Westworld S2 E4: “The Riddle of the Sphinx” recap and review



Those who look forward look in the wrong direction.

Warning: Spoilers ahead for Westworld S2 E4.

After a thrilling third episode that started and ended with Shogun World teases, “The Riddle of the Sphinx” continues the trend of fantastic Westworld episodes. It begins with William visiting James Delos at some sort of facility. James seems “trapped” in the room he’s in. William is interviewing him for some reason and when James gets a bit worked up, William hands him a letter. James looks shocked and then we cut to Westworld and an older William. He’s riding with Lawrence towards a town where a bunch of Lawrence’s family lives.

Clementine drags and leaves Bernard near a small cave. He walks inside and there lies none other than Elsie! Her foot is in a clamp, this is where she’s been kept since Bernard knocked her out in season one. He lets her go, but she grabs his gun immediately and is understandably quite wary of him. He unveils that he is a host, and explains that Ford forced him to do what he did to her. She’s still not totally convinced, but she is willing to keep him alive as she has questions for him. His body keeps shaking and he will need the injection he gave himself in the season two premiere if he’s to keep going much longer. Thankfully, he realizes there’s a lab nearby and they head inside.

One of the creepy white host monsters (as I like to call them) is inside and Elsie shoots and kills it. Bernard explains he believes they were studying guests of the park, but he’s not entirely sure why.

The woman we met in the opening scene of last week’s episode, who crossed parks, killed the bengal and was taken by Ghost Nation is tied up next to Stubbs. They talk briefly and she explains she has no desire to leave the parks. Interesting.

We head over to The Man in Black and Lawrence entering the town. They sit down to eat, but they notice the waiter is quite scared. Major Craddock (Jonathan Tucker), who was let go by Teddy at the end of last week’s episode, walks out with a gun and ties them both up. He’s killing everyone in the town one by one as he’s talking about needing supplies, food, and water for his men. MiB tells Craddock where the guns are, and tells him he will let him know where he’s supposed to go if he lets Lawrence and him go. Craddock’s been telling his men he knows where he’s going, this place he calls Glory, but MiB tells him they both know he doesn’t actually know where he’s going. MiB can give him that information.

We cut back to James and what appears to be the exact same scene as the opening scene. William gives him the piece of paper. It shows that they’re having the exact same conversation they’ve had before. James is a host. The human James died from sickness. Host James learns that his wife died of a stroke. His daughter and granddaughter are great according to William, but he still can’t leave the room he’s in as he’s not quite ready. William leaves and chats with the lady outside about the flaws still within this host. He sadly agrees to terminate James.

Ghost Nation is bringing Stubbs and the woman from the other park to “the first of them” and says “he will decide.” Eerie. They get to a clearing, and the woman runs away. They put knives up to Stubbs’ neck to prevent him from trying anything. “You live only as long as the last person that remembers you,” one whispers in his ear. The knife slides over his neck, but does nothing, and then Ghost Nation is gone. Stubbs is fine.

Bernard and Elsie are in a lab. Bernard is explaining that they were trying to make something else here, as they weren’t quite making hosts. The code was different, but it wasn’t quite code at all…confusing. He can’t remember exactly what they were making though. Elsie shoots open a locked door as Bernard yells not to, and then we cut away.

Craddock has a chat with MiB. MiB gives a speech about death, and how you never see it coming. He then tells Craddock he didn’t even realize death sitting across from him this whole time. MiB then breaks a bottle, stabs Craddock in the neck and kills all his men. He then hands Lawrence a gun, who shoots Craddock and his body explodes next to the gunpowder.

We cut back again to the same scene from earlier with James, except a much older William walks in. He explains it has taken a lot longer than they thought to get a viable version of James up and running. He explains it might happen in a year or two, but he’s not so sure anymore about anything. He thinks this whole enterprise might be a mistake and that people aren’t meant to live forever. He tells James that his daughter, Juliet (also William’s wife), killed herself. James’ son, Logan, overdosed years ago. William leaves and tells the technician to keep him alive and observe his trepidation over the next few days.

Elsie and Bernard walk into the room that she blew the lock open to. James is inside and attacks them! Bernard takes him down. He rattles out a whole speech about there being two fathers, one above and one below. They terminate him. When Elsie asks Bernard if that was a human or a host, Bernard tells her he thinks it was both.

Bernard then flashes back to a scene in which the white hosts kill all of the lab workers in a room and then themselves, and Bernard finishes off the final lab worker himself. He flashes back to reality and seems unsettled by this, but keeps to himself.

MiB and Lawrence head onwards on horseback. As they make their way into the open land, they come across another woman on horseback. It’s the woman that escaped Ghost Nation. She looks at MiB and says “Hi Dad.” The episode cuts to black and ends. This woman is William’s daughter! Wow! I cannot wait for next week’s episode. Another bravo episode of Westworld. Lots is happening each week and it’s all very exciting. Let’s keep the streak going next week, when we finally enter Shogun World!