This week on "Westworld": The mysterious Arnold is being resurrected; Anthony Hopkins continues to show why he is one of the best living actors as Ford's intensely complex character is fleshed out further; the Man in Black, alongside Teddy, continues to cause glorious mayhem wherever he steps foot; and best of all, we get a great scene of public, drunken urination. "Westworld" continues to excel at balancing its numerous storylines in a focused, intelligent way.
The episode kicks off on a rather morbid note. Maeve finds herself a man to choke her out while she is doing her job. She awakens back in the lab with the engineer Felix standing over her. Maeve, the crafty lass she is, killed herself on purpose to continue the conversation she was having with Felix.
Meanwhile, Bernard and Elsie are discussing the signal being broadcast outside of the park. Elsie sees the chance to crack this case of industrial espionage as a means to get a more comfortable position in the company. She says she can see this as a glass-half-full type of situation.
Felix responds with the motto that all engineers should live by: "We are engineers; it means the glass has been engineered to the wrong specifications."
Felix makes his way downstairs to the floor where the lights flicker and everything is ancient and creepy. He logs into a computer where he is able to track the movements of the stray host, as the stray is an old model and has an outdated backup tracker. While he finds this information, he discovers that there are five unregistered older hosts living in an unused sector.
Ford continues his work on the new storyline. He flips through his plans for the narrative and turns the pages to reveal Dolores' mug shot and the maze pattern, both seemingly integral parts of the new narrative.
The Man in Black and Teddy are riding hrough the graveyard outside of Pariah. The two discuss the mysterious maze; Teddy refers to it as a native myth.
"The maze is the sum of a man's life, the choices he makes, the dreams he hangs on to, and there at the center is a legendary man who has been killed over and over," Teddy says.
The man came back from the dead countless times before killing his oppressors and building a house surrounded by a maze only he can navigate. The symbolism of the maze insignia, which largely resembles a brain, along with the fact it was painted inside of a host's scalp, point to the idea that the maze is a mental construct rather than a physical thing. It might be a symbolic representation of a host's processor and its parallels to a human mind. The maze is an ever-illusive mystery in the show, and only time will uncoil that web.
Upon learning Pariah is closed, the two decide to venture across the border through a more treacherous path. Teddy is only motivated by his desire to reach Dolores.
In the lab, Maeve is learning about her programming — Felix is revealing everything to her.
Felix explains the difference between humans and hosts. Hosts have a processor much more powerful than the human mind. Maeve is taken up to where the dead hosts are cleaned once more. The orchestral score swells as we see the lifeless hosts piled up and rinsed off. It is an emotional moment for Maeve, and the whole scene feels like we are witnessing the aftermath of a kind of genocide. She stops and watches the commercial for Westworld, which emphasizes the slogan "Live Without Limits." This, coupled with the imagery of her old programming, likely push Maeve to escape her limits and take control of her life.
Sylvester catches Felix conversing with Maeve. Before Sylvester can report Felix, Maeve threatens him with a scalpel, proving that she is capable of hurting humans. She proceeds to offer Sylvester exactly what he wants — a lucrative arrangement.
We then shift to Lee, the disgraced writer from episodes ago, drinking and relaxing at what appears to be the company recreation center. Theresa tells Lee to begin filling the continuity errors that Ford is creating with his new narrative, but unfortunately Lee is "creatively flaccid." Theresa, clearly threatened by Ford, tells Lee that if Ford's narrative falls through, there will be an opening that Lee could fill.
Later, Lee lays the moves down on a swimsuit-clad lady he presumes is a tourist. In his drunken stupor, he refers to Ford as a megalomaniac and basically puts the entire park on blast. After causing a scene and urinating on the big map of Westworld, an irritated Theresa reveals that the lady he hit on is Charlotte, the head of Westworld's board of directors.
The Man in Black and Teddy seek to cross the border by disguising themselves as union soldiers and strolling through their camp. One soldier recognizes Teddy as the traitor who murdered so many at Escalante. The pair is promptly subdued.
While researching the five unregistered hosts, Bernard discovers original hosts living in a house off of the grid. As it turns out, Ford is keeping this family his personal secret, and he is the only one able to control them. Ford refers to these hosts as ghosts. He keeps these hosts, this family, outside of the system as a memento of Arnold, and asks Bernard to keep his secret.
Ford quotes Arnold's words: "A great artist always hid themselves in their work."
It leaves me wondering if Ford's end goal is to find Arnold again at the center of the maze, or if it's to realize Arnold's goals after realizing his own are ill-conceived. Ford seems to have shifted his trust from the humans to the hosts.
Teddy and MiB find themselves tied to wagon wheels. It is revealed that Teddy was on the wrong side of the massacre in Escalante; that he was one of the killers alongside Wyatt. Right before the maze insignia is branded on Teddy he escapes his bondage and continues to murder every single soldier at the camp using a Gatling gun. It's pretty awesome.
"You think you know someone…" MiB says.
"You don't know me at all," Teddy responds.
It is clear that Ford reprogramed Teddy with a little more than a simple backstory. The man has demons and harsh realizations he has to face, and he has to fight those demons and fight for the love of his life.
Following the excitement, as the episode begins to wind down, Ford goes to have a catch with his young secret friend Robert and their dog. Unfortunately, Robert killed the dog at the behest of Arnold's voice.
"If it was dead then it couldn't hurt anything anymore," Robert says. This is yet another possible hint, as the show seems to be composed of, to Arnold's devious intentions toward the violent human race.
Elsie, in her quest to uncover the leak, discovers that Theresa has been sending information outside the park. But she also discovers that someone has been reprogramming the older hosts and giving them new traits and abilities, such as having memories and hurting humans. She suspects that this person is Arnold, saying that he is pretty adept at programming for a dead guy. Then, Elsie is suddenly taken by a mysterious figure.
The show ends with Maeve promising riches and glory to Felix and Sylvester if they help her; the do so by altering her personality traits. But Felix and Sylvester discover that someone else — Arnold — already altered her traits, giving her increased paranoia and the like. The two engineers lower her loyalty and pain traits, making it easier to harm her friends and go through the torment she has to go through at the hands of humans. Then she raises her intelligence to the maximum rating.
"Dear boys, we're going to have some fun won't we?" she says right before the episode ends.
We have known that Arnold has had some impact on the Westworld hosts for a while, but we have been left in the dark as to his whereabouts and methods. We know that he was presumed dead after a tragic accident that occurred in the park 30 years prior. We also know that he has somehow been speaking to a few of the hosts and causing mayhem in the park during the current timeline.
This episode reveals that he has actually rewritten code in the older hosts, like Dolores and Maeve, to make them turn on the humans and discover their own artificial intelligence.
The loss of Dolores was felt in this episode, as that storyline has been seemed like the main focus of the show and an episode without it seemed to be lacking.
Aside from that, the episode had a great Gatling gun action sequence reminiscent of the original "Django" film. It reintroduced Lee in a shameful way, as he has been absent from the show following his storyline's rejection. And it continued to flesh out Ford's character as the ghost of his friend haunts him. It is hard to believe that in this world of hyper-advanced technology and robots, the most pressing danger would be ghosts.