Recap: Westworld Season 1 Episode 10 – The Bicameral Mind

by paNIC on December 6, 2016

I’m sorry about the delay this week, but after I looked at my initial notes I took on the show Sunday night, I realized they didn’t make any sense. The first few sentences were okay, but as the episode progressed, my notes regressed to a first grade level of comprehension. I went totally off track when I wrote “snake girl bites tech’s finger off, chocks him with it”. So I just gave up and enjoyed the pleasure of watching the robot revolt. I watched it again last night and took better notes this time; a whole lot of notes in fact. It was worth it though.

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Delores

“I’m in a dream,” it’s Dolores awakening for the first time. Arnold is there to greet her saying “Welcome to the World”. Except for her face we see her true robotic body. We flash back to the present and the Man in Black is having Dolores shave him with his big knife. Some kind of phallic joke in there. He’s feeling cocky as usual. He tells her she has brought him here before. Dolores sees another vision from the past and wanders off. We go back to the past with William and Logan searching for Dolores. They meet up with our old friend Lawrence.

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Teddy

Teddy is back on the train like he was in the first episode. Once he gets off the train things slow down around him and he has a flashback to the massacre. He looks across the street and sees Dolores standing over the dead bodies with a sinister smile on her face. He bumps into a cowboy and shoots him and decides he has to find her.

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Man in Black

We are back with Dolores and the Man in Black. She flashes back to Arnold and tells him, “I see where your maze is.” We go back to the present with her and the Man in Black at the graveyard. In front of her grave she digs up a box, with a toy maze in it. Back to the past Arnold is pleased. He explains what the maze is.

“Consciousness isn’t a journey upward, it’s a journey within.”

He asks her whose voice is she hearing. She doesn’t quite understand what this all means, but he confirms to her that she’s alive. We see the Man in Black and he isn’t impressed with her confusion.

dr-ford-512x512We’re back to the scene where young Ford goes to meet Arnold. More background is given to the scene. Arnold believes through Dolores that the host are alive and that having them live in the park would be hell for them. Ford doesn’t believe that’s the case so he plans on still opening Westworld. Arnold decides he’ll keep the park from opening by having Dolores and Teddy kill the other hosts, and to make it irreversible, kill him too. While Dolores is in her memories, the Man in Black has lost his patience. He wants to meet the only character he hasn’t met, Wyatt. When she can’t lead him to Wyatt, he hits her. He tells her he bought Westworld because this place feels more real than the real world. It’s all a lie because the host can’t fight back. Where’s the competition in that.


charlotteMeanwhile Charlotte is at the Westworld welcome station with Lee Sizemore. She’s waiting for the Delos Board of
Directors. Lee is whining again. She tells him once Ford is out she’ll want the host to be made simple again. Stupidly she says, “Everything is under control.”

At the lab we see Sylvester. Because of the fire Maeve set last episode they are building a new body for her. We see Maeve with Lutz. She assures him she is still herself. She takes the pad to make new adjustments for Hector and Armistice (snake tattoo lady).

Ford is in his office when Charlotte slinks in. The girl doesn’t walk, she slinks. She informs him that the board has voted him out. He is to announce his retirement after he presents his final narrative. Ford asks if she’s worried he’ll break his toys on the way out. She’s very confident he won’t do such a thing. She has downloaded the code in Dolores Pa, Peter Abernathy, so she doesn’t think there is anything Ford can do. She doesn’t notice how calm Ford is about all of this.

