Westworld Ho! - Trompe L'Oeil
Is this the face of a monster?
It is if you believe the voice of Theresa Cullen. The now silenced voice of Theresa Cullen that is. Dr. Ford thought she looked a bit weary.
Time for a long nap.
The last episode of Westworld, "Trompe L'Oeil" ended with a thunder clap. Not the loud resounding kind that shatters over your rooftop. But the long low menacing type that rumbles out of the distance and lingers with more than enough malice.
Something worthy of Odin one might say.
Sir Anthony Hopkins' face alone is a tour de force and that is why I posted it above. With every twitch, curl of the lip and coo that slips from his tongue the menace that he exuded towards Theresa Cullen was extraordinarily palpable.
When Cullen called him a "F*cking Monster" he dealt with the reproach lightly and with mild but feigned astonishment.
Bravo Sir Anthony.
And so ends one of the great mysteries of Westworld. Was Bernard one of the Hosts? Indeed he was. Personally, I had thought Ms.Cullen would be the robot and she was toying with the affections of the very sympathetic Bernard through some unseen puppeteer.
Close. The master puppeteer had his hands on a different set of strings.
At first I was sorry to see Sidse Babbet Knudsen as Cullen leave the show. But then I thought, "Hold on, we are watching a rendering in the foreground as Theresa is murdered in the distance." "Who is to say she won't return as a Host?"
That will be my call at least. I wonder if "Host" Theresa will rekindle the romance that was once going on with Bernard? I bet she will, much to his delight.
I also have no doubt Theresa will work to undermine the Delos Board now. Certainly as Ford's spy. Is blackmail in store for Charlotte Hale? No doubt. We've seen her proclivities.
An Arnold Clue
We did get a tiny Arnold clue. For those who were hoping Bernard was a Host copy of Arnold you were dealt a bit of a setback. Cullen had asked Dr. Ford if Bernard had done to Arnold what he intended for herself. He responded that Bernard wasn't around back then, was he?
So, Bernard postdates the Arnold tragedy. But it was interesting that Ford did not deny Arnold wasn't taken out into the woods and dealt with. Only that Bernard wasn't around.
That's interesting because the popular story was Arnold had committed suicide and Ford not correcting Cullen was a glaring omission. Yes, Bernard still could be a copy but it seems less likely now. We'll see where that goes.
A "Close Encounter of the Third Kind"
I had a flashback to "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" when Dolores sketched out her "Dreamland."
You may recall in the movie "CE3K" how Roy Neary sculpted out his visions while his cohort, Jillian Guiler, used charcoal etching.
I never expected Dolores to actually fulfill her dream in the same episode. Pretty awesome. Next she will be saying " I know this sounds crazy, but ever since yesterday on the road, I've been seeing this shape. Shaving cream, pillows... Dammit! I know this. I know what this is! This means something. This is important"
Hopefully it was a deliberate homage.
The interesting point behind this discovery is what's beyond this promised land? Is it the outside world? Is there another park like Westworld adjacent too it?
Is it the Maze?
I'd like to think it is the Maze and following the river leads to wherever Arnold is or whatever mysteries Dr. Ford is hiding. Both would be very intriguing.
Lawrence warned William and Dolores whatever lies beyond that vista was unknown and uncharted. Could he have been speaking metaphorically?
I had a feeling someone would ride to the rescue when the Confederados were chasing down William, Dolores and Lawrence. That it was the Indians of Ghost Nation was a pleasant surprise.
If you recall in my last post, I characterized the Native Americans as a metaphorical if not a literal conduit to the collective unconsciousness that exists in the Hosts of Westworld. Their job is to endure the suffering of the Hosts while preserving its memory so that someday it may be acted upon and perhaps, avenged.
It seems to me the Native Americans of the "Ghost Nation" have an added meaning if not a new function as their part of the collective unconsciousness.
First of all, like ghosts, they are neither part of the figurative Westworld or denizens of a deathly underworld. They are like their sad brethren in that trail of tears, dispossessed by the world they live in.
Yet, they are much more active in defense of what they consider their homeland. Let's call them some sort of Firewall. If you can pass through the Firewall that is Ghost Nation then you can enter the area that leads you to the Maze.
Dolores' grand and beautiful vista is that last step before the Maze. (I hope.)
Of course, the Man in Black (MiB) and Teddy or using a "backdoor" to the Maze. It's that tunnel we saw them at when the had reached the Cavalry camp. (Not much of a Firewall there if you use a Gatling gun!)
Faces in the Crowd
My poor darling Clementine. First they infuse her character with such humanity earlier in the episode and the they give her a brutal beat down. The rational was that it was robot on robot violence. People on the internet were still very upset. I can't blame them. They followed it up by putting her down with a gun shot. Awful.
Did you notice it was Butts that put Clementine down? If he is up there shooting Clementine then who is in the sub-basement grabbing Elsie? (Reader Tim points out in was actually in an abandoned theater.) Cottage Dad or Abernathy? Was there a change in the timeline that gave Butts an opportunity to get back upstairs? (I speculated on who grabbed Elsie in my last post also.)
The two faces of Eve?
Interesting how the camera caught Delores in her moment of reflection. It's as if she is looking at the person she has become and the person she used to be. As an audience I think we might be looking at the person she was and the person she will become. And I mean person in it's most literal sense!
When I call Dolores "Eve" it's also a reference to her possibly being the first truly free Host. Maybe that's what lies beyond the river. Freedom through the Maze?
Maeve may have something to say about which Host gets their freedom first. The topmost image of her was a favorite of mine because of the death stare she gave to the player piano. A little too much for you now Maeve?
The bottom pic reveal her new heighten intelligence. Much like Hopkin's Dr. Ford, it is a face to be reckoned with.
Can we end with a little happiness?
Didn't William say he was sick of pretending? So, he accepts he has a pretend girlfriend? Man, he's gone all in. Logan would be proud. As an audience we know how Dolores has evolved. She even said earlier, "I don't want to be in a story." Does William know she will become more evolved? Does he care? (I'll answer that, nope!)
Who cares. They kiss!