TV Reviews

Westworld Season 2 Episode 4: The Riddle of the Sphinx Review

If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.

Synopsis: Is this now? If you’re looking forward, you’re looking in the wrong direction. (HBO)

Writers: Gina Atwater and Jonathan Nolan

Director: Lisa Joy

Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 71mins

Airs: Sundays at 9pm on HBO Canada (Canada)/HBO (United States)

Further down the rabbit hole, we go…

The episode begins by cleverly holding the audience’s hands and slowly leading them into the conspiracy-theory-made-reality of Jim Delos’ consciousness being uploaded into a host’s body in the effort to skirt mortality and prolong his life indefinitely. While the conversation that William and Delos have we find out is one of many of the same, it also serves as proof that the Delos Corporation’s investment is close to fruition. However in Jim Delos’ case, one attempt down, 148 to go.

As time passes, Delos’ copy continues to improve while William is slowly descending down the path that leads him to the man we currently know, however, through their conversations we witness Delos 149 undergoing his own form of self-awareness through pain and anguish after being told that Juliette, his daughter, committed suicide, his wife is dead and his son, Logan, has died from a drug overdose. Secondly, William provides a very poignant monologue that perfectly sums up both titans of industry as he explains that the memory of Delos is a better version of the actual man and should remain that way much like William’s current legacy.

This episode also showed William’s character in another light. On one hand. his evolution into the MiB was completely understandable given how many times he’s had to speak with Delos and terminate him after abandoning hope as he aged and that process would surely have slowly chipped away at his soul. On the other, he did have every opportunity to make better decisions and simply be a better person by having a constant reminder of how not to be staring back at him each time. Nevertheless, this process did provide a very nice layer to his character development and help set the stage for his potential journey back to a moral high ground.

Continuing with the current MiB timeline, both he and Lawrence arrive in Pariah and end up becoming captives of a recently freed Major Craddock and his men. At first, it was baffling as to why MiB was even entertaining being stuck in Pariah with the Major instead of riding further towards “the weapon” or “glory” but by the end of the episode it was made clear that the Major’s purpose was to help the MiB inch that much closer towards becoming the man he truly wanted to be. He seems to be on the right track because his path is confirmed by Ford speaking through Lawrence’s daughter urging him to stop looking forward and pay attention to his past. Oooooo….cryptic. Oh, and who knew Lawrence was such a good shot? Watching nitroglycerin being put to that good of use was truly amazing.

Lastly, the episode ends with a much-anticipated reunion with Grace and the MiB who are much-suspected father and daughter. It’s exciting to think of the chaos they both will cause in the park together. Hopefully she will finally be able to see her father transform into a better man, thus resolving their family issues. I cannot state strongly enough how badly I need this closure to happen. Also, the thought of all of the inter-trolls who speculated that Grace was somehow a younger Theresa simply based on how they both similarly held their cigarettes scrambling to save face before being roasted on the Westworld subreddit.

Meanwhile, in Ghost Nation, fan theories are yet again confirmed as the Native American tribe has been programmed to kill rogue hosts and collect guests in an effort to keep them safe. Why? We don’t fully know, but what we can surmise is that someone beyond the tribe is pulling the strings of their code in order for people to be saved. This was a nice flashback in showing not only Grace as she continued her quest towards her father but also how Stubbs made it out alive. It was interesting to note that Stubbs, a high-ranking Delos employee, did not recognize William’s, the highest of Delos personnel’s, daughter. Granted, it was during trying times and while this is clearly overreaching, one would think that William’s family wouldn’t be able to escape the public spotlight of his own company and people would recognize both he and his only living daughter. Just a thought…

Finally, WE HAVE AN ELSIE SIGHTING! The timeline pot continued to be stirred with the explanation that Bernard is unable to differentiate when he is based on his head wound suffered at the hands of Ford last season. At this point, despite any hope of redemption for Bernard being unlikely, it’s still enjoyable to just see Jeffrey Wright fully committing to anything that the show is throwing at him. This damage causes Bernard to relive various memory loops showing that he is/was still semi-under the control of Ford.

Why Elsie would quickly move past this major bit of information is a little puzzling but her persistence within the secret facility that Bernard and Charlotte have occupied(or will occupy) proves worthwhile as she reveals not only what became of Delos 149 but also the concept of a “control unit,” a form of consciousness taken from human DNA that can be uploaded into a host. This revelation not only affirms Delos Corporation’s initial intent on funding the park(s) but also that they were semi-successful with the existence of Delos 149 as well as Bernard.

This episode offered us a multitude of much-needed and anticipated information that both confirmed existing fan theories about the show as well as continue to create completely new ones. We now know Delos’ original intent for investing in the park and that the idea of immortality is just beyond reach for William through the experimentation on Delos 149 which could prove both useful and highly profitable in the future. From this as well as what we are currently witnessing with the MiB, it is clear that he is slowly marching towards a moral crossroads that will inevitably decide if he will indeed pass Ford’s last remaining game designed for him or revert back to the man has existed as for over 30 years.

Now with the help of his daughter, this should prove to be a worthwhile journey. More importantly, we are made aware that there is another “control unit” that has been created by Bernard at Ford’s request for an unknown purpose at this time. Truthfully, we are uncertain of just when Bernard created this control unit but we know it will prove to be a major piece of the puzzle as this season progresses so let the speculations begin…

PENDING THOUGHTS:

  • Jim Delos’ dance moves. Clutch.
  • Bernard had all of those people killed. Why? To cover tracks?
  • R.I.P. Bartender. Wasn’t your correct line of work
  • Wasn’t the pills that killed Juliette. Why would MiB lie to a host about that?
  • INCOMING THEORY: The control unit that Bernard built is Juliette and will be a reward for MiB if he successfully completes Ford’s puzzle.
  • Ford had complete knowledge of the “secret facility” because the flashback we see is Bernard doing his bidding while Ford is still alive
  • Was William testing on Delos 1-149 without Ford’s help? Ford figured out how to perfect what William couldn’t through Bernard
  • What is the point of keeping Lawrence alive?
  • Hate the fan theories and the idea that MiB is actually a host. If true, it would be a complete waste of a developing character
  • INCOMING THEORY/WISH: Last scene of the show will be William having his consciousness uploaded into a fully capable host and living out his days as a new man with Juliette. A second chance at life.
  • Elsie’s look towards Bernard after asking him to promise not to hurt her was unconvincing. She’s totally ready to kill him and more than likely put a failsafe in his code while he was out.
  • Ghost Nation are the real heroes.
  • I would be perfectly okay if Charlotte died. Not even sorry I wrote that.
  • FULL DISCLOSURE: I lost it when the teaser for next week’s episode was shown. A complete episode within SHOGUN WORLD. I’m beyond words.
  • Disappointed in the musical selections for this week. Come at me!

Score: 9/10

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