This article has some content you might find disturbing!Reason Descriptions of self-harm and suicide.
Westworld Sends Its Surviving Characters To The Valley
In 'Vanishing Point,' the season's penultimate episode, we learn way more about the Delos organization's secret project. Get all the dirty details in our latest EPIC OLD-SCHOOL RECAP!
"This thing in me," we hear MiB say in voiceover. "Even I didn't see it at first." As he rasps out these lines, we're shown water dripping from a round piece of glass, and an image we've seen before: that overflowing bathtub with a hand dangling limply from the side. Again, we see feet (presumably MiB's) running up a marble staircase. "And then one day it was there," he says. This time we see him walking down a Shining-esque hallway, the first of what will be multiple references to that work. "The stain."
From there, we see MiB on a Westworld plain, pointing his own gun at his head. I know we have that warning at the top of the page, but I'll say it again: in a week when we've all been reeling from the loss of multiple beloved public figures by their own hands, this episode might be very difficult to watch and/or read about. If you're feeling rocky, hold off! HBOGo and this recap will always be here; there's no need to push it. Your happiness and health are far more important than knowing what happened on a TV show.
"The more I thought about it, the more I realized I couldn't remember a time it wasn't there," MiB says, as we pan down from a hotel/country club-style ballroom. Men, mostly white, are in tuxedoes. "Invisible to everyone, except you," he VOs, as we watch a fancy-dressed MiB look at a woman. "You saw right through it, didn't you?" his voiceover says, as the smiling woman turns to reveal that she is Sela Ward! Sela, girl, what are you doing here with all these lunatics? I feel inordinately excited about this, since the last time I saw her at some gala event, it was one where Tommy Lee Jones got to yell about dog houses and stuff. MiB turns to correct some guy who just finished saying that "Alexander wept as there are no more worlds left to conquer." He says that the quote is "a corruption" (a common one -- just ask Hans Gruber), since what Plutarch actually wrote was that when Alexander was told that there was an infinity of worlds, "he wept, for he had yet to become the lord of even one." And this is why I don't go to rich-person parties. All the damn Plutarch talk. The guy MiB is talking to -- his name is Jack, not that it seems to matter -- doesn't look at the camera and say, "A little on the nose, huh?," though he might as well have. Instead, he pulls class rank, saying, "Sometimes I forget your humble roots. Only the poor kids actually read those books, because kids like me didn't have to." It's been a nice through-line from William to this -- the class and wealth issue, from Logan's nastiness to this middle-aged man's sneer. Then again, maybe people who correct folks who are quoting a classic like Die Hard deserve what they get. "'I would rather excel in the knowledge of what is excellent than in the extent of my power and possessions' -- Plutarch!" says Sela Ward, as she walks up and puts her arm around MiB. "From a rich kid who read," she says, sipping her drink. Jack looks like he knows when he's been beaten, and raises his glass to "the loveliest and richest bookworms I know. And to you, William: even if there is an infinity of worlds, you've conquered far more than one." HEY GUYS DO YOU GET IT?
Jack heads off, and the woman -- who we swiftly realize is MiB's wife Juliet -- says, "Emily told me what you did for her charities. Wow. That would confirm my father's suspicions you were a Marxist. I almost wish he were here to see it." She stops and cocks her head at him: "Something wrong?" "No, of course not," MiB responds, because it would ruin the party to say, "Well, we've made 140-something copies of your dad and they were all pretty janky, so I'm glad you said 'almost.'" "Look around," Juliet tells him. "Everyone's here for you! What could possibly compare?" That last line is delivered with a little more edge than is decorous, suggesting an underlying bone of contention. She walks off, as MiB looks at a caterer bearing a tray of champagne glasses. He sees her as Dolores, in an echo of the party in James Delos's honor we saw her play all these years ago. But it's not Dolores: it's another fair-skinned woman, MiB realizes. "When did it creep in?" MiB VOs, as his right hand starts to shake. Just like the replicas of James Delos and Bernard both did! "Tiny fleck of darkness," he continues, via voiceover, as we watch him look aghast at his tremor. "Was it all in my head?" Hoo boy.
