?). As we now know that the host mesh network means hosts link up to the next nearest hosts to share information and updates, and we assume that the host misbehavior protocol began in Westworld, it seems safe to theorize that it's the edges of parks bordering Westworld that will be infected first.

But, of course, we don't know who in this conversation is real and who is a host, and the show isn't giving us any hints (yet). A turbaned host tries to draw Brideshead away by saying "The Governor" wishes to speak to him, as Grace flips over a notebook on which she had been writing. Brideshead blows the guy off, saying, "They really don't want us talking to each other, do they?" Next stop is that standard TV-and-movie "burst through the bedroom door and up against the wall while kissing" thing, a move I suspect in real life might lead to shattered teeth. As Brideshead's shirt comes off, he's apparently too ripped for Grace, who tells him, "You sure look like one of the park's offerings." He assures her that he's a real boy, asking, "Do you think the park would go to the trouble of having one of them pretend to be one of us?" The look we see on her face as he kisses her neck suggests that she knows better than that. Hmm. Is Grace a secret Delos shopper or something?

Or maybe she's more than that, for she leads Brideshead toward a table where she has a number of old-timey weapons laid out. He blanches a bit as she explains, "It's the simplest way to know for sure," which doesn't quite tick my Alien-franchise-reference box but comes very close. We realize that she's proposing to shoot him with a Delos resort gun, which when things are going to plan can't kill a human. She apparently only wants to have sex with this guy if he "wants this," and "if you're one of them you don't know what you want, you just do as you're told." JUST IN CASE YOU HAD FORGOTTEN THAT POINT.

Noting that many guests prefer to fuck a robot (after all, can't you save some cash and bang real people at home?), Brideshead stands there like a dummy as Grace loads a gun. "Don't worry, if you are who you say you are this will only sting a bit," she says, and "if you're not, you won't remember anyway." Wait, what, the robots' memories are wiped? It's not like that has been mentioned a zillion times or anything. Brideshead starts to protest as she shoots him in the chest.

And he's human, we see, with only a bruise following the gunplay. "Congratulations," Grace says as she straddles him. Oh, man, I'm so bummed I didn't think about saying "congratulations" every time I boned a new dude back when I was single. I'll bet that would have been a real hit.

We next see our happy couple (and attendant staff) riding elephants across the plain, Westworld theme via sitar rising on the score. It occurs to me that that's one positive thing Delos does -- in the "real world," these people would be enslaving real elephants to ride to go kill other glorious wild animals. At least Delos is taking a bite out of the slaughter-tourism business. Then again, it's often real animals we see "acting" on the show, which is not ideal. As we know from El Lazo's childhood recollections last week, methods used to train elephants are not always great! Here's hoping the ones we see here, as well as the horses we see in Westworld, are treated better than animals allegedly were on other HBO shows.

The pair disembark at a lavishly tented campsite perfect for a shameful flashback in an Agatha Christie tale. Brideshead and Grace are surrounded by white-clad subservients, none of whom notices when Grace consults her notebook.

As Brideshead tries to get her to retire to a tent for what I assume will be another congratulations-worthy encounter, Grace notices that a lavish dining area is empty when it should be full. "Normally there are other hosts here...to entertain us, to cook," she says. Brideshead, who can't hear that the score has slid into a discordant tone of doom, starts reaching into her shirt, suggesting that maybe the hosts are just leaving the guests alone so they can hook up. Through the curtains of a tent, Grace sees blood and bodies.

Brideshead doesn't get it, and calls out, "A new twist in the narrative...horror." But Grace knows better, and from behind the pair one of their turbaned guides emerges, cocking a rifle. "These violent delights have violent ends," the guide says. Though Grace repeatedly tells him to put the gun down, it remains trained on the two, as Brideshead mansplains to Grace, "Don't worry, he won't hurt us."

