Westworld Season 2

We’re entering the endgame now. We now know the true purpose of the park and the timelines are beginning to converge which is a blessing for my poor head.

Confused by the timelines yet?
While “Les Écorchés” does mostly take place in the one timeline (the immediate past), this episode opens and closes in the present with Stubbs, Bernard and Charlotte who also appear in the flashbacks, in a similar looking space. This whole season has been like that for me. Sometimes I wish for a flashback filter or even a location title “One week earlier!”.

Everyone knows Bernard’s a host.
I mean, it was about time. Not sure why he needs a dozen extra bodies lying around, even for the “fidelity” testing.

Goodbye Cradle.
Just as we were introduced, Angela blows it sky high. I suppose it’s for the better, the timelines and faulty memories are hard enough to keep track of as it is without a simulated world in the mix.

Did they really kill…?
As mentioned, Angela blew up the Cradle and herself and now that their backups are gone there’s truly no coming back from that.

Dolores says a tearful goodbye to Daddy Abernathy. That being said she still takes his control unit for the park data backed up in there but I guess he could still potentially come back.

Lawrence became a bullet sponge, but his control unit is probably still intact.

Clementine is down for the count but again her control unit/mind egg is safe.

So much for the Cradle making mortality a real thing. When your brain can be easily moved from one body to another you really have to see that head destroyed to know if it’ll be a permanent thing.

Some close calls too
Both Maeve and William get shot up but still hang on to life. I seriously thought at least one of them was going to go right here and now but nope, they both made it, barely and bleeding out, but they made it.

Anthony Hopkins is back, baby. Well, kinda…
I remarked last episode about the Ford reflection, but it’s no money-saving trickery, just thematic. As Ford is now a passenger in Bernard’s head he appears as reflections telling him to do things, making earlier appearances a foreshadowing of the events to come. Poor Bernard, he just can’t catch a break can he?

The true meaning behind Westworld
It’s revealed by Ford in a bad guy monologue that the park was built with storyline loops to keep the hosts as controls. All in order to watch the guests and best capture their personalities, to secretly create digital versions of them. To what end, who knows? But I’m sure some guests would be interested in the afterlife.

As seen with Jame Delos, the best way to put a human brain inside a host body is to conduct multiple tests. Bernard is special in that he had fidelity tests taken by Dolores inside the Cradle, meaning years could have passed, making Bernard closer to Arnold than we initially thought. Not to mention while he has had leaky fluid and memory issues lately, he hasn’t lost the plot quite like James Delos did.

The Valley Beyond
As we’re getting closer to the finale my theories about the Valley Beyond keep changing. We know a whole bunch of hosts end up drowned with their minds wiped. But what’s so important about this Valley? Is it perhaps, the minds of the countless guests stored on a computer network much like the Cradle? Not that it’s a major stretch of the imagination, Facebook has practically done this to us already.

Westworld Season 2
Anthony Hopkins is back on set Fordsplaining to Bernard inside the Cradle. //HBO