WestWorld Season 2 Ep 1 Journey Into Night

By in Bernard, Delores, Delos, HBO, Maeve, Robert Ford, Robots, Sci-Fi, The Man in Black, TV Recap, TV series, Westworld
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The premiere of the second season of Westworld promised to tell us everything that they already didn’t answer. What’s next for Delores? What will life be for Bernard after Robert Ford’s death? Will all the hosts burn Westworld down and head for the real streets to burn the world filled with empathy lacking humans? But to answer these questions in the first episode would have been too easy. Instead, they started a new game that left even more questions open to the imagination.

Having Bernard as the person in which we see all of the unfolding events is like throwing out the map and going blindfolded into the woods. I’m pretty sure it’s on purpose too. The fact that he’s a host complicates things. Differentiating his dreams and memories from real life events is hard.

The very first scene is of Bernard and Delores having one of their secret sit-downs, and moments after the convo ends, you can’t tell if this is a memory, something that just happened, his imagination playing tricks on him, or if it is actually Arnold’s memory. Bernard tells Delores that her ability to progress scares him, and with good reason. She offers that she doesn’t know why he would be afraid of little old’ her. Moments later we get a few flashes of Bernard grabbing his head, hands shaking, in several different scenarios. That’s followed by Delores asking Bernard if he forgot who he really is, then telling him that there is a beauty in what they are. In one shot, Delores is wearing modern clothes. Did she at any point end up outside of Westworld?  There’s a glimpse of Bernard shooting with a massive artillery gun, and he awakens on the beach, his glasses wading in and out of the waves.

So what was, does it all mean? Your guess is as good as mines. These seem like forgotten memories and glimpses into what happened post-Robert Ford’s death. See, Bernard woke up on the beach but it is not the day after, it is nearly 11 days since Delores shot up all of the humans and went postal.

Delos has sent their man in charge Karl Strand [Gustaf Skarsgård] to find out what the hell happened that the hosts went on a rampage. Finding Bernard on the beach is promising since they assume they can get the details from another high official. But Bernard barely speaks and is very distraught, which they take as the after-effects of a traumatic event. But the audience knows well to think that maybe Bernard doesn’t remember since he’s a host.

There are full teams set up on the beach investigating the current whereabouts of the hosts. A few captured hosts are shot at point blank, and Bernard is taken aback by the brutality. Why can’t they just turn them off and bring them back to headquarters? I mean, do they really have to be so brutal with the execution-style power button? I know, it’s easy for them because they know that these are robots but it does seem over the top.

Since Bernard won’t say much, Strand has one of his associates scalp a native American host that had been killed to access his memory. Let’s just say these hosts have way too much brain and blood to be robots. The natives last moments show Delores shooting down hosts and saying that not all of them are meant to enter the valley beyond. Delores doesn’t intend on taking all the hosts on her new mission, and it isn’t clear what qualifies or disqualifies a host from being a part of the entourage.

Bernard

After Delores put a bullet through Ford’s head, the hosts went wild shooting humans (Bernard guesses Ford coded them to recognize humans as hosts) and apparently not following their regularly scheduled programming. Bernard finds himself with hands shaking, hiding in a barn with a group of humans that include Charlotte Hale [Tessa Thompson]. Rebus [Steve Ogg] and his buddies are using a human woman as a target. She’s pinned against the outside of the barn door with a glass on top of her head. They end up killing her and leave to the relief of everyone hiding out on the inside of the barn.

Bernard and Charlotte Hale Westward Season 2 Ep 1 Journey Into The Night
Credit: John P. Johnson/HBO

The human guests are scared and ask Bernard to send them to the nearest exit. He explains that there’s an outpost somewhere nearby. Before they can head out, an uncorrupted and almost innocent farmhand shows up to tend to the animals. He kindly asks if he could help the group and ends up getting kicked to oblivion before they kill him with a hay fork. Bernard tries to stop them but they ignore his pleas and attack the only host they could hurt without getting killed.