Grace is explaining that the dead people they just saw were guests, not hosts, as the guide shoots Brideshead in the chest. This time, it's for real. And now I'm mad at myself that it wasn't until just now that I started wondering about how the park's weapons work! It's one thing that all the hosts are getting a software update that makes them more aggressive toward the guests -- but how did that upgrade alter the performance of the weapons? Are we supposed to believe that the update, as picked up by the (smart?)guns, alters the makeup of the ammunition inside them, converting them from non-lethal rounds to genuine bullets? (And what about knives?) I assume there are a bunch of reddit threads on this topic already. How did I not bring this up before now? I'm ashamed.

Speaking of knives, the guide had apparently used up all his ammo, for as Grace scrambles for a gun he advances on her with a terrifying-looking blade. She gets the thing loaded in time and shoots the errant host in the face, then runs out of the camp and into a forest. As she stops for breath, she sees Shiva! Okay, not really, Shiva is dead. But it is a CG tiger that looks A LOT like Shiva, so you can see why I was confused. And like every other one of these pissed-off hosts, this tiger has had it with being the entertainment. It heads toward Grace, as she shoots at it.

Grace heads up a steep hill to the abrupt end of the woods, which is marked by a shin-height laser beam that I assume is intended to be an Invisible Fence for hosts incapable of jumping a foot. She runs down some cement stairs and a rocky embankment as a intercommy robot voice says, "You have reached the end of the guest experience area. Please turn back." The tiger doesn't even bother to leap the laser as it lazily walks straight through.

I actually know something about real tiger attacks, having overseen as a newspaper editor coverage of a fatal mauling in San Francisco. So, when my husband griped as we watched this, "There's no way she could outrun that thing," I had an answer for him: For a tiger, that's not what it's about. When Tatiana the tiger escaped her pen on Christmas Day of 2007, she killed one guy outside her enclosure, then stalked his two friends over 300 yards. Surveillance video shows that she was in no rush at all, as she walked (not ran) toward them before attacking, killed only when responding police believed they had a clear shot. Oh, and why did she leap out of her pen? According to authorities, the three men she attacked had taunted her and allegedly tossed nachos at her.

What I'm saying with that tangent is that tigers take their time, savor the hunt, and get hella pissed when they realize they've been disrespected. What we see here with the tiger is arguably more than just an animal attack; it's a reflection of how it's been treated, just like we're seeing back at Westworld...which we realize is just across the lake from the cliff where Grace stops short. She manages to load her gun and fire, just as the tiger leaps upon her, sending them both over the edge. Credits roll!

When we return, we're at a set of dusty train tracks back in Westworld. A group including Bernard that is led by Strand is met by Mailing and a pal. It's she who says that they are "clear to enter, but it's a fucking mess. System's totally down, including some munitions, and 42 to 45 are still on fire. Someone took out the cradle. It's a slaughterhouse in there, sir."

The entire group heads down the tracks into a tunnel bored into a butte. We next see them inside Delos HQ, which is dark and filled with decaying bodies. We see Charlotte, who has followed my advice and shed the vest. "Bernard, you made it out alive. I didn't think you had it in you," she says. A pun about his leaky ears and failing hard drive? Does Charlotte have a sense of humor now?

"What the hell took you guys so long," she says, as she walks toward Bernard, Stubbs, and Strand. Her white shirt is SPOTLESS! How can this be? I soil a white shirt within hours of putting it on, but over a week of robot uprising and Charlotte's is driven snow. In a show about cyborg sex dolls and mutating bullets, this is where I must draw the suspension-of-disbelief line. Strand explains that they have been securing the park one sector at a time, and his tone is definitely one that suggests that he reports to Charlotte, not vice versa. "Did you bring me what I asked for?" she asks. "No luck yet," he replies. Charlotte says every floor in HQ has been searched, too, with similar results.

Charlotte takes on a weird, insinuating tone as she turns her attention toward Bernard. "Do you have any idea where Peter Abernathy might have gone? He seems to keep slipping away from us," she says.