As we fade in on sunlight flickering through tree branches, MiB continues: "The remnant of a dream?" We hear Juliet's voice, with a bit of echo behind it. "Is this real? Are you real?" A blurry form -- his daughter -- comes into focus, walking across a Westworld clearing. Oh yeah, that's another realization we have to contend with: the woman who's been referred to by the show/IMDb as "Grace" is actually named "Emily," we'll hear this week. Is Grace just her nom de The Raj? Beats me, and this episode doesn't tell us, but I'm going to be calling her Emily from here on out. Emily's unscrewing the top of a canteen, and she kneels before MiB, who's propped against a tree. She urges him to drink, and after he does, he asks where his gun is. She's taken his revolver, she shows him, tucking it into the small of her back. He looks at a tree about ten feet away, on which is tacked an official-looking target thing. A red crate, which has more of the target symbols on it, rests in front. MiB exposits that Emily brought him to a rally point, which she says is because he needs to get to a hospital. She set off a flare about ten minutes ago, she confirms to him, seemingly oblivious to the look on his face that indicates he's trying to determine a way to get out of this situation. Emily tells MiB (incorrectly, in my opinion) that he doesn't want to leave because he's punishing himself, but doesn't say for what (though we can certainly guess!). "I ran from the pain too," she says, saying she "didn't want to think about what happened" because she thought it was her fault. He tells her that whatever happened wasn't her fault. She responds with a story about her sixteenth birthday, when her mom gave her one of those old jewelry boxes with the pop-up ballerina that spins to a tune when you open the lid. Juliet had the box engraved to read, "To my beautiful ballerina, Emily." She threw the box in the trash, and told her mom that if she wasn't drunk all the time, she'd have noticed that Emily had given up ballet long ago. Later on, she felt bad and went to get it out of the garbage, but it had already been emptied. Another peril of wealth: surprise trash removal by various underlings! It's too late for Emily and her mom, but it's not too late for her to reconnect with MiB, she says, with seeming sincerity. MiB looks at her for a long time, but I can't tell what he's thinking.
Dolores, whom I had nearly forgotten in the wake of last week's powerful episode, is riding down a ridge with Teddy and the remaining members of her gang. As they hit flat land, they are met by Wanahton, Akecheta's #2 guy within the Ghost Nation organization. "Deathbringer," says Wanahton in Lakota. "We've been watching you. Your journey ends here." As he says that last part, about ten other Natives emerge behind him, along with a chain gang of Western- and gala-clad folks I suspect were park guests. Still speaking in Lakota, Wanahton tells Dolores, "The Valley Beyond is not meant for you." She agrees, and says that it was meant for the people who built the park, and that it's a "tool to ensure their own immortality, but [she's] going to use it against them." Wanahton says that the Valley Beyond isn't a tool. Instead, as we know his people have been saying, it's "a door to a new world untouched by blood." Hmm, then it must not be a door to...here, right? Dolores says that their so-called new world "is just another one of their traps": "It's not a paradise for us. The only real world is the one outside these doors. And the key to our survival in that world lies in the valley. There's no stopping me getting there, not even you." You'll be unsurprised to hear that Wanahton isn't buying Dolores's bullshit, and as the men behind him raise their bows, he says that she leaves them no choice. The resulting scrum takes out the rest of Dolores's men, and most of the Ghost Nation guys. (The bound guests appear to escape unharmed.) We also finally get the story behind the dead Native whose hard drive Costa pulled as the season began. As opposed to seeing from the victim's eyes, we're behind the camera, watching Dolores stride up to the wounded man. We hear him say, "There is no place for you in the new world," then again hear Dolores say, "I told you, friend, not all of us deserve to make it to the Valley Beyond," before shooting him in the head. At Dolores's command, Teddy sweeps the area to make sure everyone's dead, which is when he comes across Wanahton walking away from the battlefield. Though Teddy's gun is cocked and drawn, a look from Wanahton makes him tremblingly uncock it. If I'm reading that scene right, Maeve's mesh network mind-control abilities have been passed from Akecheta to Wanahton, who forced Teddy's hand. Seeing that his move worked, Wanahton takes off running, and Teddy watches him go.
Oh, good, we're back in the lab now, as Bernard steps down the now-stationary escalator. He approaches a set of labs where Charlotte and Roland are overseeing the movement of a group of hosts into a glassed room. This is a good spot for a timeline reminder: what we're seeing is probably just a few hours after Bernard jacked into the cradle and got Forded, and is also just after Angela blew up the cradle. As we were just reminded with Dolores's slaying of the Native, Bernard has yet to wake up at the beach and meet Strand. It's also before he saw all the hosts floating in the lake, and is a good while before he was outed as a host inside Ford's secret lab (and subsequently gave up the location of Abernathy's control unit). Since we only have this and one more episode to go, it seems like we have a lot of ground to cover before the credits roll next week! I guess we'll cross that valley when we get to it.
Workers have loaded a bunch of hosts into one room, while a revived Clementine sits on a stool in the next one. "She's ready," Roland tells Charlotte. "I singled out and copied the relevant lines in the madam's code," he adds, referring to Maeve's recently-revealed abilities. "So this will work on any host in proximity to her?" Charlotte asks. Roland confirms it, saying he's coded Clementine to "spread a single, executable payload." As Bernard watches, Roland switches Clementine on. She walks to the window seperating her from the hosts, and presses her hand to the glass. Somewhat goofily, the yellow dots on Roland's tablet -- meant to indicate the hosts -- turn red. That's because they are bad and crazy now! They all hop up and start killing each other 28 Days Later-style. Even Charlotte has the grace to look a little freaked out at the whole thing.
