In the Nov. 20 episode of ‘Westworld’ everyone’s got a role to play. Bernard has some tidying up to do, while Maeve gains a sense of control, and Teddy begins to remember — a little.
After the twist at the end of the Nov. 13 episode of Westworld, we were pretty sure that nothing could shock us at this point. And, as usual, we were completely and utterly wrong. The Nov. 20 episode of the show, “Trace Decay,” is all about memories, those that we forget, that we struggle to remember, and that we suppress with all our might. But, as with many things in life, resistance is often futile when it comes to trying to control something that has a life of its own. And memories are just that kind of animal.
“Trace Decay” picks up right where “Trompe L’Oeil” left off, and so we get to enjoy a complete freak out from Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) over killing Theresa (Sidse Babett Knudsen), all thanks to Dr. Ford (Anthony Hopkins) (who is becoming creepier and creepier, by the way). Ford pretty much tells Bernard to chill out because he only killed Theresa because Ford told him to, and, though he thinks Bernard’s devastatingly real emotions are just beautiful, they seriously need to get a move on covering up what Bernard did to her. So, Bernard gets to work getting rid of every trace of evidence leading up to her murder, both physical and digital. He does an impeccable job too. But what else would you expect from a Host? (God, we’re seriously not gonna get over that twist for A WHILE. Or at least for the rest of this recap).
Meanwhile, back in Sweetwater, Maeve (Thandie Newton) is throwing daggers out of her eyes at the “new” Clementine, because, as you’ll recall, her BFF was lobotomized last week all thanks to a lie concocted by Theresa and Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) about a problem in the Hosts’ programming that made them capable of violence. Once Maeve get’s back in the lab though (where she is spending basically 85 percent of her time these days) she asks Felix (Leonardo Nam) why she just can’t shake these memories of her and a little girl from a previous role she played in the park. He explains her memory doesn’t work like a human’s and that Hosts can recall pretty much everything, it’s just their coding that keeps them from breaking down those walls. But, as we all know, Maeve’s walls have pretty much crumbled at this point. Oh and she asks who Arnold is (just file that information away for later because you know that’s gonna be important).
So now, she wants to get the hell out of dodge. And she wants to take an army with her. There’s just one little catch. We now know that every Host has an explosive device on their spine that will detonate if they try to escape. Ah. So that’s how that works. Well, Maeve wants some more upgrades so she can get a little more control. So Felix gets to work on her, again.
Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) is having her own memory issues, but ever the damsel, she’s not doing a great job of keeping herself together. As she and William (Jimmi Simpson) reach a tiny abandoned town that Dolores immediately recognizes as “home,” we see her slip back into a memory that we have seen before. It’s from a REALLY long time ago. How do we know? It’s the same scene we saw played when Ford first told us about Arnold and the creation of the park. And, as we know Dolores is the oldest Host in the park, and this must have been her original home, we know that her storyline must have changed along with everyone else’s. That’s because it appears this town was some sort of training area, where Hosts were being taught how to dance and act properly before the park opened to guests. Interesting.
But before Dolores can continue her happy memories of the place, we see her see HERSELF shoot the other town folk and then pull a gun to her own head. At that same time the present Dolores does the same thing, and William has to grab her and stop her. She totally breaks down, as most people (real or robot) would in that situation, and begins to question when and where she is. She also brings up Arnold, saying that she thought he would meet her there. William decides he needs to get her out of there and back toward Sweetwater so she doesn’t go completely insane, but as they are making their way back they run into Logan (Ben Barnes) and his new squad of confederate soldiers. And, man, is he happy to see them. Cause, you know, he wants to kill them now.
Back in the lab Ford and Bernard have covered up Theresa’s death so neatly that they made it look like a) it was an accident and b) she died while trying to steal information from the company. Kudos to them. Charlotte however doesn’t seem to be buying it. However, she “forgives” Bernard after admitting that the issues they blamed him for last week must have been created by Theresa to frame him and they give him his job back. Not that we believed for a second Ford wouldn’t have made sure his fave Host would have stuck around. But Charlotte takes her suspicions all the way to Lee (Simon Quarterman) in creative and asks him to make an old Host, who she pulled out of storage and stuck 35 YEARS worth of info into, seem real so they can get him out of the park. Ya, sure, and build a Death Star while you’re at it.
Sylvester (Ptolemy Slocum) has decided they need to straight up break Maeve once and for all because she’s raising so many red flags at this point (a.k.a. controlling Hosts on her own by voice command in the park). So when she asks to be taken up to behavior to have some serious modifications made, he tells Felix to shut her down. But instead, she wakes up, full of new skills, like the ability to hurt him, and apparently, just. won’t. die. Or something to that effect.
Which brings me to the best part of the episode. Teddy (James Marsden) and the Man in Black a.k.a. MIB (Ed Harris) are continuing on their quest to find Wyatt which will help them find the maze. They come across a woman who we now recognize from both Dolores’ memory of the VERY old town, and who MIB seems to recognize as well from previous times in the park. (Fun fact: She also played the role of the woman who assisted William when he first arrived in Westworld. So, if Williams is MIB, then, uh, that’s also how he knows her. Duh).
They take her with them as she has been injured badly from a run in with Wyatt’s men. God, this guy is evil. MIB and Teddy are about to continue on when they are attacked by a man who is dressed up as a minotaur (maze reference, anyone?), and then all of a sudden Teddy remembers seeing MIB hurt Dolores. After that, all bets are off. He strings up MIB to a rock and they have a little talk.
MIB finally gets down to giving us a little info about himself as he tries to psych Teddy out about his sense of reality. He describes himself as a god. Says he is a titan of industry. That he was married to beautiful woman for 30 years and had a beautiful daughter. He claims to be a good guy. But then he says that last year his wife died, though his daughter claimed she committed suicide because she was afraid of him. Apparently, no matter how good he tried to be, he was truly the man he was in “in here.”
He explains how he tried to test his own evilness after that by trying a new narrative. One that was not created by Ford. He found a woman and her daughter and killed them. But the woman wouldn’t die, she tried to kill him and she picked up her daughter and continued to live for as long as possible. “In all my years coming here I’d never seen anything like it. She was alive. Truly alive, if only for a moment. And that was when the maze revealed itself to me,” he said. He explains that the maze has to mean that the deeper he gets into the game, the more he can hurt.
The reveal? That woman he killed was Maeve and she just. wouldn’t. die. They had to bring her into the lab and Bernard and Ford worked together to shut her down. But even still she leapt up and tried to kill him. What kind of super human robot android is Maeve???
Teddy wants to kill MIB for what he did to the woman and her little girl, and the lady they found who Wyatt attacked eggs him on to do it. But Teddy just can’t. So, instead. She slices his throat. According to her Teddy’s been gone a long time. And as she says this a group of men dressed as creatures come out of the woods. “It’s time you came back to the fold. Wyatt will need you soon.” I’d hate to be MIB tied to that rock right now.
HollywoodLifers, what do you think will happen to MIB now? Let us know below!