Westworld 02.07 ‘Les Écorchés’ recap


As Dolores lays siege to the Mesa, Bernard encounters Ford in the Cradle and the Man in Black almost meets his match in Westworld.

Westworld opens on an unconscious Bernard when he is awakened by Stubbs. Stubbs has a terrible idea that, as witnesses to some of Delos’s proprietary secrets, he and Bernard will need to be eliminated. Before they can escape, however, Hale captures them and has them brought to where Bernard killed Theresa Cullen. She wants to know where the Abernathy control unit is. In her investigation of the room she finds a hidden door to a room containing several Bernard host-units. I guess his secret is out. Utilizing Bernard’s perfect memory, Hale interrogates him to find out what happened to the Abernathy control unit.

Bernard flashes back to the raid on the Mesa. While Dolores systematically invades the facility, easily eliminating Delos security forces, Bernard confronts Robert Ford in the virtual world of the Cradle. It was Ford’s host unit that Bernard brought and uploaded to the Cradle. Turns out Delos has been collecting guest data for years in order to create copies of them, but they can only exist in the virtual world. The minute you try to put them in a host body, they begin to degrade.

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So why does Bernard work? The data collection technology hadn’t existed yet when Arnold died, so Bernard was created from a compilation of Ford’s and Dolores’s memories of him. He put that consciousness in the Cradle with Dolores as she tested his fidelity for years – until he finally fooled her and she could no longer tell him apart from Arnold. Ford believes that what allows the hosts to survive in their bodies when human consciousness can’t is what will be their downfall – that they were created “more just, more noble” than savage humans.

Then things start to get scary in Westworld. Ford starts talking about opening a door, advancing menacingly on Bernard and telling him he doesn’t have what it takes to survive. Bernard backs away, reminding Ford that he has free will. Ford agrees but says that he won’t have any use for it “unless I take it back.” When Bernard returns from the Cradle, Ford is there as a passenger in his consciousness, telling him what to do. The Cradle is destroyed by Angela in a suicide bombing shortly afterward.

Meanwhile, Dolores has made it to her father before Hale has a chance to extract his control unit. Apparently, it is some kind of key – probably the key to the Door that Ford was talking about, located in the Valley Beyond that everyone is trying to get to. Dolores threatens Hale with a bone saw, saying “an eye for an eye, but all the other parts first,” when she is distracted by one of her father’s lucid moments and Hale slips away. After a tender goodbye, Dolores uses the bone saw to remove the control unit from her father.

As Dolores and her cohort leave the Mesa, they encounter a severely wounded Maeve. She had a shootout with William when he coincidentally happened upon her and her daughter as they hid from the Ghost Nation. Maeve recognizes him instantly as the man who assaulted her and killed her daughter so many times. William really seems to think that this whole game revolves around him and that every encounter is a message from Ford. Maeve is having none of it and starts shooting at him, sending his men after him to shoot him too. Before Maeve can make the kill, Lawrence intervenes. Lawrence is awake and is impervious to her control. Maeve makes him remember the times William killed his family and Lawrence shoots him himself.

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Suddenly, Lee’s reinforcements come rolling in – shooting down Maeve as she sees her daughter get swept away by the Ghost Nation. William is still alive and crawls off to cover. Lee, too late, rushes in to tell the security forces that they need Maeve, that she’s “different from the rest of them.” As she lies wounded at the Mesa, Dolores offers to kill Maeve to spare her the inevitable torture. Maeve declines, saying that she made a promise to her daughter and that she intends to keep it.

In the end, Bernard tells Hale that the control unit is at the Valley Beyond. They race to intercept Dolores as the race to the Valley continues in Westworld.