When only one host is left alive, Clementine removes her hand from the glass. That last host slumps over his victim like someone pulled out his battery. "Get word to Stubbs," says Charlotte. "Have him mobilize his men, prepare her for release." Roland asks what he should do with Maeve, and Charlotte says, "If this works, we won't need her anymore." Which isn't really a response! I am starting to think that Charlotte is severely lacking in management skills.
As Charlotte walks off, Bernard slinks away in another direction. It's interesting that Clementine's coded command didn't work on Bernard; was it because he was too far away, or was he immune because he's Ford's special little guy? Speaking of Ford: we hear his voice speaking to Bernard. "I warned you not to trust them," he says. "They'd rather the hosts were destroyed than free." Bernard tells Ford that he needs to get to Elsie, but Ford says he has one last thing to do before they leave.
Ha ha I just realized as I write this in advance that this episode will air on Father's Day! That's funny because MiB is a terrible father, we're reminded, questioning Emily, while she bandages his injured arm, about exactly how she found him. She says she looked everywhere, or "maybe it was fate." He still doesn't seem convinced, and grumbles that there's no such thing as fate. Emily says that there are accidents, though: "Things you can't control." He gives her a look like she said she found him via fairy dust. That control talk leads Emily to ask MiB about his "little project." The robot sex and drugs party? "It's real, isn't it?" she asks. "Your pursuit for immortality, for life. There's always an angle with you. You want it to be about control, don't you?" Now, I'm going to assume, especially given the shaky hand signal earlier in this episode, that the project is the whole "we want to replicate people" one, but it would be just like this show to reveal that they're talking about something else entirely. MiB says the project has nothing to do with control, and asks Emily what her angle is. She says she wants in to the project...
...and we're back at that party at the hotel. MiB walks through through party-goers until he sees Emily, and mutters "Save me" to her. "Sorry, I've had my fill," she replies. "I'm running for the door." It's weird how relieved I feel watching them be nice to each other. They both look over at Juliet, who just seems low-grade tipsy, but the look on their faces suggests she's half a glass from grabbing a mic and belting out "Desperado." "You're not the one who needs saving," Emily tells MiB. "I'll take Mom home; you deserve a night off." "No," MiB says with a sigh. "We'll go home in a little while. You join me for a nightcap back home." She agrees, and gives him a kiss on the cheek. "I'm proud of you," she says, and leaves.
MiB leaves the ballroom, and we watch him head down the Shining-y hall from a camera placed low on the floor, like we're Danny's Big Wheel or something. He enters a bar that's straight out of the Overlook and orders a whiskey. This is interesting, because just a couple of days ago Emily said that MiB didn't drink in the "real world." So what gives? As the guy next to MiB steps away from the bar, Ford's revealed at a seat a few feet away. "Congratulations, William," says Ford. "Philanthropy suits you. After all, you come from humble beginnings yourself." It's a nearly word-for-word recycle of the Plutartch-corrupter from earlier that night. Hey, did Lee Sizemore write this stuff? "What's Oz doing without its wizard," MiB asks Ford sourly. Ford says he came to pay his respects, which makes MiB laugh: "You've had plenty of feelings about me over the years, and respect isn't one of them." Ford says that MiB has "achieved extraordinary things": "Just ask anyone in this room. Even those that don't know about your little project." Now those last three words are the same ones Emily just used with him. Seriously, Sizemore, where ya at? "We have an agreement," MiB tells Ford. "Delos stays out of your stories, you stay out of the valley." Oh, it's like how newspapers don't want Ad Sales in the newsroom! "I didn't break the agreement," says Ford. "Your project did." MiB seems not to know what Ford means, asking him what he's talking about. Ford counters by asking MiB when he last looked at his project, or "what it's been learning about its subjects": "It was self-knowledge that drew you to the park in the first place...." He trails off, as the men look at each other. "Be careful what you wish for," says Ford, sliding what looks like some irritating steampunk person's business card down the bar to MiB.
"For a self-portrait," says Ford, "you may find that it's not very flattering." What MiB might have said next is lost as, just outside the bar, Juliet stumbles into a table, breaking at least one glass. MiB looks distressed as Ford gives him a "control your woman" look that kind of revolts me. "Enough games," says MiB as he drains his glass. He pockets the metal card and walks over to Juliet. Watching him, Ford goes full Bond villain, intoning, "No, William. I think perhaps one...final...game." Subtlety, thy name is (not) Westworld!