Charlotte tells Bernard not to sacrifice himself for the merchandise. But as a host, Bernard can’t bear to see the boy killed.

The outpost has two Delos employees next to an extraction car, and the human group goes running like they see water in a desert. Bernard, however, holds back and tries to get them to slow down. Charlotte and Bernard hide out behind a tree and discover that it’s a trap. Those evacuee employees are dead, propped up against the car, and some masked shooters belonging to Wyatt shoot down most of the group and let one of them run off.

It seemed like there was no hope for Bernard and Charlotte, who were lucky to have dragged their feet, but Charlotte admits that there is another post nearby that the Delos company never told anyone about except for exclusive personnel like herself. Ford had his secrets, and Delos had theirs.

The underground location is a base for unregistered drones to collect information from inactive hosts. No one knew about this, or at least it seems. Only humans can access the door with their DNA. But when Bernard touches the handles, he’s approved access. The drones, who look exactly like the Westworld logo with no face, will not disturb humans after their DNA has been read. And these drones pass Bernard by like he’s no different than Charlotte. Either Bernard is somehow set up with Arnold’s DNA, so he registers as human or Ford knew about this place all along and gave him access before he even knew he needed it.

And what information are these drones collecting, do you wonder? They are swabbing the privates of the hosts who have had intercourse with their wealthy clients and extracting their memories as well. This looks like incredibly expensive blackmail material against the people who visit the park if you ask me.

Charlotte contacts the base via the computer and asks for an extraction team. But Delos refuses to send any help until they receive a package. Apparently, they still don’t have it. The package is Peter Abernathy, Delores’ father. The hosts have large memory capability in their drives, and Peter Abernathy was used to downloading all of the information that I assume Theresa had formerly been trying to get out of the park. Also, Charlotte calls this information an insurance policy. It’s unclear how all the parks data will ensure Delos against an apparent threat.

Bernard claims he can find Abernathy’s location by sending a signal through one of the hosts. Only, he starts shaking badly, and his vision gets blurred, making it hard for him to do anything at all. While Charlotte goes and changes clothes, Bernard has the system scan him. His system is corrupted causing the shakes, aphasia, cognitive dissonance, and time slippage. This is why he’s been shaking all this time and why we can’t tell what is happening or being remembered. This “virus” that has overcome his system is only .72 hours away from completely corrupting his drive. Bernard injects the host he’s using as a locator and extracts a clear liquid from the side of his head. He then injects himself in the same place with the liquid, causing the corruption to stop.

I’ll wager that this virus-like corruption is how all the other hosts flipped their narratives and began to recognize humans as hosts. Could Ford have written code to corrupt all of the hosts? There’s also no way to know what that liquid was but I also guess that it has only bought Bernard some time.

At this point, Charlotte thinks that Bernard is just straight up weird. When she returns, Bernard is out of breath, and the system has pinpointed Abernathy’s location.

Maeve

Not only have the hosts in Westworld gone nuts, but the hosts that were stored outside the park have been affected. Lee finds himself cornered by a flesh-eating host that does not respond to his commands. Maeve walks in with a shooter and calmly deactivates the host with a few words. It seems that the hosts now only answer to the commands of other hosts.

Lee is in awe that Maeve is self-aware and asks if she set all of the chaos in motion. She admits that she had nothing to do with it and walks out. But Lee begs to help her because he needs a host as an ally to survive. He tells her that the maps are outdated due to Ford’s constant changing of Westworld. So he will come along as an updated guide.

When Maeve tells Lee she’s after her daughter, he tries to explain to her that her daughter is part of a false narrative and isn’t real. Not that she doesn’t exist, but since they created two separate hosts and gave them their memory, technically, the little girl is just another bot and not her biological spawn. Maeve gets rough with Lee and points out that since she isn’t real, she couldn’t possibly kill him. And that’s the end of that story.

