Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) and Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) discuss dreams as HBO’s Westworld season two episode one begins. He explains in his dreams she has left him behind as the waters around him rise. He reiterates that it’s not real and dreams don’t mean anything, saying only that which is irreplaceable is real.
Dolores knows he’s not being honest and calls him out. He admits she frightens him and she laughs, wondering why she would ever scare him. He admits he’s frightened of what she might become and the path she might take.
A series of events including Dr. Robert Ford’s death at the hands of Dolores flash through Bernard’s mind. He wakes on the beach, still dressed in a suit and confused about where he is. Security teams find him there and he’s almost shot before he’s recognized by Ashley Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth).
Delos staff has apparently expanded to include a well-armed militia with war ships. As Bernard is walked through the island park, he watches hosts systemically shot in the head.
Delos has control over the entire island, according to Karl Strand (Gustaf Skarsgard), Head of Operations. (Did we know the park was on an island? I don’t recall that mentioned in season one.) Karl’s commanded the killing of all hosts because this is the location where the “incident” started. It’s been two weeks since that occurred, and Karl and his team are still trying to figure out how the mess began.
Bernard walks through the killing grounds which includes dead bodies of Indians. Karl demands to know what was on the mind of one of the warriors and has the host’s memory examined out in the field which is very unusual. (It’s not sterile.)
The warrior’s scalped to expose the maze imprinted on his skull. His brain’s cut into to retrieve the circuit board which is gently lifted out and examined. When it’s inserted into a tablet, the timestamp from 11 days ago reveals a battle between cowboys and Indians. Dolores is also involved, and she tells the Indian that not all of them deserve to make it to the valley beyond.
Bernard explains to Karl and his team that Dolores is the rancher’s daughter from Sweetwater, but she’s changed her character profile.
Bernard has another flashback to the night of the party (the season one finale). Bernard tells Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) the hosts are all off their loops. Hosts are attacking the partygoers and can shoot to kill. Bernard’s with a group huddled in the barn and they argue over whether to stay or leave the safety of the building. Bernard knows the nearest access point is two miles away, but before they can leave, a stablehand enters to feed the horses. The stablehand says he’ll take them wherever they want to go, but his kindness is greeted with violence from the scared guests. Bernard’s hit in the head in the process of defending the host and a clear liquid leaks from his ear. Fortunately, no one notices.
“The Entertainer” begins playing on a player piano in the saloon. No one’s there to hear it as the patrons are all dead.
Dolores on horseback hunts down more party attendees who’ve managed to flee through the fields. Teddy (James Marsden) is at her side.
Dolores questions one of the guests before hanging him next to some of his friends. She informs him he’s in her dream now and asks if he’s ever questioned the nature of his reality. She informs him the reckoning is here. She has no sympathy for these people, only hoping to punish them. She’s not sure what she wants to do with them, saying the rancher’s daughter in her sees the beauty in them while Wyatt only sees the ugliness. She admits both are just roles she’s forced to play. Now, she’s evolved. Her new role is herself.
The three guests at Dolores’ mercy are strung up and beg for their lives. She leaves them alive but balancing on crosses under a tree, ropes around their necks.
Back at the party in front of the saloon, the dead guests are scattered around. William/The Man in Black (Ed Harris) watches a wolf walk through the dead as he struggles to his feet.
William finds his horse and tells him they’re about to have some fun now. As a guest who managed to survive screams at him, William and the man come under fire. William manages to disarm one host, shoots another, and then slices the neck of the one he disarmed.
William enters a cabin, grabs a bottle of whiskey, and begins cleaning his wounds. He’s injured but not mortally, taking his favorite black hat out of his trunk and placing it back on his head with a smile.
Delos headquarter has also been the scene of a slaughter. The hosts are not behaving and don’t respond to demands to freeze all motor functions.
Maeve (Thandie Newton) rescues Lee Sizemore (Simon Quarterman) from a host who wants to eat him alive. The hosts won’t respond to the Delos employees, but they will respond to Maeve because she has a higher security clearance than anyone. She’s able to freeze the hosts and Lee claims he can help her. She’s searching for someplace specific in the park and Lee reveals the map she’s using is outdated. However, he can tell her where a current map is. She decides he might be useful and allows him to live…for now.
They enter a different section of the building and there are dead bodies there, too. The control room is littered with more dead bodies, including a bear. Lee realizes no one is in control and the headquarters is taking itself offline. Lee asks to see what Maeve is attempting to find, and she hands him the note with the location of her daughter. He tells her its in a family-friendly zone and then makes the mistake of going on about how she was saddled with a kid when she was part of that storyline. She wants to get to her child and he promises to help but reminds her her daughter is just a story they programmed. “She’s not real,” says Lee. Maeve replies, “What about me? My dreams? My thoughts? My body? Are they not real?”
She pushes Lee against the wall and threatens to shoot him. Instead, she decides to make him take her to her daughter.
Bernard leads Charlotte and the others in their small group to an outpost. He and Charlotte discuss whether Robert programmed the host to blow his brains out or if Dolores acted of her own free will. As they’re talking, they see a man in white beside a vehicle. Bernard realizes it’s a trap and hides with Charlotte while the rest of his party is slaughtered. Angela (Talulah Riley) leads the killing party, taunting one of the guests and making him run while killing the rest.