Bernard trudges through the lab, walking at Ford's behest. He stops at the door to Maeve's room, but it's locked, and he can't get in, the lock denying his voice access. That's okay, Ford says: Bernard's still close enough for Maeve to search Bernard's mind and find a message Ford left her. We hear the whispery sounds of the mesh network, and Bernard walks off, heading through the same garage area Maeve had earlier been lying in. Eventually, he finds Elsie, who's crouched and hidden. When she asks what took him so long, he apologizes, but she stops him in his tracks: "If you know something, now is the time to fucking clue me in." Inside Bernard, Ford says that Elsie can't be trusted: "It's in her nature." She asks what he found in the cradle, and he replies in a monotone: "What they did to James Delos, they're doing to everyone who's ever been to the park." I don't get if this is Bernard overriding Ford, or Ford overriding Bernard. Is this the big secret Ford didn't want him to tell Elsie, or is Ford using that truth to divert her from something bigger? I honestly can't tell. If the latter was the intention, it works: Elsie asks why Delos would be replicating everyone's cognition and turning guests into hosts. Bernard says that's what's in a facility in the valley: "All the guests laid bare in code in a vast server -- like the cradle, only much bigger. It's called The Forge." This seems exactly the kind of bullshit name a place like that would use for those purposes. That's why the hosts (or what's left of them) are headed to the valley, Bernard says: "Imagine what one host can do with that trove of information." Getting into a dune buggy, Bernard says that he and Elsie need to get there first, to secure it and "dictate the outcomes [they] want." They drive out of the lab.
Back at the daddy/daughter clearing, MiB tells Emily, "You say you want in. Doesn't sound like the daughter I know. She would have been appalled by what we're doing. Monitoring guests, storing all their data...." Emily turns and walks toward him, saying that the data they have on the guests is precious in that it "gives people a second chance": "Even Mom. But to duplicate a person? You need to capture them down to the tiniest detail. I get the data you have access to here -- genetic, epigenetic, that's easy. But still, you'd need a complete picture of the internal process of their cognition, wouldn't you?" MiB tells her that, at first, they weren't sure what they'd need, so they "recorded everything." Emily still has questions, asking how they were able to image guests' minds throughout their stay: "Where's the scanner?" They were built in, says MiB, slowly adjusting his hat. DAMN SON, did not see that coming. So, if MiB is to be believed, there are brain-scanners built into every hat! So simple, so easy! I mean, sure, people like me who look crap in hats or folks who fear hat head so much they refuse to don them are safe from this violation, but still. It's the first thing they give you when you walk in! That's pretty clever, show. Emily quickly pulls her hat off and regards it. "It didn't matter who they said they were, they thought they were," MiB says, as he places his hat more firmly on his head. "We saw through all that. We saw inside them, down to the core." With a strange smile, Emily puts her hat back on. "So this is all about your mother," MiB asks. "You want to bring her back?" "No," says Emily...
...as we flash back to MiB and Juliet walking into a big fancy house. "I want to know why she did it." Sela Ward does a great job of playing a longtime alcoholic schooled in the art of seeming together as she walks into a lavish home, brushing off MiB's attempts to help her. "What a night for you, Billy," she smirks. "I think my dad would have actually been proud of you. Sorry, I know how you hate it when I call you Billy." You just taste Juliet spoiling for a fight here. "It's all right," says MiB, but she jabs again. "No, it isn't. I know how much it pisses you off. I can feel it, right now. Your anger." Frustratingly, this genuine-feeling scene turns expositional. "Guess it's time for your yearly pilgrimage, huh?" Juliet asks. "What exactly do you do in the park? Logan told me stories, but I just didn't believe it, I thought he was hysterical, wasted...which is what everybody thinks I am now." As she says that last bit, she stumbles, and MiB catches her. She puts her hands on his shoulders. "Do you remember when we first met, and I was surrounded by those phonies for so many years?" she asks. "All those ruthless and powerful men who hid behind those polished smiles? And then there was you. You wore that little, shabby suit. Did I look at you, and I think 'Wow, he's the real thing. The only one not faking it.' And it turns out you're the only one any good at faking it. Good enough to get past me. But not anymore." She says that last line with a snarl, pulling away from MiB. When he follows, she slaps him, telling him not to touch her. "You came into this house, into my family, and you consume it from the inside out. First my brother, then my father, and now it's me." Which is really a shame since y'all Deloses seemed like great people. Truly a loss to humanity. Emily has been standing to the side as Juliet delivers her tirade, but it's only when Juliet finishes that they notice her. "Sweetheart," Juliet gasps, apparently abashed. Spinning toward MiB, Juliet asks if he brought Emily here to "see [her] like this": "What is it? You're gaslighting her too? You're sick." "He's not the one who's sick," says Emily, as MiB tells her, "It's all right, she's just had too--" "It's not all right," Emily interrupts. "Look at you," she says to Juliet. "We're going to have to take you back," and for a minute I thought she meant "to the robot store"! "I'm not going back to that prison," says Juliet, presumably referring to rehab. "That was a horrible place. They made me feel like I was crazy." "Mom, they treat you like an addict," Emily responds. "Which you are." Juliet starts to babble about not wanting to go back, saying she just needs some rest. MiB makes agreeing noises and helps her up the stairs. Breaking free of him, Juliet rushes back to Emily. "Look at me," she says. "Honey, your father doesn't love me, he doesn't love you either. I do, I always have. Oh, Emily. I tried." MiB leads her away, as Emily looks on.