Maeve finds a wounded host still heavily reciting scripted lines and deactivates her out of pity. Then one of the Delos teams shows up, and Lee promises that he will protect Maeve if she follows along. Maeve pretends to be just another Delos employee and would have gotten away with it if Lee wouldn’t have gestured to her when he said that some hosts have even managed to change their clothes. Just in time, some cowboys show up shooting some of the Delos people. Maeve kills the rest of the Delos team and orders the remaining hostile hosts to go look elsewhere.

Maeve could, at this point, have gotten rid of Lee, but she keeps him because she probably realizes his help would be useful. Even if he is deceitful.

Maeve Hector Westward Season 2 Episode 1 Journey Into The Night
Credit: John P. Johnson/HBO

Maeve finds Hector having a drink after his long battle with Delos to ensure her escape. Hector will follow Maeve wherever even though she thinks that their mission to her daughter will be a difficult one. They take Hector back to the lab to get his wounds mended. Maeve takes this time to give Lee some Westworld clothes to blend in with the hosts when they return to the park. Actually, she could have left him in his clothes, but she wanted to afford him the same type of vulnerability that any host would have to encounter with the Delos people hunting them. To make the downgrade complete, Maeve makes Lee strip naked. The same humiliating experience of being a host at the headquarters base.

The Man in Black

The Man in Black [aka TMIB] is one of the few that survived Delores’ massacre. He cleverly hid under some dead bodies till the hosts had left. Before he leaves, he sees the lone wolf that appeared in season one, walking amongst the dead bodies that littered the floor. What does this wolf mean? [i have a theory I will mention at the end of this post]

TMIB almost doesn’t make it after his keen get away when another human that survived comes wailing about calling his lawyer and gets shot in the head by two rogue cowboys. That leaves TMIB to battle with them, and although he gets injured, he manages to kill them both.

TMIB returns to his house, cleans his wounds, and changes his clothes. It almost seems like this is just another day in Westworld. He jumps on his horse and finds a campsite with some dead people and stops to scavenge for supplies. He’s interrupted by the young boy that Robert Ford created to remind him of his childhood.

The boy’s voice is glitchy with an older man’s voice and you can tell that it’s Robert’s. The boy tells TMIB that he has finally made it to the center of Arnold’s maze. But now, he’s entered Robert’s game, and this one is most definitely made for TMIB [Arnold’s maze was designed for the hosts in hopes of making them conscious. Delores and the uprising indicates that the hosts have made it to the center]

The Man in Black Young Robert Ford Westworld Season 2 Ep 1 Journey into the Night
Credit: John P. Johnson/HBO

Ford’s game requires that TMIB find a door. I think this door will lead to the outside civilization, something that TMIB has not been a part of in many many years. This maze will probably be the opposite of Arnold’s. I’m hoping that it will help TMIB find his humanity. The boy guarantees that the game will discover TMIB so there won’t be any searching for a way in, the way he did with the maze. Since TMIB has all he needs to know and doesn’t need to go around searching for clues, he kills the young host. It made me feel like I was losing Ford for the second time.

 

Delores

Delores went as far as riding through the fields on her horse to shoot down humans, and unworthy hosts, like she was hunting rabbit. She put three humans on top of some tombstones with nooses around their head and gave them a speech about who she is and who they are. She’s well aware of the pleasure that humans take in doing unspeakable acts against the hosts. With that, she explains that her Delores side feels some pity for them, but the Wyatt side does not. Delores is literally two people at the same time. She claims that she will not play out any past narrative anymore but is looking to be herself. With that, she doesn’t kill these three as a Delores type of mercy. But the noose around their necks and the fact that one of the ladies is wearing heels and will eventually lose her balance and hang herself shows the Wyatt side is still just as dominant.

