This week's Westworld definitely helped explain a lot of what has been going on over the last handful of weeks. It also kind of changed the scope of what the show is and what it can be moving forward, which could clue us in as to what season 3 may look like, even though we've still got a few weeks left before this season wraps up. Let's dig in, shall we?
Ashley (Luke Hemsworth) and Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) get tangled up with the clean-up crew to start us off in what appears to be the most current timeline. They bring us back to the scene of Teressa's death from last season and, whilst investigating the scene of the crime, a secret room is discovered that is housing a whole bunch of Bernards. This leads to Charlotte (Tessa Thompson) to investigate Bernard and to try and piece together some of what's been going on.
We then flash back to the very recent past, which picks up more or less where we left off at the end of the last episode, with Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood), Teddy (James Marsden) and the rest of her gang descending on the park's headquarters in order to retrieve her daddy. Or, as we come to find out, to get their hands on his control unit, which is the whole reason this salvage operation is there in the first place. Ashley has begun to suspect that they're willing to kill any and all witnesses just to get the asset out of the park.
Things get wild in a hurry as the bullets start flying. Dolores' team got their hands on a bunch of machine guns and it turns into a bloodbath. The Westworld folks suspect that Dolores is going after the host backups that are housed with the Cradle. While this is going on, we see Bernard, who is still plugged into the Cradle. We then take a trip into the digital world where, when we last left off, Bernard has been reunited with none other than his old pal Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins). Through a rather intense and inquisitive conversation, we come to learn that the control unit Bernard printed was actually for Ford. So, this version of Ford we're seeing is the real deal in many ways. Unfortunately, even though they have managed to preserve his mind, it can't be transferred into a host body successfully. Yet. So Ford only remains alive in the digital realm.
Via their continued conversation, which becomes increasingly distressful for Bernard, it's revealed that the park is actually an experiment. It was never about the humans coming there for pleasure. It was an experiment to help further the idea of resurrection. This is truly where Westworld is headed. This isn't just a show about a theme park gone wrong anymore. We're lightyears beyond that. We also learn that all of those conversations with Dolores we keep flashing back to were actually to help construct Bernard from the memories of Arnold. Bernard, understandably, wants to understand Ford's endgame with all of this and, as has been teased all season long, it lies in the valley beyond. So, that's where Bernard is heading. Unfortunately for him, Ford hitches a ride in his mind and is sort of driving the ship. We see that Ford is literally inside of his consciousness now and is the reason Bernard's memory the Dolores slaughter fest are so hazy.
Elsewhere, Maeve (Thandie Newton) is still on the run from the Ghost Nation with her child, who is kind of no longer her child, and The Man in Black (Ed Harris) is doing the same with his trusty old pal Lawrence (Clifton Collins Jr.). This leads our dear William to cross paths with Maeve in a rather dark and ugly bit of deja vu. Things go a little differently this time though, as Maeve pumps a bullet into William and begins using her witch powers to sick the other hosts on him. William puts up one hell of a fight, but he winds up with a few more bullets in him before Maeve has him in her sights. But it's Lawrence to the rescue! If only for a moment, as Maeve turns him against William. Just before either of them can deliver the final blow, the cavalry arrives. Lee (Simon Quarterman) called in reinforcements at the end of last week's episode and they show up on the scene, gunning down Lawrence and Maeve. Lee convinces them to save Maeve, in though she's definitely seen better days. William, despite having a handful of bullet holes in him, is alive. Maybe not kicking, but alive.
Heading back to the Dolores uprising, she locates her dad, who is being protected by Ashley and Charlotte. Prior to her arrival, Ashley gets pretty frustrated and holds a gun to Peter Abernathy's head, demanding to know what it is that is worth all of this violence. We don't get much from Charlotte, but she finally begins to clue us in as to what he's hiding, only to be interrupted by Teddy and Dolores. This leads to a very tense exchange, with Charlotte essentially begging for her life. Dolores isn't having it. Teddy is called away to go murder some dudes in hardcore fashion, while Dolores is moments away from cutting Charlotte into pieces. That's put on hold so that she can have one final moment with her dad. Then she cuts him open and takes his control unit anyway.
Clementine (Angela Sarafyan) bites the dust in a hail of gunfire for the team. Angela (Talulah Riley) made her way down to the Cradle and was going for the host backups. Not to save them, but as Dolores explains to Charlotte, to destroy them. To level the playing field. Angela has to sacrifice herself in order to do so, but she blows up the Cradle and thus, the hosts can no longer be rebuilt from their backups. If they die, they're dead for real now, or so it would seem. Before leaving, Dolores gets to confront Maeve and their conflicting ideals come to a head in a very intense conversation. Ultimately, Maeve decides to bleed out on the table, but Lee was hidden away in earshot and may be able to save her. We'll have to see how that plays out. What it appears is that it's going to be a race to the valley beyond for everyone. The question is, who is going to get there first? We'll hopefully find out when Westworld returns on HBO this Sunday.