TV Reviews

Westworld Season 2 Episode 9: Vanishing Point Review

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

Synopsis: Try to kill it all away, but I remember everything. (HBO)

Writer: Roberto Patino

Director: Stephen Williams

Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 58mins

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

After an incredible episode in Kiksuya last week, Vanishing Point would have a tough time outshining it, but surprisingly it still managed to drop several nuggets of information that were appreciated as season two continues to pay off with certain answers fans have wanting to know. Answers to questions like: Do rich people really have to read books?

Vanishing Point chose to focus predominantly on MiB’s backstory and what drove him to this exact point in the season. It also briefly touched upon Maeve’s continued struggle as she still remained incapacitated on one of Delos’ worktables. Thirdly, we saw an interesting wrinkle begin in Dolores’ narrative as she finally reached the “valley beyond” only to have it come at a great and unexpected cost.

The MiB’s backstory showed him operate as a reluctant captain of industry and shed a very different light on who he was perceived to be as a husband. William was, in fact, a decent man to his wife, Juliet (Sela Ward), striving to take care of her when she struggled publicly with alcoholism. He also seemed to be doing an okay job as a father towards Emily (Katja Herbers) which speaks to the contrary from her more current perspective in their conversations in past episodes. But all the while, the signs of uncomfortableness were present, signs which Juliet was able to see clearly while they were hidden to everyone else around.

This mixed with William’s reluctant admittance that he wasn’t meant for the world he currently lived in with her, as well as his time in Westworld being documented and profiled, proved to be too much for Juliet to bare and lead to her demise. Throughout this conversation between the MiB and Emily, several things stood out: MiB’s wounds began to miraculously heal during the course of their conversation, MiB was scanned by Delos and proven to be “CLEAR” meaning he was not a host, Emily’s test was unfinished so there is a shred of possibility that she might be a host, but at this point, who knows.

Bernard’s story proved to be something more than indecisiveness in this episode as Ford, who was still attached to Bernard’s consciousness, convinced him to make an important stop before pressing on to THE FORGE, which is the collective server that houses all of the guests collected data. While the implantation of Ford in Maeve’s consciousness and their beautifully crafted conversation was a nice and much-needed touch, it still became frustrating that the show saw fit to drop this immense bit of knowledge about the location of all of the guest’s data as an almost afterthought before quickly moving on to the next storyline. Nevertheless, Ford’s admission to Maeve that she was his favorite and closest to a child he had ever gotten was endearing and a nice touch towards Ford’s character. Also, his admittance that the reason he is still around is that he had to make sure his children didn’t completely die helped explain exactly why he is still meddling in the affairs of both hosts and guests.

Finally, in Dolores’ storyline, we see that through brute force she and Teddy manage to pass through Ghost Nation’s protective barrier of the “valley beyond” in an effort to leave this world for the next one. She is so determined to make it to this point that she becomes blinded by the fact that Teddy’s internal nature is conflicted with how she has changed him and the internal war results in him killing himself and leaving her to continue the journey alone. While this storyline hasn’t necessarily been the best, it was nice to see the writers give James Marsden a great scene to go out on. His monologue to Dolores as to why he felt the need to stay behind and die almost made up for all of the past sins of both characters. Yes, it was that good! And so Dolores is left to press on alone and it remains to be seen if she does, in fact, leave for the world beyond.

From the beginning, Vanishing Point was placed in a difficult position having to follow one of the arguably best episodes of the entire series in Kiksuya. That being said, it still managed to find ways to keep some semblance of relevancy with William’s story and Teddy’s impactful exit. Mix that with Charlotte Hale still doing Charlotte Hale things by turning the beloved Clementine into a host anger-bomb and we come away with a very decent episode that sets up what is hoping to be a crazy season two finale.

Score: 7/10

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2 replies »

  1. But…..you didn’t mention that when Ford was with Maeve he also kissed her forehead and said “It’s a shame to let them end it here. Don’t let them”
    then Ford also updated himself into Maeve—and to the Delos Mesh Network—and unlocked her core permissions in an attempt to help her fight back. You saw her tablet light up and function.

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