***Spoiler Warning: Spoilers for Westworld through Season 2, Episode 6 follow. Spoilers***
There are only four more episodes left in Westworld‘s second season and after this week‘s huge (for those of you who really believed … ) revelation, it certainly looks like things are ramping up. Information appears to be coming at a faster rate, especially as of this coming Sunday’s “Les Ecorches” (translates to The Flayed/Skinned *Update: I asked my kid, who took French for six years, and with the help of Word Reference, since the title would seem to be a noun, a better and more apt translation appears to be Tormented Souls) — tagline, “Light the Match“, the episode seven trailer clocks in a mere forty-three seconds, but there’s a lot happening. Let’s have a look and see what we can suss out.
Firstly, the editing would have us believe there’s a conversation between Maeve and Dolores; “You’re lost in the dark” (Maeve); “When you’ve been in the darkness long enough, you begin to see” (Dolores) — an overt reference to night vision but more importantly, an allusion to their shared apparently former lives as pawns in human games. Of course, though Maeve could be having a mindversation with Dolores, these might also be completely separate statements, with neither Dolores nor Maeve speaking directly to each other. Either way, there’s a point the writers are also making, about how these two Hosts are separately and differently evolving.
Where Maeve has figured out (with the help of Akane, Musashi and the other Shogun World Hosts) that every individual has the right to make their own choices and decisions, and that she, herself can choose to live and let live, not be guided by anger at what’s been done to her …
… Dolores, on the other hand, can’t see past her own nose, believes so much in her quest for vengeance on behalf of the Host group as a whole, that she’s taking on the entirely human trait of making decisions for other Hosts, including adjusting their settings (poor Teddy … who I suspect won’t stay that way),
and killing those who might stand in her way.
Though Maeve and Dolores might finally feel in control of their own destinies, there are other forces at work; indications that someone else might be at the helm, so to speak.
So, despite their — and other Hosts’ — best efforts, things probably won’t go the way either Dolores or Maeve would think.
Ditto Bernard … S.
There are, it appears, at least FIVE BERNARDS (three we can see in this shot, and that’s not counting the covered Hosts behind them — are they all Bernards?), including Beach Bernard (white shirt, no scar) and Post-Party Bernard (black shirt, scar, with Charlotte).
Those are the Bernards in cold storage; what I’d really like to know is, how many are out and about in the parks, and who is in control of them? Is the Bernard we saw with Dolores — the one (her Arnold, I believe) she was testing for fidelity — is that another, separate Bernard from the white and black shirted versions? I feel like we could get lost just trying to count.
Next question about this trailer: Does Maeve have another run in with the MiB? Is this the (Willia)MiB on his horse, or is it someone else?
I see a hat, so I believe we’re at least meant to think it’s him — and the question is, since Maeve is screaming “No!” — what exactly is happening in the scene? Last we saw, Maeve was running with her daughter, Felix was headed to help, and Sizemore was calling someone.
After the MiB and Lawrence were attacked by Ghost Nation warriors, did they end up on the Homestead? Maeve might simply be having a flashback (she does close her eyes, as if). Though that figure looks male, there’s someone else out riding with a black (it looks grey here because I’ve brightened a dark screencap) hat right now. That would be an interesting twist on the tale.
Would either one of them help Maeve?
To me, it looks like WilliaMiB has his own problems, though. In the trailer, he’s got some blood on his chin, and the way he has spittle going, maybe he just got hit in the mouth (or it could just be very dry).
Seems like Sizemore (and possibly Sylvester) make it back inside, but he’s hiding, perhaps from Dolores and Co. Or … I wonder if it could be Charlotte and the military group (the person walking behind Sizemore appears to be clad all in black, like the soldiers). If that’s who he’s hiding from — while they’re down looking at BernardS — is it because he overheard something terribly nefarious?
My hope that JesusPeter escaped his crucifixion chair in favor of violent delights didn’t happen, but Dolores will take care of all that, because she does find her father …
… and I’m guessing there’ll be hell to pay. But, who is shooting at whom?
My final pondering is over the episode title. Whether it be “Skinned”, or “The Flayed”, I’m both curious and terrified … maybe we don’t want to know why “Les Ecorches” got its name. *Updated: Or, maybe it’s “Tortured Souls”.
Westworld‘s seventh episode is directed by Nicole Kassell (The Americans, The Leftovers, Rectify, Better Call Saul, The Killing), written by Jordan Goldberg (Interstellar, Inception, The Prestige)and Ron Fitzgerald (Weeds, Friday Night Lights, United States of Tara) and airs on HBO this Sunday.