TV REVIEW: ‘Westworld’ – ‘Les Écorchés’

Don't you understand what this place really is?

| June 14, 2018

Spoilers from ‘Westworld’ Season 2, Episode 7 will be discussed, as well as details from the previous season.

Thandie Newton as Maeve Millay (Courtesy of HBO)

Startling revelations came at full force in the latest episode of HBO’s “Westworld,” as the loose ends of Season 1 began to string together. As the unexpected return of Westworld co-founder Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) pitched the show further into its building mystery, the central characters of the season intersected each other once more, resulting in what could be grave consequences for the remaining three episodes. As the paths of Maeve and Dolores shifted dramatically, their family ties weighing on their fates, the main narrative of Bernard lent itself to be the major turning point for episode seven of “Westworld.”

In the present, it is revealed to Charlotte Hale and Karl Strand that Bernard is in fact a host. As they interrogate him about the attack on the Delos Headquarters by Dolores, Bernard continues to struggle with separating his true memories from those given to him. In the past, we find Bernard entering the virtual space within the Cradle, where it is discovered that Robert Ford implanted his consciousness in order to communicate with Bernard. After revealing the truth behind the park to him, Ford imprints himself on Bernard’s control unit, taking control of his actions as he leaves the Cradle. Meanwhile, as Dolores and her army infiltrate the Delos HQ, they find Peter Abernathy with Hale. Taking her father’s control unit, which harbors a vital encryption key for a mysterious project, Dolores parts with Peter as all hell breaks loose within the compound. As Dolores escapes, bloodshed surrounds Maeve and William, as their paths cross once again in Maeve’s quest to reclaim her daughter.

While plenty of crazy moments have popped up this season so far, be it in the show’s frequent time jumps or in its startling thematic shifts per episode, the seventh chapter of this season contained a slew of surprises as “Westworld” nears the end of its sophomore season. With the reentrance of power player Robert Ford into the series, after the season teased his return ever-so-subtly up to this point, things began to take a turn for the worse, as if things weren’t worse already. As the stories of Dolores and Maeve played out elsewhere, the two leading women of the series still on their quests to escape with their free will intact, the free will of Jeffrey Wright’s Bernard quickly came into question once Ford entered the picture again. As the co-founder’s true intentions for the park were revealed, the consequences and very nature of free will became the central focus of the pivotal episode.

As the season steadily continued to pit its main characters towards their final confrontations, from Bernard discovering his purpose as a host to Dolores staking her claim against those who enslaved her, this week’s episode managed to shift things in an entirely new direction as everyone’s paths began to blur. With the free will of Bernard, Dolores and Maeve being tested, their search for truth and power holding them back, the episode was filled to the brim with unforeseen consequences.

One such consequence found itself in Maeve’s journey to find her daughter, which ultimately led her to once again cross paths with the Man in Black/William. As the two got quickly reacquainted, as William saw Maeve as another taunt by Ford to distract him, the woman’s mission was quickly derailed. Her daughter taken by the mysterious Ghost Nation, and the Delos forces intruding with violent intent, Maeve and William’s reunion lent itself to be just one of the major surprises this week. Violent and undeniably hard-hitting, the reunion also clued us into how the two characters and their head-strong devotion to their final destinations can ultimately spell their demise. While the two might still be alive and kicking (for now), their individual journeys have taken an intriguing turn, as they work to redefine how they will shape their new lives.

As Ford’s entrance shifted the focus on the purpose of Westworld from a joyride for its willing guests, to an engine for immortality for its hosts, the prospects of where the remaining three episodes of the season could go are limitless. As the central stories of Dolores, Maeve, William and Bernard all converge, a reckoning seems imminent for the characters of “Westworld.” With each of them battling for their own versions of free will, what comes next remains a mystery.

Season 2 of ‘Westworld’ airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO. Catch up on Season 1 now on HBO Go.

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Category:Arts and Entertainment, Television

Tyler Trudeau is a sophomore Architecture major from Raleigh, NC, who spends most of his time writing about movies, running in 90 degree heat, and bingeing Netflix shows. You can find more of his film criticism and editorials at his personal website below.

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Tyler Trudeau is a sophomore Architecture major from Raleigh, NC, who spends most of his time writing about movies, running in 90 degree heat, and bingeing Netflix shows. You can find more of his film criticism and editorials at his personal website below.

Twitter Author's Website