Welcome to the belated third of our weekly Westworld S2 Ep recaps! I’ll be taking a look at each week’s episode (usually much closer to broadcast) as they come out, and then turning the conversation over to all of us as a collective project in the comments. SPOILERS AHOY!
WESTWORLD EP 2.3: Virtù e Fortuna
This week we finally got a glimpse of another one of the parks, and well, it’s as appalling as you might imagine. “The Raj” appears set to cater to every colonialist whim and fantasy a guest might have of historical India, even in the brief glimpse viewers get in this ep, and we see what appears to be a pair of guests hook up and set out on a hunting adventure together before discovering that the park is in chaos. A host succeeds in shooting and killing one of them (uttering the recurring “these violent delights have violent ends”), but the woman, Grace (Katja Herbers) escapes across park boundries, along with a Bengal tiger. They fall off a cliff, into the Westworld park, and (as we see at the end of the ep) somehow, she survives.
In a brief interlude of the farthest-forward moment in time we’ve gotten a glimpse of yet, Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) is reunited with Hale (Tessa Thompson) back at the underground complex, and she is surprised he’s lasted this long. She’s also seemingly suspicious that he knows more than he’s saying about the missing Peter Abernathy‘s (Louis Herthum) whereabouts. We see an earlier incident, post-massacre, where she and Bernard track and attempt to gain custody of Abernathy, who was last seen decommissioned and loaded with stolen data on a mission for Hale, but are thwarted by the Confederados.
Continuing their quest from the previous episode, Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) and Teddy (James Marsden) continue to seek Glory with the aid of the Confederados, but Dolores is diverted by a chance encounter with Peter Abernathy. Distressed by his raving and unsettled state, Dolores enlists Bernard’s help with him, and he discovers that Peter is carrying some sort of encryption key in his memory, the ramifications of which seem understood and horrifying to Bernard. He and Abernathy were captured by the Confederados after Hale ditches them to go seek help. Hale’s efforts to retrieve Abernathy from the Confederado stronghold with a quality assurance team succeed, and Dolores seems to change her plans, telling Teddy they need to head to Sweetwater, where there’s something she needs. Dolores/Wyatt’s army massacres the remaining Confederados, Dolores informing them that some of them don’t deserve to make it. Teddy is troubled by this development, and lets some of the men escape, which Dolores witnesses.
Maeve‘s (Thandie Newton) quest is interrupted by a Lakota scout party, and she, Lee Sizemore (Simon Quarterman) and Hector (Rodrigo Santoro) go back underground, where they’re reunited with Armistice (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal) and her prisoners, the techs Felix (Leonardo Nam) and Sylvester (Ptolemy Slocum)–but not until Lee questions how Maeve and Hector, programmed to remain uncoupled from any and all, seem to be improvising a romantic plotline of their own. They head aboveground into the “Klondike” part of the park, where they encounter further leakage from other parks/genres: a samurai.
Looking ahead to the rest of the season: Analysis
The glimpses at intrusion and genre mixing presented by the neighboring parks are a tantalizing peek at the possibilities of this season, even as the mystery of what the “real product” of the park is gets teased along further. The interlude where Bernard reprograms Rebus (Steven Ogg) to a more virtuous temperament is fairly hilarious, especially as he chases his fleeing former abductees, pleading to help them. How things will play out between Dolores and Teddy as he begins to form his own opinions of the world is an interesting question, and the viewer must at least ask if Grace is herself an unwitting host–her unlikely survival at least raises the issue. Larger thematic questions of who can ultimately control a narrative are also present, and look to be a big factor as things unfold.
Where do you think this is all going? What happens next? What made no frakking sense to you? Let’s dig in, below.