REVIEW: Westworld, S2 Ep7 – Les Écorchés

Westworld, S2 Ep7 - Les Écorchés

This week’s Westworld was eventful and revelatory, as some of the timelines were clarified, some of the mysteries were unraveled, and the true purpose of the park was confirmed. Many of these satisfying answers came from Ford himself who, as Bernard found out last week, was uploaded to the Cradle.

Les Écorchés (“the tormented”) showed that Ford lives on, not in physical form yet, but his consciousness was uploaded to the system and remains there, the closest to immortality that he can achieve. Anthony Hopkins’ gravitas elevates the show once more and though he spends most of the episode being Mr. Exposition, he does it with such class that one can’t help but be absorbed.

It turns out that Westworld was not just built to be a fantasy park for wealthy guests. Its true purpose was far more sinister and complex. As we have seen this season, and in the episode with Jim Delos, guests’ DNA are being harvested in the park. The hosts were created to learn as much about the humans as possible so they could potentially replace or replicate them. Human consciousness could be saved and uploaded to the Cradle, making it possible to cheat death in a way.

Dolores continued her bloody revolution and attacked the control center with her vengeful army. The human security team stood no chance against the hosts but there were still losses on both sides. We learned that once the host backups in the Cradle are destroyed, there was no more regeneration for them. As if to illustrate this point, both Angela and Clementine met their definite ends, with the former going out with a bang and one last “Welcome to Westworld.”

Westworld, S2 Ep7 - Les ÉcorchésThe episode was also full of intersecting stories as Maeve and the Man in Black’s paths crossed. She managed to manipulate Lawrence to shoot him after triggering his past memories of William’s abuse. But Maeve gets shot herself though Lee Sizemore has her rescued. But when they get to the control center, her repair is far from priority. But something tells me Lee’s gonna stick around somehow.

Dolores is reunited with her father and we finally learn why Delos and Charlotte Hale are so desperate to acquire him. His brain contains the “failsafe for a failsafe”, the ultimate backup that could encrypt all the data they collected in Westworld in the event of a host revolution. Dolores tearfully says goodbye to her father, in one of her rare displays of genuine emotion. Like Maeve, despite knowing that this was all programming, Dolores still felt a bond for the man. But it wasn’t enough to stop her from her new path and she went ahead and drilled into his brain.

She and Maeve share a moment together and Dolores shows pity for the injured host. She contemplates ending Maeve’s suffering and then, thankfully, allows our favorite madam to choose her own path. This isn’t the last we are going to see of Maeve, I’m sure of that.

Westworld, S2 Ep7 - Les ÉcorchésFord also explains that all the flashbacks of Dolores and Bernard talking are actually the years of Dolores making sure that the Bernard host is as true to life as possible. In the present storyline, Charlotte Hale tries to get Bernard to reveal the location of Abernathy’s control unit. And he eventually does.

We also see why Bernard has been so confused this past season. He has been battling with another consciousness. Ford had effectively uploaded himself into Bernard’s mind and was responsible for all the violence and bloodshed Bernard remembers.

So, that’s some big questions answered on Westworld though there are some mysteries that remain for the rest of the season. I’m certain Maeve and William are going to bounce back somehow and how much Ford will be able to control from now on remains to be seen.

 

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