The second episode of Westworld's second season continues to explore the complications of orchestrating a revolution against world whose characters belong, primarily, to another.
As much as the success of HBO's drama has relied upon the twisting mysteries the writers were able to spin for viewers, it's really quite satisfying to slot some pieces into the puzzle.
Anthony Hopkins makes an appearance, Arnold tells Ford that Dolores is not ready, and Ford suggests that he's too attached to her. (Side question: How come Robert gets aged down for flashbacks but Arnold doesn't?) But soon it becomes clear that we're in a city at the beginning of the park, before Arnold's son Charlie died.
Though not much happened in the "present" storyline-the one where the hosts have rebelled against the humans and are killing them-we received a lot in the way of contextual information, including more clues about the park's "real goal".
Arnold, however, is the only one disappointed by the early hosts. Bernard is walking proof that a host can be made into an indistinguishable replica of a human being, and if Delos has copies of every visitor's DNA, they could assumedly do the same for the park's richest and most powerful players - which is, incidentally, exactly what happens in the sequel to the 1973 movie upon which the show is based. Did she hear everything and take in what they were saying?
Once you get past the shock of Westworld leaving the park for the first time, it's worth asking not only where we are but when. To refresh your memory of where we left off, check out our review of the Season 2 premiere, and our explainer on what the ending of episode 1 could mean.
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The name of the initial "Park" project is revealed in this episode. The answer is not all that unfamiliar, especially if you've been paying attention to the news about a certain social-media giant. For the guests, the Westworld park is a chance to act out. In one scene, young William speaks with the skeptical head of Westworld's parent company Delos, in a timeline when the corporation was still deciding whether to invest in the park. If you want to make a Westworld prediction of your own, give it a shot in the comments.
But as seen later in tonight's episode of Westworld, El Lazo is now played someone else completely - although at the core, he seems to be the same. In the past and almost-present, William frequently brings up this idea of being watched - either by some kind of deity or the all-seeing cameras of Delos: "They wanted a place hidden from god, a place they could sin in peace".
Later on in the episode, William and other Delos board members were seen attending Jim's retirement party.
William's pitch succeeds, and Logan is destroyed. He's now a junkie, but a particularly wise one, spewing nonsense at Dolores that might just predict a robot revolution.
William now describes it as his greatest mistake - but what could this weapon do? How long this character knew William is unknown.
Now that Dolores remembers everything, she is also defined just as much by her experience outside the park as she is within.
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To help "Westworld" fans better understand the events that have led up to the current season, INSIDER has put together a chronological timeline. But his restraint is what separates him from Dolores, Angela and the other revolutionaries. He has no problem using the Park for the most cynical purposes.
Dolores has two interesting "off book moments" in the past.
Maeve is quick to point this out when Dolores asks her to fight to keep her freedom: "And yours is the only way to fight?" Maeve's group passes after a tense exchange, and she seems to sense Teddy's hesitation, too.
Dolores: It's judgment day in Westworld and Dolores is playing God, killing and reviving whoever she pleases and commanding the desperadoes who only serve "the almighty himself". Now they're on her side. To do that they must forcibly wake the hosts up from their collective dream. Is she not controlling the Confederados without their consent, the same way the humans were, by turning them off and on at her whim? That place, she says, was shown to her by an old friend, and "it's not a place". That's all they told us explicitly - but we also know that it goes deeper than data. And it seems that "The Door" - whatever it may be - is in the same place as the Valley Beyond. And she's not the only one headed there.
Giancarlo Esposito, who gained fame for his role as Gus Fring on AMC's "Breaking Bad", delivers the biggest surprise of the season so far with his role as El Lazo. Is it possible that MIB has practiced some self-reflection?
Is Westworld's true goal to end humanity?
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