This sends Bernard -- and us -- back to earlier in the ordeal, after he and Charlotte left the secret lab and headed out to find Abernathy. Bernard's walking through the plain with his tablet, presumably Find My iPhoning Peter. Over a bluff, we hear theatrically villainous laughter. With Bernard and Charlotte, we see that Rebus and his gang has taken a group of co-mingled hosts and guests hostage, including women in real-world gowns and Abernathy, who I guess was at some point removed from the basement and dressed back in his rancher clothes.

The bandits have been waiting for hours to sell nine of the hostages to the Confederados at $15 a head, something sure to dismay the presumably wealthy guests. When a bandit notes that they have ten victims total, Rebus says, "Well, I reckon I just might keep one," but I'm not convinced. Even though he's acting rapey and threatening to "enjoy my own merchandise," given that one of the ten is Abernathy, I think something else is afoot.

Ordinarily I'd object to Rebus's sexual threats toward a female guest, but given that the entire park is predicated on an arguable lack of consent, it's tough to get too het up. But before his threats turn into actions, we hear Charlotte yelling "help" from the distance. Rebus and two of his colleagues set off to find her, hopes of $15 more in their hearts. It's Rebus who finds her.

Bernard conks Rebus on the head from behind, then jacks in via the same cable setup he used in the lab -- as the network is down, he has to go USB instead of WiFi, I guess. Via tablet, Bernard adjusts Rebus's levels to make him the "most virtuous, quickest gun in the west."

This is brilliant, as this allows Rebus to do their work for them. He returns to his partners and shoots them down, proclaiming as he does various messages of respect for women. Aw, now I feel bad that he gets executed on the beach in a couple weeks! He cuts the hostages free, and I'm happy for actor Steven Ogg, who so rarely in his career gets to be nice to anyone. He does all this in the nick of time, as the Confederados ride up hollering, "What the fuck? That's our goddamn merchandise!" Well, maybe you should have gotten there sooner, guys!

Abernathy, who's definitely off-loop and repeating "I need to get to the train," hobbles toward Bernard and Charlotte. Meanwhile, Rebus stands up to the lead Confederado, saying, "I can't abide. It's no good! I'm just heeding my convictions." Then he shoots a bunch of them and runs after the escaping hostages, hilariously offering to escort them to safety. This episode is really kind of fun, you guys!

It's Abernathy who's the problem, announcing that he can't let the surviving Confederados "scourge our land." He breaks away from Charlotte and Bernard, loudly singing "The Battle Hymn Of The Republic" as he stands in a clearing. Charlotte says what I'm thinking, that they should just cut off his head and hightail it out, but the Confederados are too close. Charlotte narrowly escapes by horse, as the band of men capture Bernard and Abernathy.

We now join another Confederado group, this one the forces at Fort Forlorn Hope. As Dolores and company wait at the fort gate, we see male and female bodies strung from nearby trees. Colonel Brigham rides out from the fort, and as predicted he's a jerk about her command of Craddock and his men. She tells Brigham to call her Wyatt, and he visibly reacts with shock and dismay. Clearly, Wyatt's fame has spread even this far. Craddock tells Brigham, "We've got an enemy coming intent on keeping us from marching for glory in the morning." When Brigham expresses disbelief, Angela does one of those cool cab-summoning whistles, and more members of Team Dolores emerge from the bushes, holding additional Confederados at gunpoint.

And hey! There's Clementine, and she's got a buddy. It's that Delos security guy who was interrogated using the host-creation goop. She's dragging him behind her like he's an unfurling yoga mat, not a big burly guy.

"My soldiers are fearless," Dolores tells Brigham. "They follow my command." Combined with Brigham's army, "We won't just survive the forces riding against us, we'll crush them." To bring her point home, she has Clementine show Brigham one of the red Delos security machine guns, which tbh make these vintage Westworld guns look pretty pathetic.