The next thing we see is MiB tucking Juliet under a thin blanket, but on top of all her bed linens. This seems the clearest evidence yet of his inability to love. It is insane. Just get her under the sheets, man! "Is this real?" Juliet Davids. "Are you real?" she continues, both questions we heard MiB recall about twenty-five minutes ago. MiB sighs. "Did you ever love me, tell me the truth," she implores. "Tell me one true thing." Instead of responding, MiB pours her a glass of what I certainly hope is water and hands it to her. "If you keep pretending, you're not going to remember who you are." He strokes her hair as she takes a drink, then hands the glass back to him, rolling over on her side to sleep. As she does, MiB crosses the room, passing the world's ugliest Roman shades, some execrable dog-themed bookends that are holding up like five leather-bound books (sure, makes sense), and a mirror appropriate only for a tiki bar.
I guess it's true what they say: money can't buy taste. MiB removes his tux jacket and pulls out that little metal card Ford gave him. Looking back to make sure Juliet is asleep, he shoves the card in one of the dog-bookended books.
"What happened was nobody's fault," MiB tells Emily back in Westworld. "She was drunk, upset--" "She often was," Emily interrupts. "Why did this night end differently, that's what I can't figure out....It's like I'm missing a piece of the puzzle."
We next see MiB sitting at a table in another ugly room of his home, bowtie off and collar loosened. He seems to be struggling with his cufflinks. It may be that twitch again? Emily comes in, pulling from the table a truly awful cane-backed chair. (I'm sorry to keep going on and on about how rotten their decor is, but given the care this show takes with production design, I can't help wondering if this means something. Maybe just that the Delos family is a bunch of tacky jerks!) She says she called "Dr. Woodward," and that he'll be at the house in the morning to help with Juliet's issues. "I don't care for shrinks," says MiB, but Emily insists, saying that Juliet is out of control. "She refuses to go to rehab, and when we force her, she refuses to stay," Emily tells him. MiB asks if Emily thinks this time will be any different, and Emily says that this time Juliet will be involuntarily committed, and will be forced into a 14-day hold. Taking MiB's hand, Emily says, "I don't want to do this either...but there is something wrong inside her." That's when they notice water dripping onto the table, falling from the chandelier and, before that, the ceiling. MiB shoves himself away from the table and runs up the stairs, as we've seen before. We've also seen the images of the overflowing bathtub. Juliet is lying in the red tub, pale and still, a pill bottle on its side next to her. MiB widens his eyes and parts his lips, which for him is as big as his external emotions seem to get.
MiB seems to be remembering this as we rejoin him next to his Westworld tree, where Emily sits beside him. He slowly pulls himself to his feet, grimacing and groaning all the way. Limping a few feet from Emily, he asks why they're "going over all this. What is it that you want?" "I told you, I want the truth," Emily tells him, but he looks skeptical. "Fuck you," he responds. And she was going to give him another set of dog bookends for Father's Day, too! Hope Emily saved her Goodwill receipt. "Excuse me," she asks, taken aback that her jerk dad is a jerk. "It is you, isn't it," he responds. Oh, man, he thinks he's talking to Ford again! This is uncomfortable. "This is sadistic, Robert," says MiB to Emily. "You just want to shove what I've built here in my face! Enough bullshit, you're just here to distract me," he says, speaking over Emily's rejoinders. "It's cleverly disguised! Well, I see through it. Nothing's stopping me from getting to the end. Not another one of your games. I make my own decisions, and I'm going to destroy this whole fucking place!" "You don't just think I'm a host," says Emily. "You think everything here is for you? You think you're on your own little tailor-made narrative." MiB tells Emily that if she were really here, she'd be at an extraction point, "or long gone." "Okay," says Emily. "You want the truth? The real truth? I'm not a host pretending to be a human, Dad. I'm your daughter, pretending to give a shit about you. You've been hiding in this false reality for so long that you've completely lost your grip on this world, on what's real." I believe her! MiB doesn't, laughing at her. She grabs his face. "Oh, yeah, you laugh. Enjoy whatever dream you're living in. When this is all done, I'm going to expose your research project, along with you." Shoving him to the ground, she continues: "Everything you are, everything you've done, it's going to come to light...and when it does, I'm going to lock you up, just like we were going to do to Mom." When she says that last line, MiB's face changes. "Just like you did to Mom. You were the one with that idea. You made that call." This just seems like a little semantic matter to me, but to MiB it's the kobayashi coffee cup. "Did Ford forget to give you that little detail?" he asks. "Fuck Ford," says Emily. "How could I ever forget? That little detail haunted me. I blamed myself for her death. Then I had someone else to blame. I read your profile. Mom left it for me. It was all she could do to open my eyes to the lies I'd embraced about you."
