So who is winning this war anyway?
I refer to the conflict between the Hosts and Humanity as a "War" because I've always thought of the Hosts as mounting an insurrection against their merciless overlords i.e., Ford and the rest of humanity consisting of the Guests.
That is the premise of this show isn't it?
In the movie Westworld, the robots basically ran amok and started killing the guests. In the TV iteration, the Hosts are seemingly vying for true independence and to be fully sentient. Their nascent awareness has led them to tire of their "disposability" through the harsh meat grinder of the Westworld park.
The Hosts are led by the unseen hand of Arnold (My theory is that Arnold continues to lead the Hosts by living as an "AI' at the center of the Maze although that seems a little sketchy now.)
Maeve seems to be making the most progress for the insurrection. Her willingness to be recycled is courageous but quite the gamble if she continues to rely on Felix to be her "Butcher". (You've heard the Felix theories right?) However, Ford seems to have a handle on everything and suggested to Bernard they've been down this road before. So wouldn't it follow logically he would be aware of Maeve's maneuvers if Bernard has been interviewing her all along? (BTW, I loved how Maeve went out with a blaze of glory with Hector in this past episode. Pretty hot!)
Dolores seemed to make quite a bit of progress with her particular vision quest. (You never know if she is in the past or present with her literal memory.) Her battle is different than that of Maeve's. While Maeve wants strict independence and a way out, Dolores pointedly argued she wants to stay as the outside doesn't seem so great comparatively to Westworld. Her particular battle isn't against the foes from without but those who dwell within.
After suffering her grievous wound at the hands of Logan she stumbled into the darkness only to hear a voice call out, "Remember." As she brought herself to her feet she noticed her wound had healed.
Once again she wandered towards her old hometown and found her way into the now intact church. I was a bit breathless as I anticipated we'd get some big answers. The "Parishioners" mumbled awkwardly and were beset with confusion. No doubt the thoughts in their respective minds were talking to them as if some strange god was trying to direct them. The bicameral mind!
Dolores' trip into the confessional led her into a subbasement where she may have traveled many times before.
Dolores' internal struggle may have been resolved in that she finally found out what the voice in her head has been trying to tell her. In short, she is utterly alone and on her own. Astoundingly, she may have also been responsible for the death of Arnold!
I'm curious if Arnold intended on having the MiB complete the Maze when he ultimately followed Dolores to the Church. Dolores' Maze quest may have been figurative so that she could achieve self awareness and resolve her internal struggle.
For the MiB, his quest may have been more literal so that he could find that Sub-basement Dolores had descended into and divine the secrets that lie there.
As Dolores came to the realization she may have killed Arnold, the MiB will have to descend into the basement to see what is there. It could quite possible be nothing!
Dolores sees the MiB in the Church as it once was. I wonder if the MiB has entered the Church as it is now. A burned out husk mostly buried in sand. Surely the basement is still there but is there an "AI" Arnold still "living" there?
The Other Side
Dr. Ford leads the "Other Side" in the battle for Westworld. The Humans. At this point in the season, I had earlier imagined the Hosts running wild across Westworld killing all the awful humans they could find.
It has hardly turned out that way and the not-so-benevolent God that is Ford still holds the upper hand.
This was never more apparent than when it was revealed to poor Bernard/Arnold that Ford had built a back door into the Host programming.
Oh, that's right. Bernard was modeled after Arnold in exact fashion except for his name. Not a big shocker was it? Unlike "Lost" where the fan theories went to great extremes with no real narrative basis, "Westworld" is more grounded and the fans were far more successful in their ideas.
I'm not sure if that is a good or bad thing as I blithely slipped past the Arnold reveal and waited for the next shoe to drop.
(I was just thinking, if the so called, "Maze" has been found, can the "AI Arnold" that might live there be inserted into the newly recycled Bernard?)
Ford is so powerful and God-like in Westworld that I couldn't help notice the similarity of Ford passing on knowledge to Bernard through his tablet much like Michelangelo passed on life to Adam in his Sistine Chapel painting.
See? That is true power my friends. It should be noted that if Ford has built a backdoor into the Hosts then it should be effective against Maeve and Dolores.