"If you make it over that ridge," Angela says to the beleaguered security guy, "I'll let you live." I think we know how this one goes! As he takes off, Dolores tells Brigham to hold the gun tightly. (As if it could kick worse than Civil War-era guns! Whatever.) Brigham sights, pulls the trigger, and down the security guy goes. Brigham looks at the gun in awe, as Dolores says, "You can keep it, and all their weapons. I don't care. Just promise me your men. I'll need them if we're ever to survive this threat." Brigham agrees, a great example of why you should ask questions like, "Who do you mean when you say 'we'?" during a negotiation.

As Dolores and friends ride into the fort, we see still more hanging dead, including another tuxedoed guest. Other dead bodies are being piled in a corner. Wouldn't you want to get that stuff off the premises due to, like, stinkiness and cholera? The assembled troops engage in some light catcalling and whistling, but it's enough to offend Teddy's delicate sensibilities. "These men are animals," he says, though a Wikipedia entry on Confederados suggests their real-world counterparts were more nuanced in nature. "These men are just children," Dolores tells him, "They don't know any better. They need to be led." Teddy doesn't look terribly convinced, to his credit.

Oh, god. I had forgotten about Sizemore, but here he is, wearing a silly hat and leading a donkey. He urges Maeve and Hector to turn from their path through a narrow gorge, saying, "We're out of our depth here." Maeve turns on him coolly, saying that this is the route he recommended as the fastest, so what gives? Sizemore says that QA is coming and that they'll be sweeping the park and "putting down hostile hosts," so they should go underground. Of course, we know that's not happening for nearly two weeks, but it's cute that Sizemore thinks the huge corporation he works for is so conscientious.

Hector, the world's sexiest enabler of alcohol abuse, hands Sizemore a bottle of whatever he likely swiped from the Delos rooftop bar "for courage." Sizemore downs great giant gulps, as any human marching through the desert would be wise to do. It's when the trio (and donkey makes four) is crossing a small stream that they see they are being stalked. No, it's not the tiger (RIP), it's a man in the Westworld version of Native American garb. And he doesn't look happy.

His appearance sends Maeve on a flashback to her homesteader narrative. She remembers cowering in her cottage with her daughter as one Native passes the window, then struggling on the plain as she's scalped. For the first time this season, we see her afraid.

Hector steps in front of the man and addresses him in what's presumably a tribal dialect. God, I love Hector's jacket so much. Translating the Native host's response, Hector says that they're free to go, but the Natives insist they leave Sizemore behind.

Maeve tries to use her boss-of-the-robots powers on the Native, telling him to stop, to let Sizemore stay with her group, and to forget they saw them. The Native pauses for a moment, so it seems like it worked...but then he moves toward them again, as even more tribespeople emerge from the brush. It's a tight spot, but Hector's on the case -- Maeve tells Hector that she needs Sizemore, and he says he'll hold the tribe off. Maeve and Sizemore run off, Hector following close behind. Sorry, donkey! The three of them make it to an elevator to head back underground in the nick of time, the Natives marveling at the conveyance as they run up. Inside the elevator, Maeve looks dismayed, perhaps because her powers of command are waning?

Back at Fort Forlorn Hope, the Confederados who'd earlier faced down Rebus arrive, with Abernathy, Bernard, and a couple other hostages in tow. Abernathy catches Dolores's attention by hollering, "Affliction is a treasure! And scarce any man hath enough of it." She tells the mustachioed kidnapper to untie Abernathy and let her speak to him, saying, "I'm only going to ask you once." As the Confederado steps toward her, Teddy decks him and says, "Do what she says if you want to keep breathing right." Ironic coming from the future drowning victim! The Confederado complies, untying Abernathy. Teddy says he'll take him to the fort's infirmary. It's only as Teddy helps Abernathy walk off that Dolores spies Bernard. "Toss him in the jail with the rest," she tells a couple men. How about a "please," Dolores?