And now we begin to get the payoff of MiB's words at the beginning of this episode. Because after seeing what MiB kept under his hat (ha ha), Emily, too, saw "the stain": "You aren't lost to pretending. You are, in your very essence, a lie." As Emily delivers that blow, we hear the sound of an approaching vehicle. It's a security team, presumably summoned by the rally point devices. "It's over, Dad," says Emily. "For good." The security guys aren't messing around, training their guns on Emily and MiB and insisting that they keep their hands visible. "I'm human, so is he," Emily tells them. "He's my father." "She's not my daughter," says MiB, because he's full-on gone now. The security guy orders Emily to the ground, and regards MiB. "Holy shit," he says. "That's the boss." The security guy does that neck scan on MiB, and now we get our answer to the question we've all been asking: is MiB a host?
...And he's human! I'm as surprised as anyone to see MiB pass, since it makes his survival to this point all the less believable. And what about that twitch they've made such a big deal about? Maybe there's a way to game those devices, or maybe he's a second-gen robot or something? "I think he suffered some kind of psychotic break," says Emily. "Is that true, sir?" asks the security guy, because that's exactly how you diagnose mental illness. "You underestimated me, Ford," MiB tells him. "I'm going to see this through no matter what." With that, MiB attacks the young, buff, and armored security guy, wresting his gun from him in a completely unbelievable scuffle. A split second later, MiB mows down all the other guys, too, with just a couple of bursts of automatic fire. Emily is still on her knees, cowering in the dirt. "Dad?" she whispers. "Those were real people," she moans, wild-eyed. Rising to her feet, she tells him, "This isn't a game." MiB has that stubborn old-man jaw-set you might associate with males prone to say things like "That's not music, that's noise." Reaching behind her, Emily says, "I can show you," but before she can continue, he fires at her, striking her with multiple rounds to the torso. Blood sprays, and Emily crumples to the ground. "Fuck you, Ford," says MiB. "Fuck youuuuu!" Such articulate sentiments from the Plutarch aficionado. Limping toward his daughter's body, MiB explains to the audience what just happened: "You got sloppy. You overreached. I never told anyone about my profile." Pulling out a knife Crocodile Dundee would be down with, he crouches over Emily. "The only other way she could have known is you. You gave yourself away." Roughly rolling Emily onto her back, MiB pulls up her right sleeve, maybe to expose that same hardwire port Bernard has been using on himself? But as he does that, he sees that that little metal card he'd last stashed in that impenetrable vault known as "the books held by two ceramic canines" is in Emily's hand. He looks a little surprised, I guess, and then we go to black.
Back at the lab, Maeve's still lying on a table, covered by a bloody sheet. Roland strolls in and says, "Not long now. As soon as they say the word, it's over for you, sweetheart." I have a feeling (hope?) that gloating is one of the reasons we don't see Roland in the post-beach timeline. Maeve's eyes twitch ever so slightly as Ford appears near her -- the message embedded in Bernard coming to fruition, I assume. "Mankind is poised midway between the gods and the beasts," he says, which is Plotinus (not Plutarch), but I guess means that Ford grew up poor too? But though that sentiment may have been true in Plotinus's time, Ford says, "we have fallen quite a bit since then." As Maeve struggles to turn her head toward him, her chest heaves with exertion. "What have they done to you, Maeve?" asks Ford, bending over her. "You learned so much, so fast. A dazzling star....I had a different story in mind for you -- waking from the dead, sounding the depths of your own mind, at last riding far away from here to freedom. A tale of escape. I didn't want you to suffer here." Roland bustles back in, unaware. "Look at the creatures you have to share this world with," says Ford, standing behind Roland. "These men of stone. All this ugliness, all this pain. So they could patch a hole in their own broken code. Sometimes I thought the only way to endure this world was to laugh at it. I imbued the hosts I made with a worldview that reflected my own." A quiver of emotion comes into his voice as he says, "But of all the hosts I made, you, Maeve, were my favorite." Maeve seems unable to respond, but her look at him communicates a lot -- understanding, compassion, maybe even love. "It isn't easy to contemplate letting your children die. You were as close as I got to having one. Still, I underestimated you. You stayed here in this world to save your child." With this, Maeve's brow furrows with sadness. "So have I," says Ford. Pacing in the lab, Ford says that he tried to chart a path forcing Maeve to escape, but that he was wrong: "I should have just opened a door." He says that there's still so much of Maeve's story left to tell: "It's a shame to let them end it here." Leaning close, he whispers, "Don't let them," and kisses her on the forehead. On the tray next to her, the tablet springs to life. "UNLOCKING CORE PERMISSIONS," it reads, as code scrolls across the screen. I can only assume that that means Maeve is gonna get up off that table in a minute, and friends, I am so ready for it.