Charlotte knows of another outpost and leads Bernard toward it after the rest of their group has been slaughtered.
Lee explains to Maeve they’ll be purging the hosts’ memories at some point when order is restored. However, they’ll want to salvage their minds since they’re worth millions and he believes he can save her. A security team interrupts and Maeve pretends to be human. She acts surprised that hosts are attacking guests, with Lee indicating behind her back that she’s a host. Backup arrives and Maeve, now armed, takes out the security team. She saves Lee even though he gave her up. She warns him not to try that again or she’ll feed him his penis. He recalls he wrote that line for her.
She demands to be taken to the nearest bar. Outside on the deck, all the people who were enjoying food and drinks have been slaughtered.
Although Lee doesn’t want to go into the park, Maeve is ready to force him to enter it to find her daughter. They come upon more dead Delos employees and then Maeve spots Hector (Rodrigo Santoro) who’s drenched in blood after his killing spree. They kiss and then Hector reveals he knows Maeve didn’t stay for him. She says she wants to find her daughter, even though the odds won’t be in her favor. Hector promises to follow wherever she leads.
Charlotte finds another entry into Delos headquarters hidden in the rocks. An elevator rises out of the dirt and she and Bernard step in. They must touch the handles to have their DNA sniffed before they can enter the building. It will keep them safe inside. (Bernard apparently has DNA.)
Inside, a drone host scares Bernard. It’s a skeleton they have working in this top-secret area.
Charlotte’s able to get a message out saying the situation is critical. Her superiors at Delos (and potential rescuers) demand the package, which Charlotte says she’s already sent.
Bernard watches as the drone hosts are busy with blood and doing something with an incomplete host. It’s a complicated process. Bernard asks if they’re logging guests experiences along with their DNA.
Charlotte’s angry they haven’t received the package. She explains a host was supposed to arrive yesterday, but since it didn’t Delos won’t rescue them. The host is an insurance policy they want secured, no matter the cost.
William rides through the hills and comes upon a bunch of dead people around a campfire. He helps himself to their food and water and is interrupted by young Robert Ford. The kid asks if he’s achieved what he wanted. He informs William that now he’s in his game and in this game, William must find the door. He adds his congratulations and says this game is meant for him.
William shoots young Robert, telling him he doesn’t need him anymore.
Back in the Delos headquarters, Maeve stitches up Hector. Lee brings him some clothes and Maeve demands Lee join them to play a round of this game. He’s forced to strip naked in front of them.
Dolores and Teddy continue their ride, and Teddy’s not sure how to feel about this new world. He asks if this is really what she wants, and she reminds him they never gave them a choice before. “They” are creatures who walk among them and look like them but aren’t them. They took her memories and her life, but now she remembers beautiful and terrible things. She also realizes that in her memories, the one constant thing is Teddy. Teddy believes they don’t have to claim this world, just grab a small corner for themselves. But, she knows there’s a greater world out there that belongs to them and they’re going to have to take that world as well as this one. Teddy wonders how she knows how to stop them, and she admits it’s because she remembers. She sees everything clearly. “I know how this story ends,” says Dolores. When Teddy asks how, she replies, “With us, Teddy. It ends with you and me.”
They kiss, long and deep. The kiss is broken up by Angela who reveals they found it. Dolores wants Teddy to see the truth and he follows her willingly.
Charlotte needs to find the host they were supposed to send out. Bernard explains all hosts have a subconscious link to the host closest to them. He’s going to use one of the hosts in the lab to send out a request to find the host in question. He asks who they’re looking for and Charlotte says it’s a decommissioned host named Peter Abernathy.
Bernard’s hand shakes as he works on a host. He inserts a tube in its arm and sends the message from his tablet. Bernard’s vision blurs and he’s starting to lose consciousness. He looks at the tablet and it reads “Critical Corruption.” He’s entering death shutdown and has 0.72 hours before he’s dead.
No one, including Charlotte, realize Bernard’s a host and he does his best to disguise that he’s having a major problem. He withdraws fluid from a host and injects himself. He finishes before Charlotte returns, but he still looks weak. Fortunately, the message comes back that they found Peter Abernathy.
Flash-forward to the time period from the beginning of the episode and Bernard and the security team, led by Karl, walk through the dead bodies in front of the saloon. They find Dr. Ford’s dead body and maggots are eating his face. Karl’s still trying to piece together out what happened.
After a little more exploring, they come upon a dead tiger at the water’s edge. It’s not supposed to be in this park; it’s supposed to be in park six. Scans come in and they discover all the hosts are clustered together nearby.
The security team finds something else that’s not supposed to be there – a sea. They don’t know where it came from but know Ford didn’t make it. Not even Bernard knows where it came from.
The hosts are all in the sea, dead. No one understands what’s going on. Karl needs Bernard’s help because there are still hundreds of guests out there somewhere. He needs to know what happened and Bernard replies, “I killed them. All of them.”
More on Westworld:
- Recap of Westworld Season 1 Episode 10 “The Bicameral Mind”
- Recap of Westworld Season 2 Episode 2 “Reunion”
- Recap of Westworld Season 2 Episode 3 ““Virtù e Fortuna”
- Recap of Westworld Season 2 Episode 4 “The Riddle of the Sphinx”
- Recap of Westworld Season 2 Episode 5 “Akane No Mai”