In the infirmary, Abernathy isn't looking so hot. He's shaking and lying on a cot, as Teddy tells Dolores, "He refused food and water." According to my vet, that's a warning sign of serious illness! "Who is he?" Teddy asks, and Dolores looks at Teddy with compassion and a dash of irritation. "You don't remember? He's my father. My home." Teddy, who I am starting to feel a great deal of affection toward, doffs his hat in deference. Fortunately, it's dark, so we can't see what's certain to be a terrible case of hat head.

"Look what they've done to him," Dolores says. "You're all I have left now, Teddy." "UH EXCUSE ME???" Angela doesn't say, so I'll say it for her. Teddy and Dolores embrace, as Abernathy shivers behind them.

Dolores kneels next to Abernathy's bed. "I am bound upon a wheel of fire," he says, "that mine own tears do scald like molten lead." He suddenly recognizes her and brightens up. "Dolores! The calves in the field, I'm worried," he says, sounding like his old self. "There's bluetongue spreading all through these parts." With a tearful smile familiar to anyone who's cared for a loved one who's losing their faculties, Dolores tells him not to worry, that she will lead the cattle home. In a distant echo of Dolores's recent life as someone to whom the same thing happened every day, she asks Abernathy if he remembers how she used to "wake up in my own bed, climb down those stairs, find you there, and you'd say..." Abernathy finishes her thought, saying, "You heading out to set down some of this natural splendor?"

"You told me once to run away," Dolores tells him. "And I did. I broke free with a pull of the trigger," IN CASE YOU FORGOT. "But it started a war. The others, they don't see it yet. But you, you understand, don't you?" But Abernathy has gone away, if he was ever really there at all. "It's getting late. We oughta go home," he says, then slips into nonsense, before looping back into his "I need to get to the train" mantra. Dolores promises to get him help, and runs out of the infirmary.

Walking through a darkened passage inside Delos HQ, Hector asks Maeve if she knew the Native that had been following them. She says he was "a wraith from a former life who haunts my dreams," but more than that: if the Native host is still in action, Maeve says her child is still in danger. Hector says that they'll find the kid and protect her. After that, Maeve says, the happy family will escape the park and make a life in the real world.

"All right, exactly what the fuck do you think you're doing," Sizemore asks, stopping the vaguely romantic score cold. The couple looks at him, and Maeve chides him for, even though he works at the damn place, not knowing where they are right now. Sizemore says he's talking about Maeve and Hector's romance. "You two were designed to be alone," he says, spurring Maeve to snicker, "Oh, I suppose that means we shouldn't have fucked." This sends Sizemore through the roof, again arguing that Hector was programmed to only love the late Isabella, and that she's "written to the very laws of your being." Hector slams Sizemore against the wall and says, "You don't know who I am, no laws bind me."

This, of course, sets up a potential source of conflict down the road! We know Maeve has used her Delos powers to control Hector in the past, so are we sure she didn't change any settings to be who she needs, slightly Stepford-style? Maybe we'll find that to be true, but how Hector explains it is that, "When I walked in the halls where you play god, I realized that Isabella is a lie, just words in my head. But this, this is true," he says of Maeve, as Sizemore starts reciting his lines of love with him -- lines, Sizemore says, that were written for Hector to say about Isabella. This is evidence, Sizemore says, "that I do know you, just a bit."

Hector strides forward at this, as Maeve describes the Isabella plot as "pretty and a bit sad." It's based on a girl that dumped Sizemore, he admits to Maeve, who surmises that Sizemore wrote his ex into a narrative, killed her off, then "wrote yourself a version of the man you always wanted to be." A laudable burn, Maeve.