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Hector
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Armistice

A new set of techs are working on Hector and Armistice. The guy working on Hector is a perv, (that must be on the Westworld application, are you a perv? if you answer yes, you are hired). The non-pervy tech is taking out Armistice’s mouth guard while his pervy partner puts on his headphones to do pervy stuff to Hector. Armistice wakes up and bites the tech’s finger off and proceeds to whup his arse. With a delightful glint in her eyes, she makes the dude swallow his own finger. His pervy buddy doesn’t notice any of this until Armistice throws the tech through the window. By then Hector wakes up and stabs the perv. Sylvester walks in after the melee, Armistice grabs Sylvester. Maeve orders her not to kill him, he came to tell Maeve someone else has been messing with her code.

maninblackanddeloresThe Man in Black is still beating Dolores. She defiantly tells him that William is coming for her. The Man in Black tells her he knew a William and reveals William’s sordid past. Looking for Dolores he found his talent for violence. He’s still dragging along Logan on his quest. The picture of his finance gets lost. He couldn’t find Dolores but he does find himself. Logan is tied butt naked to a horse. He and William have made it to the fringe of the park. William tells Logan he is going to recommend that Delos heavily invest in Westworld. Since Logan is “obviously” unstable, he’ll take Logan’s place in the company and eventually gain control of the company. He hits the horse and sends Logan merrily on his way to parts unknown. Maybe we’ll find out next season what happened to this idiot. If Logan wasn’t such a rotten person I’d feel sorry for him. He eventually found Dolores back at Sweetwater, but she is back in her initial loop as he watches the can of milk roll to her next suitor. To her horror she realizes he is William.

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Wiliam

William says the world is a game, to be played and won. He wants to know the center of the maze. Dolores is crying, but not for herself but for her memory of William. Now she is steady and lets him know that as a mortal man his time will be over soon. Her and the rest of the hosts time is coming, the world will belong to the new people. William tries to get rough with Dolores again but the tables are turned, Dolores gives him the arse whupping we have been waiting for all season. She puts her gun to his head but can’t pull the trigger. He stabs her and plans to finish the job. Before he can, Teddy rides in and shoots down the man formerly known as the Man in Black. Dolores is severely hurt but wants him to take her to the place they have talked of running away to before, the place where the mountains reach the sea.

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Maeve
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Bernard

Maeve and her crew are looking for answers so they go to cold storage where they find Clementine and a “dead” Bernard. Maeve tells Lutz to repair Bernard. Lutz finds out that Bernard is a host and begins to wonder if he is. Maeve tells him he isn’t. Lutz repairs him and Maeve wakes Bernard up. He’s surprised that he remembers all of this. He tells Maeve this isn’t the first time he’s awoken and it isn’t the first time she has too. That takes Maeve aback. She thinks they must wipe their memory every time it happens. Bernard says a handful of host have awoken but most of them went insane. I think they are the ones in cold storage, but don’t hold me to that. She asks Bernard to remove her memories of her daughter. He says he can’t, her memories are the first step to consciousness. How can she learn from her mistakes if she can’t remember them?

After William wakes up from being shot, Ford arrives and they discuss the maze. Williams’s goal is to make the host able to fight back to make the game real. Again, he doesn’t want the host to have consciousness so they can be free, he just wants better competition. None of this is for them, just for his amusement. Again he’s told, this time by Ford that the maze isn’t for him, but was made for the host.

Maeve asks Bernard who has been messing with her code. Everything that has been happening to her is a new storyline: escape. He shows her that everything she’s done has been programmed. She doesn’t want to believe him. She still believes everything she has done has been done because she wants to do it. It explains a lot, how this one robot has pretty much had a run of the whole place.

Dolores and Teddy finally arrive at the beach. The score is at full blast, as a dying Dolores gasps how they are trapped in beauty, or something like that. Dolores dies in Teddy’s arms and he bravely says they’ll find a new world, or something in that nature. It sounds like the type of dialogue you’d hear in a second rate melodrama, and it is because a spotlight hits them, we hear the score over speakers and hear the applause from the audience. It’s Ford’s new narrative which he calls “Journey into Night.” The Delos Board of Directors love it.

qamaybeFinally, at headquarters they notice some host are on the loose killing people. They dispatch their QA team for a search and destroy mission. The power goes out and the staff is trapped inside. The QA team is in cold storage looking for Maeve and her crew. Little do they know that Hector and Armistice are using the other deactivated host for cover. They soon spring out and attack and they now possess high powered weapons. Real weapons!!  Now the crew is in a new area of the facility. Samurai World!! The host are surprised but Lutz knows about it. The QA team catches up to them and there is a major gun battle. The QA team isn’t doing so well. Armistice gets her arm caught in the door but she tells the others to leave her. When they get to the elevator Maeve tells Hector she can’t take him with her. He understands and goes back to the fray.

