Television Westworld

Westworld: Phase Space, Review

***SPOILER WARNING***

If you have not seen the sixth episode of season 2 Phase Space and don’t want the show spoiled then please turn away. If spoilers don’t bother you or you have seen the episode then welcome.

We’ll get to the big reveal in a moment but first some housekeeping.

Shogunworld/Maeve

That didn’t very last long. After a few scenes of Akane mourning the loss Sakura and pretty decent sword fight between Musashi and the general we leave Shogun world behind as Meave continues on her quest to find her child. Personally, I would have liked to have seen more of this park but it turns out it was just a detour. It did help strengthen Maeve’s moral growth and she also found out about her new powers which are each pretty important both to the character and the overall story. The one cool bit is where she doesn’t user her powers on the general and lets Musashi decide his own fate via sword fight.

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PHOTO SOURCE: Westworld, HBO

Her team manage to make it to the ranch where she once lived with her daughter. The scene is quite tragic as Maeve is reunited with her daughter only to find out that her daughter wasn’t just sitting around waiting for her to come home. Her daughter has been assigned a new mother. The shock on Maeve’s face says it all but before she can continue to process it the Ghost Nation arrive to ambush them similar to Maeve’s previous story line. Maeve’s immediate reaction is to take her daughter and run but the scene is made even more tragic by her daughter calling out for her other mother. The Ghost Nation in the meantime appear to be impervious to Maeve’s commands. Perhaps there is something to this?

The Man in Black

We finally get the first real conversation between the MIB and his daughter Emily. It is funny though that his first reaction to her is to think that she is a host created by Ford. He is so completely immersed in the game that his paranoia is through the roof. Emily bitterly scolds him for his negligence and blames him for her mother’s death, but she’s willing to offer him an out: If he leaves with her, then he stands a chance of restoring their broken relationship. The MIB agrees in what looks like a moment of true emotion. But predictably, he abandons her once more to pursue the obsession that ruined their lives in the first place.

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PHOTO SOURCE: Westworld, HBO

Dolores/’Woke’ Teddy

The train is ready and the crew are about to leave for The Mesa. Before this happens though they interrogate one of the Delos soldiers. He doesn’t know where they’re keeping Abernathy and before he can say anything else Teddy swoops in shots him in the head saying that they’re wasting time. Dolores’ reaction is priceless as she looks both shocked and disturbed. Perhaps she’s having second thoughts about what she did. But Teddy isn’t just a mindless soldier it seems like his decisiveness and perception have been raised to hundred. His passive-aggressive setting has been maxed out as well it seems: “I never thought I’d want to leave,” he tells Dolores on the train out of Westworld. “But I suppose you ‘fixed’ that, too.” Again, Dolores’ expression said it all.

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PHOTO SOURCE: Westworld, HBO

Bernard/The Big Reveal

Elsie and Bernard make it to the Mesa and find the place in ruins. Elsie notices that the park’s quality assurance team has been trying to get back into the system, but they’ve been constantly blocked — by the Cradle. Bernard comments that such a thing shouldn’t be possible. The Cradle serves as a backup of all host personalities, he says, and it runs a virtual simulation of the park in which potential story lines can be tested, but it should be sand boxed from the rest of the infrastructure. That’s no longer the case, Elsie discovers; over the last week, the Cradle has interfaced with every park system, allowing it to parry the various attempts by QA to regain control. “It’s like there’s something in here that’s improvising,” Elsie says. “The Cradle’s fighting back.”

Bernard says the only way to know what’s going on is to actually go to the Cradle and enter the network personally. He proceeds to have his head sliced open by a device that takes out his ‘brain’ and places it into the simulation. There Bernard wakes up on the train to Sweetwater and the scene plays out like it normally would for any guest of the park. The only difference is greyhound roaming around which Bernard follows into the brothel where the dog parks itself by the piano. There Bernard see’s in the piano’s reflection Dr. Ford who says “Hello, old friend.”

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PHOTO SOURCE: Westworld, HBO

This wasn’t exactly surprising but it was very exciting and made for a very good cliffhanger. We’ve had hints so far that Ford wasn’t actually dead and somehow still around. That he uploaded himself into the system is quite ingenious.

The fact that he’s still alive does raise some questions though: is this his actual consciousness or a copy? If he’s still controlling everything then what does that mean for Maeve, Dolores and the other woke hosts? Is there a host body of Ford somewhere in the park? What’s Ford’s end game here?

The other reveal happens at the beginning of the episode. It’s the scene from the beginning of this season where Bernard and Dolores are talking in the basement lab. Now, it picks up where they left off and he’s debating whether he should kill Dolores and the hosts, or himself. “I’m not sure it’s my choice to make,” he says. “No,” Dolores corrects him. “He didn’t say that.” She then tells him to freeze all motor functions and she informs him that they’re taking part in a test to measure his fidelity. This was the same test that William used on James Delos a few episodes back.

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PHOTO SOURCE: Westworld, HBO

My impression of this scene from the first episode was that it was taking place well in the past and that who we were seeing was Arnold. Now, I’m not so sure where this scene is situated, is it in the future at some point? Another interesting part of this scene is that it’s in a different aspect ratio to the rest of the show. It also happens to be in the same ratio as when Bernard enters the Cradle. Could this mean something down the road? Again, I’m not sure.

Another solid episode that left me wanting more. Can’t wait for the conversation between Ford and Bernard. The only gripe would have to be the fact that we’ve officially left Shogun World for now.

Diagnostics:

  • Abernathy being pinned down to the bed by the nail gun was quite the scene
  • Stubbs was relegated to punching bag this week between Charlotte’s zinger’s and the new Delos mercenary making fun of his name
  • Angela seemed really into the new Teddy, also can we start calling him Grizzly now?

Make sure to catch new episodes of Westworld every Sunday on HBO and keep it locked on TGON for all your news, reviews and analysis.

 

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