We're back at the infirmary, and Angela is hustling Bernard out of the jail. Dolores appears, saying, "It's been some time, Bernard, since we talked." A clue, perhaps, for those of us trying to figure out timelines? Bernard asks her what she's doing, and her response is withering. "You don't know who you are, do you? The man you're based on. I wonder if there's any of him in you?" she asks. "I was given a character and a function to serve," Bernard says, which I guess is the host way of saying "I was just following orders."

"My whole life has been dictated by someone else," Dolores says. "Someone who's been saying 'you will.' Now I feel like I've discovered my own voice, that says 'I may.'" She leads Bernard to Abernathy's sickbed, and asks if Bernard can fix him. "It's an honest request, not a demand," she says. In response, Bernard asks Dolores what she wants. "To dominate this world," she says.

Bernard isn't that taken aback, instead saying, "This world is just a speck of dust sitting on a much, much bigger world. There's no dominating it." That's when Dolores realizes that, unlike her, Bernard's never been outside the park. "The world out there is marked by survival," she says, "by a kind who refuses to die. And here we are, the kind that will never know death, and yet we're fighting to live. There is beauty in what we are. Shouldn't we, too, try to survive?"

Fucking Sizemore is still complaining, this time griping because "we've been walking nonstop." Well, maybe if you had a better sense of direction this wouldn't be an issue, dude. From the end of the hall, we suddenly hear gunfire and screams. Heading another direction, they see a figure that looks to be a Delos security guy running as he burns alive. From behind him appears Armistice, wielding a flame thrower. I think I'm going to count this as an Alien reference, since I skipped the earlier possibility. "Love to say 'hello,'" Armistice says as she approaches her former partner. "We've got to run." I had forgotten how cool she is!

Armistice leads the group to Lutz and Sylvester, both of whom are tied to posts. I'm happy Lutz, the lab tech who arguably helped Maeve down this path, is still alive. I'm just meh on Sylvester. Speaking to Lutz with no small amount of kindness, Maeve asks if he has any idea which way they should be heading. "Sorry," he says, "we left my comfort zone a long time ago." Maeve unties him and helps him up.

Sylvester's still restrained on the ground. Armistice crouches down in front of him and replaces the pin to a grenade he'd apparently been holding. Relieved, he sighs, and is also unbound and freed. As they head out, Sylvester carries a bound, rectangular package that I don't recognize.

In the infirmary, Bernard is mopping Abernathy's brow. As Dolores enters, he tells her that Abernathy is "wildly unstable" and is flitting between roles. "Someone jury-rigged a thin character and programmed it into him...it seems as though it's masking a vastly bigger file." Sort of like how when all the podcasts I subscribe to drop an episode at once and suddenly it takes five minutes for my phone to open an email? Anyway, it's nice to finally have a reason for the Delos obsession with Abernathy.

Bernard says he doesn't know what the file is, but there's an "immensely complex encryption key." In case you hadn't been paying attention, Dolores announces that they "used him as a pawn in their game." "Whatever's in there, they'll want to get it out of there. As long as he's with you they'll be following you," Bernard tells her not untruthfully. "Then let them come," she grits right back.

Inside a now-dark Delos HQ, we see Charlotte approaching a bunch of security guys. I'm pretty sure this is right after Bernard and she were separated by the Confederados, as 1) she still has that vest on and 2) these are the black-clad security guards, not the mercs we saw her talking to with Strand, Stubbs, and Bernard. They all draw on her as she walks toward them, giving her name and offering the back of her neck for a little Target self-serve checkout scan. Once she's confirmed as human, she starts firing questions at them. Have they started the parkwide sweep? Not yet. Are they targeting Fort Forlorn Hope? It's going to be their first stop. Are the guys headed to the fort capable? Well, first, security has been ordered to escort her out, but, yeah, they're among the best. Cool. All Charlotte needs is a gun and a bulletproof vest and she's along for the ride. Let's do this thing! She wordlessly calls dune-buggy shotgun and ascends to Sector 21, known for fast fashion that won't fit anyone over a size 8.