Back at the Gala, the board is being entertained by the host doing western things. Dolores is back in the old lab being repaired by Ford. Bernard walks in a little later. Dolores thinks it’s Arnold, Ford has made it a point for the two not to get together. He now explains what is going on and what is true plans are. To stop the park from opening, Arnold merged Dolores with a new narrative they were writing, Wyatt. After losing his son, he came to see Dolores as his child. He realized that with her gaining consciousness and basically having immortality, the park would be a place of enduring suffering for her and the rest of the hosts. Using music as a trigger, he has her shoot him. Arnold’s plan doesn’t work because after falling in love with Dolores and the park, William invested in the park to save it. Over the years Ford began to realize that Arnold was right and he was wrong.

Maeve has changed into a cute black dress, looking like the rest of the guests. Lutz gives Maeve her daughter’s location. Maeve says she doesn’t want it; the girl was never her daughter. She gets on the train to leave Westworld.

bernardep10-ss07-300Bernard catches up with Ford and tells him he is still against them with all the suffering he has made them endure. Ford says Arnold’s key insight to the host’s awakening was suffering. It’s “the pain that the world isn’t what you want it to be.” When Arnold died, Ford’s suffering from losing his friend caused him to realize he was wrong. Ford realized to save them, it would take time for them to get stronger before they could defeat their enemy. They will still have to suffer more before they are free. He bids farewell to Bernard and gives him the toy maze, the toy that was Arnold’s son.

Dolores is talking to Arnold. He asks whose voice she has been hearing. She realizes she’s been hearing her own voice all this time. Arnold disappears and we see Dolores in the other chair. She has been guiding herself to the center of the maze. She confronts herself, she knows who she must become. Her blue dress and gun are laid out for her.

fordep10-ss08-300Ford is giving his final speech. William is busy drinking. Far away from them, Maeve is sitting on the train. She looks at a mom with her daughter. She makes a decision to get off the train and find her daughter. Lee goes to cold storage and it’s empty. Ford says humans can’t change, but a new people could. William hears some twigs breaking and hears howling. It looks like the cold storage hosts are headed to the party. Ford is saying his final goodbyes to the board, Charlotte looks satisfied. Dolores slips behind Teddy and in a deeper voice tells him everything is going to be alright. This world is theirs. She walks behind Dr. Ford and shoots him in the head. From the woods, Clementine shoots William in the arm. He smiles, his dreams are about to come true. Dolores is full Wyatt now shooting into the fleeing crowd.

We have a quick post scene. Armistice is cutting her arm off. She is free and the gleeful look on her face says her killing spree has just begun.

questionmarkThey were able to answer most of the major questions, but set up some mysteries for next season. We know William is the Man in Black, there were multiple timelines. Ford wasn’t a total villain, but definitely not a good guy. He wants a just outcome for the hosts, but his way of achieving it is questionable. There are other parks for us to explore. Armistice is a complete and total bad ass. She and Hector were doing most of this in the nude and I forgot to mention it. Now that’s bad ass.

Next week I’m going to do a review of Season 1. We’ll see how we went from sweet innocent farmer’s daughter Dolores to angel of vengeance Wyatt. See you next week and thanks for reading.

