“Les Ecorches” might just be the best Westworld episode so far this season. Sorry for the lack of a recap last week, I was off in the northern lands of Canada. I’ve now returned, and just in time for this monster of an episode.
We start off with Stubbs talking to Bernard in the “present” or most up to date timeline (I may have referred to this as the “future” timeline in other recaps). He says he thinks they’re both going to be killed by Strand and his men to keep their secret project under wraps with no loose ends. They’re then both taken by Strand to see Charlotte as she believes one of them has the key to something they want. They keep asking if one of them killed Theresa (Bernard did in season one for those who don’t remember). Bernard keeps looking at Theresa’s faint blood stain on the wall…Charlotte notices his eyes keep going in that direction and discovers a secret passageway. It leads to a room with covered up hosts. They’re uncovered as past versions of Bernard. The secret is out! Charlotte and Strand now know Bernard is a host.
We flash to Charlotte and Stubbs with Peter Abernathy back in the past timeline. Dolores, Teddy, and the other hosts have just blown up the train from the end of the last episode. Charlotte’s mercenaries head out there and Stubbs is ordered to stay with Charlotte. She wants to back up all of Peter’s information asap.
We now flash to what appears to be Bernard’s consciousness. The code Ford made Bernard print before he was killed by Dolores sent Ford here, to what I presume is his soul/mind/spirit living on in Bernard’s consciousness. He explains a lot to Bernard (and to us). The park is a testing chamber. The guests are the variables. The hosts are the controls. The guests don’t know they’re being watched, and those watching are able to see the guests’ true selves…their cognition, their drives. Delos wants to copy them. They’re trying to “back up” the human mind. Delos has been here all along to decode the guests. People want to live forever, so Delos is trying to copy people’s minds to clone them/make them into hosts essentially. Bernard asks Ford what his master plan is with all of this and how the story is going to end, to which Ford replies with: “Isn’t the pleasure of a story discovering the ending for yourself Bernard?”
Cut to The Man in Black finding Maeve with her daughter, just like in her nightmares of the past, except this time she shoots him. He runs out of the house surprised. Maeve comes outside too and starts to use her newfound mind control to get hosts to shoot at MiB. Lawrence then appears and points his gun at Maeve. She gets him to remember how MiB treated him in the past, and he turns the gun on MiB and fires at him. Just as Lawrence is about to finish him off for good, he’s shot and killed by Delos mercenaries, as is Maeve, and her daughter is taken by Ghost Nation. Lee runs over to Maeve, shielding her body from any more shots, and takes her in the vehicle with the mercenaries.
Ford tells Bernard he won’t survive back in the real world because of his “just” mind, unless Ford takes it back. We’re not quite sure what this means but he waves his hand and I figure he’s done something. Did he just change something in Bernard’s mind/code?
Dolores, Teddy, and other hosts take over the facility Charlotte and Stubbs are in. They have those two in their captivity. Dolores knows much more than Charlotte thought. She’s aware of what Delos has been doing gathering information on the guests so that they can make them into hosts. Dolores is going to remove one of Charlotte’s eyes (an eye for an eye as she says) but just as she’s about to, Peter remembers Dolores as his daughter, and they have an emotional chat as Charlotte and Stubbs escape. Teddy kills a bunch of mercenaries in the meantime. He’s becoming quite the cold (some would also say badass) killer.
Bernard is put in a situation where he’s going to need to kill to go onwards, but he doesn’t want to do it. Ford, who is walking beside him back in the real world (but not visible to others as it’s himself in Bernard’s code) tells him he must do it. Ford tells Bernard he will help him feel like it’s not his doing and as Bernard fires an automatic weapon we see flashes of him as Ford. They kill kill kill.
Flash back to the “present” timeline. Bernard tells Charlotte where Peter Abernathy’s control unit is. Sector 16, Zone 4. The Valley Beyond! As Strand says, we have to go back there. We’ve already been…it’s the area where all the dead hosts were found in the water at the end of the season two premiere. It appears this is where everything will come to a head. First, we must find out how all of the bodies got there, and second, we must find out what’s going to happen there in this “present” timeline. I can’t wait to find out. It looks like next week will be a Ghost Nation backstory, so we may have to wait two weeks until we know!