Episode Title: Trace Decay
Director: Stephen Williams
Writers: based on a story by Michael Crichton, (created by) Johnathan Nolan, Lisa Joy Nolan, written by Lisa Joy, Charles Yu
Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Jeffrey Wright, Evan Rachel Wood, Ed Harris, James Marsden, Thandie Newton, Tessa Thompson, Jimmi Simpson, Rodrigo Santoro, Shannon Woodward, Simon Quarterman, Louis Herthum, and more
Run Time: 60 minutes
Hopefully the park is more fun for guests than it is for us, because the park I see is the saddest place on earth without any sign of hope or salvation.
I had no idea the narrative of this series would be so desperately sad and cynical, there’s not a trace of a genuine smile anywhere to be seen. Westworld is collection of the unhappiest people on earth and the hosts it seems have little chance at happiness either, it being foreign to their existence.
The events of last week and this one too, leaves me with a lot of questions regarding this series, for example where’s the government and its representatives in all this? I mean, it seems unlikely that the technology represented here, the ability to build lifelike super strong androids would not be of interest to every government on earth, and that they would be climbing all over each other to get their hands on it.
Also beyond that wouldn’t they take an interest in Ford and his psychological state? Everything seems to indicate he is quite insane with a god complex suitable for the most colorful of villainous megalomaniacs. Despite the fact he presents himself as a doddering old man he’s a very dangerous individual who is only about an inch away from being a full blown sociopath with an army of super strong robots under his control.
This week’s edition was another great episode in what has to be recognized as a thinking man’s (or woman’s) cerebral science fiction series. there was, as usual, little in the way of revelations, with the exception of a surprise regarding the true nature of one of the show’s characters. Mysteries deepen and the show once again showed off its surreal nature.
Here’s a recap of this week’s episode laced with comments (*warning, spoilers follow*)
Trace decay started out with the aftermath of last week’s very surprising development and murder. Ford (Anthony Hopkins) is attempting to assuage the torment and guilt of Lowe (Jeffrey Wright) who is deeply saddened at what he has done. He is a man tortured by his crimes and the revelation that everything he thought he knew was a fabrication and a lie
He is so enraged at the circumstances of his life he actually threatens Ford, who calmly instructs him to clean up the mess that was left behind. This is followed by scenes of Lowe burning letters and getting rid of any and all evidence of his relationship with Theresa (Sidse Babett Knudsen). Finally he dumps her body near the same location as where Elsie found the rogue host, where it is discovered later by the park staff. When Lowe is offered condolences later by Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth), who knows about the secret affair the two were having, he is not lying about not knowing her very well and never being involved with her because Ford has wiped his memory.
Still no word on the fate of Elsie who only gets a brief mention this time around.
Next we join Maeve (Thandie Newton), who is obviously seeing the world through new eyes since her upgrades, and is soon back talking to the techs and ordering them around like they work for her, She has plans to leave Westworld, and needs their help to pull it off.
Sylvester (Ptolemy Slocum) talks Felix (Leonardo Nam) into betraying her when they shut her down, but she is only faking and slits his throat, but has Felix fix him before he dies, surprisingly it turns out that Sylvester is a host too. Seems likely Felix is one also.
She is seen later at the Mariposa only now she knows all the right phrases to utter to get any of the other hosts to do what she wants. When its time for the daily massacre and robbery she is seen manipulating the behavior of the other hosts by uttering a few choice words at just the right moment and actually helps the bad guys pull of the robbery without a hitch. She is like a conductor guiding the symphony of violence taking place around her.
Delores and William continue on their journey towards where she thinks she will find her true home and happiness. they come across the scene of massacre and attempt help the sole survivor without success, but learn from him that Logan was behind the ambush on the train. When they finally reach the place where Delores thinks she has finally reached her true home, she begins to to hallucinate about idyllic town that soon becomes a nightmare when all the residents begin to get killed by a mysterious figure that turns out to be her. She is about to shoot herself in the head when William intervenes just in time to prevent it. this all takes place near the mysterious blackened church steeple we have seen before.
They leave the place, but have the bad luck to run into Logan, who has gone completely dark side, and they have the misfortune to run into him and bunch of his new friends again. It doesn’t look good for Delores and William.
On another front we find the MIB (Ed Harris) and Teddy (James Marsden) still traveling together when they also come across a the scene of a massacre with a single female survivor. They follow th trail of Wyatt and his men for awhile until suddenly they are attacked by one of the beast men that are part of Wyatt’s gang.
They have an enormous fight with him and even after being shot and stabbed he continues to give them a good fight until Teddy finally bashes his head in with a tomahawk. What are these creatures? they sure are harder to kill than a regular host and they certainly are not human. During the fight Teddy has a memory of the MIB raping Delores and knocking him out takes him prisoner, their female companion encourages him to kill the MIB but teddy can’t quite do it.
While he is held prisoner the MIB tells his story, and sure enough as was implied earlier he is wealthy man of industry and a philanthropist who left his life outside the park behind after his wife died from taking some pills maybe of maybe not by accident. His goal in life is not to find the Maze and what it represents. I had suspicions he might be Arnold, but apparently he is not, but he is a human and that’s why Teddy couldn’t kill him.
Its also revealed the MIB is behind what happened to Maeve. He killed her and her daughter just to see how he would feel after doing it, and that was the beginning of maeve’s malfunctions and her mysterious ability to resist being shut down, the memories bleeding through and all the rest. Her special traits were born of the suffering she endured at his hands when he killed her daughter. The anguish and love of a mother for her mudered child is what awakened the start of the AI in Maeve.
One of these memories bleeds through while Maeve is taking to another prostitue host when she suddenly slits her throat because one of these memories bleeds through at the wrong time, Suddenly Maeve is on the run and the subject of park wide search.
Also behind the scenes its revealed that Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson), the board member that’s been haunting the place for the last few episodes, has a secret agenda of stealing all of Ford’s secrets about the place and smuggling them out inside the body of a host. She drafts Lee (Simon Quarterman) to help her pull it off, setting up yet anther sub plot for the series.
A good episode. but i wouldn’t call it a great one, if any thing this series is sometimes a little over busy wit the all of the story lines it has going onto of all of the puzzling mysteries i hs going on too. this is challenging show that forces you to pay attention all of the time because if you blink you might misss a clue. the episode did have some interesting developments, and like usual gave way just enough to whet your appetite for next time. Bastards.