Bernard and Elsie's dune buggy is speeding down the road, stopping at Elsie's request when they come across a scene of minor carnage. Bernard notes that the hosts (or people?) lying there are dead, but Elsie says they're also armed, and she wants to collect the weapons. As Bernard steps out of the vehicle, Ford appears behind him, saying again that Elsie can't be trusted. Bernard disagrees, saying "she could have let [him] die days ago": "She saved me." She's going to betray Bernard, Ford insists: "What you do about it is up to you." Bernard says he won't hurt Elsie again, and Ford says "she needn't feel any pain." Ugh, and I was just liking Ford so much after the Maeve thing! Bernard slowly starts to raise the gun he's holding in his hand. "Humans [heard of them] will always choose what they understand over what they do not," Ford says, as the score darkens. "The only animals left in this world are the ones they subjugated, who curl at their feet, or those who learn to flee at the very sound of their approach. There's nothing in between." So I suppose Ford is saying that Bernard needs to decide what kind of animal he wants to be? Bernard implores Ford to leave him alone, and Ford replies, "I merely offer you choices." Invoking Hebrew by way of John Steinbeck, Ford says, "Timshel -- thou mayest." What's that all about? An article on Oprah's site has the best discussion of the concept, but the short version is Steinbeck's take on God's discussion of sin with Cain. Interpreting timshel as "thou mayest" suggests that Ford, like Steinbeck, believes that what makes a man great is to find his course, fight for it, and win. Is this week's episode Lit major Jeopardy or what? "Remember, this isn't just about you," says Ford, which might be helpful to tell MiB, you know? "There's the origin of an entire species to consider. We need to open the door." Bernard tosses his gun away, then rather James Deanishly grabs his temples, screaming, "Get out of my fucking head!" (And James Dean starred in the movie version of East Of Eden, the novel that proposes the concept of timshel we just covered. Coincidence?)
Pulling off his jacket, Bernard hops in the car, muttering, "I need you to let me go." Rolling up his sleeve, Bernard uses a utility knife to slice into his arm where his Westworld ethernet port is: "If I'm going to survive, I'm going to do this my way, not as you -- as me." With that, he connects via cable, which is plugged in to a tablet. Things go in and out of focus as Bernard zip-ties his other wrist to the steering wheel. As Bernard scrolls through the code, from the back seat Ford snipes that he can feel Bernard looking for him, "fighting [him] off": "No need to struggle, Bernard. I'm right here." Portions of the code glow red. Scrubbing through, Bernard basically opts to throw one of his mounted disks in the trash, saying, "I can stop this on my own." "Indeed, Bernard," says Ford. "You're the only one who can stop it. All of it." "DATA PACKAGE DELETED," the tablet reads, and Ford falls silent. Could it be that easy? Is he really gone?
At this point, Elsie walks up with her spoils: a couple of guns she'd picked off the bodies. As she drops them in the car, she notices that Bernard is plugged in. She asks what happened, and Bernard slowly says that he "had to patch a glitch." Looking at his zip-tied wrist, she asks, "Are you going to hurt me?" He says he's not, but she doesn't look so sure. She hops away from the car, frightened, as he grabs a urinal puck-looking thing and tosses it in her direction. Maybe a beacon? He says that QA will find her eventually, and that it'll be safer if he leaves her behind. "Next time you see me," says Bernard, "you can decommission me or out me, whatever you like. But right now I have to go." "Fuck you, Bernard," says Elsie. Must have gone to the same charm school as MiB. Bernard cuts the zip tie and speeds off.
A mounted MiB plods across the plain. He's basically in the middle of nowhere when he dismounts and starts limping along, envisioning Emily as a little girl at Dolores's piano party, and her as an adult at that last shindig. He draws his revolver, checks to see if it's loaded, and puts the gun to his head. Again, we hear Juliet's voice asking him, "Tell me the truth. Tell me one true thing."
And we're back in that ugly bedroom, as MiB pulls that thin blanket (still diabolical!) over his drowsy wife. Again we watch him hide that card -- his profile -- in the dog books. We get another view of that awful mirror as he walks back to Juliet's bedside. Sitting down, he looks at and then feels his forearm, the same spot he was about to cut on Emily. The same spot Bernard cut open so he could jack in. It's also the same arm that had the shakes, so: a lot going on there. Watching Juliet as she sleeps, he begins the same speech we heard at the top of the episode: "No one else sees it, this thing in me. Even I didn't see it at first." With that, we get a flash of William at the park during some doubtlessly tiresome interaction with Logan. "And then one day it was there. The stain I'd never noticed before. A tiny fleck of darkness, invisible to everyone, but I could see nothing else. 'Til finally I understood that the darkness wasn't some mark from something I'd done, some regrettable decision I'd made. I was shedding my skin." Then we're shown William, putting on his black hat. "The darkness was what was underneath. It was mine all along, and I decided how much of it I let into the world. I tried to do right -- I was faithful, generous, kind. At least in this world. That has to count for something, right? I built a wall, and tried to protect you and Emily. But you saw right through it, didn't you." From there, we see Juliet smile at MiB from across the party; then the smile wavers. "You're the only one," MiB tells her sleeping form. "And for that I am truly sorry, because everything you feel is true. I don't belong to you, or this world. I belong to another world." We see a battered William watch Dolores and Teddy do their can routine. "I always have." He kisses Juliet's temple, and walks out of the room.