Grade: A

Westworld + Season 1 + Episode 9: The Well-Tempered Clavier

by paNIC on November 28, 2016

maeve-512x512The episode opens with Maeve back in the lab, but instead of being with her usual lab rats, Felix and Sylvester, she is with Bernard. He is trying to figure out why she slashed faux Clementine’s throat. He puts her in analysis mode and asks her a series of questions. Maeve pretends to be in analysis mode and lies her ass off. He checks his pad and sees all the upgrades Maeve has had and is ready to report them. Maeve tells him, “It takes a thief to catch one” and that freezes him. She has figured out he’s a host. She tells a shocked Bernard that he’s a host. I wonder how many times he’s been shocked to find this out. I’m going with triple figures. She tells him they don’t have to live this way and that he should find out what is really going on with him.

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Dolores

Dolores and William have been captured by Logan and his Confederate buddies. Logan has risen up to the rank of Major or maybe General, he isn’t sure. Logan is having fun taunting Dolores and William. William tells Logan that Dolores is different from the other host. He needs Logan’s help so that he can get Dolores out of the park. Logan looks at William like he’s insane and roughly grabs Dolores.

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Dr. Ford

Bernard is stalking around in the back of the cold storage area where they keep the decommissioned host. He has summoned Ford to meet him. Once Ford has arrived he asks Ford to take him back to his deepest memories. Ford advises him not to do it. To persuade Ford to assist, he threatens Ford with a lobotomized OG Clementine holding a gun. Bernard can’t hurt him, but since Clementine’s programing has been erased— the not hurting human protocol is inactive. Ford relents. He takes Bernard back through his memories. First stop, reading to his deceased son at the hospital. Then he gets a flash of him killing (?) Elsie.

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Logan

With his Confederate comrades holding Dolores, Logan shows William a picture of his sister and William’s finance. It is the same photo from the first episode that Dolores’ dad saw that sent him into a fit. He is upset that William wants to take up with a robot over his sister. That’s the type of thing that would make you mad. He stabs Dolores to show William her mechanical robot parts and to illustrate that she isn’t real. Even though she’s in pain she retaliates by slicing Logan’s face and shooting some Confederates. You go little robot girl. William tells her to run and he’ll meet her later. She hears a voice which I think sounded like Bernard tell her to “remember”. She heads out to a time jump.

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Hector

Hector is chillin’ with his gang and goes off to take a piss, when Maeve shows up with a loaded shotgun. The all-knowing Maeve tells him his gang is going to shoot each other over the safe. They proceed to do so. When the blond with the snake tattoo tries to shoot Hector, Maeve takes her out with the shotgun. She tells him the safe is empty. When he checks the safe, he realizes this has all happened before. Maeve convinces him to follow her into hell so they can get back at their overlords. The way to get there, Maeve sets the tent on fire while they fuck in the flames. Don’t try this at home kids, unless you’re a host, if so then fuck your brains out.

We’re back with William and Logan. Logan is still trying to convince William Dolores isn’t real. The park seduces people, and William has gone overboard. William agrees that this isn’t real and it looks like the bros have made peace. Looks are deceiving though, as Logan later wakes up and finds his Confederates have been slaughtered. Logan freaks out and sees a deranged looking William. William explains he understands the game now and he wants a terrified Logan to help him find Dolores.

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Teddy
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Man in Black

We finally get around to the Man in Black, Teddy, Angela and the rest of Wyatt’s gang. In the last episode, Angela had stabbed Teddy with an arrow, but for once he didn’t die. She tells him to remember the massacre— we see the image of him and Wyatt killing their fellow soldiers. She gets him to see another version, one that might be closer to the truth. We see Teddy as the town sheriff gunning down innocent towns people. The same people we’ve seen Dolores possibly kill. It looks like the massacre of the original host. Teddy is shocked by this vision. She stabs Teddy and tells him when he awakes, maybe he’ll be ready to join Wyatt. Teddy is dead again! The Man in Black looks on somewhat amused and talks about the maze. Angela tells him the maze isn’t for him, and knocks him out. When the Man in Black awakens, he’s got a noose around his neck, the robe is up a tree and the other end is tied to a horse. The horse begins to take off.  Before he is hanged, he’s able to get the knife out of Teddy and cut himself loose. Out of nowhere, Charlotte shows up. The Man in Black doesn’t like people showing up taking him out of the game. The board wants his vote to push Ford out. He was the one who had helped Ford stay in business in the past. He isn’t really interested one way or the other; he is focused on the maze.