Maeve is smart enough to detect it and have Felix remove it and Dolores cheats the backdoor with whatever they find in the Church basement. One could only hope if you are on the side of the Hosts.
But for now, the Hosts are losing the war.
What kind of benevolent God would have his greatest creation put a gun to his own head? I'm pretty sure Adam was banished from Paradise for biting into the apple from the Tree of Knowledge not destroyed. Ford is far beyond the angry God of the Old Testament.
What was that pin that Logan was wearing in the last episode?
It was eerily similar to the, "Hand of the King" pin worn in "Game of Thrones".
Hey theorists, while we're on the subject of Logan, we find out the woman in the lost picture is actually his sister. Wasn't it Abernathy that found the picture? Or was it Dolores? Either way, William must have kept and then lost it when he came back as the MiB? Right?
Poor Teddy looks dumbstruck as usual. Angela informs him he is still not ready. And this is on the heels of Teddy being behind the great massacre! At least he was Sheriff.
After stabbing him she lets him quietly pass while the "Wyatt's Wild Things" go about their business. And what were they doing? They looked like hogs snuffling around truffles.
Here's an interesting pairing. Angela seems awfully self aware doesn't she? She's like a game piece on a board that has come alive and disagrees with your movements. Is she just the voice of a greater player or master puppeteer? Is she truly sentient? If there is an "AI Arnold" then perhaps she is fully on his team and acting at his behest in real world. Well, as real as anything gets in Westworld. She seems to know what motivates the MiB and even teases him about his ultimate goal and playing the game.
If she is an independent actor then why haven't the rest graduated to her status? Especially Maeve and Delores. She's aware of cycles and deemed Teddy nearly ready so why hasn't she steered the others?
Hopefully her role will be a major part of the season finale and provide us with some answers. (She was the original Hostess to the park, maybe she is the Hostess to the secrets of the Maze.)
Whoa, here's a pairing I didn't see coming. If I understand this correctly, the MiB sits on the same Delos board as Charlotte and thereby could exert as much power as she. Apparently he chooses not to and won't interfere with Charlotte's gambit against Ford. The agreement being, she will not interfere with his. So, it is no wonder he has so much freedom in Westworld. Ford barely tolerates him but can't stop him either. What an interesting dynamic this has been revealed to be.
The MiB is so lost in his role, he bought into the company just so he could pursue it. Love him or hate him, the MiB is a god in his own right. Just the disinterested kind.
Uh-oh, somebody has set Ashley Stubbs up. Our favorite park security agent has followed a clue to Elsie's disappearance. Where does he land?
Right in the middle of Ghost Nation. (This scene reminded me of the original Jurassic Park movie where the hunter, "Muldoon" thought he had the Raptors cornered when it was really he in the trap.)
Remember what he said?
"Clever girl." Right before he was chomped. Poor Stubbs! Was this Ford's doing?
As long as we are on the subject of Michael Crichton properties, that erudite gentleman who seemingly had his finger on the pulse of Jurassic Park, what was his name again? Oh, that's right.
One Last Thing
When Dolores entered the Church she was in her riding garb. (Like above.) But when she entered the confessional she had switched to her Prairie Girl clothes. (The third most picture above.)
As she walked through the basement hallway it is was littered with dead and broken bodies.
As she turned, the bodies disappeared and she was back in her Prairie Girl outfit.
The hallways are similar yet different. The "Riding Girl hallway" has horizontal stripes but no window. "Prairie Girl" hallway has the window but no stripes. The each have a runner rug and an electrical outlet. Plus a double door and ceiling lights.
Are they the same?
You'd think so. The difference may be due to the age of the park. Perhaps thirty years if we use the death of Arnold as a benchmark.
When she exited she found the church empty. No more babbling parishioners. As you can see she is back in her riding garb. Which should denote the present time line. The MiB walks in also seeming to confirm the present time. However, as I noted earlier, the Church should be a burned out husk mostly buried in sand. That's how the MiB remembered it.
Hopefully, next week we'll see Dolores and the MiB in the burnt out church. How he got into a mostly buried church I can't say.
Here's a thought, he shares Dolores' vision because he's a Host too. Oh c'mon, I'm sure Dolores is just imagined him entering the church. Ha, ha the MiB can't really be a Host.