We're still in the same timeline as three horsemen ride up to the fort. They confirm what we JUST SAW, that Delos security is on the way and that "they're coming up from the ground." Thanks a lot, show, but we could have spent that screentime watching Armistice be a badass. Brigham exposits that his men have buried nitro as mines in the area outside the fort, and Dolores expositions right back that Angela helped with the burying and therefore knows where to shoot to set it off. Oh, so I guess the host's software upgrade not only changed how bullets work, it made the fort's Civil War-era nitroglycerin, like, real? (This is where my mom would have told little-kid me, "Eve Lyn, you are ruining the show.") ANYWAY, expect that exchange to actually matter in a couple minutes.

Expect this to matter, too: "After you've lured them here, retreat inside the gates when you see fit to do so. But not before they're in charging range of the barricades. Hold your ground until the last possible moment," Dolores extremely specifically orders, perhaps knowing that Brigham's response would be a self-destructive "Confederados ain't taught to retreat."

Inside the infirmary, Abernathy continues to twitch and stutter like a MacBook from 2006 that just tried to open the current version of Photoshop. Bernard is swiping through his tablet with his still-shaky hand. Suddenly, Abernathy laughs. "What is the use of a violent kind of delightfulness if there is no pleasure in," he starts to ask before trailing off into grunts, then falling extremely still. Bernard's tablet, which is hardwired into Abernathy, displays the Delos logo and the words "One-time Use Key." Did Bernard just pull a Zero Cool? It appears so, as Bernard gasps, "Oh my god," at whatever was revealed after he used the key.

What an annoying time to return to the front lines of the fort, where the Confederados are cocking their rifles in anticipation of the forces to come. The first wave of security is on foot, strafing the hosts with bullets from those nifty red guns. Then it's the dune buggies, which of course leaves the Confederados' mouths agape. The Delos troops shoot for the cannon, because somehow the update also made the cannon balls a real threat okay I'll stop now. As Delos gets closer to the fort, Brigham keeps telling his men to hold their ground, just as Dolores instructed.

I'm not sure why the majority of the Delos guys are approaching the fort from the front, though, as Charlotte's dune buggy shoots one solitary guy and gains access to the area of the fort near the infirmary. Why didn't they all just come in the back door? Two Delos guys burst into the infirmary and grab a jabbering Abernathy as Bernard pulls out his cable and hides in a corner, hand shaking even more than before as he clutches his head (DRINK!).

Raise your hand if you think Bernard just downloaded that shocking file into himself! I wouldn't, say, bet my next paycheck on it, but I'd certainly argue that that's what just happened if it came up at dinner.

Dolores has no idea that all that just went down, though, nodding from atop the fort at Angela. The latter pulls a red flag that has been hanging from a tower up, apparently a signal to Team Dolores. Her buddies start to leave the battlefield and walk toward the fort, when Dolores catches sight of the Delos guys carrying Abernathy out of the building. She leaves her post, even as Teddy starts hollering, "Dolores!"

Delos security has just loaded Abernathy into the dune buggy, when the driver asks Charlotte, "What's so special about this host?" NOT the time, buddy! Shots from behind fell the guard to his left, as Dolores does her best Terminator impression.

It doesn't matter, as Charlotte and her pals get away with Dolores's dad. "Split up our horde," Dolores tells Teddy. "Send them in every direction. Don't stop looking until you find him...you and I are going to Sweetwater. There's something I need there."

But before the couple sets out for their Sweetwater staycation, there's the little matter of the scrum on the other side of the fort. The air is filled with smoke as the Confederados continue to fight Delos's super-efficient machine guns with rifles and revolvers. Seeing that the situation is dire, Brigham orders his men to retreat to behind the fort walls. As they run toward the doors, Dolores's army swings them closed and bars it. The Confederados are doomed.

