This week's episode of Westworld feels like a whole lot happened, but at the same time, not a whole lot actually happened. Some more seemingly crucial seeds were planted but outside of a few potentially big moments and a massive robot orgy, this was easily the weakest episode of the season. But hey! There's still a lot to talk about, so let's dig in, shall we?
To be clear, Westworld is still an excellent show and not every episode can be expected to hit it out of the park, especially in the first season of a very complex, layered and nuanced show. That being said, this week's episode Contrapasso felt relatively hollow and I can't possibly be the only one who was a bit more confused than usual at times. At the very least, certain aspects of the timeline are starting to get a bit messy in terms of what is happening right now and what happened in the past. Or future? Again, it's messy. Probably by design, but still.
Firstly, The Man in Black (Ed Harris) is still on his quest to find the maze and this week he seemed to get a few steps closer. Not that he made any major discoveries or anything, he just made some literal steps, or at least his horse did, on the way to figuring this whole game out. Also, he definitely killed Lawrence (Clifton Collins Jr.) in a big, bad, brutal way, just so he could save Teddy (James Marsden), who is now apparently more crucial to finding the maze for some reason. Now, skipping ahead a bit, it was very cool that The Man in Black and Dr. Robert (Anthony Hopkins) did finally come face to face. The meeting was mysterious, cool and at the same time, a bit anticlimactic. The main takeaway here is that The Man in Black definitely knew Arnold and had a serious respect for him that he does not seem to have for Dr. Robert. Hopefully, their paths cross again and it can be a bit more climactic.
Speaking of Arnold, there was that "dream" scene with Dr. Robert and Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) where it became pretty clear that she also has some ties to Arnold. As it turns out, she is the only robot still active in the park who was around the day that Arnold died. Even though she has a "modest" path in Westworld (until recently that is) she apparently has some importance. Or at the very least the guests seem to like her enough to keep her around. Either way, Dolores has been doing her thing in Westworld for longer than anyone else, and maybe that is why she is the one going haywire and having this desire for something bigger. Granted, this week we saw that she is really kind of losing her robot mind with that weird sort of hallucination that took place during the orgy scene. And she passed out for a bit inexplicably. She's definitely having a serious existential robot crisis that we aren't totally able to understand yet. Or ever. We'll see.
Speaking of the orgy, we should probably talk about that orgy. It was a massive, ridiculous orgy. After Dolores, William (Jimmi Simpson) and his soon-to-be brother in law who is now getting beat up by evil Confederate robots Logan (Ben Barnes) finished up a mission for Lawrence, who is now not dead and is free from The Man in Black's grasp, they all went to a giant robot orgy. Outside of William and Logan hashing out some drama between one another and Dolores and William finally breaking some of that sexual tension, not a lot happened at the actual Orgy. Save for the aforementioned Dolores hallucination. The orgy itself, however, was absolutely nuts. Seriously, there were so many fancy looking naked robots having sex everywhere. In every position imaginable. It was either unnecessarily gratuitous or delightfully artistic. Or maybe somehow both. Either way, it is something that will surely be talked about forever now. So thank you, Westworld.
Now, as for the loose ends in this episode. Elsie (Shannon Woodward) was busy teaching a well-endowed robot how to pour whiskey correctly when she came across the malfunctioning robot who tried to kill her recently. Upon further inspection, she found out that there was some crazy transmitter hidden in the robot that was sending information to someone outside of the park, so she informed Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) about it. The plot thickens. Also, we saw that little kid again who may or may not be Dr. Robert as a child. Oh, also, what was the deal with that super cryptic story about the dog killing the cat that Dr. Robert told at the beginning of the episode to that very outdated robot he occasionally talks to? Seriously. So unsettling.
Anyway, we left off in an interesting place, even if this episode felt as though it could have been trimmed down to a lean 25 minutes, and that is with 10 minutes of robot orgy included. For one, Dolores, William and Lawrence are on a train together in a bit of an uncomfortable situation on their way deeper into the game. Also, Maeve (Thandie Newton) managed to come face to face with one of these "gods," as the Native Americans call them. God, meaning one of the robot doctors who puts them back together after they get killed. So we have no idea what is going to happen with that, but she knew the doctor's name, which was pretty intense. We'll have to see where this all goes and if Dolores does any more damage with her six shooter when Westworld returns on HBO.