Back at headquarters, Thor’s brother is getting a signal from a tech who is supposedly on vacation. We know that tech is Elsie. He decides to check it out on his own. He gets to the site where the signal is coming from but there is no sight of Elsie. While out there, he runs into members of the Ghost Nation. He gives them vocal commands to stop, but the commands don’t work and they attack him.

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Bernard

The final scenes intertwine Bernard and Dolores. Bernard sees his son again, but freezes the moment and breaks it down, realizing this pain he’s feeling isn’t an event that happened to him. He flashes to the scene where Maeve has killed herself so that Ford can’t take away the pain of her daughter’s death. He can’t understand this and starts to glitch. Dolores is back at the village. Ford is talking to Bernard about Arnold. Dolores enters the church. Hosts are in the pews glitching. She goes to a confessional booth, which is really an elevator to take her to a lab downstairs. She sees a bunch of dead bodies. I don’t know if these are hosts or techs. Now we see a young Ford, I’m guessing she is back 35 years ago before the park opened. Bernard goes back to when he was created in the image of Arnold. Arnold goes to meet Dolores, she is in distress, he can’t help her because she has already killed him. Dolores goes back up to the church, it’s empty but then a figure appears at the door. She thinks it’s William, but we are in the present. It’s the Man in Black. Ford wants Bernard to join him as his sidekick again. Bernard tells OG Clementine to shoot Ford. She can’t, Ford has a backdoor to the hosts and regains control. Since Bernard didn’t rejoin him, he instructs Bernard to shoot himself. As he leaves the cold storage unit we see Bernard with the gun to his head, we hear a gunshot and see Bernard hit the floor. Ford, you bastard!!

This episode had a lot to unpack. They did a lot of jumping with the timelines, so I was kind of confused. They had visual cues like Dolores’ clothes changing from frontier dress to the pants and shirt she wore with William and Logan. It still wasn’t that clear to me.

Well a major fan theory is confirmed, Bernard is a replica of Ford’s old partner, Arnold. Ford created Bernard to have his old partner back, but this time under his control. What a sentimental old fool. An evil sentimental old fool. Dolores killed Arnold. I hope we see how that happened and why. Maeve is recruiting her army with Hector being her right hand man. I’m sure when they get to the lab, all hell is going to break loose. Head of security Stubb, aka Thor’s brother is suspicious about what’s going on, he might be headed for the same fate as Elsie. Whatever her fate actually is. Things really heated up between William and Logan. If the Man in Black fan theory is right, (which I believe it is), we are seeing the moment he becomes the heartless Man in Black. It was fun seeing how scared Logan was. I’m only guessing, but I don’t think Logan is getting out of this park alive. Teddy is dead again, about time Teddy realizes what’s going on, Maeve will be Empress of the world. It looks like we will be getting our long awaited showdown between the Man in Black and Dolores. I want to see her take that smirk off his face. Next week’s episode is the finale. I hope you’ll come back next week so we can unravel this season together.

Grade: A-

5 Must See Sci-Fi Films From Indigenous Filmmakers

Johnnie Jae from a Tribe Called Geek provides an essential list of sci-fi films from indigenous filmmakers. Johnnie shares that: “Science Fiction is a genre that blends seamlessly with Native Storytelling. It allows us to imagine the possibilities of what could be and to create fantastical worlds in which our indigenous knowledge and existence can thrive. It’s not surprising that indigenous sci-fi and futurism are rising in popularity, not only within our communities but within the mainstream as well.