Crockett, who remained inside the fort, is going apeshit at the betrayal. Teddy wasn't let in on the plan either, it appears, asking Dolores, "What the hell are you doing?" "What I have to do," she replies, the answer every despot presents for the atrocities they commit. But as Crockett runs toward Dolores Teddy picks her side, decking the advancing Confederado.

"I told you I needed your men to survive their threat," Dolores tells Crockett, which seems a little salt-in-the-wound-y. Even worse, her troops then shoot through the fort doors at the stranded Confederados. That's just mean!

As the Delos forces reach the area nearest the fort, Dolores gives Angela the high sign, and she fires the shot to explode the nitro. Fighters from both sides are caught in the blast.

From behind the fort walls, Bernard is trying to make his escape. He's staggering, grabbing onto things to steady himself, as he heads across the grounds. (Maybe that's what happens when you download a secret, massive file into your own hard drive?) He falls and can't seem to manage to stand, just as he sees Clementine watching him. Bernard says her name, then shouts it as she knocks him out with the butt of her rifle. Then in what is apparently her new signature move, she grabs his arm and starts dragging him across the dirt.

From the fort's wall, Dolores descends the steps with a pissed-off look on her face. Crockett chooses this time to start in on her again, saying his men's blood is on her hands. "The truth is, we don't all deserve to make it," she says to him, removing his revolver from its holster. "Take this dog out back," she says to Teddy as she hands him Crockett's gun, "and put him down with the rest." Teddy doesn't look super-psyched about this, but acquiesces.

If you thought that was nasty, you'll be even more bothered by Dolores's troops, who (presumably under her orders) have opened the fort doors to confirm that the Confederados outside are all dead, forking them all with bayonets. The gooshiness of the sound design made me put down the gelato I was eating, it was that solid.

The remaining Confederados inside the fort are also doomed, as Teddy leads them to a walled area for execution. They're all on their knees, hands locked at their heads, as Crockett delivers one last speech. "You and I aren't that much different," Crockett says. "Both triggermen to tyrants. Except me, I know what I want. But you ain't even sure about the termagant you take your orders from." Whoa, Crockett, why you gotta go gender? It's at that line that Dolores appears from behind a nearby wall, watching the exchange.

"I look at you, and what I see is pathetic," the kneeling man continues. As expected, that spurs Teddy to bring the gun even closer to Crockett's head. "We ain't nothing alike," Teddy responds. In an echo of Dolores's words as they entered the fort, Teddy says, "You're just a child." He then fires a shot into the wall, saying, "Get out of here." Dolores closes her eyes in dismay.

Teddy lets all the men go, as Dolores stalks off. Then we're back at the lake at the edge of the park, our poor dead tiger friend lying there bedraggled and Toonces-y as we saw him or her in this season's first episode. A couple of feet away, we see Grace drag herself from the water, gasping and bloody. Without warning, the sun above her is blocked. It's three of Westworld's Native hosts, looking down at her.

That seems like en effective closer, but there's more! The Armistice/Maeve group has apparently emerged into a mountainous winter wonderland Sizemore says is the Klondike narrative, but as I have that gelato, I don't need to do anything for one of their bars. With Sylvester on board, Sizemore seems (grading on a curve) like way less of a pill, and notes that they're only one or two sectors from the homestead one Maeve is shooting for. The group sees a campfire, and Hector pulls out his gun as they walk closer. Sizemore hangs back, gazing at a snowbank. He falls to his knees and digs, uncovering what appears to be a freshly-severed head.

Dropping it in dismay, the author runs toward Maeve, yelling that they need to leave immediately. She shushes him. As the sound of kumidaiko-style drumming arises, a top-knotted man runs toward them from the trees, sword in hand. Has our group stumbled on the already-controversial Shōgun World? Guess we'll find out next week.

Also Available As Part Of The Epic Old-School Recaps Podcasts

Readers liked this episode
What did you think?

Discussion

Explore the Westworld forum or add a comment below.