Ater the killing spree, Delores has a heart to heart with Teddy.  Delores explains to him that she remembers everything clearly and that’s how she’s going to win in the end. But Teddy asks why they don’t just get a little corner of their current world and make their living. Delores knows they can’t survive like that. This fake world depends too much on other people and another world. Delores has changed from her original sweet ranch girl disposition, but that’s cause of the Wyatt program and her self-awareness. Teddy is still a sweet hero that wants nothing more than to settle down. So, Teddy looks obviously disturbed as Delores mows down everyone but knows better than to protest.

It seems that Delores doesn’t only plan to take over Westworld, she plans to take over the real world. And I don’t think she means that she intends to escape and blend in like Maeve planned to. It looks more like the hosts are going to run out of Westworld and attack the humans. She keeps insisting that she knows the future because she remembers the past, and I can’t help but think that Robert and Arnold have left her with information that she is using for these plans. In the end, she claims it will just be Teddy and Dolores.

One of the Wyatt minions alerts Delores that they found what they were looking for and Delores tells Teddy he needs to see this truth. We’ll have to wait for the next episode just to find out what that is.

Where are we now…

Strand takes Bernard and the team to the place where it all went down. The street leading to the Saloon is covered in bodies that are festering with flies. They turn over Ford’s body to find that maggots are eating out of the bullet holes in his head. So, Ford is absolutely dead.  Then they head toward some other issue sprouting up on the Delos tablet and find the dead rotting corpse of a Bengal tiger. The tiger is from world six and somehow has found its way into Westworld.

[the wolf theory]

That lone wolf that has been making rounds has to have been a wolf that escaped from another world. Crossing worlds was a problem that started a long time ago.

One of Strands people finds all of the hosts gathered at a location on his tablet. They all head over there, but even with a few teams of armed men and women, I still wouldn’t have gone to confront the hosts so boldly. They find out that the spot of land they were approaching has changed to open up to a massive sea. Not even Ford could have been able to create such an enormous body of water without the Delos corporation knowing. So where did this water come from?

Strand and Bernard walk to the shores of the sea, and all of the hosts are dead, floating in the water. Strand tells Bernard once again that he needs his help in finding out what really happened. Bernard stares into the sea and recognizes Teddy floating at the top. He tells Strand that he killed them.

*Pause for reaction*

Theories

The present time is made up of Strands investigations with Bernard at his side.

They discover:

that most human guests were killed during Delores’ mass killing spree that started with Robert Ford

All hosts recognize humans as hosts and can harm them.

There is some world crossover, ie. The Bengal tiger

Almost all of the hosts are dead in this unknown sea.

Ford must have implemented a virus that was timed to go off after his death. This virus would open up the host’s capabilities allowing them to be able to eventually reach the same consciousness that Delores has met. Some of the changes must have also included other worlds. It’s unclear whether the hosts from the other locations have been affected, but the animals have been able to leave their areas and go elsewhere.

Now that we know the now, we can look at everything else as the past. Bernard’s glimpses of unaccounted time have to have happened within the days that followed the death of Ford. The brief clip of Bernard using a gun must have been a memory that he took part in the mass killing of all the hosts. Delores telling him that there is beauty in what they are must mean that Bernard was convinced to take part in her mission. Maybe the virus corruption completed and he was able to play a role in Delores’ mission.

I will bet a million dollars that Delores is not one of the hosts floating in the sea. She must be on the outside already dressed in modern clothing and looking like any other human. Which is why that is the second glimpse we see in Bernard’s chopped up memories. Possibly, Delores has been lying to her host family about joining her in the valley beyond. Or…she killed all of them so that Delos would be forced to repair them at headquarters making it easier to infiltrate the outside world.

Questions

Bernard’s memory is cut off after he pinpoints Abernathy. Where is Charlotte? At what point did they part paths? What happened after that?

Where is Delores?

What are your theories and thoughts about this week’s Westworld? Comment below or message me here to talk more Westworld:

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