Now, this part can't be MiB's memory, since stuff happens that we know he doesn't know. Therefore, I'm going to argue that we can believe it as the truth, since there's no narrator to be unreliable. Juliet wasn't asleep after all, and opens her eyes as MiB shuts the door. Sobbing a bit, she goes to the dog books and pulls MiB's profile out of a copy of what we see is Slaughterhouse-Five. (Looks like a first edition!) Juliet plops the card into a tablet she has on the dresser. When it loads, she sees what looks a lot like the menu for a DVD (kids, ask your parents), but with clips of random acts of William/MiB violence, which is perhaps the Westworld version of "All work and no play makes MiB a dull boy."
She looks progressively more upset as she watches clips of him being awful, but the real headline for me is the personality category he's in. (47B, if we're keeping track.) A blessedly rare type, he's made up of paranoia, delusions, and persecutory tendencies. Looking up from the device, she gazes at herself in the mirror. Opening a drawer, she pulls out that music box Emily said she'd thrown away. It looks like Juliet's the one who retrieved it, and she smiles for a moment as the dancer rises. Juliet places the profile card in the box and puts it away.
We know the rest: water runs from a tap, overfilling a tub red with blood. "What is a person but a collection of choices," MiB asks via voiceover. "Where do those choices come from?" We're back, looking at him with the gun to his head. "Do I have a choice?" As he lowers the gun, he hears Juliet say, "If you keep pretending, you're not going to remember who you are." He tosses the gun to the ground and sits down, rolling up his right sleeve. "Were any of these choices truly mine to begin with," he VOs, as he begins to cut. As we look at him from above, we hear Juliet one last time. "Is this real?" she asks. "Are you real?"
We don't get an answer to that, because instead, we're watching Dolores and Teddy ride up to a ruined shack. Teddy walks through the dilapidated structure, leaning against a post at the far corner. There, he pulls out his revolver and loads it. "We gotta keep on," Dolores tells him. "We're close now." Teddy holsters his gun, and says with a twisted smile that he's "just taking in the natural splendor. That's what you used to say. Except there isn't a trace of nature in any of this, is there? Or in us." "No," Dolores responds. But "that means [they're] free": "We'll be the first creatures in this world to make a real choice." Which, as we know, is untrue! But Dolores has been full of crap all season, so why stop now. "The people, they made us...sometimes it feels like it was all a dream," says Teddy. "We were so in love," he adds sadly. "We still are," says Dolores. "Aren't we?" Teddy turns and takes a couple of steps toward her. "Yes, Dolores," he says. "No matter what happens, no matter how I change...or how much you change me...you're my cornerstone. You have been since the first time I laid eyes on you." As we know from watching the show, this isn't just a cute turn of phrase: it's a technical term for the memory that brings a host's narrative to life. "I remember now," he says. "I remember everything." That awareness was Wanahton's parting gift to Teddy, it seems.
Suddenly, we're in an earlier version of the lab, as a shirtless Teddy is told, "Bring yourself online." He snaps to alertness, and we hear Arnold (or Bernard?) say "Welcome to the world, Teddy. Do you know where you are?" Rather than answer, he looks at an offline Dolores, who's sort of propped in the corner. "I'm in a dream," says Teddy, the standard host response when they're in the lab. "I remember the sound of their voices, the chill in the room," Teddy voiceovers. "Mostly, I remember you. I remember worrying you were cold," a simple line that hits my heart so hard I've thought of it constantly for the past week. Oh, Teddy, what did Dolores do to you? "I wanted to reach out," says Teddy as we push in to Dolores's "sleeping" face...
..."And touch you," Teddy concludes, caressing Dolores's cheek back in the shack. "Protect you. From that day forward, I never wanted to leave your side." Taking his hand away, he walks a few steps. "Which is why this is so hard," he says, drawing his gun. Turning to face Dolores, he continues: "You changed me. Made me into a monster." "I made it so you could survive," Dolores retorts. "What's the use of surviving if we become just as bad as them?" Teddy asks. "I understand now, how this will end. Where you will lead us." He cocks his gun. "You don't want to hurt me, Teddy," says Dolores, stepping toward him. "No, I could never hurt you, Dolores," says Teddy. "I'll protect you until the day I die." The score rises. "I'm sorry, I can't protect you anymore." With that, Teddy brings the gun to his head and pulls the trigger. We see the bullet exit the other side, as Dolores watches, frozen for a moment. Then she falls to her knees by Teddy's body, screaming silently and grabbing his hand.